US-Soldaten in Afghanistan



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"A U.S. Military Intervention in Venezuela Would Be a Disaster"

Shannon K O'Neil erläutert angesichts offener Überlegungen einiger US-Politiker über eine amerikanische Militärintervention in Venezuela, warum ein solcher Einsatz als "Desaster" enden würde. "Venezuela isn’t Grenada or Panama, the two Latin American countries invaded by the U.S. during the closing days of the Cold War. Instead, it is twice the size of Iraq with only a slightly smaller population, and teeters on the verge of chaos. Any invasion requires preparations on a similar scale, meaning a 100,000-plus force. U.S. troops are unlikely to be welcomed. (...) If they enter, U.S. troops must prepare to stay for the long haul. (...) In response to these risks, some have called for a multilateral force, which could spread the burden and mitigate charges of Yankee overreach. But Venezuela’s neighbors will not answer a military call. Public opinion in these democracies is against intervention. Their foreign policy elites, steeped in a doctrine of non-intervention, also stand in opposition. (...) instead of pushing for anachronistic and counterproductive military measures, Venezuela’s neighbors should take the hard but necessary diplomatic, financial and humanitarian measures needed to achieve economic and political change and an improvement in the region’s collective fortunes."

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"Putin’s Swashbuckling Spies Are Hurting Him"

Russlands Präsident Putin sollte sich nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky Gedanken über die Effektivität und Sorgfältigkeit seines Militärgeheimdienstes GRU machen. Verschiedene Operationen, die dem Geheimdienst zugeschrieben werden, auch das fehlgeschlagene Attentat auf den Ex-Spion Sergei Skripal, hätten zu viel Aufmerksamkeit erregt und Russland politisch geschadet. "By comparison, the other two Russian intelligence services that work overseas, the SVR and the FSB, have spotless records. Although no GRU officers have actually been arrested as a result of the failures, the string of mishaps resembles — at least in scale — the GRU’s nightmare period from the late 1920s to the mid-1930s. (...) If, like Stalin in 1934, Putin is interested in deniability, he’s not getting it with the swashbuckling GRU. It’s possible, of course, that the Russian president’s real interest is in enhancing his reputation as a fearsome enemy. May told Parliament on Wednesday that she thought the Skripal poisoning was meant to send a message to other Russians in London that they weren’t safe. If so, Putin should be fine with the publicity the military intelligence service is getting — but only up to a point. The GRU, after all, is not publicity-oriented, and the scandals are undermining its usefulness in real intelligence work by drawing the attention of Western adversaries."

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"Don’t Give Up on North Korea"

Bloomberg meint in diesem Leitartikel, dass es trotz der aktuellen Probleme im Verhandlungsprozess zwischen den USA und Nordkorea zu früh sei, die diplomatische Denuklearisierung Nordkoreas als gescheitert zu betrachten. "Disappointment was to be expected because Kim conceded next to nothing in his summit with Trump, pledging only to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula — a formula that implies the removal of U.S. forces — and only after striking a comprehensive peace agreement with Washington. (...) Nonetheless, Kim can’t revert to the pre-summit status quo. State media have celebrated the recent contacts and Kim’s promise that they’ll promote trade and development. The young autocrat has staked his legitimacy on improving his country’s dire living standards. Estimates suggest that nearly three-quarters of North Koreans now derive some of their income from markets of one kind or another. A taste of economic liberty is apt to create an appetite for more. North Korea’s command-and-control model is under internal assault. (...) Trump will have to convince Kim that North Korea cannot avoid coming to terms with the U.S. — which means, in turn, closer U.S. coordination with China and, especially, South Korea. This should be possible, despite suggestions from Trump that Beijing is encouraging the North’s recalcitrance."

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"Europe Wants to Defend Itself? Good Luck With That."

Nach Ansicht von Hal Brands werden die Europäer trotz der jüngsten Appelle einiger Politiker für eine größere sicherheitspolitische Eigenständigkeit schnell feststellen, dass sie ihre strategische Abhängigkeit von den USA nicht so leicht überwinden können. "On security, European military weakness is so severe that it would take decades for the EU or any other association of European nations to be able to defend the continent’s eastern flank from Russia, much less project power into unstable neighboring regions such as the Middle East and North Africa. (...) The realization that Europe is impotent to escape its strategic dependence will only deepen the resentment that many Europeans feel, by underscoring that the continent remains in thrall to even an erratic, often-unfriendly America. That realization, in turn, may not lead to a quick trans-Atlantic divorce, but it could promote a more gradual trans-Atlantic drift that would ultimately prove quite damaging."

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"Iran Says It Will Block Middle East Oil Exports If It Can't Ship"

Sollten iranische Ölexporte über die Straße von Hormus durch die USA blockiert werden, werde der Iran auch andere Länder daran hindern, die wichtige Meerenge für Öltransporte zu nutzen, so die Warnung des iranischen Stabschefs der Streitkräfte, Mohammad Bagheri. "If the Islamic Republic can’t use the Strait for its oil exports, 'there will be no security for others either and no other crude will be exported from this region,' Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri said, state-run Mehr news agency reported. The U.S. Army and other military forces present in the Middle East 'know full well that the smallest mistake in the region will bear a heavy cost for them.'"

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"EU Looking to Sidestep U.S. Sanctions With Payments System Plan"

Deutschland und Frankreich wollen die US-Sanktionen gegen den Iran mit Hilfe neuer unabhängiger Finanzinstrumente umgehen, berichten William Horobin und Birgit Jennen. "'With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,' French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday during a meeting with press association AJEF. 'I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.' (...) Le Maire said using the European Investment Bank, which has exposure to the U.S., as a 'financial channel' would be 'very complicated' and that the French and German governments are talking to their respective central banks about their involvement. 'If we want to build a truly independent instrument we must open up all the options,' he said."

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"Europe Should Stop Trying to Save the Iran Deal"

Bloomberg empfiehlt der EU in diesem Leitartikel, die Bemühungen zur Rettung des Atomabkommens mit dem Iran aufzugeben. "Saving the deal — which granted Iran sanctions relief in return for new restrictions on its nuclear program — was never a real prospect after Trump pulled out. Once U.S. sanctions snapped back into place, few companies would dare to do business with the Islamic Republic. And yet Europe’s leaders have clung to the conceit that the agreement could still be made to work, ignoring not only the exhortations of the Trump administration but also the clear message from their own companies, which (like their American counterparts) have been scrapping plans to do business with Iran. (...) Now Europe must start working toward a new one that would address the weaknesses of the original while satisfying the Trump administration and the Iranian regime."

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"Could Trade War Lead to the Real Thing?"

Kevin Rudd analysiert die Hintergründe des aktuellen "Wirtschaftskriegs" zwischen den USA und China und warnt vor den Folgen einer ungebremsten Eskalation. "I’m not sure which way the Chinese leadership will choose to go. If they decide to double down rather than back down, the global economy should prepare for a major blow, one capable of tipping us all into recession. And that’s not even considering where the next steps in escalatory politics could take us once trade-related measures are exhausted. Bilateral investment flows are already slowing rapidly. A new Cold War in high technology is looming, if not already underway. And on the security front, we could easily see escalation in the South China Sea and beyond. Historically, we’ve routinely failed to discern when the tipping points come between public disagreement, failed diplomacy, political crisis, failed crisis management, limited conflict and then more general war. In this case, we aren’t even yet at phase two in the sequence."

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"China-U.S. Trade Spat Is Just a Start to the Economic Cold War"

Der drohende Wirtschaftskrieg der USA gegen China könnte das Ausmaß des Kalten Kriegs gegen die Sowjetunion annehmen und das Leben einer ganzen Generation prägen, schreibt Conor Sen. "China is not just another front in President Donald Trump's war on trade. Unlike Mexico, Canada, Europe and other targets of the president, China will be a source of economic conflict for years to come, long after the tariff level on soybeans has been settled. Like the rivalry with the Soviet Union, economic competition with China may form a cold war that shapes American politics and economic policy for a generation or more. (...) A future economic cold war between the U.S. and China may push American leaders to favor a pro-growth policy at any price, even if that risks stoking additional inflation and inflating economic bubbles. If China invests more in space exploration, that could kick off another space race. In whatever realm China decides to emphasize, the U.S. will be afraid to let it get too far ahead. Fights over currency manipulation and soybean tariffs are likely to be just the beginning. The economic conflict between the U.S. and China could define the next generation of American life."

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"U.S.-Turkey Relations Will Never Be the Same"

Therese Raphael erwartet, dass die neuen US-Sanktionen gegen die Türkei die Beziehungen beider Länder nachhaltig verändern werden. "There are only two ways that the diplomatic rift between the U.S. and Turkey can end: a compromise that salvages the relationship as best possible, or a complete rupture with devastating consequences both for Turkey's economy and America's regional strategic interests. Either way, there is no going back to the way things were. (...) American support for Turkey doesn't crumble in a day. The relationship is baked into ties on multiple levels, both inside and outside government, and for good reason. (...) And yet, it has definitely changed, thanks not so much to national interests, but to failings in leadership. The U.S. will have to settle for something less loyal, less an alliance and more a transactional relationship. But then that seems to define these times pretty aptly."

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"Russia’s Shield Against Sanctions Draws Praise From Moody’s"

Kristin Lindow von der Ratingagentur Moody’s zufolge hat die Regierung in Moskau erfolgreiche Schritte unternommen, um die Anfälligkeit der russischen Wirtschaft für künftige westliche Sanktionen zu reduzieren. "Russia is ready to absorb the blow from any new sanctions the U.S. throws its way, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Measures to cut down holdings of Treasuries and reduce exposure to the dollar have made the economy less vulnerable to the threat of deeper penalties, Moody’s analyst Kristin Lindow said in an interview. The country could even weather the unlikely scenario of sanctions on sovereign debt recently proposed by U.S. lawmakers, she said."

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"Death, Diamonds and Russia’s Africa Project"

Der Tod von drei russischen Journalisten in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik wirft Leonid Bershidsky zufolge ein Schlaglicht auf die Bemühungen Russlands um größeren Einfluss in Afrika. Die Reporter wurden bei ihren Recherchen über die Aktivitäten des russischen Militärunternehmens Wagner getötet. "Where China has spent decades and billions of dollars trying to entrench itself there, Russia is offering its brute force and strong appetite for risk. It’s already making headway. (...) Back in March, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Russia was working with the government of Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera to explore the country’s natural resources on a concession basis. At the same time, the ministry said, Russia had sent weapons along with five military and 170 civilian instructors to train the nation's military forces. (...) Putin’s Russia has sought to restore its Soviet-era influence throughout the developing world, and its activity in Africa is not limited to the Central African Republic. It’s worth watching for reports of Russian concessions in other nations, such as Sudan, Chad, Rwanda and Gabon. The Wagner business model is well suited to the region where a forceful presence can be a prerequisite for successful business – and where looking into how this business is conducted can easily get one killed."

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"Putin Has Lost His Influence in the Balkans"

Der Einfluss Russlands in den Ländern des früheren Jugoslawiens ist Leonid Bershidsky zufolge deutlich zurückgegangen. Trotzdem versuche Moskau weiterhin, politische Unruhe in der Region zu stiften. "Russia has largely lost its fight for influence in the Balkans: Nine of the area’s 12 countries (plus Kosovo, which is not a United Nations member) are in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and all the Balkan nations are either in the European Union or aspire to be in it. (...) There’s no way Russia can realistically prevent the eventual EU accession of former Yugoslav states, including the future North Macedonia. Among them, only Serbia is unlikely to join NATO. But Russia is spending money, risking scandals and undermining relations with relatively friendly European states such as Greece to stir up fringe groups without any hope of a decisive victory. (...) That resembles Russia’s game in the U.S. and in EU countries. Trouble for trouble’s sake is worth something to Putin, even if he cannot hope for a major victory. That’s something for his adversaries to keep in mind: For the Kremlin, stoking internal divisions is a goal in itself."

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"If Iran Gets Back to Nukes, Israel Is Better Prepared to Strike"

Im Fall eines endgültigen Scheiterns des internationalen Atomabkommens mit dem Iran wäre Israel heute besser auf gezielte Militärschläge gegen iranische Atomanlagen vorbereitet als noch vor wenigen Jahren, schreibt Ilan Jonas. "(...) just because Israel is now better positioned to carry out a strike on Iran means that it will inevitably do so. The chances remain low for now. There are many domestic constraints as well as international factors that could prevent Israel from eventually launching such a strike, or even make it redundant (such as international pressure forcing Iran toward restraint). However, Israel’s enhanced capabilities do allow Netanyahu to take a more aggressive approach toward Tehran, knowing that if push comes to shove, the prospects of a strike succeeding will be significantly higher than it was when he held up that cartoon bomb at the UN."

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"Russia Should Admit It Uses Mercenaries"

Nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky ist es an der Zeit, dass Russland den Einsatz von Söldnern und "beurlaubten" Soldaten in der Ostukraine und in Syrien eingesteht. "It could be in Putin’s interest to stop trying to keep open secrets and to recognize the existence of the private military companies. Separating them clearly from the official armed forces could be beneficial for deconfliction purposes. It might also help create a new, more plausible deniability, a line between private initiative, such as it is, and government interest in areas where the distinction is murky now. The U.S., after all, doesn’t try to hide its private military companies."

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"On Trade, Merkel Joins Trump on the Low Road"

Im Handelsstreit mit den USA folgt Bundeskanzlerin Merkel nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky dem Vorbild von Präsident Trump. Beide scheuen demnach nicht davor zurück, Fakten zu "manipulieren", um die eigene Position zu stützen. "Merkel the conscientious academic, known for her studiousness and careful preparation, is showing Trump that two can play the cherry-picking game with numbers whose greatest value is as rhetorical devices to please the domestic political base. She’s treating the trade war between Europe and the U.S. as a contest of wills rather than an academic dispute. That’s a bad sign. This sort of contest is sure to escalate before the parties are tempted to look for a compromise, and escalation means the trade war will hurt more industries, and ultimately more workers, than it has already affected both in Europe and the U.S. It would be a far better idea to let statisticians work out their differences first, so that everyone can at least operate with the same set of numbers -- but it may be too late.​​​"

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"Germany Isn’t Ready to Lead. That’s a Good Thing."

Leonid Bershidsky schreibt in seinem Kommentar zu den jüngsten Äußerungen von AfD-Parteichef Gauland zur NS-Zeit, dass die historische Erfahrung des Nationalsozialismus eventuelle globale Ambitionen Deutschlands in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten immer gezügelt habe. Diese Zurückhaltung sei immer noch positiv zu bewerten und sollte nicht leichtfertig aufgegeben werden. "The reluctance to assume the mantle of 'leader of the free world' and defender of the liberal order reflects Germany’s sincere realization that leadership is to be treated with extreme care. If Germany adopted the Gauland line or even a milder variation of it, the country would probably jump at more chances to take the reins. But the world is likely a better place because it refuses to do so. Attaching more importance to horrible failures than to glorious victories is a powerful discipline to be imitated rather than condemned."

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"What Do Steel Tariffs Have to Do With Iran? Plenty"

Melvyn Krauss macht darauf aufmerksam, dass die US-Regierung mit ihren Strafzöllen gegen Europa vor allem sicherheitspolitische Zugeständnisse erreichen will. "That’s a novel — and potentially fraught — way for an American president to do business with his closest allies. But in the short term, it might deliver some results that Trump can use to declare victory. Trump’s hope seems to be that the threat of tariffs gives him leverage to get the cooperation he wants on European defense spending and sanctions on Iran. (...) In another sign of Trump’s new approach, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, in an interview with the New York Times, suggested the president might be willing to grant the EU bloc permanent exemption from the trade tariffs in exchange for strong cooperation with the U.S. on Iran. The linkage tactic may seem outrageous to politicians in Berlin and Brussels. It may be dismissed as mere Trumpian impulse by others. But it’s not so easily ignored or countered."

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"The U.S. Should Move Troops From Germany to Poland"

Leonid Bershidsky empfiehlt der US-Regierung, auf das polnische Angebot von zwei Milliarden US-Dollar einzugehen und US-Militärstützpunkte aus Deutschland in den Osten zu verlagern. "Placing U.S. bases in Germany after World War II was a response to the need to deter a Soviet attack and prevent Germany from becoming a military threat again. The second goal appears to be irrelevant today. (...) In addition, the theoretical front line in a conflict between Russia and NATO no longer runs through Germany, which today is buffered from Russia by a number of countries, including the Baltic states and Poland. Germans feel safe, and they’re among the least inclined to defend a NATO ally against a Russian attack. (...) There’s nothing (...) that Russia could do in response. It has already accepted temporary NATO deployments to the Baltics and Poland. So the U.S. doesn’t stand to lose anything by accepting Poland’s generous proposal and gradually relocating troops there from Germany."

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"China Is Quietly Setting Global Standards"

China sei fast unbemerkt dabei, im Zuge seiner globalen Investitions- und Wirtschaftsaktivitäten wichtige industrielle und technologische Standards zu setzen, schreibt Andrew Polk. In den vergangenen Jahrzehnten sei diese Rolle den USA zugefallen. "The process has so far mostly unfolded domestically, and in Chinese, as China's government has sought to develop its own set of industrial standards for companies operating within its borders. That has made the effort mostly opaque to outsiders. Yet regulators are now starting to translate those standards into English — a clear sign that they're meant to be exported overseas. And that should worry China's competitors. For decades, America's ability to set domestic standards that would then spread globally benefited its economy greatly. (...) To the extent that China's standards supplant Western ones, it will represent a direct threat to the profitability of non-Chinese companies. This push won't directly challenge the ability of American or European companies to innovate. But it will undoubtedly challenge their ability to commercialize technology in other markets."

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"This North Korea Show Might Be Over Before It Starts"

Michael Schuman ist der Ansicht, dass das geplante Gipfeltreffen zwischen Donald Trump und Kim Jong Un letztlich wegen der fehlenden Vertrauensbasis zwischen den USA und Nordkorea scheitern wird. "(...) here we find the one factor that may kill off any nuclear deal with North Korea: verification. The U.S. and South Korea will need to be assured the North Koreans are doing what they say they’re doing. Any agreement will have to include some sort of process to inspect Pyongyang’s nuclear facilities and verify that every aspect of Kim’s weapons-making program has been eliminated. (...) The verification problem was one key reason why the first major attempt at denuclearization failed, too. In 1994, the Clinton Administration struck a deal with Pyongyang under which the U.S. would build two nuclear reactors for North Korea (which couldn’t easily produce the material necessary to make bombs) in return for the closure of its existing facilities (which could) and an end to its weapons development. The deal broke apart in the early 2000s amid mutual recriminations. The causes of the collapse were complex, but at its core was uncertainty over whether North Korea was abiding by its agreement."

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"Trump May Go Too Far in Alienating Europe"

US-Präsident Trump habe sich bisher kaum bemüht, den europäischen Regierungen in Streitfragen entgegenzukommen, stellt Leonid Bershidsky fest. Diese Haltung könnte in Europa eine antiamerikanische Stimmung verstärken und in den kommenden Jahren auch Wahlergebnisse prägen. "Merkel and Macron have been disciplined about not playing this card, including in their recent election campaigns. But for an example of how easy it would be, one needn’t go any further than the interview Monday of Guenther Oettinger, the EU budget commissioner and Merkel’s political ally, with Germany’s ZDF news channel. 'We import jeans from the U.S.,' Oettinger said, 'but there are more European products that are attractive to Americans.' He went on: 'In one sector they have an advantage — the digital sector, social media, big data. But as far as real industry goes, there are few American products that are attractive to Europeans.' This economic pride (...) could easily be combined with criticism of the U.S. security policy, especially if Trump wrecks the Iran deal. (...) Macron and Merkel appear to be hoping to wait out Trump. But if he wins reelection in 2020 or if his successor adopts a similar attitude, the next electoral cycle in major EU nations may turn out to be far more anti-American than the last one was, simply because public and expert opinion indicates there are political gains to be picked up on this path."

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"Two Koreas Discuss Official End to 68-Year War, Report Says"

Steht ein offizieller Friedensschluss zwischen Nord- und Südkorea bevor? Eine südkoreanische Zeitung hat einen Regierungsmitarbeiter zitiert, dem zufolge die Staatschefs beider Länder bei ihrem Treffen in der nächsten Woche ein formelles Ende der militärischen Konfrontation verkünden könnten. "A direct phone line between Moon and Kim may be connected around Friday, Moon’s chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, told a briefing Tuesday, adding that it hadn’t been decided when they would hold their first conversation. No peace treaty has been signed to replace the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, and the U.S. and North Korea have been at loggerheads since formal hostilities ended. A successful summit between Moon and Kim could pave the way for a meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump -- the first between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader."

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"As Castro Exits, U.S. and Cuba Still Good Frenemies"

Trotz seiner kritischen Äußerungen zur Kuba-Politik seines Amtsvorgängers habe US-Präsident Trump die von Obama angestoßene Kooperation beider Länder auf den Gebieten der Sicherheit, Verbrechensbekämpfung und Migration nicht eingestellt, schreibt Mac Margolis anlässlich des Abtritts von Präsident Raul Castro. "No one expects Cuba to radically change course. Although Raul Castro is officially stepping aside, he’ll go no further than the top slot at the Cuban Communist Party, where eminence grise is the new khaki. And don’t expect a truce in the sexagenarian feud between Havana and Washington, which has only escalated under Trump. Yet Cuba and the U.S. also are bound by strategic interests that have remained remarkably solid despite the continuing vitriol over the Florida Strait. Even as public diplomacy festers, in recent months shared policy initiatives, technical cooperation pacts and binational task forces have survived and, in some cases, even strengthened."

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"Trump's Trade War Pushes Europe Toward China"

Mit ihrer neuen aggressiven Handelspolitik sei die US-Regierung dabei, die Reserven ihrer "soft power" in Europa zu erschöpfen, warnt Ferdinando Giugliano. Die EU könnte bald gezwungen sein, sich zwischen den beiden großen Handelsmächten USA und China zu entscheiden und das Ergebnis sei keineswegs sicher. "The president has repeatedly criticized the EU for its trade policy which, he argued, is 'very unfair' to the U.S.. Trump only granted a last-minute exemption to the EU on his tariffs on steel and aluminum. Moreover, this exclusion is temporary, as Trump is seeking to put pressure on European countries to make concessions in other areas of trade; not exactly the kind of treatment the EU expects from a friend. Most importantly, the U.S. administration is showing disdain for the multilateral trading system which it contributed to building. (...) Conversely, China is seeking to stick to the rules of the multilateral trade game. (...) There are many areas where an EU-China alignment is possible: Beijing is seeking strategic partners for its Belt and Road Initiative, a development strategy aimed at building better infrastructure between Asia, Europe and Africa. Several countries, including France and Germany, have expressed an initial interest in the project, and this could be stepped up. Similarly, European countries could take a more active role in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China's development bank which aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region."

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"China Isn't America's Enemy, at Least Not Yet"

James Stavridis warnt davor, China vorschnell zum großen Feind der USA zu deklarieren. Die Rivalität zwischen den Großmächten sei ohne Zweifel vorhanden, eine vernünftige Strategie müsse aber auch die vielen gemeinsamen Interessen berücksichtigen. "The goal, then, is to craft a sensible strategic approach that confronts China where we must, but cooperates where we can. (...) It should feature six key elements: (...) Use True Long-Term Thinking. (...) Conduct International Coalition-Building. (...) Retain a Values-Based Approach. (...) Enhance our Geo-Economic Posture. (...) Integrate the Interagency. (...) Maintain a Qualitative Military Edge. (...) Above all, we need to move from a reactive China 'policy' to a real strategy that connects ends, ways and means. We could easily take a page from Sun Tzu, the legendary Chinese strategist, who was known for his sophisticated blend of hard and soft power to win complex battles. Yet even he ultimately said, 'In death ground, fight.' We are not yet on a death ground with China, but we will need a new approach to ensure we don’t stumble onto one."

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"There's a Crack Between the U.S. and Europe Over China"

Die seit einem Jahr verstärkt in den Fokus geratenen transatlantischen Differenzen sind auch beim Umgang mit China kaum zu übersehen, schreibt Hal Brands. Während China von den USA unter Präsident Trump (nach Ansicht Brands aus guten Gründen) verstärkt als geopolitischer Rivale wahrgenommen werde, richteten europäische Regierungen ihren Blick vor allem auf die wirtschaftlichen Aussichten einer Kooperation mit Peking. Brands betrachtet diese strategische Dissonanz als Gefahr für die liberale Weltordnung. "(...) the transatlantic divergence regarding China will exacerbate the difficulty of dealing with the broader, overarching challenge Chinese behavior represents. China does not simply pose a military and geopolitical threat to U.S. power and alliances in the Asia-Pacific. It is the leading edge of a larger challenge by illiberal, revisionist powers to the liberal international order that the United States -- in cooperation with its European partners -- constructed after World War II. The best response to that threat is for the world’s leading liberal powers to meet it squarely and in unison. And that means getting Europe, which still constitutes the largest concentration of democracies in the world, on board. Sadly, given its own ambivalence about the liberal order, it is not yet clear whether the Trump administration is up to the task."

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"Don't Fear China's Arctic Takeover"

China hat in der vergangenen Woche eine eigene Arktis-Politik angekündigt, die u.a. zur Errichtung chinesischer Schiffsrouten und einer "Polar Silk Road" führen soll. Adam Minter hält die chinesischen Ansprüche auf die Mitgestaltung der Zukunft der Region für "natürlich" und betrachtet die Einwände von arktischen Anrainerstaaten wie Kanada als unbegründet. "So far, at least, China has been willing to work within international rules. In 2013, it obtained permanent observer status at the Arctic Council, a group that includes the eight Arctic nations and six indigenous communities. In December, it was one of 16 countries that agreed to a 16-year ban on commercial fishing in the Arctic while scientists study the region's marine ecology and how it might be affected by climate change. That's no guarantee that China's ravenous fishing fleets won't pour into polar waters come 2034. But it is a reminder that China will be affected by the risks and opportunities created by a warming Arctic, and has a legitimate role to play there."

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"Why Markets Shrug Off Political Turmoil"

Die internationalen Märkte hätten in den vergangenen Jahren immer wieder erstaunlich ruhig auf politische Krisen und geopolitische Konflikte reagiert, schreibt Mohamed A. El-Erian. Dabei hätten sie regelmäßig die Warnungen politischer Experten vor einem Einbruch des globalen Wachstums o.ä. Konsequenzen ignoriert und damit recht behalten. "Some may be tempted to argue that pure luck could have played a role in the good market outcome. But there are too many incidents for this to be a compelling explanation. (...) Political scientists can rest easier in the knowledge that markets don’t necessarily know their business better, but -- rather -- benefit from a combination of a narrower focus, a favorable context and a deep belief in a strong backstop. Political scientists should take these factors more into account when seeking to translate their political/geopolitical insights into market calls. Meanwhile, rather than completely dismiss what these experts have to say, investors should realize that it’s a question of a balance, which could evolve over time."

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"Europe's High Representative for Appeasement"

Eli Lake wirft der EU-Chefdiplomatin Federica Mogherini vor, gegenüber "Schurkenstaaten" wie Iran, Kuba, Nordkorea und Russland eine "Appeasement"-Politik zu betreiben. Aktuell sei dies insbesondere bei der Reaktion der EU auf die Proteste in Iran zu beobachten. "As Suzanne Maloney, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution, told me this week: 'This is the European moment on Iran.' Europe's response to the regime's violent suppression of protests after the stolen election of 2009 was firm. The EU should send the same message today: 'We are not going to sustain political and economic engagement with a country engaged in the suppression of peaceful protests,' she said. So far Mogherini and the Europeans have delivered the opposite message. On Monday, the high representative invited Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, to Brussels next week for more discussions on the Iran nuclear deal. Alireza Nader, an Iran expert at the RAND Corporation, told me this week that Mogherini's statement on Iran was 'saying both sides are equal, when it's Iranian security forces that are shooting and killing people.' (...) In Mogherini, Europe has a chief diplomat who doesn't want to offend the envoys of tyrants. She seeks to build partnerships with them for the cause of peace. In another era, this supine credulity had a name: appeasement. Churchill had some things to say about that, too."

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