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13.02.2018

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

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-02-13/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." Weiter...


09.02.2018

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

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-02-09/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." Weiter...


31.01.2018

"Don't Fear China's Arctic Takeover"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-30/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." Weiter...


22.01.2018

"Why Markets Shrug Off Political Turmoil"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-22/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." Weiter...


09.01.2018

"Europe's High Representative for Appeasement"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-09/federica-mogherini-europe-s-high-representative-for-ap
peasement

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." Weiter...


04.01.2018

"Putin's Goals in Syria Went Beyond Saving Assad"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-04/putin-s-goals-in-syria-went-beyond-saving-assad

Ein hochrangiger russischer General hat in einem Interview mit der Komsomolskaya Pravda Strategie und Ziele des russischen Militärs beim Einsatz in Syrien erläutert. Dabei stand offenbar nicht nur das politische Ziel der Unterstützung von Präsident Assad, sondern auch der Test der eigenen operativen Fähigkeiten im Vordergrund. "According to Gerasimov, the only previous time Russia had to deploy troops so far from its borders was to Cuba in 1962, so it was important to test that capability. The general says Russia ran 48,000 service members through the Syrian war theater. 'The main thing was to test the commanders, the officers,' Gerasimov told Komsomolskaya Pravda. 'We had all the commanders of the military districts spend quite a long time there.' That explains why Russia rotated the Syrian operation's commander so often, using five generals to run the military action between September, 2015 and the end of 2017. (...) Russia also managed to test more than 200 types of weapons that the Russian military had recently adopted or was about to adopt. (...) Something Gerasimov doesn't say is that Russia also tested a private military company based in southern Russia, Wagner, which provided critical ground support to Assad's forces and, according to independent research, bore the brunt of the losses." Weiter...


02.01.2018

"Democracy in Iran? The Demographics Say Yes"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-02/democracy-in-iran-the-demographics-say-yes

Der amerikanische Bevölkerungswissenschaftler Richard Cincotta hat Leonid Bershidsky zufolge bereits im Jahr 2008 vorhergesagt, dass Tunesien aufgrund seiner demographischen Entwicklung bald einen Demokratisierungsprozess durchlaufen könnte. Damals sei er dafür verlacht worden, mittlerweile gelte das Land als einzige Erfolgsgeschichte des Arabischen Frühlings. Im Fall Iran treffe Cincotta heute eine ähnliche Prognose: "While a country is in a youthful phase, (...) an uprising is highly unlikely to result in sustainable democratization. Cincotta has shown that most such countries revert to authoritarianism; that may help explain why the Arab Spring didn't end up democratizing Egypt (median age 24) but established a functional democracy in Tunisia (median age 32). Today, Iranians are getting older. Thanks to successful fertility-control policies of the 1980s (now regretted by the country's religious leadership), Iran is rapidly going through the intermediate age-structural phase, just as Tunisia did. This, according to Cincotta, is a window for economic growth and political change favoring the middle class." Weiter...


11.12.2017

"When the 'Arab Street' Comes to Sweden"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-12-11/when-the-arab-street-comes-to-sweden

Angesichts der jüngsten antijüdischen Gewaltakte in Schweden schreibt Noah Feldman, dass einige muslimische Immigranten die Freiheiten der liberalen Gesellschaften in Europa nutzten, um die "Arabische Straße" neu aufleben zu lassen. "Indeed, because Western European states respect civil liberties, allow peaceful protest and punish at least some kinds of violence mildly, Arabs and Muslims living in places like Sweden may have more freedom to protest - and to go overboard into violence - than their counterparts in majority-Arab or Muslim countries. And what’s happening today in Sweden can happen tomorrow throughout the rest of Europe. (...) In autocratic or authoritarian Arab and Muslim states, anti-Israel protests are allowed when the state sees them as useful, and suppressed when it considers them counterproductive. In Sweden, however, the state has no legal authority to suppress peaceful protest, unless it turns into hate speech directed against a group. Then, Swedish law, like the law of other Western European states (but unlike U.S. law) allows after-the-fact punishment." Weiter...


05.12.2017

"The West Backed the Wrong Man in Ukraine"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-12-05/the-west-backed-the-wrong-man-in-ukraine

Leonid Bershidsky stellt enttäuscht fest, dass der ukrainische Präsident Petro Poroshenko die Konsolidierung seiner persönlichen Machtstellung wichtiger finde als den Kampf gegen Korruption und andere Reformen, die das Land dem Westen näher bringen würden. Die USA und Europa hätten offenbar auf das falsche Pferd gesetzt. "Poroshenko has clearly concluded that he won't lose Western political backing as long as he maintains an anti-Russian stance, and he no longer has a pressing need for financial backing on a firm schedule. As long as Western leaders see Ukraine as a bulwark against Russia, he can act domestically as any other old-school Ukrainian politician, for whom the borders between power, money and brutal force are blurred. (...) At this point, even the most vocal Western supporters of the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government have realized that something is wrong with Poroshenko. 'President Poroshenko appears to have abandoned the fight against corruption, any ambition for economic growth, EU or IMF funding,' economist Anders Aslund, who has long been optimistic about Ukrainian reforms, tweeted recently." Weiter...


20.11.2017

"Impeachment Is Worth the Wait for Zimbabwe"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-20/impeachment-is-worth-the-wait-for-zimbabwe

Dass der Rückzug von Präsident Mugabe in Simbabwe nicht einfach vom Militär deklariert worden ist, sondern auf der Grundlage des bestehenden politischen Regelwerks vollzogen wurde, wird von Noah Feldman als hoffnungsvolles Zeichen interpretiert. "Following the rules sends a message that the future regime wants to respect the law. If the Zimbabwean people, who have had 37 years of Mugabe, can wait a few more weeks to remove him lawfully, the delay will have been worth it. The events in Zimbabwe have been fascinating, not least because they haven’t followed the usual pattern of dictator removal. Ordinarily, dictators remain in power until serious cracks appear in their authority - after which they crumble fast. (...) Admittedly, following procedures in overthrowing a dictator is a form of hypocrisy. But hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue, as the old maxim has it. In this case that means, by showing even a hypocritical respect for procedural forms, the coup plotters are doing something to enforce the value of procedural regularity in constitutional government." Weiter...


15.11.2017

"A Half-Hearted Coup, Extending Zimbabwe's Reign of Terror"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-15/a-half-hearted-coup-extending-zimbabwe-s-reign-of-terr
or

Eli Lake sieht einem vom Militär forcierten Machtwechsel in Simbabwe ohne Optimismus entgegen. "Getting rid of Mugabe is a good thing. He was a tyrant in senescence, known for falling asleep in government meetings. (North Koreans would call him a 'dotard.') But the military coup that unseated him shows no signs of ending Zimbabwe's political and economic decline. This is not a moment of hope like the 2009 power sharing agreement was. It is really a power struggle between his wife and former typist, Grace Mugabe, and his former vice president and all-around enforcer, Emmerson Mnangagwa." Weiter...


09.11.2017

"Saudi Arabia Is Putinizing, Not Modernizing"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-09/saudi-arabia-is-putinizing-not-modernizing

Auch Leonid Bershidsky meint, dass Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman Saudi-Arabien nicht wirklich reformieren wolle. Er habe vielmehr einen autoritären Kurs eingeschlagen, der an Russlands Präsident Putin erinnere. "The king, his heir and the Russian president speak the same language: They are leaders who can make quick, momentous decisions without bothering about domestic checks and balances. Their 'anti-corruption campaigns' help them keep opponents in check. Their vanity projects, beneath the candy wrappers with English-language slogans about the future, are about personal ambition on a global scale rather than about fixing their countries' backward, commodity-based economies for future generations. (...) There's a strong temptation for Western commentators, especially U.S. ones, to portray MbS as a reformist trying to bring the House of Saud into the modern world and Putin as a retrograde dictator taking Russia into the past. But the only reason this temptation to differentiate exists is that Saudi Arabia is a traditional U.S. ally, and the enemy of an old enemy - Iran. In reality, there are far more similarities than differences between the world's two most important oil dictatorships." Weiter...


03.11.2017

"Colombia's Peacemakers Are Losing Their Mojo"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-03/colombia-s-peacemakers-are-losing-their-mojo

Die Umsetzung des international viel beachteten Friedensabkommens zwischen der Regierung und den FARC-Rebellen in Kolumbien stoße auf besorgniserregende Hindernisse, berichtet Mac Margolis. "The ultimate risk might not be plunging Colombia back into armed insurgency - the much depleted rebels forces have little stomach for that anymore - but deepening the estrangement of the countryside from the high-minded political elite in Bogota. 'In Colombia, a quarter of the population lives in 80 percent of the territory, and the perception there is that the government simply has not shown up,' said Isacson. Colombians have been here before. While the battle against the Marxist insurgency often took on ideological overtones, the conflict ultimately may have owed more to local dysfunctions. 'The FARC sprang less out of Cold War sensibilities than from the fact they championed neglected people in the countryside,' said Princeton University scholar Robert Karl, author of 'Forgotten Peace,' a history of Colombia’s politics of peace and violence. 'That split still cuts deep in Colombia today.'" Weiter...


30.10.2017

"In Catalonia, Let the Long Game Begin"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-10-30/in-catalonia-let-the-long-game-begin

Im aktuellen Streit um die politische Zukunft Kataloniens ist die Zentralregierung in Madrid nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky bisher als klarer Sieger hervorgegangen. Dies ändere jedoch nichts an den grundsätzlichen Ursachen der Krise, die einigen Experten zufolge langfristig eine Übertragung zusätzlicher Autonomierechte erfordern werden. "There are quite specific things the Spanish government could do within the current constitution to make Catalans happier. Andreu Mas-Colell, a world-renowned microeconomics expert who was minister of economy and knowledge in the previous government until last year, told me there are three distinct things Catalans want: to assert a distinct cultural identity, to live in a less centralized country, and to fix economic transfers. (...) None of what Mas-Colell outlines is unreasonable or unworkable. But to start discussing what is essentially a form of federalization, if by another name, the Spanish government 'would need to be scared,' Berta Barbet Porta, a post-doctoral researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, told me." Weiter...


18.10.2017

"Why Some Nations Are Warming to Technocracy"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-10-18/why-some-nations-are-warming-to-technocracy

Leonid Bershidsky führt den in einer neuen Pew-Umfrage diagnostizierten globalen Ansehensverlust der repräsentativen Demokratie darauf zurück, dass viele Menschen die Kompetenz einer Regierung höher schätzen als deren einwandfreie demokratische Legitimität. "Most people can't think of government forms in the abstract. Winners (in every sense - those who are wealthier and more used to freedom, those with more schooling, those who voted for the winning party) are generally happier with the status quo than losers, and that affects their judgment. Societies where most people feel like losers on several counts are understandably more agnostic about the way they're governed and more open to experimentation. What's truly striking about the Pew findings, however, is what kind of experiment people would favor. The only nondemocratic form of government that attracts majorities in some countries is technocracy, in which experts, not elected politicians, determine how to run a nation." Weiter...


13.10.2017

"The U.S. Sees an Opportunity in the Palestinian Reconciliation"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-10-13/the-u-s-sees-an-opportunity-in-the-palestinian-reconci
liation

Die Unterzeichnung eines Versöhnungsabkommens durch Vertreter der Hamas und der Fatah am vergangenen Donnerstag werde hinter den Kulissen von amerikanischen und israelischen Offiziellen als möglicher Schritt zur Neuordnung der regionalen Machtstrukturen wahrgenommen, berichtet Eli Lake. "Jonathan Schanzer, the senior vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told me the recent reconciliation agreement 'is part of an overall attempt to shape the regional architecture.' He said this was a gambit to try to take power out of the hands of Turkey, Iran and Qatar and to reassert the role of the more moderate Sunni Arab powers like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. (...) Put another way, an element of this deal is to make Hamas, which is facing its own political and economic crisis, more reliant on moderate Sunni Arab states, who in turn will try to moderate the radicals." Weiter...


09.10.2017

"Why Did the U.S. Even Get Involved in Syria?"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-10-09/why-did-the-u-s-even-get-involved-in-syria

Leonid Bershidsky hat die Memoiren des früheren US-Verteidigungsministers Ash Carter gelesen, der sich dort u.a. zu den Hintergründen der amerikanischen Intervention im syrischen Bürgerkrieg äußert. "To sum up, U.S. interests weren't clearly aligned with: Iraq, Iran, Russia, Turkey, the Assad government in Syria and the Gulf states. Did the U.S. have any enthusiastic allies at all? Well, there were some of the anti-Assad rebels (except the ones wedded to Islamist causes) and, most of all, the Kurds. U.S. support of them, of course, was the main reason Turkey turned from an ally into a 'spoiler.' (...) In fighting ISIS, the U.S. managed to step on everybody's toes in a battered, short-fused region that was already leery of U.S. interference after the Iraq and Libya adventures. Carter's account sheds light on how that happened, as much as into the mechanics of defeating ISIS." Weiter...


20.09.2017

"Wanted: Russia Experts, No Expertise Required"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-20/wanted-russia-experts-no-expertise-required

Leonid Bershidsky beklagt anlässlich der Gründung des neuen "Committee to Investigate Russia", dass Nuancen und Expertise in der amerikanischen Russland-Debatte derzeit kaum gefragt seien. "(...) the high-profile Committee to Investigate Russia - and all the other groups interested in Russian meddling with the U.S. democracy - could have found some qualified people to advise them, had they really been interested in the subject matter. Instead, as Samuel Greene, director of the Russia Institute and King's College London, wrote in a recent blog post: 'Too many Russian friends and colleagues living in America – immigrants and American citizens, professionals, journalists, academics, all of them ardent opponents of Putin – keep their heads down and voices hushed in public. Too many American analysts feel compelled to keep their dissenting opinions to themselves. I have spent a decade and a half explaining to Russian politicians, journalists and ordinary citizens that the knee-jerk American Russophobia of the Cold War was dead and buried, only to see it resurrected.'" Weiter...


08.09.2017

"Negotiate with North Korea? A Russian Tried"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-08/negotiate-with-north-korea-a-russian-tried

Leonid Bershidsky hat sich mit dem russischen Filmemacher Vitaly Mansky unterhalten, der im Jahr 2013 in Zusammenarbeit mit nordkoreanischen Behörden einen Film gedreht und dabei insgeheim eine versteckte Kamera eingesetzt hat. Die Erfahrungen Manskys mit den Nordkoreanern lassen ihn daran zweifeln, dass Verhandlungen mit dem Regime Erfolg haben werden. Das gesellschaftliche Klima im Land sei mit der früheren Sowjetunion nicht zu vergleichen. "Mansky's negotiations were with rather senior officials in the North Korean propaganda machine but perhaps things can go better if the supreme leader himself is involved in talks? Mansky doesn't think so. 'Paradoxically,' he says, 'the man at the top doesn't make decisions, either, because he's dependent on the dictatorship he has created.' As Mansky tells it, the Kim dictatorship must maintain the cult that was created to sustain it, absurd rules and all; it's a two-way street of mutual reinforcement. The Communist regime under which Mansky and I both grew up sort of worked like that, too - but North Korea has created a 'perfect, flawless' version of the game, Mansky says". Weiter...


01.09.2017

"Travel Barriers Are the Worst of the New Cold War"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-01/travel-barriers-are-the-worst-of-the-new-cold-war

Das Scharmützel aus diplomatischen Feindseligkeiten zwischen den USA und Russland sei dabei, in den Beziehungen beider Länder echten Schaden anzurichten, warnt Leonid Bershidsky. Die jüngsten Einschränkungen der Reisefreiheit für russische und amerikanische Bürger seien der bislang größte Schritt zurück in die Zeiten des Kalten Krieges. "I understand the logic of diplomatic tit-for-tat, and it doesn't concern me who started this or whom to blame. One doesn't need to take sides in the old academic argument over whether tourism is an instrument of peace or a beneficiary of peace. It's just plain good sense to see that keeping casual travelers out of a country prevents people from forming an unmediated opinion of it. Stopping Russians who want to see the U.S. from doing it leaves them at the mercy of the Kremlin propaganda machine, which will be happy to tell them its own stories of life in the U.S. Creating obstacles for Americans to travel to Russia leaves them a choice between the increasingly anti-Russian mainstream press and the export version of the same Kremlin propaganda." Weiter...


21.08.2017

"Switch to Renewables Won't End the Geopolitics of Energy"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-08-21/switch-to-renewables-won-t-end-the-geopolitics-of-ener
gy

Meghan L. O'Sullivan bezweifelt, dass der globale Wechsel von fossilen zu erneuerbaren Energieträgern die Bedeutung der energiebezogenen Aspekte der Geopolitik grundsätzlich verringern wird. "(...) historically, every big shift in the global energy mix - from wood to coal and from coal to oil - has brought with it its own geopolitical ramifications. Renewables will be no exception. (...) Among the most interesting of possible trends we highlight is the idea that a more renewable-heavy future will likely bring with it new forms of the 'resource curse' - the phenomenon that political and economic development in many resource-wealthy countries seems stymied when compared to resource-poor ones. (...) we may see this curse surface in countries rich in the materials required to produce the components that make renewable energy possible. Many of these resources are rare-earth metals and other commodities deep underground. For example, indium and cobalt - neither is technically a rare-earth metal, but they are still relatively hard to come by - are essential for making solar panels and batteries." Weiter...


11.08.2017

"The Alternative to Nuclear War Is a Revolution"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-08-11/the-alternative-to-nuclear-war-is-a-revolution

Abgesehen von der Rhetorik des US-Präsidenten unterscheide sich die Nordkorea-Strategie Donald Trumps nicht wesentlich von der Barack Obamas, stellt Eli Lake fest. Die US-Regierung sollte seiner Ansicht nach den Versuch aufgeben, einen "Deal" mit der Regierung in Pjöngjang zu suchen und stattdessen die Voraussetzungen für eine "Revolution" in Nordkorea fördern. "(...) traditional 'regime change' should be off the table. But this should not stop the U.S. and its allies from helping to create conditions for the day when Koreans can take their country back. This requires some patience and imagination. The patient part of the policy should be a combination of sabotage and deterrence. (...) The imaginative part is to continue to give North Koreans a glimpse of a better future. Tom Malinowski, who served as President Barack Obama's assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, wrote in Politico in June that the U.S. should continue to flood North Korea with information. This may sound strange. But in recent years, the state's ability to control information has waned. More and more Koreans living there have access to portable DVD players and cell phones, which are tools to break the state's control over the minds of their citizens." Weiter...


10.08.2017

"The One Big Problem With New Russia Sanctions"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-08-10/the-one-big-problem-with-new-russia-sanctions

Meghan L. O'Sullivan hält die neuen US-Sanktionen gegen Russland für problematisch, weil dem US-Präsidenten im Gesetz keine Möglichkeit eingeräumt worden sei, die Sanktionen im Fall russischer Zugeständnisse zumindest teilweise aufzuheben. "(...) by taking away the administration’s ability to calibrate sanctions in response to improvements in Russian actions, Congress essentially handcuffed the executive branch in terms of trying to change Russian behavior. Where sanctions have been an effective tool in this approach - such as in the normalization of relations with Vietnam or the more recent effort to get Iran to the nuclear negotiating table - the executive branch needed both flexibility and credibility in promising carrots like the lifting of sanctions to the country in question. But now, the authority to lift or maintain sanctions on Russia effectively rests with the 535 members of Congress. As a result, the Trump administration cannot promise with confidence that a positive move by Moscow will be met with a reciprocal action by the U.S." Weiter...


01.08.2017

"Sending 'Defensive' Arms to Ukraine Would Be Deadly"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-08-01/sending-defensive-arms-to-ukraine-would-be-deadly

Amerikanische Waffenlieferungen an die Ukraine könnten nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky zu einer gefährlichen Eskalation des Konflikts im Donezbecken führen. Russische und amerikanische Generäle würden die Kämpfe möglicherweise für einen praktischen Test ihrer neuen Waffensysteme nutzen, so Bershidsky. "Russia treats the battlefields of recent conflicts as testing grounds for its weaponry. President Vladimir Putin has said participation in the Syrian war was a better use of Russia's military exercise budget than exercises: 'Only under battle conditions can we really test what we're using, find out what the problems are and fix them.' There will be a temptation to test the previous and perhaps even the new generation of Russian tanks against the Javelin. U.S. generals are likely also eager for such a test. (...) Two years after both sides have largely kept to existing demarcation lines (minor encroachments aside), it is militarily unnecessary to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons unless the U.S. wants to encourage it to try to reclaim the 'people's republics.' That would be a mistake." Weiter...


24.07.2017

"New U.S. Sanctions on Russia Are a Mixed Bag"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-07-24/new-u-s-sanctions-on-russia-are-a-mixed-bag

Leonid Bershidsky hält das europäische Misstrauen gegenüber den neu geplanten US-Sanktionen gegen Russland für durchaus gerechtfertigt. Der US-Kongress wolle offensichtlich mehrere Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen und insbesondere den Export von Flüssiggas vorantreiben. Noch sei allerdings unklar, wie Präsident Trump das verabschiedete Gesetz umsetzen würde. "Trump's administration has criticized the bill, and if he signs it, he won't be overzealous in implementing it. And in relation to the pipeline projects, the legislators have inserted language that directly calls on him to be cautious. The version of the bill passed by the Senate merely empowered the president to impose the pipeline-related sanctions. The latest version, which will probably land on Trump's desk, says the president may introduce the sanctions 'in coordination with allies of the United States.' European companies should be partially reassured by the change, although an assurance that they won't be sanctioned, like the one Barack Obama gave in 2014, would be even better." Weiter...


17.07.2017

"The Middle East's New Peacemaker: Israel"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-07-17/the-middle-east-s-new-peacemaker-israel

Für die künftigen und wahrscheinlich schwierigen amerikanisch-russischen Verhandlungen im Syrienkonflikt empfiehlt Zev Chafets den israelischen Premierminister Netanjahu als Vermittler. "China isn’t interested. The Western Europeans are too interested. The Saudis and the Iranians are busy with their medieval blood feud. The Arab League is a joke. The United Nations is, as always, useless. Enter Benjamin Netanyahu, matchmaker. The Israeli prime minister is acceptable to both sides. The American-Israeli strategic partnership is longstanding and, under the new administration, highly valued. (...) Putin, like Trump, respects Israel, for the same reasons. He has demonstrated it during his Syrian intervention by keeping an open line to Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman (who was born and raised in the former Soviet Union and whose first language is Russian). (...) Of course, the prime minister is not a disinterested party. He has his own agenda. (...) This agenda is not identical to American or Russian policy, but does not conflict with the basic interests of the two powers." Weiter...


13.07.2017

"How the Ukraine War Spilled Into the U.S. Election"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-07-13/how-the-russian-ukrainian-war-played-out-in-2016

Neben den Spekulationen über eine russische Unterstützung für den Wahlkampf Donald Trumps im vergangenen Jahr gebe es derzeit auch eine Debatte über eine mögliche Hilfestellung ukrainischer Akteure für Hillary Clinton, berichtet Leonid Bershidsky. Er glaubt allerdings nicht, dass diese Geschichte einen ähnlichen Wirbel erzeugen wird. "The story (...) probably won't cross partisan lines for the simple reason described in a tweet by former Republican National Committee operative Liz Mair: 'The big difference between Clinton/Ukraine and Trump/Russia is that Ukraine is not our enemy; Russia pretty obviously is, per common sense.' A large part of the Republican establishment regards Russia - let's face it, not Putin's Kremlin but the country itself - as a perennial U.S. adversary. (...) Ukraine, by contrast, is a U.S. charity case and a counterweight to Russia in the post-Soviet space. So working with it while almost equating the acceptance of Russian help to treason is not a double standard. Within this context, foreign participation in the U.S. political process is not a problem, but the participation of a foreign adversary is." Weiter...


10.07.2017

"How Trump Got Putin Wrong on Cybersecurity"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-07-10/how-trump-got-putin-wrong-on-cybersecurity

US-Präsident Trump ist für seine Idee, in Kooperation mit Russland eine gemeinsame Arbeitsgruppe zur Cybersicherheit zu bilden, in den USA scharf kritisiert worden. Leonid Bershidsky hält den Vorschlag, der kurz darauf wieder zurückgezogen wurde, keineswegs für verrückt. "(...) this means setting up a group that would work out clear rules of engagement in cyberspace, as well as notions of what would and wouldn't be permissible and a de-escalation mechanism. It's not the smartest idea I've ever heard, but it's pretty close. Today, Russia and the U.S. are engaged in creeping cyberwarfare against each other, and they may well be working to disable or undermine each other's critical infrastructure. The conflict is potentially deadly and, unlike military interactions between the two adversaries, not subject even to the most rudimentary rules or mutual arrangements. That needs to be fixed, and though a multilateral process under the auspices of the United Nations or perhaps the G-20 would be preferable, a bilateral working group would be a start." Weiter...


15.06.2017

"Macron Won't Be Shy About Using French Power"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-15/macron-won-t-be-shy-about-using-french-power

Der auch außenpolitisch unerfahrene neue französische Präsident Macron könnte sich ersten Anzeichen zufolge bald als "Falke" herausstellen, schreibt Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry. Die EU könnte dabei für Macron möglicherweise nur eine nachgeordnete Rolle spielen. "Macron has signaled that he will leave most of the early steps of his domestic reform to his cabinet, led by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. Meanwhile, he has shown great interest in the presidency's foreign policy mandate, particularly with regard to the military and the fight against terrorism. (...) Macron is smart enough to realize that EU-level defense policy has always been a chimera, and that military action requires unilateral action, or ad hoc partnerships rather than transnational alliances, as has been the case for France's actions in the Sahel region in Africa, where the French military is spearheading the fight against Al Qaeda-affiliated insurgents in countries like Chad and Mali. (...) In office, therefore, Macron has given many more signals that he intends to be a hawkish commander-in-chief, and one that will act first and seek alliances later." Weiter...


08.05.2017

"Why Macron Won and Clinton Lost"

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-08/why-macron-won-and-clinton-lost

Leonid Bershidsky vergleicht die Kandidaturen von Emmanuel Macron und Hillary Clinton und erläutert, warum sich Macron im Gegensatz zu Clinton gegen die populistische Herausforderung durchgesetzt habe. "To sum this up: - The pro-Le Pen campaign on the social networks failed to travel beyond Le Pen's base, which was more clearly defined than Donald Trump's in the U.S. since Le Pen was far more of a known political quantity; - The spread of fakes was thwarted by French voters' relative sophistication compared with American ones; - Unlike in the U.S., the centrist candidate's campaign had little to hide - or had the good sense not to put sensitive material online. Clinton didn't lose because the internet-based toolkit was used against her. She lost because a sizable number of Americans did not consider her trustworthy. So they easily accepted both the fake news about her and the hints of corruption and dishonesty contained in the leaked emails. Months of postmortems of Clinton’s loss to Trump overshadow one of the simplest explanations: It’s important to convince voters that you are not corrupt." Weiter...


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