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12.11.2019

"Germany Won’t Enlist in Macron’s European Army"

http://https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-11-12/merkel-s-germany-won-t-enlist-in-macron-s-eu
ropean-army?srnd=opinion

Die Reaktion des deutschen Außenministers auf die NATO-Kritik des französischen Präsidenten zeigt nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky, dass Deutschland eine französische Führungsrolle in der europäischen Sicherheitspolitik nicht so ohne weiteres akzeptieren wolle. Berlin selbst lehne diese Rolle ebenfalls ab und sehe sich eher als Vermittler. "Germany doesn’t have France’s military ambitions. It’s a low defense spender because higher expenditure is politically unpopular. The Bundeswehr’s combat readiness is constantly in question, and there’s all the weight of history on the shoulders of German leaders. So German politicians see their function in maintaining European security differently than Macron does, even if they, too, refer to 'leadership.' (…) Being a mediator, though, is not the same as being a leader. An unambitious, compromise-minded Germany won’t compete with Macron’s cocky France, but it’ll be a drag on Macron’s security strategizing, getting in the way as he tries to provoke the U.S. with talk of strategic autonomy or flirt with Russia. It’ll provide the reliably boring alternative, and that’s probably for the best: Any machine in which Macron designs the sporty engine needs German-made brakes."

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07.11.2019

"How Russia Could Force a Nuclear War in the Baltics"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-11-07/nuclear-war-in-the-baltics-russia-could-force-one?s
rnd=opinion

Russland verfolge im Baltikum eine gefährliche Atomstrategie, die im Konfliktfall leicht zu einem Atomkrieg führen könnte, meint Hal Brands. Die beste Antwort der NATO wäre seiner Ansicht nach eine deutliche Stärkung der konventionellen Verteidigungsstrukturen des Bündnisses vor Ort. "The root of NATO’s nuclear dilemma in the Baltics is that the forces it currently has stationed there cannot put up a credible defense. Yet as earlier studies have noted, the U.S. and its allies could make a Russian campaign far harder and costlier — with a much-diminished chance of rapid success — by deploying an enhanced NATO force of seven to eight brigade combat teams, some 30,000 troops. (…) Russia couldn’t claim credibly that such troops posed any real offensive threat to its territory. But the force would be large and robust enough that Russian troops couldn’t destroy it in a flash or bypass it at the outset of a conflict. It would therefore obviate many of the nuclear escalation dynamics by making far less likely a situation in which NATO must escalate to avoid a crippling defeat in the Baltics, or one in which Russia can escalate to protect its early victories there."

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17.10.2019

"Ukraine Peace Talks Get Some Help From Putin"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-10-17/ukraine-peace-talks-get-some-help-from-putin?srnd=o
pinion

Leonid Bershidsky schreibt, dass der ukrainische Präsident Zelenskiy vor neuen Verhandlungen über die Zukunft der Ost-Ukraine auf jeden Fall den Eindruck einer Kapitulation vor Russland vermeiden wolle. Moskau gebe ihm offensichtlich genug Zeit für die Überzeugungsarbeit, um die Erfolgsaussichten der Gespräche zu erhöhen. "It’s clear (...) that Putin doesn’t want the peace process to lapse; he’s had, and skipped, plenty of opportunities to say that a summit makes no sense, as he’d done in previous years. Putin is tired of the status quo and the European economic sanctions that come with it. It’s a good moment for moving forward. The U.S. is distracted by its political scandals, the leaders of France and Germany want the Ukraine matter out of the way, and Zelenskiy is eager to keep his electoral promise to end the war. Putin, an experienced negotiator, also knows red lines can be fudged during actual talks. (...) What’s important for Putin is to make sure Kremlin-friendly forces prevail in the eastern Ukraine election. That would give him enough leverage in a reunited Ukraine to give up the people’s republics. That outcome can be assured by finding a balance between giving Zelenskiy enough control to pacify the domestic opposition but not enough to take the pro-Russian leaders out of the running."

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09.10.2019

"Africa May Have 90% of the World’s Poor in Next 10 Years, World Bank Says"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-09/africa-may-have-90-of-the-world-s-poor-by-2030-world-b
ank-says

Einer Untersuchung der Weltbank zufolge könnten sich in zehn Jahren bis zu 90 Prozent der ärmsten Menschen weltweit in Afrika konzentrieren. "Africa could be home to 90 Prozent% of the world’s poor by 2030 as governments across the continent have little fiscal space to invest in poverty-reduction programs and economic growth remains sluggish, the World Bank said. That’s up from 55% in 2015 and it will happen unless drastic action is taken, the lender said in its biannual Africa Pulse report released Wednesday, in which it also cut growth forecasts for the region’s key economies. The rate of poverty reduction in Africa 'slowed substantially' after the collapse in commodity prices that started in 2014, resulting in negative gross domestic product growth on a per capita basis, according to the report. 'As countries in other regions continue to make progress in poverty reduction, forecasts suggest that poverty will soon become a predominantly African phenomenon.'"

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04.09.2019

"Why Germany Is Ignoring Its Own Russian Spy Scandal"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-04/russian-spy-scandal-germany-really-doesn-t-want?srn
d=opinion

Seit dem mysteriösen Mord an einem Tschetschenen in Berlin gibt es Spekulationen über eine mögliche Verwicklung des russischen Geheimdiensts. Leonid Bershidsky stellt fest, dass die Bundesregierung bisher abwartend reagiere, obwohl die britische Regierung angesichts einer ähnlichen Informationslage im Fall Skripal mit Anschuldigungen gegen Russland an die Öffentlichkeit getreten sei. "Why? Possibly because Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t need a public spat with Russia right now, something former British Prime Minister Theresa May likely welcomed last spring. May was then in the midst of largely unsuccessful Brexit negotiations, and used the Skripal case to appeal to the U.K.’s alliances with European countries and the U.S., and to unite Britons around something, namely outrage about the insolent Russian action on their soil. Merkel was quick to back May then, and she’s no Putinversteher (a pejorative meaning roughly 'Putin Understander'). But, as a mediator in Ukrainian-Russian talks on eastern Ukraine, she’s helping arrange a summit on the issue that could bring the first signs of progress since 2015. In addition, Russia is about three-quarters done building the NordStream 2 natural gas pipeline to northern Germany, which her government is trying to protect from possible U.S. sanctions. A diplomatic flare-up with Russia would put her in a hard-to-defend position if Washington steps up pressure on the controversial project."

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03.09.2019

"Israel Has Little to Fear from Iran"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-03/isaac-ben-israel-says-netanyahu-is-exaggerating-the
-iran-threat?srnd=opinion

In diesem Interview erklärt der frühere Forschungs- und Entwicklungschef der israelischen Armee, Isaac Ben-Israel, warum die Bedrohung Israels durch den Iran nicht überschätzt werden sollte. Dies gelte sowohl für das iranische Militär als auch für den Raketenbeschuss aus Gaza und Libanon sowie für Terroranschläge. "The last time Iran fought a war, in the early ‘80s, it couldn’t even beat Iraq, and it hasn’t gotten any better. The Iranian air force belongs in a museum, not on a battlefield. Its navy can’t even control the Straits of Hormuz. As a conventional force, it poses no serious threat to Israel. (...) The great majority of the rockets in Lebanon are unguided, like those that Hamas and Islamic Jihad fire from Gaza. Iron Dome is very good at shooting down rockets like that. In the 2014 war, for example, 4,500 unguided rockets were fired from Gaza. How many Israeli civilians were killed? Zero. (...) The fact is, Iran hasn’t carried out more than one or two direct acts of terror against Israel in the past 20 years. Iran also supplies and supports Hamas and Islamic jihad, which actually do foment and carry out attacks. They are painful but not game changing. Israel suffers 10 to 15 deaths a year from Palestinian terrorism. By comparison, every year more than 50 Israeli men commit suicide because they are distraught over divorce court verdicts. It may sound cold, but strategic assessments require a sense of proportion."

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13.08.2019

"The World Turns, America Sleeps"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-08-12/hong-kong-protesters-deserve-more-support-from-the-
rest-of-us?srnd=opinion

Tyler Cowen beklagt, dass die Protestbewegung in Hong Kong in den USA von vielen nur mit kühlem Interesse wahrgenommen wird. "Sadly, the most likely hypothesis is that Americans and many others around the world simply do not care so much anymore about international struggles for liberty. (...) Instead, Americans are preoccupied with fighting each other over political correctness, gun violence, Trump and the Democratic candidates for president. To be sure, those issues deserve plenty of attention. But they are soaking up far too much emotional energy, distracting attention from the all-important struggles for liberty around the world."

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31.07.2019

"The Hormuz Crisis Shows U.S. Alliances Are Weak"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-07-31/strait-of-hormuz-crisis-germany-balks-at-u-s-naval-
mission?srnd=opinion

Das Zögern Frankreichs und Deutschlands, einer von den USA angeführten Koalition zur Sicherung der Straße von Hormus beizutreten, bestätigt nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky den geschwächten Zustand des transatlantischen Bündnisses. "There’s little doubt that the U.S. is capable of securing the Strait of Hormuz without any help at all from Europe. But its difficulty in getting such help shows the hollowness at the heart of the transatlantic alliance. Years of U.S. foreign policy misadventures have made key NATO allies too cautious to get involved even when the U.S. isn’t proposing an all-out war on some distant country but merely an operation to secure a major shipping route from an adversary that is unlikely to take on a broad Western coalition. Even so, it’s probably for the best that the U.S. decided to wade in. Had it kept out, the Europeans could have spent weeks and weeks discussing a joint operation of their own without deciding on anything."

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25.07.2019

"Germany Should Just Drop NATO’s 2% Spending Goal"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-07-25/germany-should-just-drop-nato-2-spending-goal?srnd=
opinion

Auch Leonid Bershidsky empfiehlt Deutschland, sich von der Debatte über das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel der Nato zu verabschieden. Experten wie Anthony Cordesman vom Center for Strategic and International Studies hätten erklärt, warum der starre Fokus auf diese Zahl von wichtigen strategischen und Bündnisfragen eher ablenke. "Most of the arguments are familiar. NATO Europe already outspends Russia, considered its biggest strategic threat, by a factor of 4.5 in 2019, and it’s not clear why more effective deterrence should be linked to more expenditure. After all, NATO Europe and Canada are already spending at Cold War levels. Despite paying out more than 2% of its economic output for defense purposes, the U.K., for example, has smaller military forces – with fewer personnel, main battle tanks and warships -- than in 1989, and Cordesman calls them 'a hollow army.' (...) Cordesman argues that, instead of focusing on the percentages, NATO – and the U.S. government – should shift focus from percentages to adequately funding certain NATO-wide strategic priorities, such as cyber defenses, forward deterrence, the interoperability of national forces, and the modernization of both conventional and nuclear forces. NATO’s centralized budget of is already focused on these goals – but it’s only about $1.8 billion this year, and much bigger national defense budgets aren’t coordinated in the same way. Instead of trying to bully its allies into spending more cash, the U.S. should lead in promoting such coordination – something that the EU is trying to do instead."

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18.07.2019

"Europe Misses a Chance by Freezing Out Turkey"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-07-18/europe-misses-a-chance-by-freezing-out-turkey?srnd=
opinion

Leonid Bershidsky meint, dass die EU mit ihrer Reaktion auf die türkischen Gasbohrungen vor Zypern eine strategische Chance verpasse. "Freezing out Turkey and waiting for Erdogan to go is the natural, knee-jerk reaction to the Turkish leader’s refusal to behave like an ally. That approach, however, lumps together all sorts of different issues (...) under the blanket notion of Turkey as a renegade ex-partner. It’s simplistic and not particularly useful. Some modern leaders, including, most notably Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump, subscribe to the idea that the modern world isn’t so much about long-term alliances as about sovereign interests and specific transactions in which these interests come into play. Europe has already dealt with Erdogan on that basis, signing a crucial migrant-return deal in 2016. In exchange for some EU cash, Turkey helped stop a refugee crisis that threatened to blow up for a number of European leaders. That can be a model for future interactions, including in the Cyprus gas dispute."

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13.07.2019

"Trump Aides Pick Sanctions to Punish Turkey for Russian Missiles"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-13/trump-aides-pick-sanctions-to-punish-turkey-for-russia
n-missiles

Das Weiße Haus hat nach dem Beginn der Lieferung russischer S400-Raketen in die Türkei offenbar bereits ein Sanktionspaket gegen Ankara zusammengestellt. "President Donald Trump’s team has settled on a sanctions package to punish Turkey for receiving parts of a Russian missile defense system and plans to announce it in the coming days, said people familiar with the matter. The administration chose one of three sets of actions devised to inflict varying degrees of pain under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the people said, without identifying which set had been chosen. The plan needs Trump’s approval. One of the people said the intention is to announce the sanctions late next week. The administration wants to wait until after Monday’s anniversary of a 2016 coup attempt against Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid fueling further speculation that the U.S. was responsible for the uprising, as Erdogan’s loyalists have claimed."

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01.07.2019

"Putin’s Wrong, But So Are Liberals"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-07-01/putin-s-wrong-on-liberalism-but-so-are-liberals?srn
d=opinion

Russlands Präsident Putin hat mit seiner Anmerkung, dass der Liberalismus heute überholt sei, in europäischen Medien heftige Reaktionen ausgelöst. Pankaj Mishra hält Putins Einschätzung für falsch, empfiehlt dessen liberalen Kritikern aber auch, ihren "reflexiven fanatischen Glauben an Marktmechanismen" zu überdenken. "It should not be forgotten that the shock therapy of free markets administered to Russia during the 1990s caused widespread venality, chaos and mass suffering there, eventually boosting Putin to power. (...) In fact, the two liberalisms — one offering genuine human freedom, the other entrapping humans in impersonal and often ruthless market mechanisms — were always fundamentally in conflict. Still, they managed for a long time to coexist uneasily because the West’s expanding capitalist societies seemed capable of gradually extending social rights and economic benefits to all their citizens. That unique capacity is today endangered by grotesque levels of oligarchic power and domestic inequality, as well as formidable challenges from economic powers such as China that the capitalist West had once dominated and exploited. In other words, modern history is no longer on the side of Western liberalism."

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25.06.2019

"Why 'Maximum Pressure' on Iran Could Backfire"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-25/pressuring-iran-would-backfire-for-the-u-s-if-oil-p
rices-rise?srnd=opinion

David Fickling erinnert daran, dass es für den Iran relativ leicht wäre, die Öltransporte durch die Straße von Hormus effektiv zu behindern. Eine Blockade sei lange unwahrscheinlich gewesen, da auch Teheran die Öltransporte benötigt habe. Diese "Ausfallsicherung" werde seit der Verhängung der neuen US-Sanktionen allerdings zunehmend wirkungsloser. "When sanctions were first re-imposed by the U.S. last year, Washington initially issued a series of waivers that kept the crude flowing. Since these lapsed at the start of May, Asian importers have turned off the spigots altogether to avoid running afoul of the U.S. government: The 225,000 barrels a day shipped during May was the lowest volume in Bloomberg-compiled figures dating back to 2015. (...) With barely any Iranian oil flowing anyway, the further economic pain Tehran would suffer from disrupting traffic through the Strait would be trivial. At this point, the key factor preventing Tehran from striking back harder is primarily its desire to win the game of public perception. (...) The more likely outcome is further attempts by Tehran to push the boundaries of the JCPOA, said Shanahan, such as Iran’s announcement last week that it would exceed a cap on its stockpiles of low-grade uranium. Such actions can create new facts on the ground that can be traded away in any future negotiation with Washington, so as to ensure the resulting agreement is substantially the same as the one the Trump administration pulled out of."

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19.06.2019

"China’s Social Credit System Is More Kafka Than Orwell"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-19/china-s-social-credit-system-is-disorganized-and-li
ttle-used?srnd=opinion

David Fickling hält die Furcht vor dem chinesischen Programm zur Massenüberwachung der Bevölkerung zumindest bislang für übertrieben. Das Sozialkredit-System erweise sich in der Praxis als weitgehend "unorganisiert" und "unbedrohlich". "That’s not to downplay the alarming potential of big data in the hands of an authoritarian government with few scruples or legal restrictions on interfering with citizens’ lives. In Xinjiang, Beijing is busy creating a genuinely Orwellian public surveillance and re-education system to control its minority Uighur population – but it doesn't need social credit scores to do that. It’s telling that, a year before the 2020 target date for the program and after five years in development, government credit systems like Osmanthus still aren't getting the desired results. (...) At worst, China's social-credit system will simply reproduce the problems of the existing system, complete with all the chaos and corruption it was designed to stamp out. That, rather than imagined new forms of injustice, is what China’s citizens should be most concerned about."

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18.06.2019

"Russia's Power Grid Is an Easy Target for U.S. Hacking"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-18/russia-s-power-grid-is-vulnerable-to-u-s-attacks?sr
nd=opinion

Leonid Bershidsky meint, dass die US-Dienste mit den jüngsten Informationslecks über Hacker-Angriffe auf das russische Stromnetz Moskau die eigene Verwundbarkeit vor Augen führen wollen. Hacker-Angriffe gegen Russland müssten dabei nicht einmal vom Weißen Haus genehmigt werden, so die implizite Warnung. "The Russian grid is particularly vulnerable for several reasons. First, it’s vast. Russian Grids PJSC runs 2.35 million kilometers of transmission lines and 507,000 substations. Second, it’s in the process of an ambitious digital transformation. (...) As my colleague David Fickling has pointed out, making a grid 'smart' creates new avenues of attack, and big technology rollouts can be messy and increase the risks. In the case of Russia, the problem is exacerbated by the Western origin of three quarters of all the equipment and pretty much all of the software. (...) It’s one thing for the Russians to know the U.S. is working to infiltrate their country’s infrastructure, but quite another to be aware that intrusions and attacks don’t require White House approval and can happen routinely and without much ado. The U.S. officials are effectively telling Russian President Vladimir Putin not to remonstrate with Trump in case of attack – the U.S. president  may not even know what’s happening, and it’ll be perfectly legal."

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12.06.2019

"Finland’s Plan to Prevent Russian Aggression"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-12/finland-s-plan-to-prevent-russian-aggression-is-to-
prepare-for-it?srnd=opinion

Eli Lake hat sich mit dem finnischen Präsidenten Sauli Niinisto über die finnische Sicherheitspolitik gegenüber Russland unterhalten. "(...) when I asked Niinisto about Russian President Vladimir Putin, he was tight-lipped. By way of an answer he offered 'an old bit of Finnish wisdom.' 'A Cossack takes everything that is loose,' he said. 'You have to be very clear and not let things become loose.' When it comes to Russia, Finland lets its actions do the talking. (...) Niinisto does not seek to provoke Russia. At the same time, he has pursued a foreign policy aligned with the West. When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, his government reduced contact with and sanctioned Russia, in keeping with wider European Union policy. Finnish government officials say that it would not allow Russia to use its land, airspace or sea for an invasion of its Baltic neighbors. (...) That said, Niinisto did not think a Russian invasion of Finland or its Baltic neighbors was likely. 'If Russia and NATO had a war, it would be World War III,' he said. 'I don’t believe Russians would attack Finland or the Baltics separately. If it’s an armed conflict, it will put the world on fire.'"

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26.05.2019

"Tech Cold War Will Force World to Choose"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-26/u-s-china-tech-cold-war-will-force-nations-to-choos
e-sides?srnd=opinion

Der technologische "Kalte Krieg" zwischen den USA und China könnte nach Ansicht von Tim Culpan dazu führen, dass sich bald ein neuer "digitaler Eiserner Vorhang" zwischen zwei technologischen Sphären herabsenkt. Richtungsweisende wirtschaftliche und technologische Entscheidungen würden dann wieder von geopolitischen Erwägungen bestimmt werden. "Having mutually exclusive technological spheres doesn't simply mean supply chains will mirror each other on different continents. Rather, for countries around the world, it means that every business and investment decision becomes a political one. (...) if a nation agrees to install Chinese networks or infrastructure, there’s an increasing chance it will be cut off from U.S. products under the guise of American national security. (...) Such decisions will need to be made around the world. They won’t be rushed, and probably won’t be come in clear declarative speeches at a podium. Instead they’ll be made in the meeting rooms of bureaucratic institutions, over the table at cabinet meetings, and in foreign embassies where the carpets will be worn thin by a stampede of government and non-government lobbyists. Just as the world was divided along military lines 70 years ago, the digital Iron Curtain will force political leaders to decide whether they’re Team China or Team America."

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23.05.2019

"How Huawei Could End Up Challenging Google’s Dominance"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-23/u-s-ban-of-huawei-could-challenge-google-s-android-
dominance?srnd=opinion

Die Boykott-Strategie der USA gegen Huawei könnte Leonid Bershidsky zufolge dazu führen, dass das chinesische Unternehmen zu einer auch von Europäern erhofften Konkurrenz zu Google werden könnte. "Given Huawei’s marketing potential, the effort isn’t necessarily doomed. And it could boost Asian and European developers deterred from competing in some areas — such as mapping, video services or even search — by Google’s enormous power. Given the pushback in recent years against U.S. tech companies’ relentless data collection and the widespread mistrust of Trump’s administration in Europe, there could well be demand for a Google-free phone from a major manufacturer known for superior hardware. (...) This is something of a utopian scenario, I know. Huawei may never need to go on the warpath against Google: The U.S. and China could strike a trade deal that would make the specter of restrictions go away. Or, if Huawei is banned from buying U.S. technology, it could find itself unable to produce marketable phones for a while. And, of course, it is a company from Communist China, making it difficult for European regulators, and even for private developers, to embrace it as a savior from the overly dominant U.S. tech companies."

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20.05.2019

"Russian Oil Sales to U.S. ‘on Steroids’ Amid Venezuela Sanctions"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-20/russian-oil-sales-to-u-s-on-steroids-amid-venezuela-sa
nctions

Die US-Sanktionen gegen Venezuela haben Sheela Tobben zufolge zu einem deutlichen Anstieg der russischen Ölexporte in die USA geführt. "Petroleum exports from Russia to the U.S. are growing rapidly as the supplier takes advantage of lost deliveries from sanctions-hit Venezuela and supply cuts by OPEC members. In the first half of May, 13 ships from Russia delivered almost 5 million barrels of crude and oil products, according to a report by Caracas Capital Markets managing partner Russ Dallen. More supplies are en route, with American refiners set to triple their monthly intake of Russian crude, the largest foreign producer outside of OPEC. 'Lately, Russian shipments coming to the U.S. seem to be on steroids.'"

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20.05.2019

"Trump’s Huawei Attack Is a Serious Mistake"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-20/huawei-blacklist-trump-and-commerce-make-a-serious-
mistake?srnd=opinion

Das Nachrichtenportal Bloomberg hält die neuen Strafmaßnahmen der US-Regierung gegen das chinesische IT-Unternehmen Huawei in diesem Leitartikel für einen schweren Fehler. Es sei durchaus richtig, Huawei unter Druck zu setzen und zu verhindern, dass das Unternehmen unbeschränkten Zugang zu amerikanischen Netzwerken erhält. "Seeking to put the company out of business as well is both disproportionate and deeply unwise. For one thing, it will impose collateral damage. (...) As a negotiating strategy, the decision makes even less sense. U.S. officials claim it had nothing to do with stalled trade talks, but it certainly looks like Trump wants to use Huawei as leverage, just as he did last year with ZTE Corp. (...) Worse, the decision undermines the implicit point of any U.S.-China trade deal: not just to increase commerce but to stabilize relations between the world’s two most powerful nations. (...) For ordinary Chinese, it will be hard to avoid the impression that the U.S. is simply trying to limit their economic possibilities. (...) Trump risks simply alienating U.S. allies, infuriating average Chinese and raising the chances of confrontation, all to no obvious end. What the U.S. needs is a larger plan that seeks a healthier coexistence with China."

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20.05.2019

"The Tech Cold War Has Begun"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-20/huawei-supply-freeze-points-to-u-s-china-tech-cold-
war?srnd=opinion

Der "Kalte Krieg" im IT-Sektor habe mit den neuen Boykott-Maßnahmen der USA gegen das chinesische Unternehmen Huawei endgültig begonnen, stellt Tim Culpan fest. China werde nun noch intensiver versuchen, seine technologische Unabhängigkeit von den USA voranzutreiben. Das Ergebnis könnte eine Welt mit zwei getrennten technologischen Sphären sein. "We can now expect China to redouble efforts to roll out a homegrown smartphone operating system, design its own chips, develop its own semiconductor technology (including design tools and manufacturing equipment), and implement its own technology standards. This can only accelerate the process of creating a digital iron curtain that separates the world into two distinct, mutually exclusive technological spheres. (...) The government will pump in more subsidies to make sure the industry doesn’t fall short, and much money will be wasted. Money can’t solve all problems. But given time, Chinese state funding will overcome enough challenges to make local alternatives viable, if not comparable to American technology. It’s unlikely the U.S. has the political will to subsidize its own companies to the same extent. (...) So now the tech cold war has begun. The winner won’t be the side with the best fighters, but the one with the greater ability to endure the pain of prolonged losses."

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16.05.2019

"Trump Hands Huawei a Stick to Beat the U.S. With"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-16/trump-s-huawei-ban-may-help-it-expand-outside-of-u-
s?srnd=opinion

Nach Ansicht von Tim Culpan wird das chinesische IT-Unternehmen Huawei vom US-Boykott finanziell und strategisch kaum getroffen werden. Die neue Opferrolle könnte dem Unternehmen sogar helfen. "A ban on sales to the U.S. is less of a concern for Huawei. The $109 billion company had pretty much given up there anyway. Any restriction on trade is an annoyance, but its executives can at least stop entertaining any dreams of growing in a market where it has minimal presence. Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB and Samsung Electronics Co. can now fight it out for the U.S. business. More importantly, the U.S. actions feed a narrative that the campaign against Huawei is political rather than security-related. That could be a useful campaign tool as the company looks to ply its wares in more amenable nations. Europe, Asia and emerging markets in Latin America and Africa stand to be far more lucrative customers in any case. Donald Trump may have stopped Huawei entering the U.S. But he hasn’t stopped Huawei."

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06.05.2019

"Young Arabs Admire Russia, at Least in Theory"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-06/putin-s-russia-gets-higher-marks-from-young-arabs-t
han-u-s?srnd=opinion

Aktuelle Umfragen im Nahen Osten zeigen, dass Russland besonders unter jungen Arabern großes Ansehen genießt. Hussein Ibish hält dies allerdings für eine Momentaufnahme, da Russland keine echte Alternative zum Bündnispartner USA darstelle. "The last two editions of the Arab Youth Survey, an annual study of attitudes among 18- to 24-year-olds in the Middle East and North Africa, show young Arabs increasingly looking to Russia as an ally and viewing the U.S. as unreliable or worse. Young Arabs unsurprisingly identified Iran as the main national "enemy" at 64 percent, but the U.S. came in second at 59 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. reputation as an ally is in decline. (...) Sooner rather than later, Russia is going to be held to account for its own conduct. And given the limitations of Russia’s ability to project power around the world, with an economy no larger than Italy’s, it is probably already overstretched in Syria alone. If Washington ever awakens from its self-defeating retreat from active engagement in the Middle East, the idea that Russia is once again a major regional power could, and probably would, dissipate in a few weeks."

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06.05.2019

"Germany Needs a Global Role to Suit Its Size"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-06/germany-should-upgrade-its-military-and-role-on-wor
ld-stage?srnd=opinion

Die Nachrichtenagentur Bloomberg fordert in diesem Leitartikel, dass Deutschland eine internationale Rolle spielen sollte, die seiner ökonomischen Bedeutung angemessen sei. Der "Wiederaufbau" der Bundeswehr sei dabei nur ein Beginn. "Years of neglect have left the Bundeswehr in dismal condition. More than half of its tanks, helicopters and fighter planes have been judged unfit for deployment, and all six of its submarines are too hobbled to leave port. The standing army, which had some 500,000 troops at the end of the Cold War, now numbers only 180,000 — among the smallest in NATO, on a per capita basis. (...) Soft power matters too. Germany needs to bolster its diplomatic corps, which has nearly 1,000 fewer diplomats than in 1990. Among OECD countries, it’s the second largest donor of development aid in real dollars, but spends less as a proportion of its national income than the U.K., Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg and Sweden. Given its size and resources, Germany could take the lead in promoting development, good governance and private investment in Africa — which would counter Chinese influence on the continent and help to prevent future migration crises in Europe. The biggest challenge facing Germany is to advance Europe’s cohesion and democratic identity. Berlin should champion proposals to tie EU funds to member governments’ adherence to the rule of law and create an EU fund for civil-society groups that defend liberal values."

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04.05.2019

"‘Clash of Civilizations’ Has No Place in U.S. Foreign Policy"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-04/-clash-of-civilizations-has-no-place-in-u-s-foreign
-policy?srnd=opinion

Hal Brands warnt angesichts der entsprechenden Äußerung eines hochrangigen US-Diplomaten davor, die Rivalität zwischen den USA und China als "Konflikt der Zivilisationen" zu charakterisieren. "The Trump administration is undoubtedly right that competition with China will be a decades-long affair. Yet the Clash of Civilizations model won’t help the U.S win that competition, because it actually supports Beijing’s strategy better than America’s. (...) For one thing, 'clash' rhetoric sacrifices the moral high ground in the U.S.-China competition. America has long claimed that democratic values and human rights are not distinctly Western ideas. Instead, they are universal ideas that people everywhere deserve to enjoy — and that no government has a right to deny its people. (...) The U.S. should not be supporting this idea, even implicitly; it should not be affirming the civilizational wall the Chinese regime has sought to build between its citizens and the democratic world. The clash thesis is also geopolitically dangerous, because here, too, it plays into China’s hands. The Chinese government has long argued that the world should, in fact, be divided along civilizational lines: That Asians have more in common with each other than they do with the U.S., and that Washington should therefore leave Asia to the Asians — meaning that it should allow China to dominate that part of the world."

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01.05.2019

"Belarus Seizes a Chance to Hit Russia Where It Hurts"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-01/contaminated-druzhba-pipeline-oil-allows-belarus-to
-needle-russia?srnd=opinion

Die derzeitige Unterbrechung der Belieferung über die Erdölleitung "Freundschaft" aus Russland ist Leonid Bershidsky zufolge auch auf ein weißrussisches "Machtspiel" gegenüber Moskau zurückzuführen. "The Russian energy ministry says clean oil is flowing in the Druzhba pipeline, which was shut down last week because it was conveying contaminated crude to European clients. But neighboring Belarus insists it will take 'months of hard work' to restore the flow. (...) why did Belarus sound the alarm? Reasons likely go beyond the contamination itself. On April 10, Russia’s sanitary authority banned the import of apples and pears from Belarus. It suspected that the fruit was really coming from the European Union and that Belarus was helping Europeans beat the Russian food embargo, introduced in 2014 in response to the EU’s Ukraine-related sanctions. (...) Lukashenko is not about to throw away his trump card: He can use Druzhba repairs and shutdowns, as well as compensation demands, in negotiations with Russia for months. Putin has a knack for alienating neighbors and allies by demanding too much from them. Now that even usually submissive Belarus is snapping back and hitting oil-dependent Russia where it hurts, he must wonder whether he has any friends left in Russia’s immediate post-Soviet neighborhood — and consider changing his strategy to a more accommodating one."

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23.04.2019

"Palestinians Shouldn’t Just Say No to Trump Peace Plan"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-23/trump-peace-plan-will-anger-palestinians-they-shoul
dn-t-say-no?srnd=opinion

Hussein Ibish empfiehlt den Palästinensern, den Friedensplan der US-Regierung trotz seiner wahrscheinlich proisraelischen Ausrichtung nicht ohne ein eigenes Verhandlungsangebot abzulehnen. "To respond to the plan’s almost inevitable outrages and humiliations by refusing to participate in a new round of negotiations would be to fall into a trap set by Israel and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. That would be self-defeating. (...) It won’t be easy. Evidence is mounting that there’s a soon-to-be-released proposal from Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, that would blow up the land-for-peace logic that anticipates the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel and impose new and unacceptable terms for future peace talks. (...) Palestinians can’t allow the Declaration of Principles to be bypassed or jettisoned. But that’s no reason to refuse to talk, especially since that’s probably exactly what Trump, Kushner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are counting on. Palestinian leaders should instead welcome the opportunity to sit down with Israel and the U.S., but insist they are doing so to ensure that the agreed-upon terms are maintained and to discuss how to realize them."

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21.03.2019

"Algeria’s Revolution Risks Repeating Arab Spring’s Mistake"

http://https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-21/algeria-s-revolution-risks-repeating-arab-sp
ring-s-mistake?srnd=opinion

Die algerische Protestbewegung ist nach Ansicht von Bobby Ghosh an einem Scheideweg angelangt, der über Erfolg oder Niedergang entscheiden wird. Viele Revolten des Arabischen Frühlings seien in dieser gefährlichen Phase gescheitert. "If it sounds like the Arab Spring, smells like the Arab Spring…then it also suffers from the Arab Spring’s fatal flaw: the absence of leadership. The mostly young protesters are a movement with no formal organization, no recognizable representatives. There is nobody to take their demands to the regime, and negotiate a transition to a more democratic system — or to manage the protesters’ expectations of the nature of such a transition. Without leaders, the protesters’ only means of forcing change is to keep protesting, and to keep demanding more. 'The evolution of demands is characteristic of a leaderless revolution,' says Geoff Porter of North Africa Risk Consulting. 'If there’s nobody to tell you what’s possible, you can believe that anything is possible.' And that’s where things get dangerous. The experience of 2011-2012 suggests two paths from there, neither of them ending in satisfaction for the protesters. One path leads to violence. (...) Another path leads to the hijacking of the revolution, by groups that have what the protesters lack — leadership and organization. That’s what happened in Tunisia and Egypt, where Islamist organizations capitalized on the political space opened by the Arab Spring, much to the disappointment of the protesters."

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08.03.2019

"Trump Seeks Huge Premium From Allies Hosting U.S. Troops"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-08/trump-said-to-seek-huge-premium-from-allies-hosting-u-
s-troops

US-Präsident Trump will von Verbündeten wie Südkorea, Japan und auch Deutschland verlangen, dass sie für die Stationierung von US-Truppen künftig den vollen Preis und einen "Premium-Aufschlag" von 50% zahlen. "Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter. In some cases, nations hosting American forces could be asked to pay five to six times as much as they do now under the 'Cost Plus 50' formula. Trump has championed the idea for months. His insistence on it almost derailed recent talks with South Korea over the status of 28,000 U.S. troops in the country when he overruled his negotiators with a note to National Security Adviser John Bolton saying, 'We want cost plus 50.'"

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08.03.2019

"India and Pakistan Are a Brewing Nuclear Nightmare"

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-08/india-pakistan-crisis-a-brewing-nuclear-nightmare?s
rnd=opinion

Der frühere NATO-Oberbefehlshaber James Stavridis warnt, dass der Konflikt zwischen Indien und Pakistan nach einer zwischenzeitlichen Entspannung durch die indischen Wahlen und die pakistanische Wirtschaftskrise erneut verschärft werden könnte. "The extremely fragile cease-fire in place for two decades is fraying. Partly this is the result of domestic politics in India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, elected on a Hindu nationalist agenda, is up for re-election in April and May. After the Indian bombing of Pakistani territory, a popular hashtag in India became #Indiastrikesback. This is rare behavior, given that Indian armed forces have not otherwise crossed the so-called Line of Control between the nations since 1971. (...) As Hussein Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., recently pointed out, Pakistan in on the verge of an economic crisis. While the Khan government has tried to defuse the situation, in part by appealing to the International Monetary fund, internal pressures are building. Make no mistake: With Pakistan’s economic plight and the upcoming elections in India, South Asia is in a situation in which a military miscalculation, perhaps even a nuclear one, is real possibility."

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