US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The Atlantic


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04.01.2020

"It Wasn’t the Law That Stopped Other Presidents From Killing Soleimani"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/01/why-kill-soleimani-now/604441/

Kathy Gilsinan weist darauf hin, dass die beiden Amtsvorgänger Donald Trumps ebenfalls die gezielte Tötung des iranischen Generals Soleimani erwogen hätten. Sowohl Bush als auch Obama hätten aus guten Gründen auf den Befehl verzichtet. "Elissa Slotkin, a Democratic representative and former CIA analyst focused on Shia militias, said in a statement that she’d seen friends and colleagues killed or hurt by Iranian weapons under Soleimani’s guidance when she served in Iraq. She said she was involved in discussions during both the Bush and Obama administrations about how to respond to his violence. Neither opted for assassination. 'What always kept both Democratic and Republican presidents from targeting Soleimani himself was the simple question: Was the strike worth the likely retaliation, and the potential to pull us into protracted conflict?' she said. 'The two administrations I worked for both determined that the ultimate ends didn’t justify the means. The Trump Administration has made a different calculation.'"

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03.01.2020

"Qassem Soleimani Haunted the Arab World"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/01/qassem-soleimani-death-missed/604396/

In vielen Ländern der arabischen Welt habe der Tod des gefürchteten iranischen Generals Soleimani "Begeisterung" ausgelöst, berichtet Kim Ghattas. "Antipathy toward Iran and its role in the politics of multiple Middle East countries had long been building, predating these latest protests. But the multi-front explosion of popular anger toward Tehran and its proxies, especially from within Shiite communities in Lebanon and Iraq, was perhaps the most complex challenge that Soleimani had faced so far. The recent protests, in fact, explain the relief many feel in Beirut and Baghdad, in Damascus and Sana’a — blaming Soleimani himself for what had befallen their country or community. (…) Soleimani was so central to almost every regional event in the past two decades that even people who hate him can’t believe he could die, a bit like people couldn’t believe that Saddam Hussein was really gone. What happens in his absence? What comes next: war? Chaos? Limited retaliation? Nothing? No one like Soleimani has been assassinated in recent history."

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01.01.2020

"The Embassy Attack Revealed Trump’s Weakness"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/trump-put-himself-irans-mercy/604321/

Der mittlerweile beendete Sturm der US-Botschaft in Bagdad markiert nach Ansicht von Peter Beinart das Scheitern der Iran-Strategie des US-Präsidenten. Donald Trump habe sich durch seine Abkehr vom Verhandlungsprozess mit Teheran in eine Lage manövriert, in der er nur verlieren könne. "(…) absent a revolution that replaces the Islamic Republic with a more pliant regime, he’s at Iran’s mercy. Given the crushing sanctions America continues to impose, Iran has every incentive to make America bleed. Its proxy armies offer it numerous opportunities to do so. And every time it does, it offers Trump the unenviable choice of launching a potentially catastrophic third Middle Eastern war or being exposed as a paper tiger. When it comes to Iran, Trump has shifted Republican foreign policy away from war without shifting it toward diplomacy — the only stable alternative to war. So he’s caught in a kind of purgatory. The American embassy compound in Baghdad, now covered in pro-Iranian graffiti and strewn with broken glass, is the latest symbol of that purgatory. It probably won’t be the last."

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30.12.2019

"The Slow Death of Colombia’s Peace Movement"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/12/colombia-peace-farc/604078/

Juan Arredondo berichtet, dass seit dem Abschluss des Friedensabkommens zwischen der kolumbianischen Regierung und der Farc-Guerilla vor drei Jahren hunderte Aktivisten, Gewerkschafter und Dissidenten ermordet worden seien. "The return to violence has been blamed on several factors, but chief among them is a lack of political support for the peace process. Critics of President Iván Duque charge that, through sins of omission and commission, he has undermined the deal’s prospects for success, and failed to do enough to protect those speaking out. Duque’s right-wing Democratic Center party was a vociferous opponent of the peace deal, and Duque became president in 2018 having campaigned to modify (though not abrogate) the accord. More than a year into his term, fewer than a quarter of the agreement’s nearly 600 provisions have been fully implemented, according to an analysis by Notre Dame University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies."

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19.12.2019

"Inside the Collapse of Trump’s Korea Policy"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/12/donald-trump-kim-jong-un-north-korea-diplomacy-denuc
learization/603748/

Die Zweifel an den Erfolgsaussichten der amerikanischen Nordkorea-Diplomatie haben in den vergangenen Wochen weiter zugenommen. Uri Friedman erklärt in seiner Bestandsaufnahme, warum der Versuch von US-Präsident Trump, Nordkoreas Atomprogramm zu stoppen, vor dem Scheitern stehe. "The story of how Trump’s North Korea policy collapsed is in part one of Pyongyang’s intransigence, obfuscation, and bad faith in talks about its nuclear program, as well as one in which U.S. and North Korean officials misread one another and at times placed too much stock in the rosy messages of the South Korean government, a key intermediary. But it’s also a tale about the American president undercutting his own success. Trump prioritized the North Korean threat, amassed unmatched leverage against Pyongyang, and boldly shook up America’s approach to its decades-old adversary. Yet he squandered many of these gains during his first summit with Kim, in Singapore, and set several precedents there that have hobbled nuclear talks ever since. He shifted the paradigm with North Korea in style but not in substance. While transforming the role of the president in negotiations with North Korea, he did not bring the same inventiveness to the negotiations themselves."

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04.12.2019

"The Spiritual Disunity of the West"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/12/nato-summit-west-torn/602998/

Das Nato-Treffen in London hat nach Ansicht von Tom McTague bestätigt, welch schweren Stand die Nato als Verkörperung der Idee geteilter westlicher Werte mittlerweile habe. "What can possibly be said to connect Viktor Orbán to Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump to Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson to Angela Merkel? In just the past two days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has questioned Turkey’s commitment to the alliance’s principle of collective defense, Macron has attacked Turkey’s intervention in Syria, and Trump has suggested that the U.S. will impose tariffs on NATO allies. Here is a spiritual union that no longer appears spiritually connected, its members unable to agree on who they are, what they stand for, or even their principal enemy. Does the West, as Bevin described it, still even exist?"

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03.12.2019

"Britain’s Secret War With Russia"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/12/britain-russia-nato-disinformation/602836/

Seit der Vergiftung des russischen Ex-Spions Sergej Skripal und seiner Tochter in Salisbury befinde sich Großbritannien in einem verdeckten "Geheimkrieg" gegen Russland, berichtet Tom McTague. "(…) Russia and Britain went toe-to-toe in an international intelligence and PR battle, one in which each landed blows, exposing fissures in their respective systems and societies. Yet, as NATO leaders meet in London this week to discuss the future of the military alliance 70 years after its founding, other lessons emerge, with implications for the wider contest between Russia and the West, which are vying for influence, respect, security, and raw geopolitical power. (…) Unlike a conventional battle, though in keeping with much of modern conflict, there are no obvious measures to determine who won and who lost. The months-long information war that Russia fought with Britain was one in which mistakes were difficult to judge and success hard to immediately quantify. This is a story about disinformation and spycraft. It is also a story that again and again returns to the tiny Swiss town of Spiez."

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29.11.2019

"How North Korea Soured on Donald Trump"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/11/chances-of-north-korea-nuclear-talks-deal-fading/602
734/

Uri Friedman macht die kompromisslose Strategie des US-Präsidenten für den ausbleibenden Erfolg der Verhandlungen mit Nordkorea verantwortlich. "The Kim regime 'now considers summits without payment for cooperation as empty diplomacy that merely helps ... Trump raise domestic political support,' Leif-Eric Easley, a Korea expert at Ewha Womans University, in Seoul, told me. It’s ironically the mirror-image argument to what Trump’s critics contended when he became the first American president to meet with North Korea’s dictator: that it would grant Kim valuable legitimacy while leaving the United States with nothing of substance to show for it. (…) The main holdup in negotiations has been the Trump administration’s unwillingness to ease sanctions on North Korea, even if only partially and in a reversible manner, until North Korea commits to complete denuclearization, so 'if Trump makes a decision to loosen some sanctions I think we could see this roll into a deal pretty quickly,' Victor Cha, a Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and onetime candidate to be Trump’s ambassador to South Korea, told me. (…) As the North Korea scholar Robert Carlin recently wrote, 'If Pyongyang has decided it has a viable option to move to full and final development of its most fearsome weapons while the U.S. sinks into months of savage internal political warfare, then East Asia, in fact the entire Western Pacific, will in a flash become more dangerous than it has been at any time since World War II.'"

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21.11.2019

"Why Elizabeth Warren’s Foreign Policy Worries America’s Allies"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/elizabeth-warrens-military-accounting-fiction/602338/

Thomas Wright von der Brookings Institution kritisiert den Vorschlag der demokratischen Präsidentschaftskandidatin Elizabeth Warren, den amerikanischen Militärhaushalt um 11% zu kürzen, um ein neues Krankenversicherungsmodell zu finanzieren. Das US-Militär wäre aufgrund der nötigen Einsparungen nicht mehr in der Lage, international wie bisher aufzutreten, so Wright. "Finding savings in the defense budget is possible, of course, but getting to 11 percent will require real cuts to capabilities and acceptance of greater risk in key theaters, including in the counterterrorism fight in the Middle East. The bulk of the defense budget is accounted for by personnel and long-term procurement decisions. Reducing the size of the force to rely more on new technologies may make strategic sense, but that’s not politically viable. Reducing research-and-development costs or the overseas presence may encounter less political resistance, but that’s bad strategy. (…) If a Democrat replaces Trump as president, they will inherit a highly volatile world that is on the cusp of abandoning the American-led post–World War II international order. Rivals and friends alike are asking the same question: Is 'America first' an aberration or a sign of things to come, whether from the right or the left? They are examining every tea leaf from Trump and the Democratic hopefuls. (…) Democrats would do well to keep this in mind. Making major announcements with implications for the structure of the force and America’s overseas presence without adequate preparation will have consequences. The next administration will not have a honeymoon period internationally. The campaigns must prepare accordingly."

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07.11.2019

"What Would It Take to Unify Korea? Germany Offers Lessons."

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/11/german-reunification-offers-lessons-korea/60129
7/

Die Wiedervereinigung Deutschlands sei 30 Jahre nach dem Mauerfall immer noch nicht abgeschlossen, stellt Melissa Chan fest. Für die koreanische Halbinsel, die auf der Suche nach Wegen zur eigenen Wiedervereinigung immer wieder nach Deutschland blicke, sei dies keine gute Nachricht. "Every expert and official I contacted believes that German-style reunification — essentially an absorption of North Korea on South Korea’s terms — is the only possible scenario to consider, and that’s only if events play out fairly peacefully. Seoul has flown German bureaucrats from that era over to pick their brains for insight. And if Germany is any indication, the process would take far longer, and cost far more, than anyone might imagine. (…) Koreans would have to shoulder a greater burden. In Germany in the early 1990s, people in the west made two to three times as much as their eastern counterparts. In 2017, South Korea’s per capita GDP was $29,743. That same year, North Korea’s was $1,214 — a 25-to-1 differential. It would take generations for North Koreans to catch up and enjoy the same prosperity as South Koreans. One estimate has Korean reunification costing $10 trillion, or almost seven times South Korea’s annual GDP. 'South Korea is deathly afraid of German-style unification,' says Andrei Lankov, the director of Korea Risk Group, a research firm."

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05.11.2019

"'It Can Happen to Anyone': How ISIS Radicalized My Son"

https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/601279/isis-radicalization-son/

In der achtminütigen Kurzdokumentation "And It Was The Same With My Son" von Noemi Varga erzählt eine Mutter aus Großbritannien, wie sie die Radikalisierung ihres Sohnes, der später als IS-Anhänger in Syrien getötet wurde, miterlebt hat. "In Varga’s award-winning film, premiering on The Atlantic Selects today, Nicola recounts the harrowing story of her son’s radicalization by ISIS. Where another documentarian might have turned to talking-head interviews, Varga instead depicts Nicola’s emotional journey through poetic re-creations that emphasize her grief and isolation. 'I knew I didn’t want to make a traditional documentary,' Varga told me. 'It was more about creating an immersive experience where you can really empathize with her situation.' In her interviews with Nicola, Varga told me that she was surprised to learn how gradual the process of radicalization can be, and how widespread the issue is on a global scale."

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04.11.2019

"Nationalism Is a Form of Love, Not Hate"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/nationalism-form-love-not-hate/601282/

Rich Lowry verteidigt den Nationalismus in diesem Auszug aus seinem neuen Buch "The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free" gegen seine vielen Kritiker. "The Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s 2016 victory, as well as the rise of nationalist governments in Central and Eastern Europe, have swept nationalism to the fore of the public debate, but have not necessarily led to greater understanding. Nationalism is still often assumed to be an inherently nefarious force. It is true that it can be abused for illiberal ends, but the basic impetus for it — for a self-governing people to occupy a distinct territory — is elemental. (…) nationalism isn’t just old, natural, deep-seated, and extremely difficult to suppress. It is also the foundation of a democratic political order. Regardless, anyone who believes that it can be easily repressed in favor of some other, supposedly more broad-minded loyalty is profoundly mistaken."

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04.11.2019

"Britain and Europe Are Destined to Be Rivals"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/11/britain-and-europe-are-destined-be-rivals-after
-brexit/601288/

Tom McTague hält es für unausweichlich, dass die EU und Großbritannien nach einem Brexit zumindest wirtschaftspolitisch zu ernsten Rivalen werden. In Europa habe dies u.a. Bundeskanzlerin Merkel früh erkannt. Es sei nicht ausgeschlossen, dass diese Rivalität auch die sicherheitspolitische Kooperation beeinflussen wird. "'With the departure of Great Britain, a potential competitor will of course emerge for us,' Merkel declared. 'That is to say, in addition to China and the United States of America, there will be Great Britain as well.' One does not need to have a view on who will win this competition — or even on whether creating a competition among European powers is a clever idea at all — to acknowledge that at one level, Merkel’s remarks are just the inescapable consequence of Brexit. (…) Could this economic competition spill over into other fields, such as security and defense? At a recent dinner party hosted by the London embassy of a major European power, attended by senior British government officials, diplomats, politicians, and journalists (including myself), the host ambassador was warned that he could not expect his country’s defense relationship with Britain to be left unchanged if Britain felt unfairly treated, economically, in the fallout from Brexit."

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27.10.2019

"Trump’s Defiant Message to Washington: My Approach to Alliances Just Worked"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/10/trump-approach-alliances-just-worked/600892/

Die erfolgreiche US-Operation gegen den IS-Anführer Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi werde von Präsident Trump als Bestätigung seiner außenpolitischen Strategie betrachtet, schreibt Uri Friedman. "In authorizing the Special Forces raid that killed the Islamic State’s founder and leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, his message was essentially: My transactional and tactical approach to alliances, and to limiting America’s military presence in the Middle East in particular and overseas more generally, just worked in spectacular fashion, fulfilling 'the top national-security priority of my administration.' Here was a vivid demonstration of his ability to reduce the United States’ role in the world and still carry out core national-security missions, a proof of his proposition that alliances can fray and fracture and exist in perpetual flux even as mutual interests — in this case opposition to ISIS — persist amid all the wreckage. (…) Recent days have brought signs that Trump’s moves have spurred other countries to increase their investments in a region in which their security is also at stake; the German defense minister, for instance, took the unusual step last week of calling for the creation of an international security zone in northern Syria, though the proposal is more aspirational than operational."

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23.10.2019

"The Ceasefire in Syria Worked (More or Less)"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/10/syria-turkey-us-russia-ceasefire-worked/600541/

Kathy Gilsinan stellt fest, dass der zwischen Washington und Ankara vereinbarte Waffenstillstand in Nordsyrien seinen Zweck erfüllt habe. "The U.S.-brokered semi-reprieve from the fighting was fundamentally a bargain between Turkey and the United States, in which the U.S. message was: Stop attacking the Syrian Kurds, who helped us beat ISIS; they’ll get away from a piece of your border; and we won’t come after your economy. (…) 'We never used a map,' said James Jeffrey, the Trump administration’s Syria and counter-ISIS envoy, in congressional testimony yesterday. 'This sounds like a sloppy way to do things; it actually worked.' The Turks hadn’t launched a new offensive; the commander of the SDF wrote to Vice President Mike Pence to say that his forces had left 'the relevant area of operations.' (…) Erdoğan may have received enough guarantees, from enough international backers, to maintain the cease-fire — or whatever it is — for now. He has managed to pull both Russia and the United States into effectively guaranteeing Turkish security along its border with Syria. He has, through three separate incursions into northern Syria since 2016, chopped up a stretch of contiguous Kurdish-held territory they had hoped to keep autonomous. That autonomy may ultimately have been the real threat to Erdoğan, argues Henri Barkey, a Turkey expert and the Cohen Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University."

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07.10.2019

"Trump’s Gift to ISIS"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/10/how-isis-returns/599581/

Mike Giglio warnt, dass der Rückzug der US-Truppen aus Nordsyrien eine dauerhafte Zerschlagung des "Islamischen Staates" verhindern könnte. Es sei Wunschdenken, zu erwarten, dass die Türkei den IS nach einer Invasion der Region effektiv bekämpfen würde. "For much of America’s war against the so-called ISIS caliphate, it was clear that the extremist proto-state that ISIS created across Syria and Iraq didn’t stand much chance of lasting. The militants had no way to counter the relentless U.S. air-strike campaign and faced a committed enemy in the U.S.-backed local soldiers who did the bulk of the ground fighting. (...) These local soldiers — the Kurds in Syria, the Iraqi military, and various other forces — have already suffered many thousands of casualties. Once the territorial caliphate was defeated, America could have focused on rebuilding them as well as the heavily bombed areas where they are now charged with keeping the peace. (...) 'The safe-zone theme is just dressed-up ethnic cleansing, when you get down to it,' Nicholas Heras, a specialist on Syria and ISIS at the Center for a New American Security, told me. 'This isn’t about ISIS for Turkey. They’ve made that very clear. This is about border security, and this is about their domestic political concerns related to the strain of a refugee population that many Turkish border regions don’t have the means to care for anymore.'"

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05.10.2019

"The U.S. Gives Military Aid to Corrupt Countries All the Time"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/10/military-aid-ukraine-trump/599500/

In der Debatte über ein Amtsenthebungsverfahren gegen US-Präsident Trump spielen zurückgehaltene Militärhilfen für die Ukraine wichtige Rolle. Donald Trump hat erklärt, dass die verbreitete Korruption in der Ukraine bei der Verzögerung der Unterstützung mitentscheidend gewesen sei. Kathy Gilsinan weist dagegen darauf hin, dass dieses Argument bei der Militärunterstützung für andere Länder offensichtlich keine Rolle spiele. "Ukraine does suffer from corruption, but it’s by no means the worst offender among the recipients of American largesse. The research group Security Assistance Monitor noted in a report last fall that some two-thirds of the countries receiving U.S. counterterrorism aid, or 24 of 36 countries examined, 'posed serious corruption risks.' (...) other countries’ experiences have demonstrated how aid itself can fuel corruption, even indirectly by freeing up more of the host government’s resources to distribute bribes. Or it can create perverse incentives. A weak government in a country getting massive amounts of military aid has reason to fear the development of a strong and professional military; see: Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi."

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24.09.2019

"Trump’s Transactional. And Estonia’s President Is Cool With It."

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/09/estonias-president-sees-value-trumps-transactionalis
m/598708/

Im Streit um die Verteidigungsausgaben der europäischen NATO-Länder habe US-Präsident Trump in der estländischen Präsidentin Kersti Kaljulaid einen unwahrscheinlichen Verbündeten gefunden, berichten Uri Friedman und Yara Bayoumy. "'Frankly speaking, I’m on the same page' as Trump regarding the 2-percent requirement, Kaljulaid — an earnest, 49-year-old socially liberal policy wonk who in style is Trump’s polar opposite — told us. 'Actually I’m quite sorry: Thinking back historically, when everybody else said it nicely, we didn’t react,' she continued. 'I mean, Barack Obama said so as well, and then we said, ‘It’s all fine and dandy but we don’t see it’s a necessity.’ It’s an irony that with this more transactional policy-making style [of Trump’s], we are now in Europe discussing 2 percent' and promising to devote $100 billion more to security by the end of 2020, which 'is not peanuts.' (...) Of course, the Estonian president has an incentive to remain in the good graces of the commander in chief of the most powerful military in NATO. But she traced her trust in Trump to commitments that she’s heard the president make privately and publicly, Vice President Mike Pence’s show of support during a visit to Estonia early in the administration, and a new U.S. pledge of military assistance and defense cooperation for Estonia."

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23.09.2019

"Against Washington's 'Great Power' Obsession"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/09/multilateralism-nearly-dead-s-terrible-news/598615/

Alex Pascal empfiehlt der US-Regierung anlässlich der aktuellen UN-Generalversammlung, sich daran zu erinnern, dass das Land nicht in direkter Konkurrenz zu anderen Großmächten, sondern durch die Schaffung und Unterstützung der bestehenden multilateralen Weltordnung zur Supermacht aufgestiegen sei. "These institutions and America’s multilateral leadership style were essential to winning the Cold War — the last great power competition. Why? Because Washington attracted countries and people to it by convincing them that America was out for more than itself. How? By (mostly) upholding its commitments, following global rules, defending friends and allies, finding common ground with foes, and practicing painstaking consultative diplomacy. This produced an unprecedented era of relative global peace and prosperity, but not without some costs and constraints. The United States had to follow the same rules as everyone else, even though it was the most powerful country. (...) Since 1945, the world has largely played America’s game, by America’s rules. But now Washington is deciding to play its rivals’ geopolitical game. Competitive zero-sum thinking comes naturally to Moscow and Beijing (and Trump), less so to Americans. (...) Trump may not have put the multilateral system on life support, but he is trying to pull the plug on it. As authoritarians rise, the climate changes, technology advances, and too many are left behind, Ben Franklin’s existential call to cooperate is as vital for the United States in the global arena of 2019 as it was for the American colonies in 1776."

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23.09.2019

"What Would Jeremy Corbyn Mean for Britain’s Foreign Policy?"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/09/jeremy-corbyn-britain-foreign-policy/598564/

Ein denkbares Resultat des andauernden Brexit-Streits im britischen Parlament ist die Wahl des Labour-Vorsitzenden Jeremy Corbyn zum neuen Premierminister. Yasmeen Serhan erläutert die möglichen außen- und sicherheitspolitischen Konsequenzen eines solchen Regierungswechsels. "Corbyn’s foreign-policy views are unlike those held by any other Labour leader, and are in many ways outside the mainstream of his own party, let alone the country. While any major economic plan would require Parliament’s consent, as prime minister, he would have significant sway over the country’s foreign agenda at a time when Britain’s global standing post-Brexit is still mired in doubt. (...) Much of what a Prime Minister Corbyn’s foreign policy might look like is based on views that he has supported throughout his time in Parliament. An early sponsor of the Stop the War Coalition, a British campaign group founded following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Corbyn was a vocal opponent of the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as subsequent military interventions in Libya and Syria. He has voiced support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including a right of return for all Palestinian refugees. He has also expressed sympathy for the reunification of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a particularly controversial position for a would-be prime minister, because Northern Ireland remains a part of the United Kingdom)."

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21.09.2019

"If This Isn’t Impeachable, Nothing Is"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/trumps-ukraine-call-clear-impeachable-offense/598570/

In den USA hat die Aussage eines Geheimdienstmitarbeiters über ein Telefonat des US-Präsidenten mit seinem ukrainischen Amtskollegen eine neue Debatte über eine mögliche Amtsenthebung Donald Trumps ausgelöst. Trump soll Wolodymyr Selenskyj gedrängt haben, die Aktivitäten des Sohnes des demokratischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten Joe Biden in der Ukraine zu untersuchen. Für Tom Nichols ist der Fall klar: "Until now, there was room for reasonable disagreement over impeachment as both a matter of politics and a matter of tactics. The Mueller report revealed despicably unpatriotic behavior by Trump and his minions, but it did not trigger a political judgment with a majority of Americans that it warranted impeachment. The Democrats, for their part, remained unwilling to risk their new majority in Congress on a move destined to fail in a Republican-controlled Senate. Now, however, we face an entirely new situation. In a call to the new president of Ukraine, Trump reportedly attempted to pressure the leader of a sovereign state into conducting an investigation — a witch hunt, one might call it — of a U.S. citizen, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden. (...) If this in itself is not impeachable, then the concept has no meaning. Trump’s grubby commandeering of the presidency’s fearsome and nearly uncheckable powers in foreign policy for his own ends is a gross abuse of power and an affront both to our constitutional order and to the integrity of our elections."

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15.09.2019

"The U.S. Is About to Do Something Big on Hong Kong"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/09/americas-role-hong-kong/597976/?utm_source=feed

Protestierende in Hongkong haben in den vergangenen Wochen immer wieder die US-Flagge oder die amerikanische Nationalhymne als Freiheitssymbole eingesetzt. Uri Friedman und Timothy McLaughlin berichten, dass Washington auf den Hilferuf bald mit einem neuen Gesetz reagieren könnte. "Faced with Trump’s scattershot approach to the ferment in Hong Kong, which doesn’t rank as a high-priority issue for his administration, activists are placing their faith in legislation that ultimately will only be as effective as the executive branch’s willingness to implement it. Nevertheless, Republican Senator Marco Rubio, one of the sponsors of the bill in the Senate, is optimistic that the U.S. government will deliver on its promise. (...) Rubio said he expects the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to easily pass in Congress and be signed into law by the president. The legislation, which has bipartisan support in the Senate and the House of Representatives, has emerged as the primary vehicle through which the U.S. government is hoping to deter China from carrying out a Tiananmen Square–like crackdown against peaceful protesters and pressure it into upholding the city’s special status within China. (...) In theory, this would equip the United States with plenty of economic and diplomatic leverage to influence Chinese behavior, but in practice it would be difficult to execute."

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09.09.2019

"What Really Prompted Trump to Call Off Afghan Peace Talks"

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/09/afghanistan-peace-talks-were-rocky-start/597685/?utm
_source=feed

Uri Friedman und Kathy Gilsinan sind der Ansicht, dass die US-Regierung den jüngsten Selbstmordanschlag der Taliban in Kabul als willkommene Gelegenheit genutzt habe, um einen Verhandlungsprozess zu beenden, der nicht die gewünschten Resultate erzielt habe. "The latest bout of bloodshed may have played some role in the actions Trump just took, but it is also a convenient out for an administration that had gone all in on a floundering initiative. One of the expectations of any pact, for example, was that the Taliban would not only disown al-Qaeda, but also guarantee that its territory wouldn’t be used by jihadists to launch attacks against the United States. It’s far from clear that the Taliban would have been willing or able to enforce that condition, especially once the U.S. military fully withdraws from the country. (...) Then there’s the matter of whether the United States was really prepared to pull all its forces out of Afghanistan. (...) as with its negotiations with China, Iran, and North Korea, which Pompeo deliberately drew comparisons to yesterday to illustrate Trump’s intolerance for anything short of stellar deals, the U.S. administration has struggled to trade in the leverage it has amassed in Afghanistan for a diplomatic breakthrough."

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03.09.2019

"Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots That Can Kill"

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/09/killer-robots-and-new-era-machine-driven-warfare/5
97130/

Zachary Fryer-Biggs vom Center for Public Integrity hat sich mit der Zukunft der Kriegsführung beschäftigt, in der autonome Waffensysteme vielen Prognosen zufolge eine zentrale Rolle spielen werden. Noch gebe es auch in Militärkreisen viele kritische Stimmen zur Einführung dieser Systeme. Die potenziellen Vorteile KI-gestützter Waffen dürften Fryer-Biggs zufolge allerdings immer wichtiger werden. "So far, U.S. military officials haven’t given machines full control, and they say there are no firm plans to do so. Many officers — schooled for years in the importance of controlling the battlefield — remain deeply skeptical about handing such authority to a robot. (...) But if the drawbacks of using artificially intelligent war machines are obvious, so are the advantages. Humans generally take about a quarter of a second to react to something we see — think of a batter deciding whether to swing at a baseball pitch. But now machines we’ve created have surpassed us, at least in processing speed. (...) So far, new weapons systems are being designed so that humans must still approve the unleashing of their lethal violence, but only minor modifications would be needed to allow them to act without human input. Pentagon rules, put in place during the Obama administration, don’t prohibit giving computers the authority to make lethal decisions; they only require more careful review of the designs by senior officials. And so officials in the military services have begun the thorny, existential work of discussing how and when and under what circumstances they will let machines decide to kill."

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26.08.2019

"America’s Allies Seem to Be Moving On Without Trump"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/08/trump-g7/596875/?utm_source=feed

Der G7-Gipfel in Biarritz habe demonstriert, dass die westlichen Demokratien bereit seien, ohne US-Präsident Trump zusammenzuarbeiten, meint Peter Nicholas. "With Trump at odds with much of the free world, the free world seems to be moving on without him. At the G7, leaders seemed to have given up on the prospect of forging a consensus with him on trade, climate, and even whether Russian President Vladimir Putin is friend or foe. The summit appeared to be organized in ways that diminished the likelihood of a Trumpian tantrum. (...) 'They’re going out of their way to accommodate his [Trump’s] whims and wishes,' Thomas Wright, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told me. Still, Trump’s counterparts made clear that if he wasn’t willing to be a partner, they might go it alone."

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21.08.2019

"Trump Has Defected"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/trump-defects-autocrats/596518/

Thomas Wright von der Brookings Institution wirft US-Präsident Trump vor, mit seiner Reaktion auf die dänische Ablehnung des Kaufangebots für Grönland die gleiche Taktik zu verfolgen wie autoritäre Staaten. "It is one thing to float a cockamamie idea that no one believes is serious or will go anywhere. (...) It is quite another to use leverage and impose costs on Denmark in pursuit of that goal — and make no mistake, canceling a presidential visit is using leverage and imposing costs. What’s next, refusing to exempt Denmark from various tariffs because it won’t discuss Greenland? (...) This is the kind of thing the Russians and the Chinese do. It is territorial revisionism — the use of national power to acquire territory against the desire of its sovereign government and its people. (...) One uncomfortable truth is already inescapable. Free societies and autocracies are at odds with each other — over human rights, the rule of law, technology, freedom of the press, the free flow of information, and territorial expansion. At this particular moment, it is not sufficient to say that the free world is without a leader. He has actually defected to the other side."

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07.08.2019

"Don’t Give White Nationalists the Post-9/11 Treatment"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/how-not-fight-white-nationalist-terrorists/595618/

Max Abrahms warnt vor einer Überreaktion auf die Massenschießerei in El Paso. "Is 9/11 the best model for us to aspire to replicate? Do we really want a war on terrorism at home? And what exactly would it look like? As a Columbia postdoc noted on Twitter, 'In response to 9/11, we invaded a country that had nothing to do with it because they shared an ethnicity with the attackers. If we treat white supremacist violence the same way, the equivalent might be regime change in Belarus.' For the sake of consistency, we could round up some white suspects, throw them in Guantánamo Bay, and dust off the old waterboard. (...) law enforcement must develop a subtle understanding of what constitutes extremism, and a thick skin. As a term, extremism is used sloppily to denote both a person’s political goals and the methods used to achieve them. There’s an important difference, though, between rooting for extreme ends and using extreme means to realize them. Chat rooms are full of people expressing sundry offensive — even reprehensible — political visions. The smart counterterrorist swallows hard and leaves them alone. But it’s interdiction time the moment the prospect of violence is even mentioned as a way forward."

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06.08.2019

"Where Veterans Aren’t Thanked for Their Service"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/08/what-makes-german-military-veteran/595381/?utm_
source=feed

Der Umgang mit Kriegsveteranen sei in Deutschland aufgrund der historischen Umstände in vieler Hinsicht einzigartig, berichtet Noah Barkin aus Berlin. "Today, nearly 75 years after the end of World War II and the devastation left by the Nazis, Germany remains deeply ambivalent about its military. There is no Veterans Day here to honor soldiers like Alex, and veterans aren’t celebrated at sporting events or other public occasions as they are in the United States and other European countries. The memorials erected in recent years to remember Germans who died in foreign wars are not prominently displayed, like those for American soldiers on the Mall in Washington, but rather hidden on a barren side street near the defense ministry and behind fences on a military base south of the capital. Few politicians speak openly about Germany’s combat veterans, and the Bundeswehr does not recognize those who fought abroad as a distinct group. Even the term veteran remains tainted by associations with the Nazis. (...) veterans groups (...) say that support for returning soldiers who are no longer active members of the Bundeswehr, a group that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, is sorely lacking. Bernhard Drescher, the head of a leading association for combat veterans, describes this group as Germany’s 'invisible veterans.' Strict German data-privacy laws prevent the Bundeswehr from keeping track of soldiers who have returned to civilian life. The military, for instance, has no way to track the social status or suicide rates for this group. Many have been left to fend for themselves, Drescher says."

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26.07.2019

"How to Choose Between the U.S. and China? It’s Not That Easy."

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/07/south-korea-china-united-states-dilemma/594850/?utm_
source=feed

Die geopolitische Rivalität zwischen den USA und China könnte viele Länder bald vor eine schwierige Wahl stellen, schreibt Uri Friedman. Aktuell sei das Dilemma in Südkorea besonders gut zu beobachten. "At a time when the struggle for supremacy between Washington and Beijing is intensifying, numerous countries — from Australia and New Zealand, to Japan and South Korea, to Thailand, the Philippines, Brazil, and Germany — are finding themselves in an awkward position: having the United States as their security ally and China as their top trading partner. The U.S. and Chinese governments aren’t explicitly demanding that these nations go all in with one or the other. Not yet, at least. But pressure to pick a side on specific issues — and the various contortions these countries go through to avoid doing so — has now become a recurring feature of international affairs, and could be a prelude to a broader sorting. (...) Nowhere is this dynamic more evident than in South Korea, which is acutely sensitive to the consequences of great-power contests, given that these have over the past century played a role in Japan’s occupation of Korea, the Korean War, and the division of the peninsula during the Cold War."

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20.07.2019

"FaceApp Makes Today’s Privacy Laws Look Antiquated"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/faceapp-reveals-huge-holes-todays-privacy-laws/594358/

Die aktuelle FaceApp-Debatte zeigt nach Ansicht von Tiffany C. Li vom Information Society Project der Yale Law School, dass die westlichen Datenschutzgesetze mit der rasanten Ausbreitung von Kameras und Datensammlern nicht Schritt halten. Dies habe nur wenig mit der russischen Herkunft von FaceApp zu tun. "Walking around anywhere can get your face included in facial-recognition databases. How that information can be mined, manipulated, bought, or sold is minimally regulated — in the United States and elsewhere. Militaries, law-enforcement agencies, and commercial interests alike envision far-reaching uses of AI and facial recognition, but legal and regulatory controls lag far behind the pace of technology. For most people, never going outside is not an option. So laws in the United States and elsewhere need to be tuned up quickly — and not just because of FaceApp. (...) Concerns about Russian apps stem from the close relationship between government and industry, and the likelihood that Russian companies will be unable to fight government requests for data. Then again, companies in even the most liberal, democratic nations often have to share data with their government as well. (...) We can’t have effective laws until we expand our understanding of privacy to reflect the data-hungry world we now live in. The FaceApp privacy controversy is not overblown, but some attacks are misdirected. The problem isn’t photo-editing apps or third-party developers or Russian tech companies. What we are facing as a society is a systemic failure to protect privacy when new technologies force our preconceived notions of privacy to collapse."

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