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"Can the Last Surviving Democracy of the Arab Spring Hang On?"


In der Stichwahl der tunesischen Präsidentschaftswahlen hat sich der parteilose Verfassungsrechtler Kais Saied Prognosen zufolge deutlich durchgesetzt. Angesichts dieses "Schockresultats" sorgt sich Robert Zaretsky um die Zukunft der "letzten überlebenden Demokratie des Arabischen Frühlings". "The choice between Karoui and Saïed, one observer sighed, was tantamount to a choice between the plague and cholera. Pestilential metaphors aside, a ballot pitting a social reactionary without a political program against a chameleonlike wheeler-dealer was not why many Tunisians took to the streets and claimed power eight years ago. What will a Saïed presidency mean for Tunisia’s fledgling democracy? Though he is a constitutional professor, Saïed is an unknown quantity as a politician. Far from proving to be undemocratic, he might prove radically democratic. He ran on the promise of taking down the centralized state and replacing it with local institutions in order to make politics more participative. Yet urbanized and middle-class Tunisians worry about Saïed’s religious conservatism. And they are right to worry, since he doesn’t have a party apparatus behind him and will need to turn to Ennahda, which holds the largest number of seats in the national assembly, to pass legislation."

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"How Trump Solved the North Korea Crisis by Not Solving It"


Joshua Keating stellt erstaunt fest, dass es US-Präsident Trump gelungen sei, die noch vor einem Jahr so gefährlich wirkende Nordkorea-Krise zu entspannen, ohne wirkliche Verhandlungsfortschritte zu erreichen. "By any normal criteria, including his own during his first year in office, Trump’s outreach to North Korea has been a failure. Kim’s weapons are still a threat to his neighbors and — depending on the questionable reliability of his long-range missiles — possibly the United States as well. And the U.S. has far less leverage over him than it did a year ago. (...) But in multiple ways, tensions have eased over the past year. Despite the wariness of U.S. officials, South Korea and North Korea have taken major steps toward normalizing relations, including pulling troops back from the Demilitarized Zone and reconnecting road and rail links. (...) His critics may grumble about him taking credit for a nuclear breakthrough that never happened, but Trump’s sales job was helped by the months of “fire and fury” and 'big button' tweets. The current state of affairs is hardly ideal, but no one really wants to go back to how things were before Singapore."

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"There’s No Path to Victory in Afghanistan"


Fred Kaplan schreibt, dass das US-Militär in diesem Monat zum ersten Mal Rekruten eingezogen habe, die zum Zeitpunkt der Invasion in Afghanistan noch nicht geboren waren. Seiner Meinung nach gibt es keinen erkennbaren Weg zu einem Sieg der USA über die Taliban. Nach einem Rückblick auf die politischen Begleitumstände des Krieges kommt er zu dem Schluss: "A negotiated settlement is the only way out. The Taliban seem disinclined to negotiate at the moment, since they’re winning on the battlefield. But they might be lured to peace talks if the reward were sufficiently enticing, and the only reward that might bring them is the prospect of a U.S. withdrawal — though not an unconditional withdrawal. Afghanistan is a nexus of international interests and intrigue. China, Russia, Iran, and Pakistan all have geopolitical and economic interests in its future. America’s relations with all four countries are dismal at the moment; yet, we depend on at least one of them at any given time for basing and overflight rights to supply our troops there — which means it isn’t entirely out of the question to work with at least two or three to contrive a peace."

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"Why Russia Can’t Do Anything About Other Countries Killing Its Troops in Syria"


Der angeblich durch Israel herbeigeführte Abschuss eines russischen Militärflugzeugs in Syrien ist Joshua Keating zufolge nur das jüngste Beispiel einer Serie von Vorfällen, bei denen russische Soldaten von anderen Akteuren ohne weiterreichende diplomatische Konsequenzen getötet wurden. "Russia is in a very strange position in Syria. It’s arguably the key outside actor in the conflict and, more impressively, has decent relationships, or at least working relationships, with most of the other key players, many of whom are in open conflict with each other: the Assad regime, the Saudis and the Gulf states, Iran, Israel, Turkey, the Kurds, the United States. (That last one’s a little more complicated.) Because of these delicate relationships, Russia does not appear to be in a position to respond or even voice major objections when one of those actors kills its troops, accidentally or in some cases deliberately. This can’t be an encouraging message for the troops and 'volunteers' in Syria who Putin is putting in harm’s way."

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"Maybe Trump Isn’t the Internet’s Fault, After All"


Eine neue Studie ist zu dem Schluss gekommen, dass das Internet beim Wahlsieg Donald Trumps eine eher geringe Rolle gespielt habe. "For all the hand-wringing about fake news, Russian trolls, Infowars, and Cambridge Analytica, the internet may not have helped elect Donald Trump after all. That, at least, is the strong suggestion of a new study from economists at Stanford and Brown universities. Trump performed worse than previous Republican candidates among internet users and people who got campaign news online, the authors find in a paper published July 18 in the journal PLOS One. And he outperformed his predecessors among the demographic groups least likely to be online. In other words, Mitt Romney and John McCain got more support from internet users than Trump did."

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"Kim Jong-un Says North Korea Will Abandon Nuclear Program if U.S. Pledges Not to Invade"


Nordkoreas Staatschef Kim Jong-un hat den Verzicht auf sein Atomwaffenprogramm während des historischen Gipfeltreffens mit Südkoreas Präsident Moon Jae-in offenbar davon abhängig gemacht, dass die USA eine mögliche Invasion Nordkoreas unmissverständlich ausschließen. "North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told his South Korean counterpart President Moon Jae-in that North Korea would be willing to denuclearize in return for a commitment that the U.S. will not invade the country. The New York Times reported Kim’s offer — made Friday during the historic summit between the two countries — and other details of the meeting Sunday via a South Korean government spokesman. (...) Kim’s rapid de-escalation has been dramatic and his comments at Panmunjom continued that trend. Kim did, however, appear to hedge his bet 'indicating that denuclearizing his country could be a long process that required multiple rounds of negotiations and steps to build trust,' according to the Times. 'But he laid out a vague idea of what his impoverished country would demand in return for giving up its nuclear weapons.'"

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"Why Sending Armed Veterans to Guard Schools Would Be Ludicrous"


Das Schulmassaker in Florida am 14. Februar hat in den USA erneut eine Debatte über mögliche Wege zur Verhinderung derartiger Gewaltakte ausgelöst. Dabei ist u.a. die Bewachung von Schulen durch bewaffnete Armee-Veteranen vorgeschlagen worden. Phillip Carter erläutert, warum dies seiner Ansicht nach eine "lächerliche Idee" ist. "Although their firearms familiarity is better than the national average, most troops and veterans don’t have the skill to carry out the kind of duty Trump suggests. It would take multiple troops to secure a single school, making this effort incredibly costly. And even if the logistics made sense, arming veterans to guard schools would turn the occasional incident into a firefight, likely killing or wounding many more in the crossfire. (...) The 'good guy with a gun' scenario is a dangerous fantasy that doesn’t work in practice. It doesn’t work, in part, because running to the sound of gunfire is a brave, unnatural act that even some police or armed guards struggle with, as appears to be the case in Parkland, where an armed sheriff’s deputy did nothing to stop the killing. In the event an armed guard actually did intervene, more deaths or injuries would likely be the result."

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"The End of the German Exception"


Mit dem Einzug der AfD in den Bundestag könne man sich von der Vorstellung verabschieden, dass Deutschland vom Aufstieg rechtspopulistischer Bewegungen in westlichen Demokratien aus bestimmten Gründen verschont bleiben wird, schreibt Yascha Mounk. "(...) the truth of the matter is that, for all of the idiosyncrasies that determine the outcomes of particular elections, the wider populist turn is being driven by deep and long-lasting transformations: Across North America and Western Europe, citizens suffer from stagnating living standards and an uncertain economic future. In all of these countries, they are yet to come to terms with an influx of immigrants and a changing conception of membership in the nation. And in all of these countries, the rise of the internet and of social media is making it much easier for extreme or hateful voices to leave their mark."

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"The Warrior Caste"


Die USA verlasse sich bei ihren Kriegen immer stärker auf eine gesellschaftliche "Kriegerkaste" von aus vielen Generationen bestehenden Militärfamilien, stellt Amy Schafer fest. Dies sei aus mehreren Gründen problematisch. "While at first glance this makes sense — children are likely to follow in their siblings’ and parents’ footsteps — it’s a remarkable gut check when you look at the past 15 years of war. The military draws many recruits from the same communities and the same families, isolating those in uniform from society and vice versa. In essence, the self-selection dynamics have created a 'warrior caste.' (...) Despite the near-constant engagement of the U.S. military overseas, the everyday welfare and lives of most Americans are unaffected. There are no rations, no war bonds, and no protests over the lives lost and treasure expended. (...) The isolation of military service to relatively few Americans not only affects the makeup of the military but how it intersects with society. It’s a lot easier to go along with the president’s plans for military action when it’s someone else’s sons, daughters, or parents doing the fighting."

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Stop Saying That Trump’s Plan to Fight ISIS Is the Same As Obama’s


Joshua Keating widerspricht der Einschätzung einiger Medien, dass US-Präsident Trumps Strategie zur Bekämpfung des IS sich nicht wesentlich von der seines Amtsvorgängers Obama unterscheide. Trump habe die Einschränkungen für Einsätze des US-Militärs reduziert, was bereits jetzt zu deutlich mehr zivilen Opfern geführt habe. "He may not know more than the generals do about ISIS, but Trump does appear to be fulfilling his campaign pledges to 'bomb the shit' out of them and stop what he called Obama’s 'politically correct' efforts to protect civilians. (...) Most dramatically, the military has also been deploying thousands of new ground combat troops to the region, where they could potentially be called upon to fight ISIS. The troops sent to Syria so far have mostly been tasked with assisting Kurdish-led forces, rather than taking the fight to ISIS directly, but it’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which that could change. The likelihood of a large number of U.S. ground troops being involved in direct combat in Syria has gone up significantly since Trump took office."

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"WikiLeaks’ Attack on U.S. Intelligence"


Fred Kaplan hält die neuen WikiLeaks-Enthüllungen über CIA-Hacker-Werkzeuge für einen verdeckten Angriff Russlands auf die USA. "One former cyberintelligence official told me Tuesday, 'This could be more damaging to national security than the Snowden leaks. We’ve had to depend on CIA collection to make up for the NSA losses caused by Snowden. Now our intel is more degraded.' (...) there is nothing in these documents, nothing even in the WikiLeaks introduction, to suggest that the CIA uses any of these devices to spy on American citizens. Assuming that is the case, there is nothing improper about any of these programs. This is what spy agencies do: They spy. (...) At a moment when nearly everyone is criticizing Russia for hacking the U.S. presidential election, the Russians can point to these documents and say, 'See? The Americans do this, too.' (...) This is the war we’re in with the Kremlin right now. That point is widely accepted. The latest WikiLeaks cache is another volley in that war."

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"Trump Just Hired the Army’s Smartest Officer"


Die Ernennung von Herbert Raymond McMaster zum neuen Nationalen Sicherheitsberater des US-Präsidenten ist in den US-Medien und selbst bei vielen Trump-Kritikern auf Zustimmung gestoßen. Fred Kaplan schreibt, dass McMaster, nach Ansicht vieler Beobachter der "klügste Offizier der US Army", Verteidigungsminister Mattis nahe stehe. "He has strong ties to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, having known him in Iraq when Mattis was a division commander, and, along with Mattis, McMaster will likely resist policies that revive torture or paint Muslim nations with a broad and hostile brush. However, it is unclear what McMaster’s views are on other broad issues of policy, regarding Russia, China, or Israel, for example. (...) The key thing to know about McMaster — an active-duty three-star general and deputy commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command — is that he has made a career of speaking truth to power, often instinctively, without the slightest talent for fawning to his superiors."

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"Why Justin Trudeau Won’t Criticize Trump"


Nach Japans Premierminister Abe hat nun auch Kanadas Premierminister Trudeau bei seinem Besuch in Washington darauf verzichtet, US-Präsident Trump trotz bestehender politischer Differenzen zu kritisieren. Die USA seien der wichtigste Handelspartner Kanadas, Trudeau habe sich deshalb wie alle kanadischen Regierungschefs in einer "paradoxen" Situation befunden, analysiert Chris Berube. "For Trudeau, there is no good outcome when it comes to dealing with Trump. Polls suggest Canadians would be happy to see their government take on the American president. According to one, over 80 percent of Canadians disapprove of Trump’s performance, while another suggests 58 percent of Canadians would approve of a trade war with America if Trump introduced new tariffs. But officials in Trudeau’s government worry that Canada has more to lose in a trade fight with the United States, particularly after the Canadian economy went through a slowdown in 2016. (...) The meeting between [Trump and Trudeau] was stilted and cordial. For Trudeau, that may be an atmosphere worth cultivating."

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"Thank the 'Deep State' for Quashing Trump’s Torture Plans"


Phillip Carter meint, dass es dem "Tiefen Staat" im Pentagon und den Geheimdiensten zu verdanken sei, dass US-Präsident Trump von seiner Forderung nach einer Wiedereinführung der Folter von Terrorverdächtigen abgerückt sei. "In many ways, the story of torture is a parable for learning across the national security community since 9/11. In the first months and years after those devastating terror attacks, America lashed out at its enemies. We slowly, and painfully, learned to act more wisely. Our military learned to practice counterinsurgency instead of indiscriminate violence; our intelligence community built strong relationships with allies to target terrorists in the shadows before they could ever harm us. During his campaign, President Trump caricatured this learning as soft and signaled that he wanted a return to more bellicose American national security policy. This cartoonish approach won’t work, and the deep state is our best hope for putting the Trump administration on a better path."

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"The GOP’s Russia Hawks Are Not Your Friends, Democrats"


Bei ihrer aktuellen "Jagd auf Russkis" kooperierten die US-Demokraten mit republikanischen Senatoren wie John McCain und Lindsey Graham, die zuvor lange als "unverbesserliche Kalte Krieger" belächelt worden seien, schreibt Jim Newell. "If Russia as a state actor is, indeed, responsible for the ingenious bit of spycraft whereby someone sent John Podesta phishing emails that he clicked on, then that requires a commensurate response from the U.S. government. What it doesn’t require is for Democrats to look to John McCain and Lindsey Graham as their buddies, a couple of fellow patriots who will put aside partisan considerations to serve the ideal of free and fair elections. They’re not doing this for you, Democrats. They’re doing it because they’ve long harbored a desire for a more aggressive posture toward Russia, and the Democrats, in their disillusionment over Hillary Clinton’s loss, are now the most useful idiots in the room."

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"Is There Really a Spook Consensus About Russian Meddling?"


Eine Lektion des Irak-Krieges sollte nach Ansicht von Marcy Wheeler sein, offiziell "geringfügige" Meinungsunterschiede der US-Geheimdienste in sicherheitspolitischen Fragen ernst zu nehmen. Dies gelte auch in der aktuellen Diskussion über die Hacker-Vorwürfe gegenüber Russland. "The story itself was muddled on this point, and the unresolved questions reminded me of another time anonymous sources touted intelligence that was supposedly quite clear — when claims about aluminum tubes helped get us into the Iraq war. (...) while most agencies agreed that aluminum tubes Saddam Hussein had purchased were intended for a nuclear enrichment program, the Department of Energy, a key player in intelligence on nuclear weapons, believed they were intended for rocket motors. At a time when agencies were still fighting it out, someone leaked to the New York Times. 'American officials believe,' the Times wrote, that the tubes 'were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium.' National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice then pointed to the story in an interview with CNN: 'We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,' she said. Those anonymous leaks about what the intelligence community believed pre-empted a real assessment of the intelligence."

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"We Can’t Trust Trump With Today’s NSA"


Der frühere Mitarbeiter des US-Außenministeriums und NSA-Kritiker John Napier Tye fürchtet, dass der Geheimdienst mit seinen aktuellen Überwachungskompetenzen unter einem US-Präsidenten Donald Trump zu einem gefährlichen innenpolitischen Werkzeug werden könnte. "(...) if he becomes president, Donald Trump will have a frightening and expansive new tool to persecute his domestic opponents: the National Security Agency, which has access to a huge amount of Americans’ personal communications and data. Maybe a senator’s 'private' bedroom pics will be mysteriously leaked. Or Breitbart will start blogging the details of a journalist’s 3 a.m. Uber rides. Or maybe Trump will find creative uses for five years of email correspondence between a civil rights lawyer and her clients. This might sound like a nightmare that could only happen in China or Russia, but there are simply not enough safeguards in place to protect Americans from our own National Security Agency."

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"ISIS Will Lose in Mosul. But Who Actually Wins?"


Fred Kaplan hält es für ausgemacht, dass der "Islamische Staat" die Schlacht um Mosul verlieren wird. Wichtiger sei die Frage, ob es der US-Regierung gelingen wird, die Sieger zur Kooperation zu bewegen. "From a strictly military standpoint, the assault on Mosul could have been launched months ago. The delay, according to officers and officials on the ground, stemmed from political disputes within the coalition. These disputes were over the classic questions of political power: Who does what in the battle, and who gets what afterward? It took months for U.S. commanders and emissaries to prod the factions into agreement on these matters. (...) The question is whether the coalition’s plan will survive the chaos of battle. If the Iraqi army falters (or even if it doesn’t), will the Kurds push forward? If they do, the Turkish army is likely to step in, not to help defeat ISIS but to crush the overly ambitious Kurds. (...) Similarly, if Shiite militias (...) extend their reach, the Sunni tribesmen might turn their attention away from ISIS to keep their existential rivals out. In other words, this delicately crafted operation to retake Mosul could morph into a five-sided shitstorm."

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"Why Obama May Arm the Kurds in Syria Against Turkey’s Wishes"


Joshua Keating erläutert, warum US-Präsident Obama möglicherweise bereit sein könnte, die Beziehungen der USA zur Türkei aufs Spiel zu setzen und die Kurden im Norden Syrien mit Waffenlieferungen zu unterstützen. "Whatever their political goals, the Syrian Kurds have undoubtedly been one of the most effective forces fighting ISIS. (...) Much to the irritation of the Obama administration, it’s been clear for a while that Turkey’s priorities in Syria are containing the Kurds, helping the anti-Assad rebels, and fighting ISIS, in that order. When the administration was still holding out hope of restoring some semblance of peace and stability to Syria, it was necessary to placate Turkey, one of the most important backers of the anti-Assad opposition. Now that Obama seems to have decided that the cruder and simpler goal of routing ISIS from its territory will take precedence during his final year in office, keeping Turkey happy is less important."

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"Can Islam and Liberalism Coexist?"


Isaac Chotiner hat mit Shadi Hamid von der Brookings Institution über dessen neues Buch "Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World" gesprochen. Hamid argumentiert, dass sich der Islam aufgrund seiner besonderen Beziehung zu Politik, Recht und staatlicher Ordnung auf fundamentale Weise von anderen Religionen unterscheide. "I’m not saying Islam is incompatible with democratic politics; I’m saying that Islam is in tension with liberalism, and this is why I think it’s important for us to distinguish between liberalism and democracy. Let’s say an Islamist party comes to power through a democratic election. Islamism is by definition illiberal, and they would promote things that are contrary to classical liberalism, in the sense of non-negotiable personal rights and freedoms, gender equality, protection of minorities. (...) I’m pessimistic about the flourishing of liberalism or secularism, but I’m not necessarily pessimistic that some kind of social peace or inclusive politics is possible. I would argue that that requires us to come to terms with Islam’s role in public life, that Islam has to be accommodated in a way that we American liberals might not be comfortable with."

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"ISIS Is Pushing Turkey in the Wrong Direction"


Daniel Byman fürchtet, dass die türkische Regierung nach dem erneuten Terroranschlag in Istanbul noch autoritärer werden wird. "Dictators throughout the Middle East use legitimate security and terrorism dangers to justify delaying reforms, repressing any form of opposition, and labeling all foes as terrorists. The Turkish model, unfortunately, is a Middle Eastern one now."

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"Trump’s Response to Orlando Is Exactly What ISIS Wants"


William Saletan wirft dem Präsidentschaftskandidaten Donald Trump vor, mit seinen außenpolitischen Zielen und seiner Reaktion auf das Massaker von Orlando dem "Islamischen Staat" direkt in die Hände zu spielen. "Analysts who see this atrocity as an act of radical Islamic terrorism — and who understand radicalism, Islam, and terrorism far better than Trump does — suspect it was inspired by a message from ISIS, issued three weeks ago. This elaborate statement, delivered by ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, urged ISIS sympathizers to attack civilians in Europe and the United States during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It also clarified the group’s propaganda and recruitment strategy. Trump’s platform of banning Muslims, blocking migrants, and ruthlessly bombing ISIS-held territory fits this strategy perfectly. He’s an ISIS stooge. (...) Trump would undercut everything that’s working against ISIS: Muslim governments that have joined our military campaign, clerics who are articulating moderate Islam, ministries and activists who are working online to discredit jihadism. He would help ISIS obtain the weapons it needs most: overseas recruits who are willing to kill people in their own countries. He would make another Orlando more likely."

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"Omar Mateen, Lone-Wolf Terrorist"


Daniel Byman meint dagegen, dass das Massaker von Orlando nicht vorschnell als Terroranschlag des "Islamischen Staates" kategorisiert werden sollte. Der Täter sei offenbar von der IS-Ideologie beeinflusst worden, von einem geplanten Anschlag wie in Paris könne bisher aber keine Rede sein. "Orlando may be another variant, then, of what the French scholar of Islam Olivier Roy has called the 'Islamicization of radicalism.' Islam is used by an individual already on the edge of violence to justify his actions and give him status to at least one audience, as indeed has already happened to Mateen. Details on Mateen’s background are still trickling in, but his ex-wife claimed he was abusive in their marriage and not particularly zealous in his faith. (...) Because even a struggling ISIS retains its appeal and at least some of its supporters will stay off the radar screen, lone wolf attacks are likely to continue."

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"What Cyberwar Against ISIS Should Look Like"


Das Pentagon hat angekündigt, den Krieg gegen den "Islamischen Staat" künftig auch mit "Cyberbomben" zu führen. Fred Kaplan empfiehlt die Wiederholung einer Taktik, die bereits 2007 mit positiven Ergebnissen in Irak zum Einsatz gekommen sei. "In 2006, a plan was put together: NSA linguists, using an insurgent commander’s username, would send phony emails to his fighters, suggesting that they all meet at a certain place, date, and time. Lying in wait would be a team of JSOC soldiers, who would kill the assembled insurgents. (...) Not only did the operation wipe out whole cadres of jihadi fighters, it also messed with the minds of their surviving comrades and commanders. They could no longer be sure whether messages they’d sent were getting where they should go — or whether messages they received were genuine or traps. They could no longer trust anything they saw, heard, or read; they could no longer trust one another. Command and control fell apart."

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"We Are Going to War in Iraq Against ISIS"


US-Verteidigungsminister Ash Carter hat angekündigt, zusätzliche US-Truppen zur Befreiung der irakischen Stadt Mossul zu entsenden. Fred Kaplan stellt fest, dass die USA den Krieg gegen den "Islamischen Staat" damit auch am Boden eröffnet hätten. "In short, we are going to war in Iraq against ISIS. It’s not going to be like George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq: It will involve about 5,000 U.S. troops, not 150,000; and local forces — Iraqi soldiers, Kurdish peshmerga, and various militias — will be in the lead. But the United States will be directly involved in the fighting and quite possibly the dying. And although Carter and other senior officials say the U.S.’s mission isn’t changing it’s clear that, by any reasonable definition of 'mission' and 'changing,' it is. What’s going on with U.S. forces in Iraq, in fact, is a living, looming case study in 'mission creep.'"

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"We Are All Belgians? Not This Time."


Anne Applebaum stellt fest, dass sich einige der westlichen Reaktionen auf die Anschläge von Brüssel von den Reaktionen auf die Pariser Attentate unterschieden. Die damals beschworene Einheit werde zunehmend durch Rufe nach einem neuen Isolationismus überlagert. "On both sides of the Atlantic, isolationism is now a fact of political life. Although it is presented differently in different places, the illogical idea that 'my country will be safer' if it pulls out of its international alliances is growing. (...) Of course there are reasons for this change: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s disastrous decision to apparently 'invite' Syrian immigrants into Europe last summer has left many Europeans feeling queasy and out of control. Photographs from the war in Syria and the refugee camps in Greece have upset even people living in countries such as the United States that have not accepted large numbers of refugees. But those are explanations, not an excuse, for the stupidity of isolationism."

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"Why the Syria Deal Isn’t Really Much of a Deal"


Fred Kaplan hält nicht viel von der Vereinbarung einer zeitweisen Waffenruhe in Syrien. Im von den USA, Russland und 19 anderen Mächten unterzeichneten Dokument sei nicht eindeutig geklärt, welche Gruppen als terroristisch eingestuft werden und damit weiterhin angegriffen werden können. Zudem würde eine Waffenruhe derzeit vor allem die Gewinne der Assad-Truppen konsolidieren. "The deal isn’t entirely cynical or useless. It sets up arrangements and security guarantees for humanitarian aid to reach the most besieged areas of Syria. And it may be that the Russians really are keen to wrap up their military operation — not just because they’ve reaped some gains for Assad, but because it has stretched their capacity for this sort of intervention to nearly the breaking point. At this point, the war itself is prolonging the political and humanitarian crisis, in the Middle East and — through the flood of refugees — beyond. Anything that brings relief from its incessant ravages is a good thing, quite apart from geostrategic factors. Yet, in the medium-to-long run, the failure to unseat Assad will undo any temporary cease-fire (which is the most that anyone is claiming for the deal anyway)."

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"Obama’s Republican Foreign Policy Critics Don’t Understand How the World Works"


Fred Kaplan macht sich angesichts der außenpolitischen Kommentare der republikanischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten Sorgen über die US-Außenpolitik, sollte einer dieser Kandidaten die Wahl im November gewinnen. Diplomatie, wie sie Präsident Obama z.B. gegenüber Iran betreibe, werde von Donald Trump und anderen als "Schwäche" charakterisiert. "(...) the centuries-long history of international relations shows that it’s possible for adversaries — even, during the Soviet-American Cold War, bitter foes who have the ability to incinerate each other in a matter of minutes — to negotiate deals that benefit the security interests of both sides, and to do so in ways that might open up avenues of accord in other realms worth exploring. This is what Obama’s approach to foreign policy — which isn’t so different from the approach of many past presidents — has wrought this week. It’s an approach and an outcome that most of the Republican candidates not only couldn’t pull off but explicitly, if bizarrely, condemn."

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"Why Saudi Arabia and Iran May Be Seeking a New Crisis"


Die aktuelle Krise zwischen Saudi-Arabien und Iran sei von der saudischen Königsfamilie und den Hardlinern in Teheran vor allem aus innenpolitischen Gründen bewusst herbeigeführt worden, meint Fred Kaplan. "The Saudi and Iranian moves were probably both driven, in large part, by their domestic politics — which doesn’t make the escalation in tensions less dangerous. The Saudi royals, feeling constantly threatened by Shiite dissidents from within, are fighting a losing war against what they perceive as Iranian proxies in neighboring Yemen. (...) Meanwhile, hard-liners in Tehran are no less anxious about their president’s diplomatic overtures, especially the nuclear deal and the subsequent lifting of sanctions — and for much the same reason: They don’t want the Islamic Republic of Iran to integrate too deeply with the West. The Saudis (like the Israelis and many American politicians) fear the expansion of Iranian influence and muscle; the Iranian hard-liners fear the infiltration of Western ideas and products."

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"Why China's New Terrorism Law Is So Controversial"


Das am 28. Dezember verabschiedete neue Antiterrorgesetz in China ist im Westen Joshua Keating zufolge nicht nur bei Menschenrechtsorganisationen und der US-Regierung, sondern auch bei IT-Unternehmen auf Kritik gestoßen. "The version of the law that was passed Sunday backs down on the demand for encryption code handovers, although, according to Xinhua, it does require that companies must 'provide technical support and assistance, including decryption, to police and national security authorities in prevention and investigation of terrorist activities.' In theory, this doesn’t sound that different from the kind of help that several Internet companies have provided to counterterrorism investigators in the United States, or laws being considered by U.S. allies like Britain — and the Chinese media has wasted no time in attacking U.S. 'double standards.' But the new vague language isn’t necessarily a good thing. According to the Wall Street Journal, several tech firms are worried that they don’t have a good idea of what 'technical support and assistance' might entail."

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Informationsportal Krieg und Frieden

Wo gibt es Kriege und Gewaltkonflikte? Und wo herrscht am längsten Frieden? Welches Land gibt am meisten für Rüstung aus? Sicherheitspolitik.bpb.de liefert wichtige Daten und Fakten zu Krieg und Frieden.

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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Zahlen und Fakten


Kaum ein Thema wird so intensiv und kontrovers diskutiert wie die Globalisierung. "Zahlen und Fakten" liefert Grafiken, Texte und Tabellen zu einem der wichtigsten und vielschichtigsten Prozesse der Gegenwart.

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Publikationen zum Thema

Coverbild Internationale Sicherheit im 21. Jahrhundert

Internationale Sicherheit im 21. Jahrhundert

Die internationale Sicherheit ist fragil und bedroht. Wie können und müssen demokratische Systeme ...

Internationale Sicherheitspolitik Cover

Internationale Sicherheitspolitik

Seit Ende des Ost-West-Konflikts hat sich die internationale Sicherheitspolitik deutlich verändert....

Das Herz verlässt keinen Ort, an dem es hängt

Das Herz verlässt keinen Ort, an dem es hängt

16 Autor*innen aus Krisengebieten wünschen sich für ihre Zukunft weiterschreiben zu können. In di...

Sicherheitspolitik verstehen

Sicherheitspolitik verstehen

Wie sieht eine zeitgemäße Sicherheitspolitik angesichts einer zunehmend komplexer werdenden und st...

Am Hindukusch – und weiter?

Am Hindukusch – und weiter?

Ende 2014 zogen die letzten deutschen ISAF-Truppen aus Afghanistan ab. Dieser Band zieht Bilanz, fra...

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