US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The National Interest


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13.01.2019

"The Bosnia Boondoggle: This Is Why Sarajevo Can't Join NATO"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/bosnia-boondoggle-why-sarajevo-cant-join-nato-41287

Sean Maguire und Ryan Scherba halten eine NATO-Mitgliedschaft Bosnien-Herzegowinas unter den aktuellen Umständen für unmöglich. Dies werde sich erst ändern, wenn die EU und die USA die Fehler des Dayton-Friedensabkommens korrigieren, die das Land bis heute auch innenpolitisch lähmten. "The United States must work with the EU, the UN and most importantly the Bosnian people and their representatives in an earnest effort to reform the country, starting with abandoning Dayton and legalized ethnic divisions. So long as power lies along ethnic lines it will continue to create exploitable divisions. The United States, in concert with its partners, must work towards a system that successfully and rationally embodies the principles of federalism, decentralization and legitimate representation that the EU has stated are prerequisites for ascension."

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08.01.2019

"Meet 'Dead Hand': This Might Be Russia's Most Terrifying Nuclear Weapons Idea Yet"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/meet-dead-hand-might-be-russias-most-terrifying-nuclear-weapons-id
ea-yet-40937

In Reaktion auf den INF-Ausstieg der USA haben einige russische Experten Michael Peck zufolge Überlegungen zur Einführung eines atomaren Waffensystems angestellt, das auf einen mutmaßlichen Atomangriff vollautomatisch reagieren würde. Entsprechende Pläne habe es bereits im Kalten Krieg gegeben. "Perhaps the most terrifying was a Cold War doomsday system that would automatically launch missiles — without the need for a human to push the button — during a nuclear attack. But the system, known as 'Perimeter' or 'Dead Hand,' may be back and deadlier than ever. (...) There have been cryptic clues over the years that Perimeter still exists. Which illustrates one of the curiosities of this system, which is that the Soviet Union kept its existence secret from the American enemy whom it was supposed to deter. What is unmistakable is that Perimeter is a fear-based solution. Fear of a U.S. first-strike that would decapitate the Russian leadership before it could give the order to retaliate. Fear that a Russian leader might lose his nerve and not give the order. And if Russia is now discussing Perimeter publicly, that’s reason for the rest of us to worry."

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08.01.2019

"Syria Policy: The Hawks’ Talons Sink Deeper into Trump"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/syria-policy-hawks%E2%80%99-talons-sink-deeper-trump-41017

Die schrittweise Abkehr Präsident Trumps von seiner ursprünglichen Ankündigung eines zügigen Truppenabzugs aus Syrien bestätigt nach Ansicht von Paul R. Pillar, dass die "Falken" in der US-Außenpolitik nach wie vor das Sagen haben. "National Security Advisor John Bolton has in effect overruled President Donald Trump’s troop withdrawal decision. This will have fateful consequences for America’s national interests, and none of them are good. (...) The de facto reversal of Trump’s withdrawal decision is a victory only for those who — like Bolton, who still avers that the Iraq War was a good idea — never met a U.S. military intervention in the Middle East they didn’t like and never stop seeing regimes they would like to change with force. (...) The episode involving withdrawal and non-withdrawal of U.S. troops in Syria should be a lesson for those who mistakenly placed hopes in Trump for a more restrained and less militaristic U.S. foreign policy."

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08.01.2019

"The German Military Might Soon Have a New Feature: Non-German Soldiers"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/german-military-might-soon-have-new-feature-non-german-soldiers-40
997

Michael Peck betrachtet die deutsche Debatte über eine mögliche Öffnung der Bundeswehr für Ausländer im internationalen und historischen Kontext. "Though recruiting non-citizens has aroused fears that Germany is creating a mercenary army, it is not uncommon for nations to recruit non-citizens into their armies. The most notable example is Britain, which draws in citizens of other Commonwealth nations such as Australia. The Israel Defense Forces also allows non-citizens, such as Americans, to serve in its ranks. The U.S. military also allows non-citizens to serve, which is seen as a path to earning citizenship. However, under the Trump administration, the Pentagon has been accused of discharging immigrants who had been promised citizenship for enlisting. Indeed, Germany has a tradition of recruiting foreigners, though it’s a tradition that many Germans would as soon forget. Prussian emperor Frederick the Great’s eighteenth-century armies contained recruits from across Europe. And during World War II, the SS recruited 'Aryan' volunteers from Denmark, Norway and other conquered nations, who were dispatched to the Eastern Front to battle the Russians."

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07.01.2019

"Enforce the Monroe Doctrine on Russian Moves in Latin America"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/enforce-monroe-doctrine-russian-moves-latin-america-40912

Angesichts der russischen Kooperation mit der Regierung in Venezuela empfiehlt Ted Galen Carpenter der US-Regierung, sich Russland in Lateinamerika mit Bezug auf die Monroe-Doktrin stärker entgegenzustellen. Im Gegenzug müsse Washington Moskau eine Einflusssphäre in Osteuropa zugestehen. "Washington and Moscow need to establish clear rules of the road regarding conduct in Latin America and Eastern Europe. U.S. leaders should stress to Moscow that establishing or maintaining military ties with unfriendly regimes like those in Venezuela and Cuba creates unacceptable security headaches for the United States. If the Kremlin wishes to improve relations with Washington, it must cease such provocations and confine its hemispheric ties to normal diplomatic and economic relations. At the same time, Washington should inform Moscow that the days of trying to project U.S. power deep into Eastern Europe are over. The Trump administration then needs to abandon aspirations of adding Ukraine and Georgia to NATO, end arms sales to Kiev, and phase-out U.S. participation in NATO military exercises in such places as Poland, the Baltic republics, and the Black Sea. The other alliance members are unlikely to continue such provocative actions without U.S. involvement."

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07.01.2019

"The Acid Test for Trump-Kim 2.0 Summit: No Nuclear Inventory, No Meeting."

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/acid-test-trump-kim-20-summit-no-nuclear-inventory-no-meeting-40887

US-Präsident Trump sollte ein neues Gipfeltreffen mit Staatschef Kim Jong Un von der Bereitschaft Nordkoreas abhängig machen, den USA ein "Inventar" des eigenen Atomprogramms zur Verfügung zu stellen, meint Robert E. Kelly. Künftige Gespräche ergäben nur Sinn, wenn beide Seiten wüssten, worüber sie eigentlich verhandeln. "Indeed, that seems like a fair trade, if not actually balance-positive for the North Koreans: they get the pictures and the legitimation, and Trump gets the inventory. If Trump, who markets himself as a great negotiator, cannot pull even this small step out of Pyongyang, he should not go. And the North Koreans need to guarantee that in writing before Trump assents to a second summit. The Singapore summit was Trump’s big chance to pull a major concession out of the North Koreans because North Korea had desperately sought a U.S. summit for decades. Trump missed this opportunity to bargain for at least the inventory back then. He should not make that mistake again."

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05.01.2019

"Hypersonic Weapons are No Game-Changer"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/hypersonic-weapons-are-no-game-changer-40632

Die Einführung russischer und chinesischer Hyperschallraketen wird die strategischen Grundlagen der US-Militärplanung nicht so stark verändern wie von einigen Experten erwartet, meint Jyri Raitasalo von der Finnish National Defence University. "There are many reasons why hypersonic weapons will not revolutionize strategy or warfare in the future. Not at least for the United States, which is the hub of hypersonic frenzy these days. Firstly, the military power of the United States will remain second to none for years — and more likely for decades to come. Hypersonic threats do not require hypersonic responses. (...) The second aspect that will mitigate the threat posed by hypersonic weapons is related to the fact that in many future scenarios, the projections of adversaries’ possibilities to develop and field hypersonic weapons ignore or downplay one’s own efforts to do the same. (...) Finally, the strategy of deterrence — based on real warfighting capabilities — should not be underestimated when trying to prevent adversaries from using their  'hypersonic edge'  against the United States. (...) Hypersonic missiles will not become a panacea or a silver bullet, which could give Russia or China an edge against the United States on the battlefield. Nor will hypersonic weapons derail the United States from the top position of the global military power pecking order."

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05.01.2019

"Forget North Korea: Is the Next Showdown in Asia Japan vs. South Korea?"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/forget-north-korea-next-showdown-asia-japan-vs-south-korea-40692

Sebastien Roblin empfiehlt, bei der Beobachtung der Konflikte in Ostasien auch die Rivalität zwischen Japan und Südkorea im Auge zu behalten. Am 20. Dezember sei es zu einer Begegnung zwischen einem japanischen Kampfflugzeug und einem südkoreanischen Zerstörer gekommen, die bestätigt habe, wie angespannt die Beziehungen beider Länder nach wie vor seien. "Neither South Korea or Japan is seeking an armed conflict. However, militaries cohabiting international waters are capable of downplaying or covering up faux pas when they wish to do so, particularly when they are allied in a common cause such as defense against nuclear-armed ballistic missiles from North Korea. Several retired military officials have informally indicated the incident shouldn’t be made out to be such a big deal. Instead, first Japan and then South Korea have chosen to escalate the diplomatic conflict while using accusatory language and issuing demands for apologies. This is due to a combination of unresolved historical tensions related to Japanese colonial occupation of Korea, nationalistic theater designed for domestic consumption, and genuine divergences in foreign policy."

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02.01.2019

"We Don’t Owe Syria’s Kurds"

https://nationalinterest.org/node/40392

Donald Trumps Ankündigung eines Truppenabzugs aus Syrien ist u.a. kritisiert worden, weil die USA in diesem Fall die verbündeten Kurden vor Ort "im Stich lassen würden". Christian Whiton schreibt, dass dieses Argument in Washington besonders von bekannten Neokonservativen vorgebracht worden sei, um deren andauerndes Ziel eines Regimewechsels in Damaskus zu kaschieren. "This is a half-clever way to achieve the neocons’ long-held goal of not merely defeating ISIS, but also getting America into the Syrian Civil War. Ultimately, they would like to conduct regime change against Assad and install a liberal democracy, despite failures to do so in Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan. (...) To assure the security of the Kurds, we would in effect have to help establish another de facto Kurdish state like the one we helped create in northern Iraq. (...) Students of history may conclude that the Kurds deserve exactly that. But such a U.S. dependency was never part of President Trump’s strategy in Syria or the broader Middle East. Even just supporting the Kurds in Syria, much less fighting for them for the indefinite future, has never been put to the American people. I highly doubt it was ever presented clearly to Trump, and there has been no formal or informal consent to the idea from Congress."

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01.01.2019

"The Iraq Exit Strategy Will Not Work in Afghanistan"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/iraq-exit-strategy-will-not-work-afghanistan-40022

Tanya Goudsouzian warnt davor, die geplante Halbierung des US-Truppenkontingents in Afghanistan nach dem Vorbild der im Irak verfolgten Abzugstrategie durchzuführen. Im Fall Irak hätten mehrere Faktoren zum Sieg über den IS beigetragen, die auf Afghanistan nicht zuträfen. "(...) by 2017, the country declared victory against the terrorists which today remain no more than a localized terrorist organization — hardly the significant, almost existential threat it posed to Baghdad in 2014. While many factors came into play, three stand out as most consequential to the Iraqi success. First, when the military failed to stop Daesh from moving virtually uncontested towards Baghdad and the politicians had no answers, the clerics stepped in. Iraq’s religious Marjiyah establishment issued fatwas for young men to rise and join the militias, and they did. (...) Second, the Iraqi military was purged of its corrupt, politically connected leaders who had been installed by former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. (...) Third, Daesh overplayed its hands and lost the support of the citizens of their self-proclaimed caliphate. (...) None of the conditions essential to success in Iraq 'travel well' to Afghanistan and cannot be incorporated into a new Afghanistan strategy post-U.S. withdrawal."

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13.12.2018

"India has 140 Nuclear Warheads – And More Are Coming"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/india-has-140-nuclear-warheads-–-and-more-are-coming-38612

Einer neuen Untersuchung des Nuclear Information Project der Federation of American Scientists zufolge besitzt Indien heute etwa 140 Atomwaffen und wäre zudem in der Lage, diese Zahl schnell auf 200 zu erhöhen. "In addition, 'India continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal, with at least five new weapon systems now under development to complement or replace existing nuclear-capable aircraft, land-based delivery systems, and sea-based systems.' Unlike the missile-centric U.S. and Russian nuclear forces, India still heavily relies on bombers, perhaps not unexpected for a nation that fielded its first nuclear-capable ballistic missile in 2003. (...) India’s nuclear missile force is only fifteen years old, but it already has four types of land-based ballistic missiles: the short-range Prithvi-II and Agni-I, the medium-range Agni-II and the intermediate-range Agni-III. (...) What remains to be seen is what will be the command and control system to make sure these missiles are fired when — and only when — they should be. And, of course, since Pakistan and China also have nuclear weapons, Indian leaders may find that more nukes only lead to an arms race that paradoxically leaves their nation less secure."

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13.12.2018

"Why Israel Doesn’t Crush Hamas"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-israel-doesn’t-crush-hamas-38627

Zaki Shalom und Jacob Aaron Collier schreiben, dass Israel ohne Zweifel in der Lage wäre, die palästinensische Hamas militärisch zu zerschlagen. Diese Option sei von der israelischen Führung sorgfältig erwogen und dann aus mehreren Gründen verworfen worden. "Notably, Israel feels that it lacks the legitimacy to utilize its full capabilities against Hamas, and this is largely due to concerns over its image in world public opinion. (...) Additionally, there is high certainty that utilizing the full firepower of the Israel Defense Forces would necessarily bring about severe devastation to the Gaza Strip and its civilian population, as collateral damage is more or less unavoidable in such a densely populated environment. (...) Furthermore, utilizing military means to bring about the downfall of Hamas might lead to one of the following possible scenarios, all of which are highly dangerous to Israel’s national interests. The first scenario that is of particular concern to Israel is that should the Hamas regime fall, the Gaza Strip may collapse into a state of anarchy. (...) Secondly, in the event that Hamas is removed from power in Gaza, Israel might again have to undertake the enormous responsibility of governing the Gaza Strip and its 2 million inhabitants in order to prevent the scenario of anarchy mentioned above. (...) Thirdly, the downfall of Hamas could bring about the rule of the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, over the Gaza Strip. This development would pose a significant threat to Israel, as there is no certainty whatsoever that the Palestinian Authority would be capable of managing the security situation there."

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11.12.2018

"Coming Soon: Russian Submarines in the Gulf of Mexico?"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/coming-soon-russian-submarines-gulf-mexico-38442

Michael Peck berichtet, dass ein US-Kriegsschiff am 5. Dezember in den Küstengewässern vor Wladiwostok aufgetaucht sei, um zu demonstrieren, dass die USA russische Hoheitsansprüche in diesem Teil des Japanischen Meeres nicht anerkenne. Ein russischer Journalist hat nun angedeutet, dass die russische Kriegsmarine den "Gefallen erwidern" könnte. "Russia’s message to the United States: Sail your warships into Russian coastal waters, and we’ll send our warships into yours. (...) 'Our submarines, too, might have surfaced suddenly some place in the Gulf of Mexico to shock America,' [Igor Korotchenko, the editor-in-chief of Russian magazine Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defense),] said. 'We have the corresponding forces of our submarine fleet there. We do not do that for the simple reason our purpose is not to show off in such a silly way, but to cope with the assigned tasks.'"

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10.12.2018

"Here's Why U.S. Tactical Nukes Are a Bad Idea."

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/heres-why-us-tactical-nukes-are-bad-idea-38372

Kristin Ven Bruusgaard vom Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) der Stanford University meint, dass die Einführung taktischer Atomwaffen für das US-Militär aus strategischer Perspektive nicht sinnvoll wäre. Die von US-Politikern und Experten vorgebrachte Begründung für die Entwicklung dieser Waffen beruht ihrer Ansicht nach auf einer Fehlinterpretation der russischen Atomstrategie. "Russian declaratory strategy is not one of 'escalate to de-escalate' or nuclear preemption. Official communications, including the last three iterations of Russian military doctrine and several statements made by President Putin, Defense Minister Shoigu and General Staff Chief Gerasimov, point to Russian attempts to reduce their reliance on nuclear weapons. In October, Putin explicitly sought to clarify Russian nuclear doctrine to a Western audience: 'Nuclear preemption is not in our doctrine.' Still, U.S. policymakers continue to assert that Russian doctrine is one of preemption. (...) New American low-yield nuclear warheads is a strategic response based on not the most likely, but the most dangerous possible interpretation of Russian strategy, one directly at odds with Russian declaratory nuclear strategy."

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07.12.2018

"North Korea Is Building More Nuclear Weapons and Missiles (Don't Be Shocked)"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/north-korea-building-more-nuclear-weapons-and-missiles-dont-be
-shocked-38212

Die neuen Berichte über den scheinbar ungebremsten Fortschritt des nordkoreanischen Atom- und Raketenprogramms sollten nach Ansicht von Daniel R. DePetris keine Überraschung auslösen. "While one could reasonably call ongoing missile development a violation of the June 12 Singapore statement, the fact is that Kim hasn’t agreed to do anything other than 'work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula'—phrasing so vague that it could be interpreted in a number of different ways. Additional studies and satellite images from various U.S. institutions of construction equipment moving in and out of the North’s various missile facilities should be expected; in fact, it would be far more shocking if the North Koreans chose not to improve and build upon their missile capability. (...) As any diplomat or business titan will tell you, leverage is absolutely key in a negotiation. The more chips you have in your pot, the more you are able to trade and thus the more you are likely to get from the other side in the form of concessions. In other words, Kim Jong-un’s expansion of missile facilities may be less about being sinister and more about increasing his ammunition before engaging in a process of bargaining with the United States."

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04.12.2018

"Why a European Army Would Be a Total Disaster"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-european-army-would-be-total-disaster-37817

Nach Überzeugung von Michael Peck würde die Bildung einer Europäischen Armee in der Praxis in einem "Desaster" enden. "'I would rather fight a coalition than be a part of one,' said Napoleon Bonaparte, a man who knew how to lead French armies to victory against multiple coalitions over nearly two decades. Napoleon knew that an alliance is only as strong as its weakest link. And a pan-European army would have numerous weak links, of which the political would be the biggest. (...) who would make the decision to commit a European army to war? If it’s the European Union, would it have to be a unanimous decision by all EU nations, as it is now to admit a new country to the bloc? Norway and Greece might have different ideas of what’s an issue worth fighting for. If it’s a non-political body like the EU civil service, then there will be complaints that unelected bureaucrats are making decisions about war and peace. If a European army ends up being mainly France and Germany, then how European is it?"

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04.12.2018

"Safe Harbor: The OSCE Can Help Calm Tensions in the Azov Sea"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/safe-harbor-osce-can-help-calm-tensions-azov-sea-37857

Der italienische Außenminister und aktuelle OSZE-Vorsitzende Enzo Moavero Milanesi und Thomas Greminger, Generalsekretär der OSZE, empfehlen eine stärkere Einbeziehung ihrer Organisation bei der Entspannung der Krise im Asowschen Meer. "The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe can provide a wide range of tools to reduce risks, prevent incidents, de-escalate tensions, rebuild confidence and prevent any conflict. Let us just use them! The OSCE Vienna Document on confidence and security building measures often overlooked by the general public — has been a crucial stabilizer of European security since 1990. It is specifically designed to dispel fears and help States clarify each other’s intentions regarding activities that could otherwise be seen, or misinterpreted, as threatening."

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02.12.2018

"Trump at the G20: Is He Following In George H.W. Bush’s Footsteps?"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/trump-g20-he-following-george-hw-bush’s-footsteps-37722

Jacob Heilbrunn stellt fest, dass US-Präsident Trump beim G20-Gipfel in Buenos Aires deutlich umgänglicher aufgetreten sei als bei ähnlichen Treffen zuvor. Es sei nicht ausgeschlossen, dass Trump dem außenpolitischen Vorbild des jüngst verstorbenen Ex-Präsidenten George H.W. Bush folgen könnte. "When it comes to Europe and Russia, Trump may adhere more closely to the Bush line than is often assumed. Bush deserves plaudits for his superb management of the end of the Cold War. He is regarded with reverence in Germany, where many credit him with making reunification possible by designing the Two-plus-Four negotiations that provided Moscow with a face-saving exit from East Germany. (...) there has not been significant change in America’s stance toward NATO or Europe. Trump even sounded approving about Germany’s Angela Merkel at the G20 summit. Merkel, he said, is doing 'an incredible job' and is 'Highly respected by everybody, including me.' (...) at the G20, the shadow of Bush clearly hovered over Trump. Trump was on his best behavior, coming close to practicing Bush-like self-effacement. He did not put the spotlight on himself but rather on the former president. 'The fact that we lost a president who truly was a wonderful person, a wonderful man, a great man — it really puts a damper on it, to be honest with you,' he said as he met with Merkel."

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27.11.2018

"Ukraine Should Not Be a Member of NATO"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/ukraine-should-not-be-member-nato-37287

Doug Bandow sieht sich durch die aktuelle Krise im Asowschen Meer in seiner Meinung bestätigt, dass die NATO keine Mitglieder aufnehmen sollte, die sich später als Sicherheitsrisiko erweisen könnten. "The Putin government, which has harassed Ukrainian marine traffic entering what is essentially an enclosed sea, looks mostly to blame. Moscow’s aggressiveness might be a negotiating tactic or part of a campaign to turn the Sea of Azov into de facto territorial waters. Still, Moscow is not without security concerns. The Kerch Strait Bridge is a possible target. Indeed, in May Washington Examiner columnist Tom Rogan argued that 'Ukraine should now destroy elements of the bridge. While that course of action would be an escalation against Putin and one that would almost certainly spark Russian retaliation, this bridge is an outrageous affront to Ukraine's very credibility as a nation.' (...) This should remind us that we are lucky (or blessed) President George W. Bush failed in his effort to add Kiev (and Georgia) to NATO. Had he succeeded Washington would have been obligated to come to Ukraine’s defense if it invoked Article 5 against Moscow. Backed by the United States, Kiev would have been much more likely to take a belligerent approach toward Russia. Poroshenko would have advanced his reelection prospects and possibly triggered the sort of war that only offers the possibility of reclaiming Crimea."

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26.11.2018

"Why Saudi Arabia Will Acquire Nuclear Weapons"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/why-saudi-arabia-will-acquire-nuclear-weapons-37197

Paul R. Pillar ist aufgrund des Berichts der New York Times über die geheimen Atomverhandlungen zwischen Washington und Riad nahezu sicher, dass Saudi-Arabien in den kommenden Jahren ein eigenes Atomwaffenprogramm entwickeln wird. "The Saudi regime insists on producing its own nuclear fuel, which would be different from terms the United States has negotiated with some other states, including the United Arab Emirates, that have sought U.S. assistance in developing their nuclear programs. The Saudis have balked at comprehensive international inspections to detect any work on nuclear weapons. And Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has explicitly threatened to develop nuclear weapons, ostensibly in response to any similar development by Iran. (...) If the U.S. 'maximum pressure' campaign succeeds in negating completely the economic relief Iran was supposed to have received under the JCPOA, then Iranian leaders may yet throw up their hands in disgust and pronounce the agreement null and void. This would release Iran from all its nuclear restrictions under the agreement, which in turn might provide the perfect rationale for Riyadh, especially as long as MbS is in charge, to acquire the bomb."

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26.11.2018

"The Coming War over Ukraine?"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/coming-war-over-ukraine-37177

Jonas Driedger vom European University Institute (EUI) in Florenz warnt, dass die aktuelle Konfrontation zwischen Russland und der Ukraine im Asowschen Meer weiter eskalieren könnte. Sowohl Präsident Putin als auch Präsident Poroschenko wäre seiner Ansicht nach eine Verschärfung der Lage durchaus recht. "Since 2014, Russian support for the Putin regime is less dependent on the country’s economic well-being, and more so on the continued performance of Russia as a great power. While the effect is declining, the annexation of Crimea has long boosted Putin’s popularity. Therefore, Russia is unlikely to back down in a crisis with Ukraine. Ukraine, simultaneously, has significantly beefed up its military forces and improved its on-the-ground-control. The anti-tank Javelin launchers provided by the United States are only a small part of these efforts. A replication of the confused and feeble Ukrainian response in 2014 is unlikely. The Ukrainian military is now even regarded by some in Kyiv as a possible tool to establish some new facts on the ground. (...) Tymoshenko’s strategy, the stalling Minsk process, Ukraine’s ongoing economic woes, rampant corruption, and allegations of Poroshenko being involved in shady business deals increasingly narrow down the incumbent’s options for holding on to power. His most promising option is to present himself as a successful, or at least assertive, war president. (...) War over Ukraine might not be very likely, but the danger is real."

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21.11.2018

"Trump Is Right About Saudi Arabia"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/trump-right-about-saudi-arabia-36822

Im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen Kommentatoren verteidigt der frühere Mitarbeiter im US-Außenministerium Christian Whiton die Entscheidung des US-Präsidenten, Saudi-Arabien wegen der Khashoggi-Affäre nicht zu konfrontieren. "In the real world, the conduct of the Saudis is startling but far from unique. Among other U.S. allies, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, who scored diplomatic points against his regional rival over the Khashoggi killing, has dozens of journalists and political opponents rotting in his jails. Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte wholeheartedly endorses extrajudicial killing by police. And among U.S. adversaries, journalists and other opponents of governments like those in China and Iran have short life expectancies. (...) In the end, Trump made a decision to put U.S. interests ahead of the passions of a moralistic chattering class that has no idea about how to defend America. Trump does."

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17.11.2018

"Why 'Robot Wars' Might Not Be Our Future"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-robot-wars-might-not-be-our-future-36347

Michael P. Ferguson meint, dass der Einfluss vollautomatischer Waffensysteme auf die Kriegsführung der Zukunft heute wahrscheinlich von vielen überschätzt werde. "As Williamson Murray and Allan Millett surmised in their analysis of military innovation in the interwar period , having a vision of future war is important, but that view 'must also be balanced and well connected to operational realities.' One of those realities is the sheer vastness of human capital that America’s adversaries would likely be willing to expend in a war with the United States — especially if those opponents view troop strength and combined arms maneuver as their strongest hands against an enemy who has subordinated both to machines. Without a highly motivated, expertly trained, and masterfully-led Joint Force willing to contend with such a challenge, all the back-flipping robots in the world won’t bail the United States out of the next war."

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15.11.2018

"Why Trump Will Double Down on Foreign Policy in 2019"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-trump-will-double-down-foreign-policy-2019-36187

Peter Harris ist sicher, dass sich US-Präsident Trump im kommenden Jahr noch stärker der Außenpolitik zuwenden wird. Auf diesem Feld habe Trump den geringsten innenpolitischen Widerstand zu erwarten und könne zugleich auf Erfolge hoffen, die ihm den Weg zur Wiederwahl ebnen sollen. "One possibility could be peace with North Korea or, if things go awry, a return to headline-grabbing brinksmanship and belligerency toward Pyongyang. Another option is an expanded trade war with China and other foreign governments or a buildup of conventional and nuclear forces. Trump could also take an even harder line on Iran and withdraw from yet more international treaties and organizations that are unpopular with the Republican faithful. All of these are potential policies that Trump could pursue in hopes of racking up a nominal 'win' in foreign affairs. (...) Denied the opportunity to enact policies at home that are popular with his base, the President will find it hard to resist the temptation to act imperially on the world stage. This will be the second Trump presidency that takes shape next year: partisan, combative, ambitious, and focused on delivering international achievements that can be attributed to President Trump alone."

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06.11.2018

"Germany's Military Is a Total Mess: No Working Submarines, New Equipment Is Defective."

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/germanys-military-total-mess-no-working-submarines-new-equipment-d
efective-35272

Eine Antwort des Bundesverteidigungsministeriums auf eine parlamentarische Anfrage bestätige, in welch schlechtem materiellen Zustand sich die Bundeswehr gegenwärtig befinde, schreibt Michael Peck. "Only 39 percent of new weapons delivered to the German military in 2017 were ready to be fielded. The remainder had to be modified after delivery from the manufacturers before they were ready for use. The German Defense Ministry admitted the problem after being questioned by leftist lawmakers in Parliament last week. (...) The readiness revelations cap what seems to be an endless stream of bad news regarding the Bundeswehr, or German armed forces. A 2017 report by the RAND Corp., an American think tank, found that Germany would require a month to mobilize to mobilize and dispatch a heavy armored brigade to the Baltic States in the event of a Russian invasion, and only at the expense of stripping equipment from other units. (...) the picture that emerges is of a military that is a shell of its Cold War power, let alone a force that terrified the world from 1870 to 1945. German defense officials have called for big increases in military spending , a sentiment shared by the Trump administration, which has accused its European allies of not contributing their fair share to NATO defenses."

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06.11.2018

"A Collision: Is This How a U.S.-China War in the South China Sea Starts?"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/collision-how-us-china-war-south-china-sea-starts-35347

Der Beinahezusammenstoß zwischen zwei Kriegsschiffen der USA und Chinas im Südchinesischen Meer hat nach Ansicht von James Holmes auf dramatische Art und Weise verdeutlicht, wie ein Krieg zwischen beiden Ländern ausbrechen könnte. "The imagery is striking. Whatever the actual range, terming this conduct 'unsafe and unprofessional' — in the U.S. Pacific Command’s anodyne phrasing — understates how close the vessels came to disaster. Most such incidents involve the rules of the maritime road: who gets to steam and fly where, and what may seafarers and aviators do along their way? (...) Strategists are forever conducting wargames to project how armed conflicts might unfold. As they should. They could do worse than simulate a high-seas collision and its diplomatic fallout as part of their gaming repertoire. Better to think ahead now than improvise later under hothouse conditions."

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03.11.2018

"Why the U.S. Military Won't Give Up Its Cluster Bombs"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/why-us-military-wont-give-its-cluster-bombs-35097

Daniel R. DePetris erläutert, warum das US-Militär nicht auf den Einsatz von international geächteten Streubomben verzichten will. "Whereas global advocacy organizations and many of America’s allies in Europe and Asia consider clusters indiscriminate weapons that should be locked up and decommissioned, the Defense Department believes these munitions are some of the more discriminatory weapons on the market. Washington has refused to sign the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions , a multilateral treaty that bans the use, production, stockpile, acquisition, development and transfer of cluster munitions in its entirety, precisely because of that interpretation. (...) From the Pentagon’s standpoint, eliminating cluster munitions of all sizes, blast radiuses and types would be making the U.S. military’s job harder. Warfighters understandably don’t want to limit the tools in their toolbox. As long as other nations like Russia and China refuse to become a state party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the United States will resist the pressure to do so. And depending on the specific target, there may be instances where a cluster is a more precise munition compared to a more conventional bomb."

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31.10.2018

"Why Jordan Is Next for ISIS"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/why-jordan-next-isis-34792

Viele jordanische Extremisten, die sich vor Jahren dem IS in Irak und Syrien angeschlossen hätten, würden derzeit in ihre Heimat zurückkehren und könnten das Land zum neuen Brennpunkt des dschihadistischen Terrorismus machen, warnt Emily Przyborowski. "The numbers tell the story — Jordan ranks as the third largest source of foreign fighters to the Islamic State 'caliphate.' An estimated 3,000 Jordanian militants have traveled to join the ranks of the Islamic State, proving that the country is deeply susceptible to radicalization. Moreover, a 2017 report by the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism details that while many Jordanians are attracted to ISIS because of unemployment and poverty, issues like marginalization, poor governance, and religious education also play a significant role in recruitment and membership. Additionally, many Jordanians feel that they have an obligation to defend embattled Sunni co-religionists in Syria. As ISIS continues to decline in both Syria and Iraq, we can expect foreign fighters to make their way back to their respective countries of origin. In the case of Jordan, 250 of them already have. And while previously Amman had been successful at preventing attacks, it will become increasingly difficult to do so as the Jordanian 'alumni' of the Syrian civil war begin to flood back."

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30.10.2018

"This Is China's Plan to Dominate Southern Europe"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/chinas-plan-dominate-southern-europe-34697

Philippe Le Corre schreibt, dass China dabei sei, seinen Einfluss im Süden Europas mit einer gezielten Investitionsstrategie langfristig auszubauen. "Since the 2008 financial crisis, China has become a significant creditor to many severely indebted European Union nations. Portugal, Greece, and Italy were all forced to privatize some of their state assets following the euro-debt crisis, making their economies partly dependent on Chinese investors. Private acquisitions also multiplied. (...) Since these investments, many of the targeted countries are becoming soft supporters of China on the international stage. (...) There is a strong possibility that Southern Europe might become a zone of strong Chinese influence in the future. In an economically weakened region with rising anti-European sentiment, citizens might be looking at alternative options. For example, According to the Pew Research 2018 global survey, Italian and Greek public opinions are becoming more positive towards China compared to previous years."

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28.10.2018

"RIP INF Treaty: Welcome to the New Arms Race"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/rip-inf-treaty-welcome-new-arms-race-34457

Das Ende des INF-Vertrags wird nach Erwartung von Sebastien Roblin ein neues Wettrüsten auslösen, das die europäische Sicherheit deutlich stärker belasten dürfte, als die von den USA beklagten Vertragsverletzungen Russlands. "A dozen treaty-violating Russian missiles is bad for European security.  Much worse is hundreds of such missiles, including even longer-range weapons such as the SS-20s the Soviet Union deployed prior to the INF treaty coming into effect. Withdrawing from the treaty has cleared the field for Russia to rebuild a vast range of nuclear-capable rocketry that could strike European capitals within minutes of launch. (...) Another issue is that IRBMs on Russian soil can strike all of Moscow’s potential adversaries besides the United States. The United States, however, is flanked by thousands of miles of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, and at best could only make limited use of IRBMs in Alaska or Pacific Islands. This means that U.S. medium-range missiles would need to be based in a friendly country, such as when the United States deployed Pershing and Tomahawks missiles to Europe in the 1980s. But that deployment itself was immensely politically controversial, even during Cold War!"

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