US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The National Interest


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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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27.10.2018

"Forget Russia: Is Finland the Hybrid Warfare Champion?"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/forget-russia-finland-hybrid-warfare-champion-34362

Das Konzept der "hybriden Kriegsführung" wird derzeit überwiegend mit Russland in Verbindung gebracht. Michael Peck schreibt, dass das finnische Militär daraus Lehren gezogen und das Konzept erfolgreich in die eigene Defensivstrategie aufgenommen habe. "Unlike its European neighbors, who have moved toward standing professional armies, Finland’s 280,000-strong military is based on a small standing army backed by conscripted reserves. But reserves need time to be mobilized, which is fine for a conventional war but not hybrid warfare: for example, Russia used special forces and paramilitary fighters to seize Crimea in a few days. That’s especially worrisome to Finland, which shares an eight-hundred-mile border with Russia. Finland’s solution has been to create company-sized 'readiness units,' rapid reaction forces consisting of conscripts who have completed their six-month training and go on readiness duty for the next six. (...) Finland’s anti-hybrid warfare system seems impressive. 'Some close observers in Finland as well as abroad claim that the Finnish Army has become among the best in Europe at delivering sizable combat power at short notice,' the report notes."

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23.10.2018

"Interview With Richard Burt: The Dangers of Withdrawing from the INF Treaty"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/interview-richard-burt-dangers-withdrawing-inf-treaty-34177

Der frühere US-Diplomat Richard Burt erläutert in diesem ausführlichen Interview, warum er eine Aufkündigung des INF-Vertrags mit Russland für einen schweren strategischen Fehler halten würde. Dabei stellt er fest, dass Präsident Trump Deutschland offenbar bewusst oder unbewusst "den Krieg erklärt" habe. "Trump either consciously or unconsciously seems to have declared war on Germany. The Germans don’t have the advantage of having their own small nuclear deterrent as does Britain and France; it is more dependent on the U.S. nuclear guarantee than they are. And Germany finds itself attacked by this administration in terms of trade policies, in terms of its defense spending, in terms of its purchases of energy from Russia, and now with the INF treaty. The real question is: has the fundamental foundation of German security policy been undermined? This should trigger a real crisis of Germany thinking about their security options. (...) The Germans do have nuclear weapons on their territory and nuclear-capable aircraft. They operate as members of the NATO nuclear planning group. So the Germans in some ways, while not an independent nuclear power, are part of the NATO nuclear structure. But since NATO is an American operation, that will not be viewed, in my judgment, as sufficient going forward. There will have to be a European umbrella of some sort to give the Germans greater confidence in their security and the future."

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22.10.2018

"Trump's Withdrawal from the INF Treaty Formalized What Was Already True"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/trumps-withdrawal-inf-treaty-formalized-what-was-already-true-34092

Nach Ansicht von Salvatore Babones habe der INF-Vertrag von Beginn an nur einen beschränkten Effekt gehabt und sei mittlerweile nahezu bedeutungslos. Die USA hätten nach einem Rücktritt vom Abkommen freie Hand, dem neuen geopolitischen Rivalen China effektiver entgegenzutreten. "While sticking to the letter of the treaty, both sides have infringed on the spirit of the treaty to such an extent that the agreement itself is now mostly meaningless — so far as the United States and Russia are concerned. Today’s Russia, with no real allies and an economy less than one-tenth the size of America’s economy, cannot possibly hope to compete with the United States in a high-technology arms race . But China is another matter. (...) If Xi Jinping is smart, then he will back down on expensive weapons systems development before China goes too far down the Soviet road — and he finds himself in the same retirement home as Gorbachev. China should come to the table and endorse the status quo in the Pacific. For as the Soviet Union found out thirty years ago, expansionism comes at a steep cost. Bolton seems prepared to teach Xi that simple historical lesson."

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21.10.2018

"Here's What's Really Going on with the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and Russia"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/heres-whats-really-going-orthodox-church-ukraine-and-russia-33922

Nikolas K. Gvosdev meint, dass der historische und theologische Hintergrund der Unabhängigkeit der ukrainischen von der russischen Kirche in vielen Kommentaren verkürzt dargestellt wird. "These historical points are raised not to play at trivia but to suggest that the crisis besetting Ukrainian Orthodoxy is not a result of the 2014 Maidan uprising and the subsequent Russian intervention, but has been percolating for a long while. Recent events have brought matters to a head, but did not create them. All of the above are playing themselves out in a fashion that, while overlapping with current geopolitical developments, have and will continue to exist independently of them."

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18.10.2018

"Who's Really Afraid of Nationalism?"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/whos-really-afraid-nationalism-33852

Michael Kimmage mit einer kritischen Rezension des Buches "The Virtue of Nationalism" von Yoram Hazony, der sich in seiner "Polemik" auch gegen die in Europa verbreitete konventionelle Vorstellung von der EU als "höchste Stufe politischer Exzellenz" gewandt habe. Hazony unterschätze sowohl die Komplexität der EU als auch die "harten Kanten" der von ihm empfohlenen nationalistischen Ordnung. "Hazony is strangely soft on German and Central European nationalism and strangely hostile toward the European Union. What he misses is the complexity of the EU. Brussels is not an imperial capital. The nations of the EU can enhance their relative power by being in the EU. (...) A nationalist future, which is robustly plausible, is likely to have the hard edges and sharp elbows of Putin’s Russia. For those seeking an ethical international order, the reality of nationalism will have to be tempered, channeled and contained, and the virtue of an intelligent internationalism will have to be maintained."

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14.10.2018

"In Defense Of Autonomous Weapons"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/defense-autonomous-weapons-33201

Ryan Khurana hält nichts davon, das völlige Verbot vollautomatischer Waffensysteme anzustreben. Es sei besser, die Entwicklung der Waffen mit einer Debatte über den ethischen Rahmen ihrer Anwendung zu begleiten. "None of this is to say that there are not valid concerns about the use and development of LAWS, but focusing on regulation is preferable to prohibition. Researchers should be held to the high ethical standards in the development of LAWS [lethal autonomous weapons systems], and rigorous debate is necessary about how and when these systems should act, but this is only possible if their development is supported. The existential risk from autonomous systems results from low probability, but high impact events, such as control over a nuclear arsenal, which even the smallest chance of system failure should be a cause for concern. Banning these sorts of activities would avoid these worrisome possibilities while allowing for the benefits LAWS bring to conventional military action."

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08.10.2018

"America Shouldn't Attack Venezuela — Unless China Intervenes"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-shouldnt-attack-venezuela—unless-china-intervenes-32757

Sumantra Maitra, Politikwissenschaftler an der University of Nottingham, würde eine militärische Intervention der USA in Venezuela für angemessen halten, sollte China versuchen, das krisengeschüttelte Land als eigene Plattform in Lateinamerika zu etablieren. Zur Rechtfertigung einer solchen Intervention verweist er auf die Monroe-Doktrin. "(...) whenever a great foreign power hovers around, it is a new national-security calculus and is in contradiction to traditional American strategy of regional hegemony since the time of the Monroe Doctrine. It is perhaps too early, but American policymakers should keep the China threat in mind."

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04.10.2018

"Can Germans Think Strategically?"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/can-germans-think-strategically-32642

Maximilian Terhalle, Strategieexperte von der Winchester University (UK), schreibt, dass die Rolle Deutschlands in der Weltpolitik von deutschen Sicherheitspolitikern generell aus zwei Perspektiven beurteilt werde. In beiden "Lagern" fehle es allerdings an strategischer Weitsicht. ""The 'astonished' one often wonders why so few states have emulated its very successful economic and social-welfare model. The more 'defensive' camp tends to resent any criticism of its (often self-indulgent) approach to national security, which suggests that the more militaristic U.S. strategy has not been that successful. These policymakers continue to insist that Germany had already started to talk about increasing its military spending, and not just because Donald Trump told it to do so, they assert. And that is it. The problem with this view is twofold. It reflects a degree of self-satisfied introspection that in today’s world is conspicuously inapt for a country of Germany’s economic weight (it is the fourth largest in the world). More importantly, both the 'astonished' and the 'defensive' views are reactive driven by events, and therefore lacking an understanding of the geopolitical foundations on which Germany’s economic wealth and its freedom from military blackmail are fundamentally based. Hence, there is no serious debate on how Germany’s vast wealth and freedom may be secured in the future; neither is there a public debate on the purpose of its power."

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02.10.2018

"America's Military Is Losing Its Counterinsurgency Operations Capabilities"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-military-losing-its-counterinsurgency-operations-capabiliti
es-32462

Das US-Militär will sich künftig wieder verstärkt der Vorbereitung auf konventionelle Konflikte mit anderen Staaten widmen. Adam Wunische sagt voraus, dass die Erfahrungen und Fähigkeiten zur Aufstandsbekämpfung, die in den vergangenen Jahren durch zahlreiche entsprechende Einsätze erlangt wurden, recht schnell wieder vergessen sein werden. "Alarmistische Kritik" daran hält er für unangebracht: "Yes, the U.S. military is more often than not asked to engage in low-intensity conflicts, but the purpose of the military is to be the muscle that provides for U.S. national-security interests. As such, when resources are scarce decisions must be on the priorities that are going to be pursued and there seems to be little to be gained for vital interests by occupying small countries for seventeen years. (...) the problem lies less with the military’s forgetfulness of how to conduct low-intensity operations, but with the nation that asks them to perform such operations whilst remaining ready for a near-peer war. States shouldn’t demand a military that can do everything somewhat well, but instead a military that can execute operations that serve vital interests incredibly well. Civilian leaders shouldn’t expect their militaries to be 'jack of all trades' organizations."

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24.09.2018

"Turkey Must Choose the Tough Option and Leave Syria"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/turkey-must-choose-tough-option-and-leave-syria-31907

Mohammed Ayoob meint, dass Russlands Einfluss auf die Assad-Regierung begrenzt sei und es deshalb früher oder später zu einer Offensive gegen die Rebellen in der Idlib-Provinz kommen wird. Die Türkei werde dann vor der Wahl stehen, gegen die syrischen Truppen zu kämpfen und dabei auch die Beziehungen zu Russland zu ruinieren, oder sich aus Syrien zurückzuzuziehen. "This would mean leaving the Turkish-backed Syrian rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions to their fate and ignoring the human suffering in Idlib likely to follow a full-scale invasion. Also, it would not solve the refugee crisis, but Turkey could insist that in return for its withdrawal Russia and Iran pledge that displaced persons will be sheltered in “safe areas” close to Turkish borders but not allowed to enter Turkey. Such a move could salvage Turkey’s relationship with Russia, which the standoff over Idlib threatens to unravel. In return, Russia and Iran could guarantee that they will not allow the Syrian Kurdish militia the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to expand the Kurdish enclave in Syria. In fact, such a deal may entail the YPG surrendering some of the territory it controls on the Turkish border to Assad’s military. (...) Recent columns published in the pro-government Turkish press indicate that Ankara is seriously considering this option."

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21.09.2018

"Dark Days Ahead for Ukraine"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/dark-days-ahead-ukraine-31667

Mark Munson berichtet über eine Podiumsdiskussion des Center for the National Interest, bei der zwei Experten die Zukunft der Ukraine aus heutiger Sicht eher pessimistisch beurteilt haben. "Keith Darden, an associate professor at American University’s School of International Service (SIS), set the tone with the observation that 'Historically, optimism is bad for peace.' He said that the consensus among Western foreign policymakers is that Ukraine is on a positive trajectory, while Russia is on a negative one with time running against Moscow. The other panelist was Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Both Darden and Charap made the case that this overly positive assessment is not borne out by Ukraine’s domestic or international situation. (...) The speakers also raised a series of questions that suggest Ukraine has a challenging road ahead. For instance, how can Ukraine be united or become united if Petro Poroshenko, the current president, continues to take divisive actions such as pushing for a Constitutional Amendment that Ukraine should be a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member? How can the country heal if Poroshenko wants to transfer religious authority from the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Patriarch? How can the country accede to NATO if — by some polls — less than half of the population supports membership? How can Ukraine rely on Western support, when Russia has far more at stake and a strong military edge in its immediate near abroad?"

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17.09.2018

"For Germany, Trump is an Opportunity for a Look in the Mirror"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/germany-trump-opportunity-look-mirror-31462

Tobias Brandt vom Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC, schreibt, dass der "Schock" über den Wahlsieg Donald Trumps in der deutschen Debatte über das Verhältnis zu den USA bis heute spürbar sei. In der Kritik am US-Präsidenten schwinge auch ein mangelndes Verständnis der amerikanischen Einstellung zur internationalen Ordnung mit. "The United States needs the system less than anybody else and, therefore, approaches international organizations in a transactional manner. If consensus in the United Nations can be established to achieve a certain goal in the American interest, great. If not, there are other, unilateral, means, like prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. And while America has chosen to invest energy and resources into international cooperation in order to build a sense of confidence in shared values, the more realist administrations have mostly insisted on the limitations of the system. To most Germans, this approach is abhorrent. And, in 2018, Donald Trump serves as the justification for Germany’s decades-long resentment of America’s unilateralism, arrogance and failure to coordinate with allies. (...) German leaders must stop conflating Trump with the United States. Even if they can’t find common ground or a community of values with this president, the conclusion that the West is at an end does not follow, writes Dirk Kurbjuweit in Der Spiegel. Reactions to Trump should be adequate, but not vengeful. Kurbjuweit is correct, Trump will go, but the United States will remain. And it should, indeed, remain Europe’s friend. Most importantly, Germany — and Europe as a whole — has work to do, regardless of who is in the White House."

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16.09.2018

"Could Donald Trump Truly Assassinate Assad?"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/could-donald-trump-truly-assassinate-assad-31417

Dem neuen Enthüllungsbuch von Bob Woodward zufolge soll US-Präsident Trump ein Attentat auf Syriens Präsident Assad erwogen haben. Daniel R. DePetris schreibt, dass die beschriebene Episode die Frage aufwerfe, wie leicht US-Präsidenten den Tod anderer Staatschefs anordnen können. "If President Trump was intent on killing Bashar al-Assad, Kim Jong-un, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Nicolas Maduro, or any other foreign adversary of the United States, he could technically do so by simply rescinding the Reagan-era directive and replacing it with his own, less restrictive, directive. Unless the U.S. Congress responded by codifying the Reagan-era assassination ban into statute, there would be little in the way of resistance — outside of bureaucratic inertia or slow-rolling, which the Woodward book makes clear is a feature of this administration — to the president actually bringing the United States back into this murky and stomach-churning business. All that would be required from President Trump is a stroke of the pen. (...) Bob Woodward’s book exposes Trump as a man who doesn’t particularly care about norms, tradition, and conventionality. The American people may very well wake up one day and learn that the United States is dipping back into the old Cold War playbook."

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13.09.2018

"This Is How Donald Trump Can Win in the Balkans"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/how-donald-trump-can-win-balkans-31227

Petrit Selimi, früherer Außenminister Kosovos, begrüßt, dass die Balkanregion im vergangenen Monat zum ersten Mal auf dem außenpolitischen Radar des US-Präsidenten aufgetaucht ist. "For the first time in years, there’s a sense that one of the final remaining bilateral disputes in the western Balkans might be about to be solved. (...) Kosovo has the potential to be a major foreign-policy success while requiring a minimal investment of political capital. First, Kosovo is staunchly pro-American. The United States is viewed favorably by 92 percent of our citizens, a percentage greater than that of any other country in the world. Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, is the only city in the world where a Bill Clinton Boulevard crosses a George W. Bush Avenue and a Senator Bob Dole Street. American support for any deal would be a major reassurance for a staunch U.S. ally. Second, the issue is no longer about expensive nation-building. It’s about ensuring the finality of peace and the ability of the United States to actually reduce its military presence in the tiny Balkan republic. Third, Kosovo has overwhelming bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress."

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12.09.2018

"Russia and China Will Now Hold Military Exercises 'On a Regular Basis'"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russia-and-china-will-now-hold-military-exercises-regular-basis-31
157

Russland und China wollen nach dem aktuellen Vostok-Manöver in Ostsibirien künftig regelmäßig gemeinsame Militärübungen durchführen, berichtet Dave Majumdar. Experten hielten eine strategische Allianz beider Länder nicht länger für völlig ausgeschlossen. "While Russia and China have not always been on the best of terms, especially after Sino-Soviet in the 1960s, Moscow and Beijing have found common ground in recent years even if the relationship remains transactional in many ways. Even American experts on Russia are starting to accept the possibility of a genuine Beijing-Moscow entente directed against the United States. 'I think a strategic partnership is slowly in the offing, but is encumbered by the two sides' self-interest and transactional impulses,' as Center for Naval Analyses analyst Michael Kofman told The National Interest earlier this year. 'As such, the catalyst will be a third actor, namely the United States, and the extent to which those countries perceive a threat from Washington in common.'"

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04.09.2018

"Why China Is Wooing Eastern and Central Europe"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-china-wooing-eastern-and-central-europe-30492

John Van Oudenaren berichtet über die zunehmenden wirtschaftlichen Aktivitäten Chinas in Ost- und Mitteleuropa und meint, dass die unter dem Motto "China plus many" betriebene Kooperation die Spaltung der EU vorantreibe. "China’s engagement with Central and Eastern Europe should be examined within the broader context of its strategy towards Europe. In recent testimony before the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, Thorsten Benner and Thomas Wright, contend that China’s objectives towards Europe are threefold. The first objective is garnering support from EU members on policy issues that are salient to China, such as Taiwan and the South China Sea. The second aim is to erode Western Unity, both inside Europe and between the United States and Europe. The final goal is vaguer and more normative, but per Benner and Wright, it can best be approximated as 'making the world safe for China’s autocratic model,' which necessitates demonstrating that China’s political and economic systems are seen as a 'viable alternative to liberal democracies.' Clearly, China’s outreach to Eastern and Central Europe helps achieve all three of these goals."

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02.09.2018

"Russia’s Massive Vostok Military Exercise Was Intended to Prepare for War With China. So What Happened?"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russia’s-massive-vostok-military-exercise-was-intended-prepare-w
ar-china-so-what-happened

China wird sich an dem umfangreichen Militärmanöver Vostok beteiligen, das vom russischen Militär ab dem 11. September in Sibirien durchgeführt wird. Sebastien Roblin schreibt, dass das Manöver ursprünglich dazu dienen sollte, Russland auf einen möglichen Kriegsfall mit China vorzubereiten. "Though obscure to many in the West, border clashes during the 1960s and 1970s may have brought China and the Soviet Union closer to fighting massive ground war, or even nuclear war, than Warsaw Pact ever did vis-a-vis NATO. While Moscow-Beijing relations have significantly improved since that low point, both major military powers remain wary of potential future strategic rivalry. (...) Ultimately, both Moscow and Beijing see the Vostok 2018 exercise as a shot across the bow of Washington’s dominance in international affairs. The two authoritarian governments hold a shared interests in opposing a liberal international order valuing norms of democracy and human rights, which they perceive as undermining their internal stability and justifying Western military aggression."

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30.08.2018

"America Does Not Need a Draft"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-does-not-need-draft-30077

In der laufenden Debatte über eine mögliche Wiedereinführung der Wehrpflicht in den USA widerspricht Kevin Ryan den Argumenten von Nick De Gregorio, der sich in einem früheren Beitrag für die Dienstpflicht ausgesprochen hatte. "Service to one's nation can take many forms: emergency responders, police, teachers, military and others. It should be continuously encouraged among our citizens. But if we mandate service, is it really service? I would rather have a hundred courageous volunteers like Nick De Gregorio than a thousand reluctant warriors."

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29.08.2018

"No, America Doesn't Need to Bring Back the Draft"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/no-america-doesnt-need-bring-back-draft-29972

In der Debatte über eine Wiedereinführung der Wehrpflicht in den USA widerspricht Edward Chang einem früheren Beitrag von Nick De Gregorio und erklärt, warum er eine neue Dienstpflicht für unnötig hält. "(...) like most arguments in favor of the draft, De Gregorio’s case is undermined by several erroneous assumptions. To understand these errors, two facts must first be brought to bear. First, draft proponents stand virtually alone. Poll after poll reveals remarkable consistency regarding the draft’s unpopularity among the American public and even military veterans and their families. (...) Second, conscription has been the exception, not the norm, in American history. (...) For better or for worse, the nature of citizenship today remains the liberal variant, in which Americans treasure their individual rights, while largely resisting the notion of additional responsibilities beyond paying taxes and obeying the law. (...) many of the problems highlighted by De Gregorio, such as the civil-military disconnect, the lopsided privileging of rights over responsibilities, and the question of the public’s preparedness to meet national security challenges looming on the horizon are genuine and need to be addressed sooner rather than later. However, he is wrong about the causes and solutions."

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26.08.2018

"Why States are Turning to Proxy War"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-states-are-turning-proxy-war-29677

Daniel Byman erläutert, warum sich Staaten heute entscheiden, Stellvertreterkriege in anderen Ländern zu führen. "Indeed, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that all of today’s major wars are in essence proxy wars. (...) Understanding the prevalence of proxy war is not hard. Proxies enable intervention on the cheap. They cost a fraction of the expense of deploying a state’s own forces and the proxy does the dying. Because the costs are lower, proxy war is also more politically palatable—few Americans know the United States is bombing Libya, let alone which particular militia it supports in so doing. (...) Despite their many advantages, proxies often disappoint their sponsors. Rather than be grateful and obedient, local groups often go their own way, pursuing their own interests while pocketing the money and other support they receive. Their competence is often minimal, while their brutality knows few bounds. Some even drag their supposed masters into unwanted interventions. Proxy war, however, is not going away, and the United States must have its eyes open both when using proxies and when fighting them."

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25.08.2018

"Is China Repeating Germany's World War I Mistakes?"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/china-repeating-germanys-world-war-i-mistakes-29667

Die chinesische Kriegsmarine soll nach dem Willen von Präsident Xi Jinping bald zu den mächtigsten der Welt gehören. Nach Ansicht von John Maurer könnte Xi damit den Fehler des deutschen Kaisers Wilhelm II wiederholen. "t a recent show of Chinese naval might in the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping called for China to acquire a world-class navy, declaring to the assembled officers and crews that there has never been a more urgent need for the country to possess a powerful fleet. (...) Standing tall at center stage of this spectacle, Xi took the fleet’s salute. He delivered his lines, posing as the heroic warrior dressed in military uniform — the lead actor to be reckoned with in an unfolding grand historical drama involving the fate of nations. There were echoes in his speech of a similar call to national greatness by the leader of an earlier aspiring world power. At the turn of the twentieth century, Kaiser Wilhelm II proclaimed that his country had an urgent need for a naval buildup to counter the British Royal Navy in its drive to find a 'place in the sun.'"

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19.08.2018

"Russian Spy Submarines Are Tampering with Undersea Cables That Make the Internet Work. Should We Be Worried?"

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russian-spy-submarines-are-tampering-undersea-cables-make-internet
-work-should-we-be

Sebastien Roblin macht auf die verstärkten Aktivitäten russischer U-Boote in der Nähe der Tiefseekabel, die das Rückgrat des globalen Internets bilden, aufmerksam. "Washington is reportedly plenty worried about this fact, but can’t exactly get on its high horse about this activity, as U.S. submarines actually pioneered the art of tapping into submarine cables decades earlier. In fact, the USS Jimmy Carter, one of only three super-advanced Sea Wolf class submarines built, has been specially modified to perform such missions. (...) It’s not exactly clear what the Russian submarines, under the direction of the Russian Navy’s Directorate of Deep Sea Research (GUGI) are doing with the cables — or what they’re capable of doing. Tapping into the cables requires exotic techniques to access the delicate fibers inside the cable without exposing them to seawater. The Jimmy Carter reportedly uses a special floodable chamber to perform this operation. No Russian ships are confirmed to have such a capability, but Russian media sources have claimed a capability to hack into the cables."

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15.08.2018

"Terrorists are Tightening Their Grip on Yemen"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/terrorists-are-tightening-their-grip-yemen-28842

Der andauernde Krieg in Jemen habe die Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) einer Untersuchung der Associated Press zufolge keineswegs geschwächt, berichtet Michael Horton. "The Associated Press investigation, which appears to have been based on extensive in-country interviews, paints a picture of AQAP as an organization that remains as formidable as it is capable. This stands in contrast to the assessment being put forward by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and some Yemen analysts who argue that AQAP is a fragmented organization that has been greatly weakened by coalition backed counterinsurgency operations in southern Yemen. This view of AQAP as a weak and fragmented organization may reflect a misunderstanding of AQAP’s strategy in Yemen. Rather than being weak and fragmented, AQAP is drawing on the lessons that it has learned from the past six years of failures and successes. Chief among these is that it is adopting a more pragmatic strategy that embraces a decentralized or nodal structure. Such a move away from centralization could easily be mistaken for fragmentation. However, it is more likely that AQAP is merely adapting to and taking advantage of the ever-shifting contours of Yemen’s three-year-old war."

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14.08.2018

"Draft Time: This Is Why and How America Should Have Compulsory Military Service"

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/draft-time-why-and-how-america-should-have-compulsory-military-servi
ce-28747

Auch in den USA diskutieren Experten über eine mögliche Wiedereinführung der Wehrpflicht. Nick De Gregorio begründet, warum er eine "Korrektur" der Entscheidung von 1973 zur Aussetzung des Militärdienstes für notwendig hält. "A correction to the post-Vietnam over-correction is due. Defense of America and its ideals must be made collective again, lest Americans become culturally over-reliant on a small, professional soldiery that shares increasingly fewer social commonalities with the people it is charged with defending. A national service program should augment the current all-volunteer U.S. military. This will foster a culture of universal contribution among citizens and prevent the emergence of a society so internally fractured that it lacks the will and ability to assert itself against America’s many external threats. (...) If America fails to return to a conscription model, cultural deterioration will continue, an insufficient number of citizens will answer the call of military duty, and America will not be able to go to war. A national service program should not be implemented simply to limit U.S. involvement abroad (noble as that end may be), but to ensure that America possesses in perpetuity the ability to involve itself abroad when it is in the national interest."

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