US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The American Interest


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"Huntington’s Legacy"

Der Politikwissenschaftler Francis Fukuyama wirft 25 Jahre nach Veröffentlichung des Essays 'The Clash of Civilizations?" von Samuel P. Huntington im Magazin Foreign Affairs einen Blick auf das Erbe seines 2008 verstorbenen Kollegen. "Since Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations has been contrasted with my own End of History in countless introductory International Relations classes over the past two decades, I might as well begin by tackling at the outset the issue of how we’re doing vis-à-vis one another. At the moment, it looks like Huntington is winning. The world today is not converging around liberal democratic government, as it seemed to be for more than a generation. (...) The long-term unanswered questions posed by Huntington then are: Will deeply rooted cultural values be so durable as to prevent certain societies from ever modernizing; and if they modernize, will they fail to converge in terms of political institutions? The jury is still out on these issues."

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"Can Reagan Show Trump How to Save the INF Treaty?"

Stephen Sestanovich von der School of International and Public Affairs der Columbia University hofft, dass sich US-Präsident Trump an der Strategie seines Amtsvorgängers Ronald Reagan orientiert und den Kollaps des wichtigen INF-Vertrags mit Russland verhindert. "(...) scrapping the INF Treaty is not the right response, certainly not the right first one. The treaty confers enormous advantages on the United States in defending its European allies. Complying with its terms is easy for U.S. forces and difficult for Russia. Such a favorable arrangement should not be lightly discarded. If the treaty ultimately does collapse, NATO will find it easier to agree on a follow-on strategy if it has first sought to preserve the treaty by negotiation. A second alternative is to pursue an even broader treaty, this time with universal reach. A global ban on medium-range ground-launched missiles would address Russia’s core complaint — that its neighbors are, under the current treaty, allowed to deploy weapons that Russia is not. National Security Advisor John Bolton once proposed such a global ban, and he may do so again. (...) To preserve the treaty, policymakers should learn from the diplomacy that produced it thirty years ago. The Reagan record gives them an excellent checklist for the job ahead."

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"Terrorism on the Eastern Front"

Kosovo könnte aufgrund seiner politischen und wirtschaftlichen Instabilität zu einer wichtigen Anlaufstelle für den "Islamischen Staat" in Europa werden, warnen Paul McCarthy und Luke Waggoner. "With 53 percent of its population under 25, Kosovo is the youngest country in Europe. Yet thanks to the combination of economic and political problems, unemployment among 15 to 24 year olds has reached a whopping 57 percent. The challenges of democratization (...) have marginalized young people disproportionately, due to the fact that the current governing elite is largely devoid of young leaders. This situation has led some young Kosovars to turn to nondemocratic means for expressing their frustration. (...) radical extremists are increasingly exploiting the Muslim identity of Albanians to rally them to the defense of their coreligionists in foreign battlefields. Among the segments of the population susceptible to radicalism, Muslim identity appears to be superseding Albanian identity: The findings of an IRI focus group indicate that many of the Kosovars who left the country to become foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq were motivated by a desire to defend Islam against the Assad regime."

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"The End of Liberalism?"

Damir Marusic schreibt unter Berufung auf den bulgarischen Politikwissenschaftler Ivan Krastev und den britischen Soziologen Frank Furedi, dass sich im Westen nicht die Demokratie, wohl aber der Liberalismus in einer tiefen Krise befinde. Der vorherrschende liberale Konsens habe den politischen Diskurs seit dem Ende des Kalten Krieges in einer "politisch korrekten" Art und Weise eingeschränkt, die in Europa und in den USA auf zunehmende Ablehnung stoße. "For someone who had previously bought into that liberal consensus, these are disorienting times, to be sure. But the truth is, democracy is not only working, it’s working quite well. Popular discontent with an overweening and increasingly ossified ideology is finding its voice across Europe, and has found a (deeply flawed) tribune in the United States. The future of liberalism depends on smart politicians getting the message loud and clear, and then working out a path forward that preserves all the elements of the philosophical tradition that are worth preserving. The shrill screeching of the high priests of the liberal clerisy are not helping things at all."

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"Five Priorities for Europe’s Transatlantic Strategy"

A. Michta vom College of International and Security Studies des George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies meint, dass die EU in der transatlantischen Gemeinschaft neue Verantwortung übernehmen sollte. In der notwendigen Strategie sollten demnach fünf Prioritäten gesetzt werden: "First, there needs to be a closer alignment of threat perceptions in the United States and Europe. (...) Next, Europe needs to work with the United States to articulate a coherent Russia strategy, one that will better align the interests of individual European states with American priorities on Russia. (...) The third priority for the Europeans is to invest in NATO, especially when it comes to meeting the 2 percent GDP defense spending target. (...) The fourth priority is for Europeans to seriously reconsider their historic reluctance to use military force. (...) the fifth priority strategic objective for Europe, which follows naturally from the fourth, is to prepare itself to take a stand on the potential for conflict in Asia—both in the short-term with North Korea and in the long-term U.S. competition with China."

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"War Games Meet Mind Games"

Das russisch-weißrussische Militärmanöver Zapad erfüllt nach Ansicht von Sean Keeley nicht nur einen militärischen, sondern auch einen psychologischen Zweck. Umso wichtiger sei es, dass der Westen und seine NATO-Partner im Osten nicht in "Panik" verfallen. "(...) those psychological tactics are only as potent as we allow them to be, a point implicitly made by the Finnish Defense Minister when he criticized Western countries for '[taking] the bait completely' in overhyping Russia’s drills and conjuring nightmare scenarios in the press. Tabloid hysteria about Russia starting 'World War Three' and panic about Moscow’s devious plans for a 'Trojan Horse' in Belarus only benefits Putin by making him look stronger and more cunning than he actually is."

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"EU Moving to Undercut Trump in Asia?"

Walter Russell Mead glaubt nicht, dass die EU mit ihrem Angebot, bei der diplomatischen Lösung der Nordkoreakrise zu helfen, die Verhandlungen tatsächlich voranbringen wird. Trotzdem könne diese "leere Geste" positive Effekte haben: "Inserting itself into Asian diplomacy is a way of signaling to the Russians as well as to the Americans that the EU has global ambitions and, economically and diplomatically at least, a global reach. But at this point it looks more like an empty gesture than an actual move. There are few signs that the EU is internally united on this policy, or that it really has anything to contribute given that it has no military assets in the region and no special relationship with North Korea that offers the prospect of a better negotiation than anybody else has had. (...) Still, even vain gestures can have consequences. Beijing and Seoul could see the EU suggestion as a way to slow down the Trump Administration’s drive to push North Korea toward a settlement by raising the temperature in Northeast Asia."

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"The US Is Exposing Europe’s Divide on Nord Stream 2"

Mit der Verhängung neuer Sanktionen gegen Russland hat der US-Senat in Europa eine Debatte über Russlands Rolle auf dem europäischen Gasmarkt und die geplante Gas-Pipeline Nord Stream 2 ausgelöst. "Nord Stream 2 would double the capacity of a pipeline link between Russia and Germany (that transits the floor of the Baltic Sea). Critics say it will increase Europe’s dependence on Gazprom supplies of natural gas and leave the region more vulnerable to Moscow’s bullying. Proponents — led by Germany, which stands to gain the most from the construction of this project — see a chance to beef up their energy security by accessing more supply volumes. (...) While many capitals in Europe are protesting the pipeline through the lens of checking Russian aggression and as a means of showing solidarity with Ukraine, the arguments ginned up by the pipeline’s supporters — Germany and Austria, for example, are accusing the U.S. of using these sanctions to aid its own LNG sales in the European market — underscore just how badly fractured Europe’s supposed consensus on energy policy has become."

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"Who Killed the Liberal World Order?"

James Kirchick ist der Meinung, dass die Anhänger Barack Obamas den aktuellen US-Präsidenten zu Unrecht allein für den vermeintlichen Niedergang der liberalen Weltordnung verantwortlich machen. Es sei Präsident Obama gewesen, der das globale Institutionengefüge mit seinem Verzicht auf eine starke amerikanische Führungsrolle geschwächt und vor allem Russland gestärkt habe. "Trump is reaping the whirlwind Obama sowed. The two men may have come to their worldviews from utterly different ideological perspectives — for Trump a belligerent nationalism, for Obama a utopian universalism — but both in their own ways reject America’s traditional role as upholder of the international liberal order. Obama was hesitant to act in Syria or in defense of Ukraine because his ultimate concern was extricating the United States from the Middle East and finding a modus vivendi with Moscow. (...) Obama also sought a reset with Russia, tried to improve relations with adversaries at the expense of allies, oversaw a reduction of American influence in the world, and generally weakened the vaunted 'liberal world order.' Democrats have difficulty making the grand strategic arguments about Russia that need to be made because they spent so many years refuting them when Obama was in office."

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"No More 'Strategic Patience' on North Korea"

Walter Russell Mead entnimmt den jüngsten Äußerungen von US-Außenminister Rex Tillerson, dass die seit vielen Jahren betriebene Nordkorea-Politik der "strategischen Geduld" zu Ende gehen könnte. Es gebe nicht mehr viele Gelegenheiten, die "tickende Zeitbombe" der nordkoreanischen Atomwaffen diplomatisch zu entschärfen. "A very good idea now, and one of the few that might actually reduce the threat of war, would be for the past three presidents to issue a joint statement saying that the situation has now become serious, that they agree with Tillerson’s statement that 'strategic patience' has failed, and that the Trump administration will enjoy bipartisan support as it moves to confront the new reality. Clinton, Bush and Obama may not agree on much, but all of them have to be aware that the timer on the North Korean time bomb is ticking toward zero."

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"The Real Trade Challenge Is Germany, Not China"

Beim USA-Besuch von Bundeskanzlerin Merkel wird es auch um Handelsfragen gehen. Walter Russell Mead meint, dass die Exportüberschüsse und die "nationalistische" Handelspolitik Deutschlands langfristig eine größere Herausforderung für die USA darstellen könnten als die von Präsident Trump bislang betonten Handelskonflikte mit China. "The German establishment has a hard time understanding this. It continues to see itself as a model of pro-European policy, unfairly beset by ingrates like France and cheats like Greece. (...) The German establishment is not really aware of how ruthlessly, if unconsciously, nationalist German policy has actually become. Germany’s vision of the future of Eastern Europe, in which it passes from an era of Russian dominance to an era of integration into a German-dominated European order, isn’t just a vision of the rule of law spreading eastward. It is also, and especially from Russia’s point of view, a shift in power — in which Russia abandons its attempt to recover the power lost with the breakup of the Soviet Union and Germany consolidates its position as the leading state of Europe from the Urals to the Atlantic."

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"Trump Isn’t Sounding Like a Russian Mole"

Mit seiner Ankündigung eines Ausbaus des amerikanischen Atomwaffenarsenals habe US-Präsident Trump demonstriert, dass seine Haltung zu Russland von vielen US-Medien völlig falsch eingeschätzt wird, meint Walter Russell Mead. Trump nehme sich vielmehr ein Beispiel an Ronald Reagan und wolle die amerikanische Vorherrschaft mit Hilfe eines Rüstungswettlaufs aufrechterhalten. "Tech and wealth are two key American advantages over Russia now as they were over the Soviet Union then; Trump’s message here is that he intends to follow in Reagan’s footsteps to use these strengths to advance American power, with the inevitable result of marginalizing one of Russia’s primary sources of power and prestige. Putin’s ramshackle Russia is no more capable of matching an American nuclear buildup than Brezhnev’s sclerotic Soviet Union could keep up with the United States — and Putin knows it. Whether it will work is an entirely different question, but there can be little doubt that Trump’s core global strategy will destroy any illusions in Moscow, or anywhere else, that Russia is a peer competitor of the United States."

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"Germany’s Dilemma"

Der zunehmend national bestimmte politische Diskurs in Europa habe das deutsche Selbstverständnis, das eng mit der Vision einer immer enger integrierten EU verknüpft sei, tief erschüttert, meint Andrew A. Michta. "For Germany, the principal European questions now increasingly revolve around how to salvage the goal of building a larger Europe, and whether the EU’s division into two parts — an integrated core and an increasingly disconnected periphery — is already under way. (...) Thus far the government of Angela Merkel has assumed that, when all is said and done, the majority of European Union members will opt for a vision of a common European home that hews closely to the German vision. Even as multiple rebellious voices reverberate across Europe, the elite consensus in Berlin still seems to be that Germany’s economic heft and key role in funding the common budget will carry the day. There are, however, signs even in Germany that this belief, once a sure bet, is now a much riskier gamble."

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"Europeans Back Trump’s German Grievances"

Die offene Kritik der neuen US-Regierung an der deutschen Handelsstrategie sei in anderen europäischen Ländern durchaus auf Zustimmung gestoßen, schreibt Walter Russell Mead. "The complaint is that Germany’s approach to the euro is essentially predatory: that Germany, like China, pursues an essentially mercantilist policy based on maintaining a trade surplus by fair means or foul. In Germany as in China, the trade surplus underwrites social stability and the health of the corporate and manufacturing sectors. (...) Germany has come to depend on an economic model that impoverishes its EU neighbors and partners; this is the flaw in the design of the euro system that has turned the euro from being the instrument of continental cohesion that its founders hope it would be to a force for division and mistrust at the heart of the EU. (...) The Obama approach was to ignore the widening cracks in the foundations of Europe and to try to coordinate with an unreformed Germany against Russia; with the Trump Administration’s focus on trade deficits, it is likely to be more willing to confront Germany than Obama was. The question is whether the Trump team will develop a constructive vision for a revived transatlantic partnership even as it takes on the trade issues."

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"The Pretense of the Peace Process"

Walter Russell Mead meint angesichts der Kontroverse um die UN-Resolution zur israelischen Siedlungspolitik, dass die USA nicht länger versuchen sollten, einen "Durchbruch" im Friedensprozess im Nahen Osten zu erzwingen. "The amount of time and energy that American diplomacy wasted on futile and doomed efforts to get a peace that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians really want right now is mind-blowing — especially when one thinks of all the other world problems that got worse in the last four years. (...) The pretense that the peace process has survived from the hopeful years of the early 90s is a form of self-delusion. In fact, the Palestinians rejected the possibility of peace in the 1990s just as they rejected much more favorable plans in the late 1940s and the 1930s. Over and over again the solution that one generation contemptuously rejects becomes the utopia that its children long for."

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"Dutch Hollow Out Ukraine-EU Deal"

Die niederländische Regierung bemüht sich Berichten zufolge um eine Abschwächung des Assoziierungsabkommens zwischen der EU und der Ukraine. Das Magazin The American Interest stellt fest, dass es sich um eine weitgehend symbolische Geste handle, die der Ukraine jedoch die geopolitische Realität der eigenen Situation verdeutlichen sollte. "If the revised agreement embarrasses Ukraine, it also exposes once again the hollowness of Europe’s commitment to the country. In many ways, this is a reflection of simple geopolitical reality: Ukraine will never be as important to the EU as it is to Russia. As we have argued all along, the Eurocrats who pushed the agreement in the first place miscalculated and stumbled into a confrontation with Russia for which they were not prepared; in Walter Russell Mead’s words, they brought a baguette to a knife fight. The EU capitulation to Dutch demands only underscores this reality, which we have seen time and time again. The limitations of European support for Ukraine are becoming ever more apparent, even as Euroskeptic parties are on the march throughout the continent. One wonders if the Ukrainians, too, will begin to lose faith in the EU."

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"Is The World Becoming Protestant?"

Neben dem Islam breite sich heute auch der Protestantismus weltweit immer stärker aus, schreibt Peter Berger. "While it continues to be important to distinguish the faith of the great majority of Muslims from the murderous jihadists, it is relevant to point out that there are no Protestant suicide bombers and that Protestantism empowers women, which can hardly be said of most of Islam. (...) Yes, there are some Evangelical fundamentalists who, for example, promoted draconian laws (up to the death penalty) in Uganda. But most Evangelicals are not fundamentalists. Is the world becoming Protestant? No. But compared to where it was during the Edinburgh conference in 1910, it has traveled some distance in that direction."

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"Russia Re-Emerges as a Great Power in the Middle East"

Die "schwache Macht" Russland habe in diesem Jahr einige bemerkenswerte diplomatische Erfolge verzeichnen können, stellt Walter Russell Mead fest. US-Präsident Obama habe dies mit einer verfehlten internationalen Politik begünstigt. "The President does not see that occupied Crimea, embattled Ukraine, slaughtered Syria represent the negation of everything he hopes to build. He doesn’t understand that from Pyongyang to Caracas hard men with cold eyes and dead hearts are weighing his words and placing their bets. He doesn’t see the connection between his concessions to Putin and the crisis of his China policy. He doesn’t really understand why, despite his best efforts, the world is less peaceful now than it was when George Bush left office. For Obama, closing down some of Guantanamo, signing an unenforceable climate agreement in Paris, flirting with the notion of a 'no first use' nuclear doctrine, apologizing to Laos and exchanging ambassadors with the Castro brothers are what history is made of. Putin disagrees, but hopes Obama goes on thinking as he does. We live in interesting times."

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"Is Putin’s Russia Headed for a Systemic Collapse?"

Das Aussitzen der wirtschaftlichen Probleme Russlands in der Hoffnung auf einen baldigen Anstieg der Ölpreise könne sich längerfristig rächen, konstatiert Kirk Bennet, U.S. Foreign Service Officer im Ruhestand im American Interest. "Indeed, as far as the Russian economy is concerned, there is little indication that Putin feels any particular inclination to choose at all between systematic market reforms or the return to an essentially command economy. As Maxim Trudolyubov has observed, '[t]he Kremlin favors none of the suggested cures to the current economic malaise,' adding that '[a] managed stalemate seems to be a better solution than potentially disruptive growth.' By not choosing any program, the Kremlin is placing its wager on muddling through, with extended low growth (if not outright contraction) until Russia is rescued—again—by the next cyclical upswing in hydrocarbon prices. Given the alternatives, it might well seem the safest course of action. However, it is worth recalling that Russia survived sudden, sharp contractions in 1998 and 2009; it was, by contrast, the long, wasting disease of the Brezhnev stagnation that finished off the Soviet Union. If the Kremlin eschews urgent structural reforms and contents itself with cosmetic fixes due to fear of another debacle like perestroika, Putin risks learning the real lesson of perestroika the hard way."

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"Why We Need Kremlinology Again"

Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow des amerikanischen Think Tanks "Atlantic Council", über die Wiederbelebung der "Kremlinology" als Gegengewicht zur russischen Desinformationspolitik. "Similarly, we ought to ignore the more or less official Kremlin propagandists. They are only interesting as generators of Kremlin disinformation. Remember how the Brezhnev Kremlin warned about hardliners who would take over if he were ousted, or how nice a liberal reformer Yuriy Andropov was? Kremlinology is a sound counterpoise to disinformation."

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"The Folly of Faith-Based Foreign Policy"

Walter Russell Mead vergleicht die Machtstruktur des Irans mit der der alten Sowjetunion, da es in beiden Fällen eine dominante ethnische Gruppe gebe, die über viele Minderheiten herrsche. Der Zerfall der Sowjetunion habe in Russland nicht zu Demokratie, sondern zu einem Nationalismus geführt, der durch die alte Ideologie gestärkt worden sei. Eine derartige Entwicklung sei auch im Iran zu erwarten, so Meads Prognose. "The Khomeinists now ruling Iran know the history of the Soviet Union as well as anybody else, and so they are unlikely to be duped, as some communists were, into thinking that a Gorbachevian reform wave will consolidate their power. They understand that the alternative to a Khomeinist Iran probably isn’t a democratic Iran, prosperous and secure, but a smaller Persia in a sea of mostly hostile but also unstable and weak neighboring states. They suspect — and with good reason considering what is happening in the rest of the Middle East — that 'reform' will be followed by weakness and division, rather than by strength."

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"The Real Reason for Obama’s Cuba Breakthrough"

Walter Russell Mead ist der Überzeugung, dass die US-Regierung die diplomatische Annäherung und wirtschaftliche Öffnung gegenüber Kuba vorangetrieben habe, um einen drohenden Kollaps des Castro-Regimes zu verhindern. Letztlich sei es also nicht um politische Veränderungen, sondern um politische Stabilität in Kuba gegangen. "(...) it remains the case that under the current circumstances it is in America’s interest to do what we can to offer a soft landing to a failed regime and a failed polity in a neighboring state. We don’t want Cuba to collapse in poverty, anarchy and ruin. We don’t want the Cuban people to starve — and to build rafts. We don’t want order to break down. Transition will clearly come; something that is unsustainable won’t last forever. And though we may have to hold our noses to do it, when the time comes it will be better for U.S. interests to work with the heirs of the Castros to arrange a transition that they can live with. We may need to acquiesce in the creation of some new Red Tycoons in Cuba as the price of a peaceful transition."

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"Brexit and the Weakness of the West"

Walter Russell Mead macht den amerikanischen Rückzug aus Europa für den Brexit und die aktuelle Krise des Westens mitverantwortlich. Die US-Regierung müsse nun eine Strategie entwickeln, um die "Rettung" der EU zu unterstützen. "From the 1920s to the present day, American engagement in Europe has been a necessary though not a sufficient condition for European success. And when the Americans walk away, Europe tends to fail. The Americans walked away during the Bush and Obama years, and the consequences of that withdrawal are becoming apparent. If we had engaged earlier and more effectively, Brexit might never have happened. Now that it has, a thoughtful and serious American re-engagement with our friends and allies in Europe is more important than ever."

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"After the Peace"

Russell Crandall und Margaret Haley Rhodes haben für ihre Reportage über die Erfolgsaussichten des Friedensabkommens zwischen der kolumbianischen Regierung und den FARC-Rebellen die Grenzstadt Cúcuta besucht. Es deute einiges darauf hin, dass der Kampf gegen Drogenbanden und den Kokainhandel nach der Demobilisierung von zehntausenden Guerilla-Kämpfern wieder in den Vordergrund rücken wird. "(...) most keen observers believe Colombia will likely become more violent in the immediate aftermath of an accord; for this very reason the Obama Administration’s request to Congress for $450 million to support the peace process is especially prudent and welcome. The Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation (PARES) has recently named 88 municipalities that will be at 'extreme risk' for violence after FARC demobilization. Many fear the creation of power vacuums that the drug cartels will rush to fill."

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"Toward a Global Realignment"

Zbigniew Brzezinski sieht das Ende der globalen Dominanz der USA nahen. Bei der Gestaltung der neuen Weltordnung sollten die Amerikaner erneut eine Führungsrolle übernehmen, so der frühere Sicherheitsberater von US-Präsident Carter. "(...) the United States must take the lead in realigning the global power architecture in such a way that the violence erupting within and occasionally projected beyond the Muslim world — and in the future possibly from other parts of what used to be called the Third World — can be contained without destroying the global order. (...) a long and painful road toward an initially limited regional accommodation is the only viable option for the United States, Russia, China, and the pertinent Middle Eastern entities. For the United States, that will require patient persistence in forging cooperative relationships with some new partners (particularly Russia and China) as well as joint efforts with more established and historically rooted Muslim states (Turkey, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia if it can detach its foreign policy from Wahhabi extremism) in shaping a wider framework of regional stability. Our European allies, previously dominant in the region, can still be helpful in that regard."

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"The Word in Tokyo: Crimea"

Die russische Übernahme der Krim sei angesichts eigener Territorialkonflikte mit Russland auch in Japan nicht vergessen worden, schreibt David J. Kramer. "The Soviet Union seized four islands from the northern part of Japan in the very last days of World War II, and as a result Japan and Russia to this day have not signed a peace treaty more than seventy years after the fighting ended in the Pacific. The return of those islands is a strategic interest for Tokyo. When Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, many Japanese understood that such aggression should not go unpunished. Failure to respond would set a dangerous precedent, and, given Chinese muscle-flexing in the East and South China Sea areas, Tokyo understands the need to stand up against annexation of one country by another, whether in Europe or Asia."

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"Ukraine’s Grim Slide"

Die jüngste Regierungskrise in der Ukraine veranschauliche, welch großen politischen Einfluss die Oligarchen immer noch hätten, schreiben Walter Russell Mead und Damir Marusic. Auch für den Westen sei dies ein schwerer Rückschlag. "We shall in due time see just who prevails, but things certainly don’t look good for Ukraine’s 'Revolution of Dignity.' The crisis demonstrates just how weak and fractious Ukraine’s government really is, and just how much the political class remains under the control of shadowy oligarchs who would rather keep looting the carcass of Ukraine than help the country build a future. (...) Western leaders — divided, distracted, and demoralized by a whole rush of crises — have by and large just thrown money and advice at the problem, hoping that the reformers would naturally prevail. They haven’t, and while the odds against their success were and continue to be very high, it’s impossible to describe what is happening as anything other than a serious setback for the West."

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"Libya Winning Race for Site of Obama’s Next War?"

In Washington werde immer offener über eine mögliche Militärintervention in Libyen diskutiert, schreibt Walter Russell Mead. "The West now seems to be concentrating its efforts on cobbling together some kind of fragile 'unity government' that can provide a legal cover for the next war by inviting foreigners in to help defeat ISIS. But Italy, France and others are (rightfully) terrified of what ISIS strength in Libya could mean in terms of migrant flows and terrorists. Also, if ISIS gets access to Libya’s oil and gas fields, even at todays prices, this would be a lot of money for a group that has vowed endless war against the West. It’s fascinating how the 'junior varsity' of ISIS that we didn’t have to worry about and the 'smart foreign policy' 'success' of the Libyan intervention have combined to create a crisis so serious that another war may be needed."

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The Eight Great Powers of 2016: Iran Joins the Club

Seit dem Beginn der Umsetzung des Atomabkommens mit dem Iran werde immer augenscheinlicher, dass das Land künftig als internationale Großmacht angesehen werden müsse, stellen Walter Russell Mead und Harry Zieve Cohen in ihrer aktualisierten Auflistung fest. Deutschland habe im Jahr 2015 dagegen an Einfluss verloren. "2015 wasn’t a good year for Germany. Yes, Merkel managed to hold the EU together and stave off a Grexit. But her 'moral vision' on refugees turned out to be short-sighted and impracticable. And now she faces a real possibility of a Brexit, and the Schengen Agreement may not last out the year. (...) The gloom should not be overdone. Europe will continue to be a major power for the foreseeable future, and no country is able to replace Germany as Europe’s leader. But the international environment is getting more difficult, and Germany will struggle to chart a workable course."

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"The Middle Eastern Revolutions That Never Were"

Steven A. Cook vom Council on Foreign Relations analysiert die Ursachen und langfristigen Folgen des weitgehenden Scheiterns der demokratischen Revolutionen des Arabischen Frühlings. Er geht davon aus, dass der Nachfolger von US-Präsident Obama dessen Strategie einer größeren Zurückhaltung im Nahen Osten folgen wird. "The Middle East looks the way it does today because of outcomes the people who live there have produced. The Middle East has always been hard for outsiders to manage short of suffocating force; it is now harder. The revolutions that were not to be, a cadre of leaders intent on leveraging the institutions of the state for their own interests, and a prevailing sense of failure and disorientation, have fueled unprecedented instability and violence. Policymakers should get used to it, because it will be the story of the Middle East for at least a generation to come."

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