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17.09.2018

"Let the Balkan Great Games begin"

https://www.politico.eu/blogs/the-coming-wars/2018/09/let-the-balkan-great-games-begin/

Der frühere portugiesische Europaminister Bruno Maçães schreibt in seiner Analyse der sicherheitspolitischen Lage in Mazedonien, dass China neben Russland eine immer wichtigere Rolle auf dem Balkan spiele. "Is this a game — a new Great Game — between Russia and the West? Not quite. There’s another player at the table. The next day I meet another of the main political figures fighting the name change. As we sit down sipping caffè freddos in the pleasant Manda Kafe, Ljupco Palevski tells me Macedonia is a battlefield between two powers. On one side, the West. On the other … China. China or Russia? I ask. 'Russia is only muscles. The mind is China, and the money is China.' (...) an agent of a European intelligence service operating in Skopje (...) told me he is less optimistic than his political masters that Macedonia will have a European future. China, although cautious and methodical, is increasing its economic influence here, while Russia has a limited goal in mind: not to stop Macedonia from joining the Western club but to make sure that it does not succeed after it becomes a member. As Skopje moves toward NATO and EU memberships, there will be plenty of opportunities to pour yet more sand into the West’s engine."

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14.09.2018

"Danish left veering right on immigration"

https://www.politico.eu/article/danish-copenhagen-left-veers-right-on-immigration-policy-integration/

In Dänemark werden die Pläne der konservativen Regierung für strengere Maßnahmen zur Integration von Einwanderern durch die sozialdemokratische Opposition ausdrücklich unterstützt, berichtet Naomi O'Leary. "A recent government proposal, to be finalized by parliament in the fall, would target the country’s so-called ghetto neighborhoods with a series of sanctions and incentives. The intention is to bring immigrant communities fully into Danish society — by force if necessary. (...) The last touches to the package are expected to be fully approved with a large parliamentary majority, including the enthusiastic support of the largest opposition party, the left-wing Danish Social Democrats. (...) 'Why should the social democratic position be we should leave people alone, and leave the right with the argument that we have to have a common cultural background?' asked Tesfaye, the son of a Danish woman and a refugee from Ethiopia, who serves as the party’s point person on the issue. 'It should be a core issue for social democratic parties to break down these parallel societies and make sure we all belong to each other.' The strategy may be paying off: Opinion polls indicate the party may lead a left-wing coalition into government next year."

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11.09.2018

"Is the Left Ready to Handle National Security?"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/09/11/left-national-security-foreign-policy-donald-trump-219
744

Van Jackson hält es für möglich, dass US-Präsident Trump bei den Wahlen 2020 von einem progressiven Herausforderer der US-Demokraten geschlagen werden könnte. Noch sei allerdings unklar, welche außen- und sicherheitspolitischen Folgen dies haben würde. Bisher deute einiges darauf hin, dass eine progressive Außenpolitik sich von einer neoliberalen kaum unterscheiden würde. "One of the problems with the left’s principled foreign policy positions is that they resemble something the left has spent a lifetime rallying against: neoliberalism. For the left, the term 'neoliberalism' has often had a pejorative association with capitalist empire; a ruling class controlling the global means of production while the rest of us take out loans for our avocado toast. Yet neoliberal foreign policy — especially as understood in the field of international relations — reflects a commitment to democracy promotion, human rights, economic interdependence, multilateralism over unilateralism, the primacy of upholding international commitments and the legitimacy of international institutions like the United Nations. In other words, a neoliberal foreign policy looks strikingly similar to what the left repeatedly advocates. It should thus be unsurprising that some neoliberals are of the political left."

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11.09.2018

"17 Years After 9/11, People Are Finally Forgetting About Terrorism"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/09/11/17-years-after-9-11-nobody-cares-about-terrorism-anymo
re-219746

Daniel Benjamin, der von 2009 bis 2012 als Terrorabwehrexperte in der Obama-Regierung tätig war, begrüßt, dass viele Amerikaner 17 Jahre nach den Anschlägen vom 11. September offenbar nicht länger auf die Bedrohung durch den Terrorismus fixiert seien. "U.S. public opinion had become a runaway train on issue of terrorism, to the detriment of our broader interests. That’s a natural consequence of a political debate on terrorism that had lost touch with reality — as when, in 2014, Senator Lindsey Graham declared on 'Fox News Sunday,' 'I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists’ ability to operate in Syria and Iraq.' (...) One important benefit of the declining obsession with terrorism is that it has allowed the biggest agency in the government, the Defense Department — which appears to have recognized U.S. over-investment in one threat area — to begin reallocating resources. (...) In light of over-the-top polarization, there is no reason to believe that our politicians won’t revert to the kind of outbidding on terrorism that had prodded the expansion of the counterterrorism machinery at the expense of so much else. And the nature of the media hasn’t changed: If anything, social media seems to be increasing the reverberation of news opinion that feeds outsize anxieties. A lot may depend on how much time there is until the next substantial attack, and, of course, what that event looks like. It’s not a test I’m looking forward to."

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04.09.2018

"The bad Germans"

https://www.politico.eu/blogs/berlin-calling/2018/09/chemnitz-germany-afd-the-bad-german/

In vielen Reaktionen auf die Unruhen in Chemnitz sei das Problem sehr schnell auf das Bundesland Sachsen eingegrenzt worden, schreibt Konstantin Richter. Die Rückkehr rechtsextremer Gewalt passe nicht ins "Drehbuch" der deutschen Vergangenheitsbewältigung und werde deshalb als ostdeutsches Problem charakterisiert. Diese regionale Aufteilung in "gute" und "böse" Deutsche sei allerdings nicht nur "dumm", sondern auch gefährlich. "The good Germans in the west, for their part, are deeply confused by the rise of right-wing violence. A relapse just wasn’t in the script. And so, they blame the easterners. They will admit grudgingly that some right-wing violence occurs in western states as well — and then add that Saxony or Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are far worse. The Federal Republic of Germany, they say, would have been better off if the country had not been reunified. That’s wishful thinking. After three decades, the lives of people in the east and west are far too interconnected to allow for such a distinction. (...) The notion of a good and a bad Germany is pretty old. It’s found in oft-made juxtapositions: Goethe and Goebbels, Heine and Hitler, Beethoven and Buchenwald. The implication is that the Germans are a special people, capable of extreme good as well as of extreme bad. That may be true. But any suggestion that a good Germany can be found in the west and a bad Germany somewhere further east is stupid. If more and more east Germans embrace the idea that they are the bad Germans, things will get much worse — and not just in Saxony."

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03.09.2018

"Germany’s Islam problem"

https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-islam-chemnitz-far-right-demonstration/

Nach Ansicht von Matthew Karnitschnig verdeutlichen die Unruhen in Chemnitz, wie sehr rechte Parteien und Bewegungen wie die AfD in Deutschland von der Flüchtlingskrise ab 2015 profitiert haben. "Germany’s political establishment, meanwhile, has taken to the airwaves, in what might best be described as ritualistic soul-searching. 'For far too long, we didn’t recognize the dimension of the problem or weren’t willing to,' Marco Wanderwitz, a state secretary in the interior ministry, said on public television. Though Wanderwitz was referring to the outbreak of right-wing violence, many in the country would argue the same is true for the government’s handling of the refugee question. (...) Amid the neo-Nazi attacks in Chemnitz, Merkel’s coalition has succeeded in steering the debate away from refugee violence to the dangers of the extreme right. For now. If the last few months are any indication, that tactic won’t work for long."

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25.08.2018

"Trump anxiety spreads through South Korea"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/25/trump-south-korea-anxiety-795715

Auch in Südkorea werde die sprunghafte Nordkorea-Strategie des US-Präsidenten mit zunehmender Besorgnis beobachtet, schreibt Cory Bennett. "The president has earned the respect of many people here for his unconventional diplomacy in meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, even among those who otherwise deride Trump as a 'merchant' who lacks the 'class' of his predecessor. But behind the surprising goodwill and relentlessly upbeat pronouncements from Seoul officials, there are creeping doubts, according to interviews this summer with current and former government advisers, a leading politician, foreign policy specialists, journalists and North Korean defectors. Among the concerns are frustration that Trump has failed to secure a formal end to the Korean War while negotiating on nuclear disarmament; worries that the president is simply seeking a 'trophy' for meeting with Kim and won’t be as engaged in the hard work to come; doubts about the 'hubris' of the White House’s all-or-nothing approach to negotiating with Pyongyang, as opposed to the incremental process favored by many South Koreans; and dismay over why Trump would launch a trade war with China at a time when he needs Beijing’s help in keeping pressure on North Korea."

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22.08.2018

"Merkel quashes foreign minister’s (anti) American Dream"

https://www.politico.eu/article/angela-merkel-quashes-german-foreign-minister-heiko-maas-anti-american-dr
eam/

Bundeskanzlerin Merkel habe sich den Überlegungen von Außenminister Maas über die künftige USA-Strategie Deutschlands recht schnell und deutlich entgegengestellt, stellt Matthew Karnitschnig fest. "Angela Merkel slapped down her foreign minister for calling on Europe to be more forceful in emancipating itself from the U.S., dismissing his initiative as an 'expression of opinion' that was not discussed with her beforehand. Merkel stressed that Europe’s security cooperation with the U.S. remains 'extremely useful.' 'For me that carries a lot of weight,' she added. The German dispute illustrates both the degree to which Trump has thrown transatlantic relations off kilter and the difficulty Europe’s leaders are having in articulating a coherent approach to Washington."

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21.08.2018

"Merkel bows to Trump demand on Nazi guard"

https://www.politico.eu/article/angela-merkel-bows-to-donald-trump-over-nazi-guard-jakiw-palij/

Die Auslieferung des heute 94-jährigen früheren SS-Mitglieds Jakiw Palij nach Deutschland sei vor allem aufgrund des Drucks durch US-Präsident Trump zustande gekommen, berichtet Matthew Karnitschnig. "Though the case received little attention in Germany over the years, it was often front page news in New York, where protestors regularly gathered in front of Palij’s home demanding he be deported. President Donald Trump, who grew up in the New York borough of Queens, where Palij has lived for nearly seven decades, instructed Richard Grenell, his ambassador to Germany, to make resolving the case a priority. 'I felt very strongly that the German government had a moral obligation and they accepted that,' Grenell said at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin on Tuesday."

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19.08.2018

"Manafort trial has Ukraine freshly nervous about Trump"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/19/trump-ukraine-manafort-trial-788028

Das Verfahren gegen den ehemaligen Wahlkampfmanager Donald Trumps, Paul Manafort, ist in der Ukraine David Stern zufolge mit einiger Besorgnis beobachtet worden. Manafort, der als Berater in der Ukraine aktiv war und dem u.a. Steuer- und Bankbetrug vorgeworfen werden, gelte in Kiew immer noch als Freund Donald Trumps. Ukrainische Ermittlungen in diesem Fall blieben deshalb unwahrscheinlich. "'The Ukrainian government will try to ignore this,' Alyona Getmanchuk, director of the Kiev-base New Europe Center, a think tank that promotes European and Western standards in Ukraine, told POLITICO. 'Manafort is a person who was close to President Trump, and for whom Trump still may hold some sympathy.' 'They fear losing Trump’s support, or to provoke an unnecessary conflict with the US administration,' she added. Still, some politicians and anti-corruption advocates believe new information disclosed in Manafort’s trial on bank and tax fraud charges should trigger new criminal action in Ukraine against officials and oligarchs who lavished Manafort with cash."

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14.08.2018

"Trump’s Iran Sanctions Are Backfiring in Iraq"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/14/trumps-iran-sanctions-are-backfiring-in-iraq-219358

Mit den neuen Sanktionen gegen den Iran habe die US-Regierung auch den Irak unter Druck gesetzt, schreibt Geneive Abdo. Zunächst habe die Regierung in Bagdad angedeutet, den amerikanischen Vorgaben zu folgen, nun mehrten sich die Forderungen nach einer Ausnahmeregelung. "The reason: Iraq, which shares a 1,458-kilometer border with Iran, could be badly hurt by the sanctions. Iraq relies on its eastern neighbor for everything from gas supplies to electricity to water and foodstuffs. Not only is Iraq in a no-win position, but it is the United States, which still maintains some 5,200 troops in Iraq, that put it there: The country’s dependence on Iranian trade and public services is largely due to the U.S. invasion in 2003. (...) If (...) Iraq violates sanctions and is hit by U.S. penalties, it is likely to place the country further into Iran’s sphere of influence — exactly what President Donald Trump’s administration says the United States wants to combat in the broader Middle East, where Iran is becoming increasingly powerful."

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17.07.2018

"Germany gains upper hand in European split over Trump trade strategy"

https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-gains-upper-hand-in-european-split-over-trump-trade-strategy/

Im Streit um die europäische Strategie im Handelskonflikt mit den USA habe Deutschland, das den USA im Gegensatz zu Frankreich Zugeständnisse anbieten wolle, die Oberhand gewonnen, berichten Hans von der Burchard und Jakob Hanke. "Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans. The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his 'foe.' Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S. president, the diplomats say that the European Commission’s powerful Secretary-General Martin Selmayr supports the German attempt at rapprochement, which makes it more likely that Juncker will offer some kind of trade fix next week."

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16.07.2018

"Putin’s Attack on the U.S. Is Our Pearl Harbor"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/16/putin-russia-trump-2016-pearl-harbor-219015

Nach Ansicht von Mark Hertling, früherer Oberbefehlshaber der US-Landstreitkräfte in Europa, und Molly K. McKew, frühere Beraterin des georgischen Präsidenten Saakaschwili, kann es keine Zweifel mehr daran geben, dass Russland die US-Wahlen 2016 "gehackt" habe. Es handle sich um einen mit dem Angriff auf Pearl Harbour und 9/11 vergleichbaren "Kriegsakt", der von den USA entsprechend beantwortet werden müsse. "In 2016, our country was targeted by an attack that had different operational objectives and a different overarching strategy, but its aim was every bit as much to devastate the American homeland as Pearl Harbor or 9/11. The destruction may not send pillars of smoke into the sky or come with an 11-digit price tag, and there’s no body count or casualty statistics — but the damage done has ravaged our institutions and shaken our belief in our immovability. But two years on, we still haven’t put any boats or men in the proverbial water. (...) For now, our civilian leadership is shrugging this off, even acquiescing, which leaves every individual to defend themselves against the assault of information levied by a foreign attacker. This should not be the way we defend our people and our homeland. This is our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11. In the past, we have risen to the defense of our values, our ideologies and our institutions. It’s time for another fight. The ball — as Putin said — is in our court."

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16.07.2018

"Bullied by Trump, here’s how Europe can punch back"

https://www.politico.eu/article/donald-trumop-europe-hour-has-come/

Paul Taylor empfiehlt den Europäern, sich auf sechs weitere Jahre Trump einzustellen und deshalb aktiv zu demonstrieren, dass das "multilaterale Leben" im internationalen Handel, in Klimafragen oder bei der Durchsetzung internationaler Normen wenn nötig auch ohne die USA weitergehe. "Overall, Europe can make multilateralism work better where its tools are strongest — but it is not yet living up to its own ambitions. The biggest obstacle to assuming more responsibility for the multilateral system is the EU’s own debilitating internal divisions. Beggar-thy-neighbor squabbles over cross-border migrant flows, east-west differences over the rule of law and an open society, efforts by northern countries to rein in Franco-German leadership, and perennial interinstitutional squabbles in Brussels all sap Europe’s international ambitions. (...) Europe would be wise to plan on doing more for itself and with like-minded partners in case the darkness in Washington gets worse and lasts longer than we all hope."

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15.07.2018

"Rand Paul on Russian election meddling: 'We all do it'"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/15/rand-paul-election-meddling-russia-722205

Nach Ansicht von US-Senator Rand Paul sollte in der Debatte über die mutmaßliche russische Beeinflussung der amerikanischen Wahlen nicht vergessen werden, dass die USA in anderen Ländern ähnliche Praktiken verfolgen. "'I think really we mistake our response if we think it's about accountability from the Russians. They’re another country; they're going to spy on us,' the Kentucky Republican said on CNN's 'State of the Union,' a day before President Donald Trump's scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. 'We’re going to do the same,' Paul added. (...) Paul maintained that such cyber-intrusions into other countries' elections were common on the world stage, suggesting the United States — while not 'morally equivalent' to Russia — provoked the Kremlin's stealth attacks. 'We all do it. What we need to do is make sure our electoral process is protected,' Paul said. 'They’re not going to admit it in the same way we’re not going to admit we were involved in the Ukrainian elections or the Russian elections.'"

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11.07.2018

"'They will die in Tallinn': Estonia girds for war with Russia"

https://www.politico.eu/article/estonia-rusia-nato-defense-they-will-die-in-tallinn-estonia-grids-for-war
/

In Estland sei man auf einen Krieg gegen Russland vorbereitet, schreibt Molly K. McKew in ihrer Reportage aus dem Vorfeld des NATO-Gipfels in Brüssel. "The idea that Estonia — whose entire population isn’t much bigger than Russia’s standing army, and which has little on its own in the way of air power and armor — could withstand a Russian assault might seem like a silly discussion from the far side of the Atlantic. But Estonia has resources that are as much in demand in the alliance as TOW missiles and tanks: will and a mobilized population. In a country of just over 1.3 million, fully 60,000 are trained and serve in the military or reserves. The importance of this human element cannot be dismissed: Estonians still have vivid memories of the price of occupation, and this perspective sharpens strategic planning in unexpected ways. This is in no small part why U.S. Special Forces have committed new resources to the Baltics, including Estonia: to learn from local experience, and to challenge America’s thinking about Russia and what the U.S. can do to build a new kind of deterrence against hybrid threats."

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02.07.2018

"Behind the secret U.S. war in Africa"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/02/secret-war-africa-pentagon-664005

US-Spezialeinheiten spielen bei Einsätzen afrikanischer Truppen gegen mutmaßliche Terroristen Wesley Morgan zufolge eine größere Rolle, als bisher vom Pentagon eingestanden wurde. "In repeated public statements, military spokespeople have said the American role in Africa is limited to 'advising and assisting' other militaries. But for at least five years, Green Berets, Navy SEALs and other commandos operating under a little-understood authority have planned and controlled certain missions, putting them in charge of their African partner forces. Under both the Obama and Trump administrations, the military has relied on partners in other countries to carry out crucial missions against suspected terrorists, to avoid American casualties after years of massive direct involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. But having Americans plan and retain operational control of the missions gives them greater ability to strike quickly against threats, according to supporters of the programs, even as it shields the true nature of the missions from critics in the United States and abroad."

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27.06.2018

"What Reality Winner’s sentence means"

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-cybersecurity/2018/06/27/what-reality-winners-sentence-means
-265748

Die Whistleblowerin Reality Winner ist nach ihrem Geständnis, vertrauliche NSA-Dokumente weitergeleitet zu haben, zu fünf Jahren Haft verurteilt worden. Tim Starks berichtet, dass das Urteil von Edward Snowden und anderen als beunruhigendes Signal bewertet wird. "A judge still needs to affirm the deal. Coupled with the recent charges brought against a long-time Senate Intelligence Committee aide, where prosecutors somehow accessed encrypted apps, some viewed Winner’s case as foreboding. 'The war on whistleblowers continues under a new White House: the first journalistic source prosecuted under Trump, Reality Winner, was denied a defense, jailed over 5 years,' tweeted Edward Snowden, who knows a few things about leaking classified information. 'Her ‘crime’? Showing us @NSAGov suspected Russia of hacking an election vendor.'"

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26.06.2018

"Why these 7 countries are listed on Trump's travel ban"

https://www.politico.com/interactives/2018/trump-travel-ban-supreme-court-decision-countries-map/

Josh Gerstein und Jeremy C.F. Lin erklären nach der Entscheidung des Obersten Gerichtshofs der USA, warum die US-Regierung Bürgern aus momentan sieben Ländern die Einreise untersagt. "The latest iteration of the ban includes restrictions against five majority-Muslim nations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. North Korea and Venezuela are also on the list. Three other majority-Muslim nations, including Chad, Iraq and Sudan have been removed since policy was implemented through executive order in January 2017. The administration has cited poor cooperation with U.S. officials, terrorist activity and technical hurdles to properly document their own travelers as reasons for the latest iteration of the ban. While the text of the order does not mention religion, critics say the policy reflects anti-Muslim prejudice — with North Korea and Venezuela added as window dressing."

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25.06.2018

"He does not understand what the role of an ambassador should be"

https://www.politico.eu/article/he-does-not-understand-what-the-role-of-an-ambassador-should-be/

In ihrem Bericht aus Berlin beschäftigt sich Emily Schultheis mit der Kontroverse, die der neue US-Botschafter Ric Grenell vor wenigen Wochen ausgelöst hat. "In German, the word for ambassador is Botschafter, which, translated literally into English, means 'messenger.' The word says a lot about the way Germans view the role — and about why Grenell’s arrival has been what more than one person described to me as a 'wake-up call' to Germany’s political world. An ambassador’s primary function is to serve as a go-between, German politicians and diplomats say — to explain and relay messages between the two countries. Grenell, however, clearly views his role as a much more active one. Multiple sources from across Germany’s political, diplomatic and policy corps who have met him or been present for his meetings with high-level German officials say Grenell has made it clear he doesn’t want to be a messenger. Instead, these sources say, he sees himself as a 'player' who has a role in influencing policy decisions — and a portfolio extending beyond just Germany to Europe more broadly."

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16.06.2018

"Trump’s next target: NATO"

https://www.politico.eu/article/will-donald-trump-wreck-nato-summit-too-g7/

Der im Juli geplante NATO-Gipfel könnte sich nach dem jüngsten G7-Treffen als zweite Runde des "transatlantischen Käfigkampfes" herausstellen, schreibt Paul Taylor. "(...) the cast of characters in Brussels is mostly the same as it was in Canada, and the bad blood from La Malbaie will still be fresh. Trump’s erratic behavior — and his obsession with linking trade flows and defense outlays — shows that no amount of ground-laying can protect the alliance from self-inflicted damage by the American leader. (...) NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, whose job is to prevent the transatlantic elastic from snapping, is urging allies to focus on the 'three Cs' —  cash, capabilities and commitments — to show how they contribute to the common defense beyond the headline goal of 2 percent of gross domestic product. But Trump only seems to care about the first C, and he’s mad as hell, especially at affluent Germany."

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12.06.2018

"'What the hell?' Trump-Kim lovefest ignores human rights nightmare"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/12/trump-north-korea-human-rights-642336

Nahal Toosi berichtet, dass US-Präsident Trump von vielen Kritikern vorgeworfen wird, die Menschenrechtssituation in Nordkorea auf dem Gipfeltreffen in Singapur völlig ignoriert zu haben. "Trump’s public turnabout on Kim and his regime’s atrocious human rights record was among the most dizzying developments of the past 48 hours, which saw the two leaders meet in Singapore for an unprecedented nuclear summit. It dismayed lawmakers, human rights activists and others who — while supportive of diplomacy — fear that Trump went overboard in his flattery of Kim to the point of normalizing his rule. 'Kim’s gulags, public executions, planned starvation, are legitimized on the world stage,' Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut raged on Twitter. 'What the hell?' 'Talking to dictators is one thing; embracing them is another,' former Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement, denouncing 'the horrendous human rights abuses North Korea’s leaders perpetrate against their own people.'"

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04.06.2018

"Congress looks to horn in on Trump’s North Korea deal"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/04/democrats-north-korea-agenda-621819

US-Senatoren beider Parteien bestehen vor dem Gipfeltreffen Donald Trumps mit Kim Jong-un auf einem Mitspracherecht. "Democrats drew their own lines early, rolling out a set of tough demands for any prospective nuclear pact. But Republicans also indicated that they would want to vet any deal with Pyongyang — if the talks get that far. What both sides of the aisle can agree on is that lawmakers should — and will — weigh in as the president edges closer toward a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (...) Republicans continue to offer support to the president, but many remain leery of assuming that a workable agreement is achievable before the June 12 summit takes place. Meanwhile, Democrats are eager to hold Trump to rigorous standards weeks after he pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and rattled U.S. allies. The disparate tones of the two parties illustrate the political risks for Trump's party as well as his opponents, even as it remains unclear exactly how much say Congress will have on the matter."

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03.06.2018

"Surreal Trump-Kim summit defies diplomatic playbook"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/03/trump-kim-north-korea-summit-diplomacy-618649

Das geplante Gipfeltreffen zwischen Donald Trump und Kim Jong-un widerspreche bereits jetzt allen bisherigen diplomatischen Gepflogenheiten, stellt Nahal Toosi fest. Üblicherweise gebe es Protokolle, die bei derartigen Treffen beachtet werden, tatsächlich erscheine in Singapur aber alles möglich. "With the entire world watching, even the smallest interactions will be studied for deeper meaning and signs of psychological advantage. This could be especially unnerving for Kim, according to North Korea experts. (...) Presidential summits are usually the last step in a negotiation process after months, even years, of talks among lower-level aides. Trump and Kim have turned that process upside down, and it’s anyone’s guess what the next step will be. Analysts do not expect the face-to-face Trump-Kim meeting to last too long — perhaps a few hours, including ceremonial photo-ops — and the sense is that both sides are really only prepared to talk about broad outlines of a nuclear agreement. While the details are still being hashed out, the meeting will likely include both leaders as well as their top aides, and, of course, translators. If there is a separate one-on-one session between Trump and Kim (as well as translators) it will likely be brief, Korea experts say."

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27.05.2018

"Poland offers US up to $2B for permanent military base"

https://www.politico.eu/article/nato-poland-offers-us-up-to-2-billion-for-permanent-american-military-bas
e/

Polen will die USA einem Bericht zufolge mit einem Angebot von zwei Milliarden US-Dollar davon überzeugen, einen festen Militärstützpunkt auf polnischem Boden zu errichten. Edyta Żemła und Kamil Turecki schreiben, dass die Initiative Warschaus von europäischen Partnern wie Deutschland und Italien mit Skepsis aufgenommen werden dürfte. "The Polish offer reflects a long-standing desire in Warsaw to build closer security relations with the U.S. and put American boots on the ground. The push dates back to Poland’s entry into NATO in 1999, but has taken on added urgency in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region four years ago and aggressive posture toward the alliance. Coming just over a month before NATO leaders gather in Brussels for a summit, the Polish initiative is bound to anger Russia, and will be looked at with skepticism by European allies that want to improve relations with Moscow, such as Italy and at times Germany."

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24.05.2018

"'He is not taking this guy’s s —': Why Trump pulled out of the Kim meeting"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/24/trump-north-korea-kim-jong-un-strategy-607976

Für Eliana Johnson und Michael Crowley steht Donald Trumps Absage des Gipfeltreffens mit Kim Jong Un im Zeichen einer außenpolitischen Strategie, die auf Härte setzt und an die Prinzipien seines Buches "The Art of the Deal" anknüpft. "Trump’s foreign policy has been guided by his desire to look tough. Earlier this month, Trump delivered on his longtime vows to scrap the Iran nuclear deal, insisting that he could impose stricter terms on Tehran. 'I never get too attached to one deal or one approach,' Trump wrote in his 1987 bestseller, 'The Art of the Deal'. (...) The looming question is to what extent the summit’s cancellation means a reversion to the saber-rattling, on the president’s part, that prevailed before meaningful communication between the two countries began."

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15.05.2018

"Haspel secures enough Senate support for confirmation as CIA director"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/15/gina-haspel-cia-director-nominee-support-589038

Eine Bestätigung der neuen CIA-Direktorin Gina Haspel durch den Geheimdienstausschuss des US-Senats ist Elana Schor zufolge nur noch Formsache. Haspel habe sich vom früheren Folterprogramm der CIA distanziert und damit die Unterstützung demokratischer Senatoren gewonnen. "Gina Haspel on Tuesday locked in the necessary support to become President Donald Trump's next CIA director, winning over three crucial Democratic senators as she disavowed the spy agency’s past use of brutal interrogation tactics. Minutes after Haspel secured the backing of the Senate intelligence committee’s top Democrat, Mark Warner of Virginia, she received an endorsement from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who faces a difficult reelection in November. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), also battling to keep his seat this fall, followed soon afterward in announcing his support. The one-two-three punch of Democratic buy-in effectively ensures Haspel’s confirmation as soon as Thursday despite a handful of still-undecided senators in both parties — not to mention a vocal push to defeat her by liberal and civil rights activists."

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14.05.2018

"Get Ready for Trump 2.0"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/05/14/donald-trump-foreign-policy-20-218366

Nach der Aufkündigung des Atomabkommens mit dem Iran gesteht Philip Gordon ein, mit seiner früheren Prognose einer moderaten Außenpolitik von US-Präsident Trump falsch gelegen zu haben. Trump habe nach einem Jahr offenbar alle Vorsicht fahren lassen und könnte künftig noch entfesselter auftreten. "For most of 2017, the thesis that Trump would not be as radical as many hoped or feared held up remarkably well. (...) What a difference a few months make. The new Trump is breaking free of his self-imposed shackles and now forging ahead with the sort of bold and controversial moves from which he had previously shied away. (...) What explains Trump’s apparent new course, and where did my earlier analysis go wrong? First, it remains glaringly true that on many issues Trump has no fixed views, and his capacity to contradict previous statements without apparent embarrassment remains unparalleled. But it also turns out that on certain issues he is consistent and passionate. These include a profound aversion to free trade and immigration, resentment of the need for compromise with allies, and an appreciation for authoritarian strongmen. The new Trump seems increasingly to pursue policies that reflect those core instincts, regardless of the consequences of doing so."

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27.04.2018

"A desperate Merkel gets Trumped"

https://www.politico.eu/article/a-desperate-merkel-gets-trumped/

Bundeskanzlerin Merkel habe bei ihrem Besuch in Washington bemerkenswert wenig erreicht, stellt Matthew Karnitschnig fest. Dies treffe allerdings auch auf Frankreichs Präsident Macron zu. "Taken together, the European leaders’ meetings with Trump suggested that on issues of substance, the transatlantic relationship remains as troubled as ever. (...) Merkel’s meeting with Trump, her second trip to the White House since he took office, put the transatlantic power dynamic in stark relief. The German leader was clearly on the defensive, insisting repeatedly that Germany was committed to fulfilling its obligations within NATO, despite falling well short of the alliance’s spending targets. (...) After Trump’s election, some commentators described Merkel as the last beacon of the liberal Western order. At the press conference, however, the German leader sounded almost desperate to get on his good side. (...) After the speaking to the press for about 20 minutes, Trump ended the news conference abruptly. 'Great job, thank you,' he said to Merkel, as he ushered her away from the microphones."

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25.04.2018

"Iran deal may survive an initial blow from Trump"

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/25/trump-iran-deadline-550844

Am 12. Mai muss Trump entscheiden, ob die Sanktionen gegen Iran ausgesetzt bleiben. Einige US-Experten glauben Nahal Toosi zufolge, dass das Atomabkommen mit Iran den Stichtag zumindest vorerst überleben könnte. "(...) some experts say the deal can survive even if Trump sits back and allows the sanctions that must be reviewed by May 12 to take effect once more. The potentially more important deadline, they say, arrives around July 11, when Trump must decide whether to reimpose a substantially larger batch of sanctions. Even then, the deal could hobble forward in a diminished format. But the sanctions that expire this summer are more likely to provoke an extreme reaction from Tehran — including a possible resumption of nuclear activities — than those coming up next month, some analysts said. The deal is 'unlikely to completely blow up [May 12], since neither side wants that or to be blamed,' said Philip Gordon, a former senior foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama. 'But still it can only take so many blows before it will die a death by a thousand cuts.'"

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