US-Soldaten in Afghanistan



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"Trump’s new EU foil: Another ‘strong female German leader’"

Mit der neuen EU-Kommissionspräsidentin Ursula von der Leyen werde sich US-Präsident Trump einer weiteren "starken weiblichen deutschen Führungspersönlichkeit" gegenübersehen, meint Nahal Toosi. Einige Experten erwarten allerdings, dass von der Leyen sich mit Trump gut verstehen wird: "Von der Leyen has many fans in the defense establishment on both sides of the Atlantic, some of whom say she was always frank about what could be accomplished. Several noted that von der Leyen has lived in the U.S. before and is fluent in English — one of several languages she speaks — which has helped her navigate Washington. 'She’s pragmatic, she’s realistic, she’s a hard worker and she’s tough,' said Rachel Ellehuus, who served as a top aide to former Trump administration Defense Secretary James Mattis. 'She never over-promised and under-delivered.' A NATO official, singing similar praises, also downplayed concerns about von der Leyen’s ability to deal with Trump, saying her 'panache' will win him over. (...) Von der Leyen’s defenders note that the next top EU leader does have some nuanced positions that might align her with Trump in key areas. For instance, even as she is open to more internal European defense cooperation, she has pushed back on the French call for an 'EU army,' a concept Trump loathes. She has also said greater European defense cooperation should not compete with NATO — a nod to the ongoing American role in supporting European defense. (...) Von der Leyen has also sounded tough notes on China, which Trump would appreciate, but also on Russia, a loaded subject for Trump."

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"How Fake News Could Lead to Real War"

Daniel Benjamin und Steven Simon, die beide für frühere US-Regierungen als Antiterror-Experten tätig waren, weisen auf die möglichen Konsequenzen von Falschmeldungen in internationalen Konflikten hin. Die "Fake-News-Epidemie" könne nicht nur Kriege auslösen, sondern auch notwendige Reaktionen auf tatsächliche Vorfälle gefährlich verzögern. "Sure, fake news has been a feature of international relations for a long time, but it’s different now: Advancing technology that can fabricate convincing images and videos combined with the chronic, exuberant dishonesty of the commander in chief and his minions have meant that no one can feel confident in assessing life-or-death choices in foreign policy crisis. (...) The scope for manipulation is enormous. One can easily imagine the havoc caused by falsified video that depicts foreign Iranian officials collaborating with terrorists to target the U.S. Or by something as simple as invented news reports about Iranian or North Korean military plans for preemptive strikes on any number of targets. (...) The strategic order is in serious danger as well. Trump’s deliberate, programmatic subversion of the public trust in national security institutions, especially the intelligence community, has undermined confidence in the accessibility of truth itself and has crucial implications for our security. The more our leaders in the White House and Congress dedicate themselves to dismantling this trust, the more we will be hostage to technologies that no one knows how to control."

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"How Trump’s 'weaponized' use of foreign aid is backfiring"

In der Venezuela-Krise habe die US-Regierung die humanitäre Unterstützung der Bevölkerung durch US-Hilfsorganisationen gezielt eingesetzt, um den Druck auf die Regierung in Caracas zu erhöhen, schreibt Nahal Toosi. Einige Hilfsorganisationen hätten nun darum gebeten, die vorgeschriebene US-Markierung ihrer Lieferungen zu entfernen. "President Donald Trump has so closely linked U.S. humanitarian assistance to his attempt to oust Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro — even placing goods along the country’s border as an incentive for Venezuelans to revolt — that some groups are citing security concerns and asking U.S. officials if they can strip legally required U.S. branding from aid sent to Venezuela, three aid officials told POLITICO. Some organizations are looking at other options, such as seeing if the U.S. funding can be masked by routing it through the United Nations, or at ways to diversify their funding sources so that they can use more non-American aid to help Venezuelans, various aid experts said. The situation reflects broader fears that Trump’s unusually politicized approach to handing out U.S. aid worldwide is backfiring, tarnishing America’s brand and possibly risking the lives of people from Latin America to the Palestinian territories."

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"Russia beating U.S. in race for global influence, Pentagon study says"


Einer neuen Pentagon-Studie zufolge ist Russland derzeit dabei, die USA im "Wettrennen" um globalen Einfluss zu schlagen. "The U.S. is ill-equipped to counter the increasingly brazen political warfare Russia is waging to undermine democracies, the Pentagon and independent strategists warn in a detailed assessment that happens to echo much bipartisan criticism of President Donald Trump's approach to Moscow. The more than 150-page white paper, prepared for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and shared with POLITICO, says the U.S. is still underestimating the scope of Russia's aggression, which includes the use of propaganda and disinformation to sway public opinion across Europe, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. The study also points to the dangers of a growing alignment between Russia and China, which share a fear of the United States' international alliances and an affinity for 'authoritarian stability.'"

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"AI experts call to curb mass surveillance"

Ein hochrangiges Expertengremium der EU hat vor dem Einsatz neuer KI-Technologien zur Massenüberwachung gewarnt und eine strenge Regulierung entsprechender Anwendungen gefordert. "An expert panel is set to present to the bloc’s leaders a list of 33 recommendations on how to move forward on AI governance Wednesday, including a stark warning against the use of AI to control and monitor citizens. In a 48-page final draft of the document, obtained by POLITICO, the experts urge policymakers to define “red lines” for high-risk AI applications — such as systems to mass monitor individuals or rank them according to their behavior — and discuss outlawing some controversial technology. 'Ban AI-enabled mass-scale scoring of individuals,' the expert group demands, adding that there needs to be 'very clear and strict rules for surveillance for national security purposes and other purposes claimed to be in the public or national interest.'"

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"The Real Reason Iran Has Been Provoking Trump"

Ray Takeyh vom Council on Foreign Relations ist davon überzeugt, dass der Iran grundsätzlich an neuen Verhandlungen mit den USA interessiert sei. Teheran wolle allerdings nicht aus einer Position der Schwäche verhandeln. "Before negotiating with the United States, Iran needs a narrative of success. And the events of the past few days, in which the Trump administration threatened and then backed off a military confrontation, have finally provided Tehran with a justification to enter talks with, in Iran’s telling, a chastened Washington. (...) It’s clear to me that the talks between United States and Iran are coming. And the challenge for the Trump administration is to hold fast to the Pompeo parameters. Ultimately, the legacy of Trump’s Iran policy will be whether the administration can sustain its hawkish policy and move forward with successful negotiations or whether it will join its predecessor in abandoning its own sensible red lines for sake of an agreement at any cost."

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"The EU’s big Balkan botch-up"

Entgegen ursprünglicher Zusagen der EU werden Nord-Mazedonien und Albanien vorerst kein Angebot für den Beginn der Beitrittsverhandlungen bekommen. Andrew Gray und Jacopo Barigazzi führen dies auf eine grundsätzliche französische Skepsis und die bisher fehlende Zustimmung des deutschen Bundestages zurück. "Paris is the leading skeptic when it comes to enlarging the EU while Berlin can't make a decision because the German parliament has yet to take a view. The failure to reach agreement on inviting the two countries to begin talks has infuriated some other EU members and European Commission officials. They argue that delaying a decision undermines the bloc's credibility, puts the pro-EU governments of both countries in peril and risks boosting strategic rivals in the region such as Russia, China and Turkey. Opponents of starting talks cite the western Balkans' deep-seated problems with corruption, organized crime and poverty and its recent history of conflict. Some officials also say that populist parties in Western Europe would seize on any move to bring the two Balkan countries closer to the bloc to whip up anti-EU feeling."

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"Germany’s military maneuvers"

In der Bundesregierung gibt es John Vinocur zufolge die ernsthafte Erwägung, sich den USA und Frankreich anzuschließen und ein Kriegsschiff in die Meerenge zwischen China und Taiwan zu schicken, um sich dortigen chinesischen Gebietsansprüchen entgegenzustellen. "If Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government actually goes ahead, it will be a remarkable revision of its we-keep-out-of-conflict reflexes. Germany will be openly backing its allies in a strategy certain to be found provocative by the country’s enforcers of non-combatant passivity. (...) A German official informed me of the Taiwan Strait plan last month. Last week, a second German official, at my request, confirmed its discussion by the defense ministry. No firm decision was expected before the end of the summer. (...) Why would Germany get involved? Some elements in Merkel’s government see a double opportunity, given Berlin’s lousy relations with U.S. President Donald Trump and wide disrespect elsewhere for its hide-under-the-bed routine. (...) launching a naval in-your-face operation off the coast of Taiwan would constitute a groundbreaking but unfamiliar act of valor. Admirably, there are German officials who want to combat the notion that the country is an irresponsible and non-committal ally. More power to them. The place to do that is the international waters of the Taiwan Strait. Now, the German navy needs to get that far."

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"Even some Trump allies want Kushner to ice his peace plan"

Der seit langem erwartete Nahost-Friedensplan von Donald Trumps Schwiegersohn Jared Kushner stoße mittlerweile auch bei Trump-Verbündeten auf zunehmende Skepsis, berichtet Nahal Toosi. "Prominent conservative and pro-Israel voices close to the White House are increasingly sharing their fears, which range from the possibility that the peace proposal could trigger violence to worries that its offerings could forever kill efforts to craft a two-state solution. Many hoped the plan would get shelved even before the latest political turmoil in Israel prompted the scheduling of new elections in the fall. Now, some are going on the record to urge the Trump administration to set aside the plan indefinitely, even though few people have seen the closely held proposal. (...) Among the most prominent Middle East observers urging Kushner to kill the proposal is Rob Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank that views the U.S.-Israel relationship as a strategic asset to American interests in the Middle East. In op-eds, Satloff, who describes himself as a nonpartisan independent, has warned of a negative chain reaction that could follow the plan’s release. For instance, if Palestinians reject the plan, Israelis on the right could pressure their government to go ahead and annex parts of the West Bank. Such a move, he said, would further isolate Israel on the world stage and effectively weaken its ability to counter Iran."

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"Assange won’t face charges over role in devastating CIA leak"

Das US-Justizministerium will offenbar darauf verzichten, WikiLeaks-Gründer Julian Assange auch wegen der Veröffentlichung einer geheimen CIA-Spionagesoftware anzuklagen. "It’s a move that has surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to aggressively go after the WikiLeaks founder on more controversial Espionage Act charges that some legal experts said would not hold up in court. The decision also means that Assange will not face punishment for publishing one of the CIA’s most potent arsenals of digital code used to hack devices, dubbed Vault 7. The leak — one of the most devastating in CIA history — not only essentially rendered those tools useless for the CIA, it gave foreign spies and rogue hackers access to them. (...) 'There is no question that there are leak cases that can’t be prosecuted against the leaker or the leakee because the information is so sensitive that, for your proof at trial, you would have to confirm it is authentic,' said Mary McCord, who was acting assistant attorney general for national security at the Justice Department until 2017. 'So the irony, often, is that the higher the classification of the leaked material, the harder it is to prosecute.'"

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"Pompeo is dead to Berlin"

US-Außenminister Pompeos kurzfristige Absage seines Deutschland-Besuchs sei in Berlin offiziell mit Gleichmut und hinter den Kulissen mit Wut aufgenommen worden, schreibt Matthew Karnitschnig. Die deutsche Politik lege hohen Wert auf diplomatische Rituale und fühle sich durch Pompeos Absage missachtet. "The more troubled Germany's relationship with another country becomes, the more it clings to the rituals of international diplomacy. In the German view, dialogue, no matter how devoid of substance, is preferable to silence. Consider Merkel's continued engagement with Vladimir Putin in the wake of Russia's incursions into Ukraine. The German leader spoke to him dozens of times after Russia's annexation of Crimea. While her efforts failed to convince Putin to change course, her home audience gave her an A for effort. So even if Pompeo's visit promised to yield little beyond a photo-op and some polite small talk, the Germans expected him to go through the motions. Never mind that Pompeo made it clear the he plans to reschedule the Berlin trip and visit in the near future, the secretary's no-show was nothing short of an affront. So just how mad are they? 'The German-American relationship is in tatters,' the Süddeutsche concluded."

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"Pompeo aims to counter China’s ambitions in the Arctic"

Die US-Regierung habe die Arktis als nächste Front im geopolitischen Wettbewerb mit Russland und China ausgemacht, berichtet Blake Hounshell. US-Außenminister Pompeo habe China in einer Rede in Helsinki vorgeworfen, mit seinen Gebietsansprüchen in der Region neue Konflikte heraufzubeschwören. "Pompeo’s address, which comes ahead of meetings with officials from the seven other countries with Arctic territory, will take aim at America’s two main strategic rivals, Russia and China. Pompeo will put special emphasis on Chinese behavior, suggesting that Beijing is using the region as the latest venue for its territorial aggression. 'Do we want the Arctic Ocean to transform into a new South China Sea, fraught with militarization and competing territorial claims?' Pompeo will ask. (...) China (...) has styled itself a 'near-Arctic' country — a self-appellation U.S. officials find absurd: One senior State Department official called it 'a made-up, fantasy definition' worthy of George Orwell; another rattled off the precise distance between Beijing and the Arctic Circle (1,844 miles). In the past few years, China has invested in Iceland; built scientific research centers in Norway; and sought to build airports, snap up mines and buy naval facilities in Greenland — all part of Beijing’s strategy to develop a 'Polar Silk Road' to crack open shipping routes made newly accessible by climate change."

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"6 takeaways from Ukraine’s presidential vote"

Aus den ukrainischen Präsidentschaftswahlen können nach Ansicht von David Stern sechs Schlussfolgerungen gezogen werden: "1. Language differences matter less and less (...) The electoral map shows green representing support for Zelenskiy — a Russian speaker — stretching across regional and linguistic boundaries. While some voters in the east may have voted for Zelenskiy because he’s a Russian speaker, what seems clear is that for a large number of Ukrainians, there are now more important matters to unite them. 2. Moscow’s claims of rampant anti-Semitism and fascism debunked (...) while the far right is a fringe movement, it wields influence far beyond its numbers. Ukraine’s media and public intellectuals also often appear afraid to admit that the ultra-nationalists even exist, for fear of this being used for Russian propaganda. At the very least, Zelenskiy’s victory demonstrates that a Jewish background today presents no barrier to the country’s highest office. And this is no small thing. 3. Ukrainians want a Superman — but can easily turn against him (...) 4. Being pro-Russian won't win elections. Before the 2014 revolution, candidates who advocated closer ties to Moscow were an electoral force to be reckoned with. Those days are past, and may be gone forever. (...) 5. Parliamentary election will be rough, (...) 6. Things are about to get even more interesting. To sum it up, Ukraine has elected a 41-year-old comedian with no political experience whose concrete policy positions are still largely unknown. (...) Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely waiting for the first opportunity to test his new counterpart. Fasten your seatbelts."

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"How Europe learned to fear China"

Lange Zeit habe die EU den globalen Aufstieg Chinas überwiegend gleichgültig verfolgt, schreibt Bruno Maçães. Seit einiger Zeit werde Peking in Brüssel allerdings als "systemischer Rivale" betrachtet und gefürchtet. "Overnight, it seems, their world changed. So, why did the tide turn? And how did we get here? First, there was the story of the solar panels. European producers once enjoyed a clear first-mover advantage, and yet the industry has been all but wiped out in Europe. Look at the list of the world’s 10 largest solar-panel manufacturers. In 2001, five were European. In 2018, eight were Chinese; the other two were Canadian and South Korean. Then there was Kuka, the crown jewel of German robotics, which was taken over by Chinese home-appliance maker Midea in 2016. What happened next has become part of a now recognizable pattern: Once a firm is acquired by a Chinese company, its European suppliers are abandoned for Chinese value chains. The latest threat comes from China’s commercial aviation industry. U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing estimates that over the next two decades China will need 7,690 new planes, valued at $1.2 trillion. (...) Recently I had lunch with a British diplomat in Beijing. As I described what a Chinese-led world order might look like, he sat back in his chair and commented with a wry smile: 'Looks like the British empire to me.' (...) As in the famous play by Pirandello, European nations can be seen as a series of characters in search of an author. That search may be over. In China, they have found the external force that can bring them together."

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"For NATO, China is the new Russia"


In NATO-Kreisen bereite man sich bereits jetzt darauf vor, dass China Russland in den kommenden Jahrzehnten als größten Widersacher des Westens ablösen wird, schreibt Matthew Karnitschnig. "What role NATO, with its geographic limitations, should play in the West’s effort to protect against China isn’t clear. Nonetheless, there’s a growing conviction among security officials on both sides of the Atlantic that at a time of increased tension in the alliance over burden-sharing, China policy is an area of common interest between the U.S. and its European partners. (...) For all the talk about Moscow’s meddling in elections and incursions into its neighbors’ territory, there’s a growing consensus in the alliance that despite its considerable nuclear arsenal, Russia can be managed. Europe’s NATO members dwarf Russia in terms of military spending and economic might. Russia’s energy-dependent economy is stagnating and is smaller than Canada’s, for example. If Europe were to focus on Russia, it would free the U.S. to concentrate more on Asia (where European NATO allies have virtually no presence), a division of labor that would likely make NATO an easier sell in Washington in the long run."

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"Mike Pompeo Is Not Making Diplomacy Great Again"

Aaron David Miller und Richard Sokolsky ziehen ein kritisches Zwischenfazit der Amtszeit von US-Außenminister Pompeo. "Unlike Tillerson, who was all but invisible, Pompeo has raised the public profile of U.S. diplomacy, even if he has not, as he promised, restored the 'swagger' of a State Department where morale is still low and many senior appointments and positions have yet to be filled. Also unlike Tillerson, Pompeo is at the helm on some important issues, from Iran to North Korea. But his unrealistic approach to these problems — hard line and ideological — hasn’t brought them any closer to resolution. In contrast with his predecessor, he hasn’t managed to alienate his boss and has emerged as a cautious and savvy Trump whisperer. The problem is that what he’s whispering neither advances American interests and values nor the nation’s foreign policy."

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"Trump’s Bad Deal with the Taliban"

Thomas Joscelyn und Bill Roggio kritisieren die laufenden Verhandlungen des US-Sondergesandten für Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, mit den Taliban. Die US-Regierung sei offenbar bereit, alle im Laufe des Militäreinsatzes erreichten Fortschritte aufs Spiel zu setzen. "Everyone knows that President Donald Trump wants out of Afghanistan, and the Afghans know that the State Department’s dealings with the Taliban will not deliver 'peace.' Instead, Khalilzad’s talks have further empowered the same jihadists America has been fighting for nearly two decades. (...) The State Department long maintained that the talks must be 'Afghan-led' and 'Afghan-owned,' but nobody seems to have told Khalilzad. He caved to the Taliban’s demand for unilateral negotiations with the U.S. early on, holding extensive two-party talks without any preconditions. Incredibly, though the Afghan government has never been invited to the negotiating table, Khalilzad has already announced that a 'draft' agreement is in place. (...) While Afghan officials like Mohib have their own reasons to distrust Khalilzad, Americans should also be concerned. The U.S. military would have you believe that the Taliban was driven, through force, to the negotiating table. That’s not true. The Taliban contests or controls more than half of Afghanistan’s territory. (...) there is no reason to think the Taliban wants to hold al-Qaida’s global agenda in check. And this is where Khalilzad’s credulity becomes especially problematic. He has already declared the Taliban to be a de facto counterterrorism partner. This is an absurd proposition."

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"Cheney grills Pence on Trump's foreign policy"

Der frühere US-Vizepräsident Dick Cheney hat seinem aktuellen Amtsnachfolger Mike Pence in einem Gespräch vorgeworfen, dass die Außenpolitik Donald Trumps zu sehr der Barack Obamas gleiche. "Cheney pressed Pence about Trump’s proclivity for making major policy announcements on Twitter and his off-and-on commitment to NATO, according to four meeting attendees and a source briefed on their remarks. The former vice president, who has kept a low public profile in recent years, questioned whether Trump places enough value on the findings of the intelligence community, which he has repeatedly and publicly dismissed. He suggested that Trump foreign policy has at times looked more like President Barack Obama’s — which Cheney has repeatedly lambasted — than that of a Republican standard-bearer. (...) The civil but tense standoff put a spotlight on enduring fissures in the Republican Party over its foreign policy. Trump has rejected the interventionism and democracy-promotion espoused by George W. Bush, who talked during his second term of 'ending tyranny in our time.' But while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have dampened Republican support for the sort of pro-democracy hawkishness embraced by Cheney, many Republicans still believe Trump has gone too far in undermining America’s traditional alliances worldwide."

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"Eastern Europe’s problem isn’t Russia"

Die politische Stabilität in osteuropäischen Ländern wie Georgien und Moldawien wird heute weniger von Russland, sondern vor allem von schlechter Regierungsführung und dem verbreiteten informellen Machtmissbrauch bedroht, schreibt Thomas de Waal von Carnegie Europe. "These days, the biggest issue in Georgia isn’t threats from Moscow; it’s the political foul play that risks jeopardizing its biggest infrastructure project in years: a deep-water port at Anaklia on the Black Sea coast. (...) Problems of corruption and cronyism are writ even larger in Moldova and Ukraine. Moldova in particular looks like a 'captured state' where business and politics are fused together and large parts of the state are required to serve the needs of powerful individuals, rather than the national interest. Both countries face elections this spring in which there will be an unedifying choice of candidates with dubious track records. Countering instances of Russian aggression, especially in Ukraine, is still important. But that is only half the story in these countries. As long as these deep-rooted domestic problems are allowed to persist, other saboteurs of their sovereignty will find an open back door."

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"A transatlantic (atomic) blast from the past"

Die Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz habe den Europäern keine neuen Erkenntnisse über die Pläne der USA nach dem Ende des INF-Vertrags verschafft, berichtet Matthew Karnitschnig. Eine Stationierung neuer amerikanischer Mittelstreckenraketen in Europa halten viele Experten allerdings für unwahrscheinlich. "Security analysts say the real reason Donald Trump pulled out of the treaty was over concern that China, which is not bound by the INF, could deploy precisely the type of weapons Washington was banned from producing. Most observers are skeptical that the administration has any plans to send such weapons, which the U.S. has yet to even make, to Europe. Such deliberations would only antagonize the Russians and worry the Europeans, said Sam Nunn, a former U.S. senator who worked closely on nuclear disarmament policy in the 1980s and 1990s. 'Where would you deploy them?' he asked. 'It’s a lose-lose situation.' Nunn was part of a group that came to Munich to urge leaders to try to preserve and modernize the INF. But given the unpredictability of the Trump administration’s foreign policy and the Continent’s deep distrust of the U.S. president, reaching transatlantic consensus on a new approach won’t be easy."

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"Munich Security Conference: Live blog"

Politico hat die diesjährige Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz mit einem Live-Blog begleitet. "World leaders, ministers, diplomats, military officers and policy experts are attending the annual Munich Security Conference, the premier global powwow on foreign, defense and security policy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg are among those taking part in the conference in the southern German city. Follow POLITICO's live blog for the latest news and analysis from the conference, which runs from Friday to Sunday."

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Germany’s soldiers of misfortune

Matthew Karnitschnig weist in deutlichen Worten auf den vielen Berichten zufolge beklagenswerten Ausrüstungszustand der Bundeswehr hin. "Once one of the fiercest (and most brutal) fighting forces on earth, today’s German army increasingly looks more like a volunteer fire department — last month, mountain troops were dispatched to shovel snow from roofs in Bavaria — than a modern military machine. On a recent trip to Lithuania, where about 450 German soldiers are stationed as part of a NATO mission to deter Russian aggression, U.S. officials were dismayed to discover Bundeswehr personnel communicating on unsecure mobile phones due to a shortage of secure radio equipment. Fewer than 20 percent of Germany’s 68 Tiger combat helicopters and fewer than 30 percent of its 136 Eurofighter jets could fly in late 2018. Pilots, frustrated that they can’t fly, are quitting. 'No matter where you look, there’s dysfunction,' a high-ranking German officer stationed at Bundeswehr headquarters in Berlin said."

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"John Bolton Is Living His Dream"

Elise Labott mit einem ausführlichen Porträt von John Bolton, dem Nationalen Sicherheitsberater von Präsident Trump. "President Trump’s national security adviser has been portrayed as a dangerous bully on the world stage. But now, he finds himself in an unusual role: adult in the room."

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"The un-diplomat"

Der US-Botschafter in Berlin, Ric Grenell, hat in seiner bisherigen Dienstzeit für einige Kontroversen gesorgt. Matthew Karnitschnig zufolge kann Grenell allerdings auch handfeste Resultate vorweisen. "Eight months after exploding on to the scene in Berlin, tweets blazing, Grenell remains as controversial as ever. He has cajoled, prodded and antagonized Berlin’s political establishment over everything from Germany’s tepid military spending to its commercial ties with Iran, prompting howls of consternation from the country’s strait-laced political establishment over the future of the transatlantic relationship. What’s more surprising is that Grenell, 52, has proved to be something else: a success. Love him, hate him or hate him more, there’s no denying Grenell has made his voice heard, becoming in the process the highest profile American ambassador in Europe and arguably the world. The man whom critics dismiss as 'the little Trump' may not have captured many hearts and minds in Germany but more often than not, he has succeeded in winning the argument. Across a range of issues — from opening the German market to American LNG (liquified natural gas) to taking custody of a suspected Nazi war criminal, to pulling the landing rights of an Iranian airline — Berlin, after much resistance, has succumbed to Washington’s (read Grenell’s) will."

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"The Only Impeachment Guide You’ll Ever Need"

Mit der Übernahme des Repräsentantenhauses durch die Demokraten ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit eines Amtsenthebungsverfahrens gegen Präsident Trump gestiegen. Politico hat in diesem Übersichtsbeitrag wichtige Informationen über das Verfahren zusammengestellt. "As talk of the I-word heats up, here’s POLITICO Magazine’s soup-to-nuts answers to all your questions about the politics — and the practical realities — of removing a president."

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"Trump reverses course, tells Pentagon to boost budget request to $750 billion"

US-Präsident Trump hat noch vor kurzem eine grundsätzliche Kürzung des Verteidigungshaushalts in Erwägung gezogen. Nun habe Trump dem Pentagon allerdings empfohlen, dem Kongress ein deutlich erhöhtes Budget vorzuschlagen, berichtet Wesley Morgan. "President Donald Trump has told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to submit a $750 billion budget proposal for fiscal 2020, in a reversal from his pledge to trim defense spending, two people familiar with the budget negotiations have told POLITICO. (...) That would dwarf the $733 billion budget proposal Mattis and other top military leaders have been fighting to preserve and would represent a stunning about-face for a president who recently called the fiscal 2019 top line of $716 billion for defense spending 'crazy.'"

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"Europe hasn’t won the war on terror"

Trotz mancher Erfolge im Kampf gegen dschihadistische Terrorgruppen in Europa sollte nach Ansicht von Petter Nesser vom Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) nicht davon ausgegangen werden, dass das Schlimmste vorüber sei. "(...) jihadist attacks in Europe are down just over 60 percent since their peak last year, suggesting Europe has fought back against the onslaught of attacks inspired by Islamic State. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It’s a common mistake to measure the terrorist threat by the number of attacks carried out. To understand the scale and nature of the threat we must not only study successful attacks — but also look at the plots foiled by counterterrorism efforts. (...) while toughened European counterterrorism efforts may have weakened the capabilities of these radicalized networks, we are not yet in the clear. A main trigger for jihadist attacks in Europe are military interventions, especially the invasion of Iraq in 2003. As such, the demise of the Islamic State at the hands of the anti-ISIS coalition will surely motivate further retaliation. And if the most active parts of Europe’s jihadist networks have taken a hit, at least temporarily, as a result of stepped-up anti-terror efforts, it’s possible we’ll see new and even stronger networks emerge."

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"How Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder Shook the World"

Saudi-Arabien habe völlig unterschätzt, dass der Tod eines Journalisten möglicherweise weitreichende geopolitische Konsequenzen haben könnte, schreibt Frida Ghitis. "Amazingly, the Khashoggi case remains in the headlines a full three weeks after the Saudi columnist walked into his country’s consulate in Istanbul and disappeared. Efforts by the president of the United States and the government of Saudi Arabia to quiet the global obsession with Khashoggi’s fate are failing spectacularly. Why is that? Why, in an era when shocking news stories gush out firehose-style, relentlessly pushing the previous ones aside, is this one proving impossible to wash away? The overriding explanation is that Khashoggi’s killing contains the essence of all the fears that surround us in this era of political uncertainty: It’s the era of Donald Trump; of rising authoritarianism; of increasingly amoral, transactional politics; of leaders who lie without hesitation or remorse. In short, Khashoggi’s gruesome ending looks like the dramatized, personalized version of our fears: evidence of the collapse of the liberal world order."

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"Republicans and Democrats find common foe: Saudi crown prince"

Der Khashoggi-Skandal hat im US-Kongress zu einer mittlerweile seltenen Einigkeit zwischen Demokraten und Republikanern geführt. Patrick Temple-West berichtet, dass auf der Grundlage des Magnitski-Gesetzes bald Sanktionen gegen Saudi-Arabien beschlossen werden könnten. "'We’ve invoked the Magnitsky Act, which says within 120 days from when we did it a week ago, a full investigation has to take place and sanctions should be put place for anybody who’s had anything to do with it,' [Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)] said. (...) Speaking on NBC’s 'Meet the Press,' Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said 'the crown prince has his fingerprints all over this' and added that he thinks the kingdom should 'pay a price for it.' He suggested the Saudi ambassador to the United States be expelled. Minutes later, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said on NBC: 'I agree with everything Dick Durbin just said.' He added: 'In Saudi Arabia, you do not do something of this magnitude without having clearance from the top. We need to find out who that is and hold them accountable.'"

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"Mueller report PSA: Prepare for disappointment"

Die Hoffnung vieler Trump-Kritiker, dass dem US-Präsidenten durch den Abschlussbericht von Sonderermittler Robert Mueller skandalöse Russlandverbindungen nachgewiesen werden können, wird Darren Samuelsohn zufolge wohl enttäuscht werden. "That’s the word POLITICO got from defense lawyers working on the Russia probe and more than 15 former government officials with investigation experience spanning Watergate to the 2016 election case. The public, they say, shouldn’t expect a comprehensive and presidency-wrecking account of Kremlin meddling and alleged obstruction of justice by Trump — not to mention an explanation of the myriad subplots that have bedeviled lawmakers, journalists and amateur Mueller sleuths. Perhaps most unsatisfying: Mueller’s findings may never even see the light of day."

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

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

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Zahlen und Fakten


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