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18.03.2015

"Israel's shield no more?"

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/israels-america-united-116203.html?hp=t2_r

Israel Premierminister Netanjahu hat im Wahlkampf seine grundsätzliche Ablehnung eines palästinensischen Staates verkündet. Michael Crowley berichtet, dass das Weiße Haus nun Überlegungen über eine veränderte Strategie in den Friedensverhandlungen anstelle. "Angered by Netanyahu’s hardline platform towards the Palestinians, top Obama officials would not rule out the possibility of a change in American posture at the United Nations, where the U.S. has historically fended off resolutions hostile to Israel. And despite signals from Israel suggesting that Netanyahu might walk back his rejection, late in the campaign, of a Palestinian state under his watch, Obama officials say they are taking him at his word. 'The positions taken by the prime minister in the last days of the campaign have raised very significant substantive questions that go far beyond just optics,' said a senior administration official, adding that recent Israeli government actions were in keeping with Netanyahu’s rhetoric."

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09.03.2015

"Iran letter could backfire, GOP dissenters say"

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/iran-letter-could-backfire-gop-dissenters-say-115922.html?hp=t4_r

47 republikanische US-Senatoren haben einen offenen Brief an den Iran unterzeichnet, in dem sie ankündigen, dass Zusagen von US-Präsident Obama in den Atomverhandlungen nicht von Dauer sein werden. Nicht alle Republikaner unterstützen diesen kontroversen Schritt, einige fürchten Politico zufolge, dass die Demokraten sich einer Blockade des Abkommens im Senat geschlossen verweigern könnten. "With Republicans needing significant Democratic support to achieve their goal of derailing the talks — or at least altering the emerging deal — some senators said Cotton’s effort could backfire by injecting excessive partisanship into the debate over how best to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. (...) Meanwhile some Democrats warned that Republicans risked alienating some of the dozen or so Democrats who have pledged support for two GOP measures that could blow up the fragile talks."

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15.12.2014

"How the Torture Could Start Again"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/12/torture-report-cia-113582.html#.VJFftHtlq9P

Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr. weist darauf hin, dass der US-Senat in seinem Bericht zur CIA-Folter die Verantwortung des Geheimdienstes hervorgehoben habe. Verantwortliche Politiker seien dagegen weitgehend unbehelligt geblieben. "(...) by stopping there, by making the story narrowly about how torture didn’t work in these instances rather than that torture doesn’t work at all and, more fundamentally, that it should never be used by any White House because it is immoral and illegal – as well as harmful to America’s reputation and the safety of American captives – there is greater risk a future administration faced with peril will say: 'Well, we can do it better.' And along with increasing the chance of a future White House sliding back to torture, placing blame almost exclusively on the CIA is neither accurate nor fair."

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20.11.2014

"The Age of the Lone Wolf Intifada"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/the-age-of-the-lone-wolf-intifada-113067.html#.VHGtEclATGp

Angesichts der fehlenden Einigkeit der palästinensischen Führung und der allgemeinen "Erschöpfung" weiter Teile der Bevölkerung glaubt Gregg Carlstrom nicht an den Ausbruch einer organisierten Intifada. Die letzten Wochen hätten gezeigt, dass gewaltsame Aktionen gegen Israelis vor allem durch palästinensische Einzeltäter zu erwarten seien. "Palestinians are, by their own admission, divided and exhausted, bereft of any credible leaders. Protests in East Jerusalem and the West Bank draw dozens of frustrated youth, not thousands as in years past. Israeli security officials say the recent attacks do not seem to have been directed by any formal organization. Instead they are individuals, 'lone wolves,' angry about a range of issues: religious tensions on the Temple Mount (or as the Palestinians call it, Haram al-Sharif), Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, the war in Gaza, deadly shootings in the West Bank. As long as the fundamental issues are unresolved, Israelis will face a drawn-out intifada mounted by angry young Palestinian men who often come out of nowhere."

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07.10.2014

"Why ISIL Beheads Its Victims"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/why-isil-beheads-its-victims-111684.html?hp=pm_2#.VDY9tVew
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Die Terrorismus-Experten Robert Pape, Michael Rowley und Sarah Morell sind sicher, dass der Islamische Staat mit seinen öffentlichkeitswirksamen Geiselhinrichtungen vor allem das Ziel der Rekrutierung neuer Anhänger verfolge. "So why the beheadings? In a word, publicity: They increase the group’s profile as the biggest challenger to the supposed greatest enemy of Islam. This allows ISIL to draw from a significantly larger pool of recruits, many with strong anti-American sentiment, which ISIL desperately needs to fight local battles as the group tries to carve out a de facto state. Yes, the beheadings are meant to challenge and intimidate the Western public, but that is only a secondary benefit for ISIL, whose focus remains on defeating enemies in immediate proximity."

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10.09.2014

"To Defeat the Islamic State, Follow the Money"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/09/to-defeat-isil-follow-the-money-110825.html#.VBFR3KNa_tE

Howard J. Shatz empfiehlt, beim Kampf gegen den Islamischen Staat die finanziellen Ressourcen der Terrorgruppe nicht aus den Augen zu verlieren. "The most important thing for U.S. policymakers to remember is that ISIL now possesses the financial means to support a long-term fight — some $2 billion, according to a recent report in the Guardian, citing a British intelligence official. At the same time, ISIL’s preferred fundraising methods and many financial commitments create vulnerabilities. The organization was badly damaged by late 2009, thanks to a combination of coalition and Iraqi forces, as well as intervention by the Iraqi government, and it can be badly damaged again. But without the establishment of a widely accepted, legitimate political order in Iraq, ISIL cannot be eradicated — and will continue to seek out and mete out cash."

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22.07.2014

"Israel Provoked This War"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/07/israel-provoked-this-war-109229.html?ml=m_t2_2h#.U9DHwkAsn
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Der strategische Hintergrund und eigentliche Auslöser des aktuellen Gaza-Kriegs war das israelische Ziel der Verhinderung einer palästinensischen Einheitsregierung, ist Henry Siegman, Präsident des U.S./Middle East Project, überzeugt. US-Präsident Obama müsse die israelische Regierung überzeugen, von ihrem aktuellen Kurs abzuweichen. "I’m sure the president’s political advisers are telling him that a congressional election year is not the time to take on the Israel lobby. They are wrong, not only because it is always election time in the United States, but because successive polls have established that American Jews vote constantly and overwhelmingly Democratic for a wide variety of domestic and international reasons, but support for Netanyahu’s policies is not one of them. And if the president wishes to convince Israelis and Palestinians that Israeli-Palestinian peace is a cause worth taking risks for, should he not be willing to take some domestic political risks as well?"

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18.06.2014

"Obama’s Dangerous New Terror War"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/obamas-dangerous-new-terror-war-108005.html#.U6fnfUBAfCE

Die Entwicklung im Irak müsse als erster großer Rückschlag für die neue Antiterror-Strategie des US-Präsidenten angesehen werden, meinen Sarah Chayes und Frederic Wehrey. "The spectacle of Iraqi troops stripping off their uniforms and ditching U.S. materiel worth millions of dollars in their headlong flight out of Mosul, leaving much of Iraq’s north and east in the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, casts doubt on a main tenet of U.S. security strategy: its heavy focus on host-nation militaries, irrespective of the governments they serve. Yet the latest formulation of U.S. counterterrorism strategy, outlined by President Barack Obama at West Point late last month, is built around that very tenet. It is time to take stock of the hard lessons from America’s inglorious history of dealing with local proxies and revise the approach."

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02.05.2014

"Snooping reports' pileup problem"

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/surveillance-reform-privacy-nsa-106264.html

Josh Gerstein schreibt, dass es in den USA mittlerweile eine ganze Reihe von Studien und Empfehlungen für eine Korrektur der Überwachungspolitik der US-Regierung gebe. Der maßgebliche politische Prozess zu tatsächlichen Gesetzesänderungen sei allerdings nach wie vor nicht in Gang gekommen. "'Reports will not be enough,' warned Chris Calabrese of the American Civil Liberties Union. 'I don’t think people are going to accept reports when we’re talking about what are obvious violations of people’s privacy... The administration needs to take concrete action to reform America’s privacy laws.' Some in the technology industry expressed fears that the two reports the White House issued Friday amounted to a kind of rope-a-dope designed to divert public attention from objectionable NSA surveillance by raising concerns about the practices of private businesses. 'Although I welcome the government’s review of this important policy area, it would be a grave error if it is used to attempt to distract attention away from the need for major reform of government surveillance practices that nobody gets to opt out of,' said Ed Black of the Consumer & Communications Industry Association."

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28.04.2014

"It's Not All Russia's Fault"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/04/a-tangled-web-in-eastern-ukraine-106110.html?ml=m_t3_2h#.U
2IKQKJ9kt2

Die vorherrschenden westlichen Erklärungsmuster vermittelten ein falsches Bild von den komplexen Ursachen der aktuellen Krise in der Ostukraine, schreibt Balazs Jarabik von der Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The dominant Western narrative is all too familiar: It’s good guys vs. bad guys. (...) Unfortunately, the real story is much more complicated, and it has as much to do with the murky nature of Ukrainian politics as it does with Russia’s blatant meddling. On one level, the clashes in eastern Ukraine are just the latest battle between the country’s powerful and fractious oligarchs, for whom business interests — not the fate of Ukraine — are always priority number one. (...) From the outside, the Kyiv government is usually depicted as a band of selfless reformers. In fact, the differences in how it is perceived across the country are vast, with 78 percent of western Ukrainians but only 16 percent of easterners registering their approval in one recent poll."

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21.03.2014

"How the Russia Sanctions Could Backfire"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/03/russia-sanctions-could-backfire-104905.html#.Uy_0As7LIt2

Die westlichen Sanktionen gegen Russland könnten Präsident Putin ungewollt in die Hände spielen, erläutert Oliver Bullough. Putin könnte seine innenpolitische Machtposition deutlich stärken, sollten die russischen Oligarchen gezwungen werden, ihr Vermögen wieder in Russland anzulegen. "Last year, $63 billion left Russia. Thanks to the post-Crimea political turbulence, financial analysts predict that 2014’s total will be double that. This not only impoverishes Russia, it also complicates Putin’s task of bringing everything in the country within his reach — hence, his desire to de-offshore-ize it. 'The oligarchs become much more beholden to him if their money is effectively under his control. They go from being independently wealthy to 'dependently wealthy,'' Bill Browder, who was a huge portfolio investor in Russia in Putin’s early years, but who was barred from entering the country in 2006, told me. 'Going forward Putin wants them to depend on him to maintain their wealth and not have it taken away.'"

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02.03.2014

"Why Russia No Longer Fears the West"

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/03/russia-vladimir-putin-the-west-104134.html#.UxRDbM7EGXO

Ben Judah glaubt dagegen, dass die rege Beteiligung europäischer Geschäftsleute an den oft genug illegalen Finanzgeschäften russischer Milliardäre von Präsident Putin als Zeichen westlicher Schwäche gesehen werde. Die Verwundbarkeit der russischen Einlagen in Europa sei für Putin deshalb nur theoretischer Natur. "Behind European corruption, Russia sees American weakness. The Kremlin does not believe European countries – with the exception of Germany – are truly independent of the United States. (...) Moscow is not nervous. Russia’s elites have exposed themselves in a gigantic manner – everything they hold dear is now locked up in European properties and bank accounts. Theoretically, this makes them vulnerable. The EU could, with a sudden rush of money-laundering investigations and visa bans, cut them off from their wealth. But, time and time again, they have watched European governments balk at passing anything remotely similar to the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which bars a handful of criminal-officials from entering the United States. All this has made Putin confident, very confident – confident that European elites are more concerned about making money than standing up to him."

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06.02.2014

"Tech’s biggest players hire first NSA lobbyist"

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/techs-biggest-players-hire-first-nsa-lobbyist-103214.html

Führende US-Internetunternehmen wollen sich künftig mit Hilfe eigener Lobbyisten in Washington für neue Überwachungsgesetze einsetzen, berichtet Tony Romm. "The new hire — tasked to represent a coalition that also includes AOL, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo — is a big political move for an industry that initially had tried to avoid the debate over the National Security Agency. Tech companies recently have become more engaged, however, as they discover they have serious business interests at stake."

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29.01.2014

"Chris Coons: 'Not the time' for Iran bill"

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/chris-coons-iran-sanctions-bill-102821.html?hp=l18_b1

Ein Beschluss neuer Sanktionen gegen den Iran im US-Senat sei nach der Kehrtwende von drei demokratischen Senatoren unwahrscheinlicher geworden, berichtet Lucy McCalmont. Senator Chris Coons, der zu den Initiatoren des Gesetzentwurfes gehörte, habe sich gegen eine Abstimmung zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt ausgesprochen. "Coons said that he still supports the bill, adding it should be held and kept as a possible future action, but for now, does not support moving it forward. He praised the administration for achieving 'real progress' on the issue and urged lawmakers to see how diplomatic efforts play out. 'We need to give this window, this moment of opportunity for peace a chance,' the senator said."

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12.01.2014

"Hey General, It's Me, Chuck. Again."

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/chuck-hagel-al-sissi-egypt-102068.html#.UtZOYft0mRl

Welchen Einfluss hat die US-Regierung auf das ägyptische Militär? Shadi Hamid schreibt, dass US-Verteidigungsminister Chuck Hagel regelmäßigen Kontakt zu General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, dem faktischen Staatschef Ägyptens, pflege. Eine positive Wirkung dieser Gespräche sei in der Politik der ägyptischen Militärregierung allerdings kaum zu erkennen. "There is little to suggest that Hagel’s exhortations have had even a minimal effect on Sissi and the Egyptian government’s conduct. (...) the Sissi regime has taken Egypt’s already considerable anti-Americanism and amplified it (...). While the government has aggressively clamped down on the most mild, even imagined, dissent—take, for instance, the investigation into a muppet accused of sending coded messages to terrorists — state-owned newspapers have not been above headlines calling the United States the 'American Satan.'"

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