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"The Pompeo Doctrine - How to Seize the Arctic’s Resources, Now Accessible Due to Climate Change (Just Don’t Mention Those Words!)"


Die kontroversen Überlegungen der US-Regierung zum Erwerb Grönlands sind Michael T. Klare zufolge Teil der "Pompeo-Doktrin", einer vom US-Außenminister vorangetriebenen Strategie zur Ausbeutung der neu zugänglichen Ressourcen in der Arktis. "Under the prodding of Mike Pompeo, the White House increasingly views the Arctic as a key arena for future great-power competition, with the ultimate prize being an extraordinary trove of valuable resources, including oil, natural gas, uranium, zinc, iron ore, gold, diamonds, and rare earth minerals. Add in one more factor: though no one in the administration is likely to mention the forbidden term 'climate change' or 'climate crisis,' they all understand perfectly well that global warming is what’s making such a resource scramble possible. (...) Perhaps no aspect of humanity’s response to the climate crisis is more diabolical than this. The greater the number of fossil fuels we consume, the more rapidly we alter the Arctic, inviting the further extraction of just such fuels and their contribution to global warming. With other regions increasingly less able to sustain a fossil-fuel extraction economy, a continued addiction to oil will ensure the desolation of the once-pristine Far North as it is transformed into a Pompeo-style arena for burning conflict and civilizational disaster."

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"The American Cult of Bombing and Endless War"


William J. Astore schreibt, dass die USA Teile der Welt im Namen des Antiterrorkampfes mit einem Schirm permanenter Überwachung und immer neuer Luftangriffe überdeckt hätten. In Washington sei ein "Kult des Bombenangriffs" entstanden, der an die irreführende Metrik des "Bodycounts" während des Vietnam-Kriegs erinnere. "Using data supplied by the U.S. military, the Council on Foreign Relations estimated that the U.S. dropped at least 26,172 bombs in seven countries in 2016, the bulk of them in Iraq and Syria. Against Raqqa alone, ISIS’s 'capital,' the U.S. and its allies dropped more than 20,000 bombs in 2017, reducing that provincial Syrian city to literal rubble. Combined with artillery fire, the bombing of Raqqa killed more than 1,600 civilians, according to Amnesty International. (...) This country’s propensity for believing that its ability to rain hellfire from the sky provides a winning methodology for its wars has proven to be a fantasy of our age. Whether in Korea in the early 1950s, Vietnam in the 1960s, or more recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, the U.S. may control the air, but that dominance simply hasn’t led to ultimate success. (...) War’s inherent nature -- its unpredictability, horrors, and tendency to outlast its original causes and goals -- isn’t changed when the bombs and missiles are guided by GPS. Washington’s enemies in its war on terror, moreover, have learned to adapt to air power in a grimly Darwinian fashion and have the advantage of fighting on their own turf."

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"The Navy’s War vs. Bolton’s War"


Im Gegensatz zu den "Falken" im Weißen Haus bereite sich das US-Militär nicht auf einen Krieg gegen den Iran, sondern auf eine Konfrontation mit China und Russland vor, schreibt Michael T. Klare. "Hawks in the White House, led by National Security Advisor John Bolton, see a war aimed at eliminating Iran’s clerical leadership as a potentially big win for Washington. Many top officials in the U.S. military, however, see the matter quite differently -- as potentially a giant step backward into exactly the kind of low-tech ground war they’ve been unsuccessfully enmeshed in across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa for years and would prefer to leave behind. (...) After years of slogging it out with guerrillas and jihadists across the Greater Middle East, the U.S. military is increasingly keen on preparing to combat 'peer' competitors China and Russia, countries that pose what’s called a 'multi-domain' challenge to the United States. This new outlook is only bolstered by a belief that America’s never-ending war on terror has severely depleted its military, something obvious to both Chinese and Russian leaders who have taken advantage of Washington’s extended preoccupation with counterterrorism to modernize their forces and equip them with advanced weaponry. For the United States to remain a paramount power -- so Pentagon thinking now goes -- it must turn away from counterterrorism and focus instead on developing the wherewithal to decisively defeat its great-power rivals."

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"'Alexa, Launch Our Nukes!' - Artificial Intelligence and the Future of War"


Michael T. Klare entwirft ein Zukunftsszenario, in dem die militärische Entscheidungsfindung aufgrund der zunehmenden Komplexität der neuen "Hyper-Kriege" immer stärker vom Einsatz Künstlicher Intelligenz geprägt wird. "As the Pentagon and the military commands of the other great powers look to the future, what they see is a highly contested battlefield -- some have called it a 'hyperwar' environment -- where vast swarms of AI-guided robotic weapons will fight each other at speeds far exceeding the ability of human commanders to follow the course of a battle. At such a time, it is thought, commanders might increasingly be forced to rely on ever more intelligent machines to make decisions on what weaponry to employ when and where. At first, this may not extend to nuclear weapons, but as the speed of battle increases and the 'firebreak' between them and conventional weaponry shrinks, it may prove impossible to prevent the creeping automatization of even nuclear-launch decision-making. (...) The question then arises: Would machines make better decisions than humans in such a situation? They certainly are capable of processing vast amounts of information over brief periods of time and weighing the pros and cons of alternative actions in a thoroughly unemotional manner. But machines also make military mistakes and, above all, they lack the ability to reflect on a situation and conclude: Stop this madness. No battle advantage is worth global human annihilation."

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"After Trump"


Unabhängig von der Zukunft der Präsidentschaft Donald Trumps zieht Andrew J. Bacevich bereits jetzt das Fazit einer "bizarren Episode" der amerikanischen Geschichte und stellt nüchtern fest: "Let me state my own view bluntly: forget the atmospherics. Despite the lies, insults, name calling, and dog whistles, almost nothing of substance has changed. Nor will it. To a far greater extent than Trump’s perpetually hyperventilating critics are willing to acknowledge, the United States remains on a trajectory that does not differ appreciably from what it was prior to POTUS #45 taking office. Post-Trump America, just now beginning to come into view, is shaping up to look remarkably like pre-Trump America. (...) Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps -- or someone worse -- to come."

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"Beijing’s Bid for Global Power in the Age of Trump"


Alfred W. McCoy zufolge verfolgen sowohl US-Präsident Trump als auch Chinas Präsident Xi Jinping sehr persönliche Visionen einer neuen globalen Ordnung. Während Trump dabei sei, die bestehende internationale Ordnung unter dem Vorzeichen des amerikanischen Nationalismus zu demontieren, strebe Xi eine wirtschaftliche Integration Asiens mit Europa und Afrika unter chinesischer Führung an. Trotzdem bleibe fraglich, ob China die USA tatsächlich als globalen Hegemon ablösen könne. "If Donald Trump’s vision of world disorder is a sign of the American future and if Beijing’s projected $2 trillion in infrastructure investments, history’s largest by far, succeed in unifying the commerce and transport of Asia, Africa, and Europe, then perhaps the currents of financial power and global leadership will indeed transcend all barriers and flow inexorably toward Beijing, as if by natural law. But if that bold initiative ultimately fails, then for the first time in five centuries the world may face an imperial transition without a clear successor as global hegemon. Moreover, it will do so on a planet where the 'new normal' of climate change (...) could mean that the very idea of a global hegemon is fast becoming a thing of the past."

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"The Legacy of Infinite War"


Nick Turse zieht ein ernüchterndes Zwischenfazit des "Ewigen Krieges" der USA, der nach den Anschlägen vom 11. September 2001 als "Krieg gegen den Terror" begann und kein Ende zu nehmen scheint. "The idea of Washington being engaged in a 'generational war' was front and center earlier this year when Army General Austin 'Scott' Miller, a career special operations soldier, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. (...) At Miller’s confirmation hearing in June, Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton raised an uncomfortable question that even a cursory examination of the general’s biography should provoke. 'Did you imagine in 2001 that you would be deploying... to Afghanistan in 2018?' he asked. Miller replied that he had not, adding, 'Senator, I actually recall conversations of people who were out over Christmas in 2001 talking about they were doing this so their kids did not have to.' That response led Cotton to call attention to a soldier seated just behind Miller: a young Army 2nd Lieutenant with the 82nd Airborne Division who just happened to be the general’s son, Austin Miller."

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"The Ultimate Blowback Universe"


Tom Engelhardt erinnert an die Veröffentlichung des Buches "Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire" von Chalmers Johnson im Jahr 2000. Die Analyse der "nicht enden wollenden Blowback-Maschine" in Washington durch den mittlerweile verstorbenen Johnson habe sich seitdem immer wieder bestätigt. Dies könnte auch auf die Engelhardt zufolge schlimmste Form des Blowbacks zutreffen, den Klimawandel: "In a sense, the two leading forms of blowback of the twenty-first century -- the imperial and fossil-fuelized ones -- came to be focused in a single figure. After all, it’s hard to imagine the rise to power of Donald Trump in a world in which the Bush administration had decided not to invade either Afghanistan or Iraq but to treat its 'Global War on Terror' as a localized set of police actions against one international criminal and his scattered group of followers. As it happened, one form of blowback from the disastrous wars that were meant to create the basis for a Pax Americana planet helped to produce the conditions and fears at home that put Donald Trump in the White House. Or put another way, in the face of the evidence produced by essentially every knowledgeable scientist on Earth, on a planet already feeling the early and increasingly extreme results of a warming atmosphere, millions of Americans elected a man who claimed it was all a 'hoax'".

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"The Strategy of Maximal Extraction"


US-Präsident Trump verfolge mit seiner Energiepolitik aus historischer Sicht fast schon traditionelle machtpolitische Ziele, stellt Michael T. Klare fest. Er warnt, dass der weitgehende Verzicht auf umweltpolitische Einschränkungen bei der geplanten Ausbeutung fossiler Energieressourcen zu einer Umweltverschmutzung wie in den 1950er Jahren und zu einer verheerenden Beschleunigung der globalen Erwärmung führen könnte. "From the onset of his presidency, Donald Trump has made it clear that cheap and abundant domestic energy derived from fossil fuels was going to be the crucial factor in his total-mobilization approach to global engagement. In his view and that of his advisers, it’s the essential element in ensuring national economic vitality, military strength, and geopolitical clout, whatever damage it might cause to American life, the global environment, or even the future of human life on this planet. (...) In energy terms, what does dominant mean in practice? For President Trump and his cohorts, it means above all the 'unleashing' of the country’s energy abundance by eliminating every imaginable regulatory impediment to the exploitation of domestic reserves of fossil fuels. After all, America possesses some of the largest reservoirs of oil, coal, and natural gas on the planet and, by applying every technological marvel at its disposal, can maximally extract those reserves to enhance national power."

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"How We Got Donald Trump (And How We Might Have Avoided Him)"


Der Wahlsieg Donald Trumps vor über einem Jahr ist nach Ansicht von Andrew J. Bacevich die Folge einer Reihe von politischen Richtungsentscheidungen in Washington seit dem Ende des Kalten Krieges. "It’s time to look in the mirror, folks. Blaming Trump for being Trump simply won’t do. Like Lenin or Franco or Perón or dozens of other demagogues, Trump merely seized the opportunity that presented itself. Our president is a product and beneficiary of several decades worth of vainglory, cynicism, epic folly, political cowardice, missed opportunities, and a public not given to paying attention. In present-day Washington, no one can deny that the chickens have come home to roost. The biggest fowl of them all has taken up residence in the White House and, in a very real sense, we all put him there."

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"Mapping a World From Hell"


Eine neue Karte des "Costs of War Project" vom Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs zeigt, dass heute 76 Länder und damit 39% der Welt in den amerikanischen "Krieg gegen den Terror" involviert seien. Tom Engelhardt stellt die Arbeit des Projekts in diesem Beitrag als wichtige Verdeutlichung der heutigen "Ära des permanenten Krieges" vor. "The Costs of War Project has produced not just a map of the war on terror, 2015-2017 (released at TomDispatch with this article), but the first map of its kind ever. It offers an astounding vision of Washington’s counterterror wars across the globe: their spread, the deployment of U.S. forces, the expanding missions to train foreign counterterror forces, the American bases that make them possible, the drone and other air strikes that are essential to them, and the U.S. combat troops helping to fight them. (Terror groups have, of course, morphed and expanded riotously as part and parcel of the same process.) A glance at the map tells you that the war on terror, an increasingly complex set of intertwined conflicts, is now a remarkably global phenomenon."

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"UnFounding Father"


Tom Engelhardt charakterisiert den politischen Aufstieg von US-Präsident Donald Trump als Folge einer fundamentalen Veränderung der Medienlandschaft, einer jahrzehntelangen neoliberalen Wirtschafts- und Sozialpolitik, und des scheinbar endlosen "Kriegs gegen den Terror". "By the time The Donald set foot on that escalator, our world of news was already devolving into a set of 24/7 zombie apocalypse events. Otherwise, he and his rants, his red face and strange orange comb-over wouldn’t have made much sense at all. He would have been an unimaginable candidate before the media went into crisis (...) If the Republican Party hadn’t been sold to the Koch brothers and the Democratic Party hadn’t gone all neoliberal on us, can you really imagine working class voters putting their faith in a billionaire to make America great again for them? I doubt it. Similarly, if this country hadn’t been pursuing its never-ending war on terror so assiduously and unsuccessfully these last 16 years, while Washington was being transformed into a war capital, the national security state was rising to prominence as a kind of shadow government, and the funding of the U.S. military hadn’t become the only truly bipartisan issue in Congress, Trumpism would never have been conceivable. (...) And until we grasp that, until we understand that he isn’t an aberration but the zeitgeist and that simply removing him from the Oval Office won’t solve our problems, we aren’t anywhere at all."

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"Autopilot Wars"


Andrew J. Bacevich stellt nüchtern fest, dass sich die USA gegenwärtig international an sieben kriegerischen Konflikten beteiligten und die amerikanische Öffentlichkeit dies weitgehend gleichgültig akzeptiert habe. "Like traffic jams or robocalls, war has fallen into the category of things that Americans may not welcome, but have learned to live with. In twenty-first-century America, war is not that big a deal. (...) Americans don’t attend all that much to ongoing American wars because: 1. U.S. casualty rates are low. (...) 2. The true costs of Washington’s wars go untabulated. (...) 3. On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. (...) 4. Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. (...) 5. Blather crowds out substance. (...) 6. Besides, we’re too busy. (...) 7. Anyway, the next president will save us. (...) 8. Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. (...) A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America. But don't expect your neighbors down the street or the editors of the New York Times to lose any sleep over that fact. Even to notice it would require them - and us - to care."

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"Is Trump Launching a New World Order?"


Michael T. Klare verweist in seiner Analyse auf die energiepolitischen Aspekte des Versuchs von US-Präsident Trump, eine neue Weltordnung zu errichten. An den neuen Frontlinien werden sich künftig demnach auch die Petro-Mächte und die "grünen" Mächte gegenüber stehen. "A world dominated by petro-powers will be one in which oil is plentiful, the skies hidden by smog, weather patterns unpredictable, coastlines receding, and drought a recurring peril. The possibility of warfare is only likely to increase on such a planet, as nations and peoples fight over ever-diminishing supplies of vital resources, especially food, water, and arable land. A world dominated by green powers, on the other hand, is likely to be less ravaged by war and the depredations of extreme climate change as renewable energy becomes more affordable and available to all. Those, like Trump, who prefer an oil-drenched planet will fight to achieve their hellish vision, while those committed to a green future will work to reach and even exceed the goals of the Paris agreement."

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"Avoiding Apocalypse on the Korean Peninsula"


Rajan Menon warnt vor den Folgen eines Scheiterns der diplomatischen Bemühungen zur Lösung der Nordkoreakrise und wehrt sich gegen den oft vermittelten Eindruck, dass Diktator Kim Jong-un nur auf verstärkten Druck reagieren werde. Es gebe immer noch Raum für ernsthafte Verhandlungen und Kompromisse zwischen den USA und Nordkorea, so Menon. "A grand bargain that combines aid and political normalization in return for denuclearization and the pullback and reduction of troops on the Korean peninsula could be made even more attractive to Pyongyang if it included a phased withdrawal of the 28,500 American troops in South Korea. The standard claim - that this would leave South Korea defenseless - is ludicrous. (...) According to the most recent State Department estimate, South Korea spends more than seven times what North Korea does on its armed forces. And given the South’s technological prowess and purchases of American arms, it has a far more modern military than the North, which still uses Soviet and Chinese armor and aircraft developed during the 1950s and 1960s."

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"The Age of Great Expectations and the Great Void"


Andrew J. Bacevich schreibt in seinem Essay, dass der Wahlsieg Donald Trumps als Ende der "post-Cold War era" in den USA interpretiert werden könne. Die vergangenen 25 Jahre hätten zielgerichtet zu der heutigen "ominösen Leere" geführt. "Note, for example, that [Trump's] mandate is almost entirely negative. It centers on rejection: of globalization, of counterproductive military meddling, and of the post-Cold War cultural project. Yet neither Trump nor any of his surrogates has offered a coherent alternative to the triad of themes providing the through line for the last quarter-century of American history. (...) In all likelihood, his presidency will prove less transformative than transitional. As a result, concerns about what he may do, however worrisome, matter less than the larger question of where we go from here. The principles that enjoyed favor following the Cold War have been found wanting. What should replace them?"

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"Empire of Chaos - With President Trump, Is the American Experiment Over?"


Das internationale Chaos, das vom amerikanischen Imperium seit dem 11. September 2001 verbreitet worden sei, sei mit der Wahl Donald Trumps in den USA selbst angekommen, meint Tom Engelhardt. "The 9/11 attacks also unleashed the Bush administration’s stunningly ambitious, ultimately disastrous Global War on Terror, and over-the-top fantasies about establishing a military-enforced Pax Americana, first in the Middle East and then perhaps globally. (...) At the same time, the basic needs of many Americans went increasingly unattended, of those at least who weren’t part of a Gilded Age 1% sucking up American wealth in an extraordinary fashion. (...) The United States with all its wealth and power is, of course, hardly an Afghanistan or a Libya or a Yemen or a Somalia. It still remains a genuinely great power, and one with remarkable resources to wield and fall back on. Nonetheless, the recent election offered striking evidence that the empire of chaos had indeed made the trip homeward. It’s now with us big time, all the time. Get used to it."

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"The Worst Place on Earth"


Nick Turse beschreibt in seiner Reportage aus der Stadt Leer die ungeheure Brutalität des anhaltenden Konflikts in Südsudan. "The civil war (...) 'ended' with an August 2015 peace agreement that saw Machar rejoin the government. But the violence never actually stopped and after a fresh round of killings in the capital in July, he fled the country and has since issued a new call for rebellion. In truth, though, the war in South Sudan is far more than a battle between two men, two tribes, two armies - Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and Machar’s SPLA-In Opposition (SPLA-IO). It’s a conflict of shifting alliances involving a plethora of armed actors and ad hoc militias led by a corrupt cast of characters fighting wars within wars. The complexities are mind-boggling: longstanding bad blood, grievances, and feuds intertwined with ethnic enmities tangled, in turn, with internecine tribal and clan animosities, all aided and abetted by the power of modern weaponry and the way the ancient cultural practice of cattle-raiding has morphed into paramilitary raiding."

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"American Power at the Crossroads - A Snapshot of a Multipolar World in Action"


Dilip Hiro analysiert die diplomatischen Entwicklungen im Nahen Osten und in Asien als Beleg für den Niedergang der globalen Dominanz der USA und als Ausdruck der neuen multipolaren Weltordnung. Russland und China wollen demnach sicherstellen, dass die USA ihre globale Macht nie wieder so uneingeschränkt einsetzen können, wie in den Jahren zwischen 1992 und 2008. "The global scenario that the down-to-earth presidents of China and Russia seem to have in mind resembles the sort of balance of power that existed in Europe for a century after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. In the wake of that fateful year, the monarchs of Britain, Austria, Russia, and Prussia resolved that no single European country should ever become as powerful as France had been under Napoleon. The resulting Concert of Europe then held from 1815 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914. China and Russia are now trying to ensure that Washington no longer exercises unrestrained power globally, as it did between 1992 and summer of 2008."

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"Dominating the Skies - and Losing the Wars"


Trotz der totalen Lufthoheit des US-Militärs in Afghanistan, Irak und anderen Konflikten seien die USA offensichtlich nicht in der Lage, diese Kriege siegreich zu beenden, stellt William J. Astore fest. "In other words, for all its promise of devastating power delivered against enemies with remarkable precision and quick victories at low cost (at least to Americans), air power has failed to deliver, not just in the ongoing war on terror but for decades before it. If anything, by providing an illusion of results, it has helped keep the United States in unwinnable wars, while inflicting a heavy toll on innocent victims on our distant battlefields. At the same time, the cult-like infatuation of American leaders, from the president on down, with the supposed ability of the U.S. military to deliver such results remains remarkably unchallenged in Washington."

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"Milestones (Or What Passes for Them in Washington)"


Andrew J. Bacevich charakterisiert die gezielte Tötung des Taliban-Anführers Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour in Pakistan als weiteren "Meilenstein" einer Afghanistanstrategie ins Nirgendwo. Auch unter Präsident Obama seien die USA immer tiefer in scheinbar endlose Kriege versunken. "The assassination of Mansour instead joins a long list of previous milestones, turning points, and landmarks briefly heralded as significant achievements only to prove much less than advertised. (...) Here’s the one thing you need to know about the broader fight: there is no strategy. None. Zilch. We’re on a multi-trillion-dollar bridge to nowhere, with members of the national security establishment more or less content to see where it leads. (...) the question of how to take out organization X or put country Y back together pales in comparison with the other questions that should by now have come to the fore but haven’t. Among the most salient are these: Does waging war across a large swath of the Islamic world make sense? When will this broader fight end? What will it cost? Short of reducing large parts of the Middle East to rubble, is that fight winnable in any meaningful sense?"

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"Poof! It’s Forgotten - Five Ways the Newest Story in Iraq and Syria is... That There Is No New Story"


Peter Van Buren meint, dass die US-Regierung mit der Entsendung von US-Soldaten nach Syrien und Jemen die Lehren der letzten Irak-Intervention gründlich vergessen habe. "Placing our service people in harm’s way, spending our money in prodigious amounts, and laying the country’s credibility on the line once required at least the pretext that some national interest was at stake. Not any more. Anytime some group we don’t like threatens a group we care not so much about, the United States must act to save a proud people, stop a humanitarian crisis, take down a brutal leader, put an end to genocide, whatever will briefly engage the public and spin up some vague facsimile of war fever."

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"War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing."


Nach 15 Jahren amerikanischer Militärinterventionen im Nahen Osten stellt Tom Engelhardt fest, dass die USA "absolut nichts" erreicht hätten. Daraus seien in Washington bisher kaum Lehren gezogen worden, noch immer werde Macht weitgehend mit militärischer Macht gleichgesetzt. "Relatively early in the post-9/11 presidency of George W. Bush, it became apparent that his top officials had confused military power with power itself. They had come to venerate force and its possible uses in a way that only men who had never been to war possibly could. (...) Ever since then, no small thanks to the military-industrial complex, military power has remained the option of choice even when it became clear that it could not produce a minimalist version of what the Bush crew hoped for. Consider it something of an irony, then, that the U.S. may still be the lone superpower on the planet. In a period when military power of the first order doesn’t seem to translate into a thing of value, American economic (and cultural) power still does. The realm of the dollar, not the F-35, still rules the planet. So here’s a thought for the songwriters among you: Could it be that war has in the most literal sense outlived its usefulness, at least for the United States?"

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Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Washington's Twenty-First-Century Opium Wars


Die USA seien bei ihrem Krieg in Afghanistan letztlich an den Realitäten des Opiumanbaus und des Drogenhandels gescheitert, argumentiert Alfred W. McCoy. "The first U.S. intervention there began in 1979. It succeeded in part because the surrogate war the CIA launched to expel the Soviets from that country coincided with the way its Afghan allies used the country’s swelling drug traffic to sustain their decade-long struggle. On the other hand, in the almost 15 years of continuous combat since the U.S. invasion of 2001, pacification efforts have failed to curtail the Taliban insurgency largely because the U.S. could not control the swelling surplus from the county’s heroin trade. As opium production surged from a minimal 180 tons to a monumental 8,200 in the first five years of U.S. occupation, Afghanistan’s soil seemed to have been sown with the dragon’s teeth of ancient Greek myth. Every poppy harvest yielded a new crop of teenaged fighters for the Taliban’s growing guerrilla army."

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"How to Resolve the ISIS Crisis"


Peter Van Buren zufolge ist es an der Zeit, offen einzugestehen, dass Drohnen und Bomben den "Islamischen Staat" in Syrien und Irak nicht besiegen können. Die Einnahme der zerstörten irakischen Stadt Ramadi habe zudem verdeutlicht, welcher Preis für einen offensiven Bodenkrieg zu zahlen wäre. Stattdessen sollte sich die US-Regierung endlich entschließen, die Finanzquellen des IS effektiv zu bekämpfen und sich ansonsten weitgehend aus dem Nahen Osten zurückzuziehen, so Van Buren. "The war with ISIS is, in fact, a struggle of ideas, anti-western and anti-imperialist, suffused with religious feeling. You can’t bomb an idea or a religion away. Whatever Washington may want, much of the Middle East is heading toward non-secular governments, and toward the destruction of the monarchies and the military thugs still trying to preserve updated versions of the post-World War I system. In the process, borders, already dissolving, will sooner or later be redrawn in ways that reflect how people on the ground actually see themselves. There is little use in questioning whether this is the right or wrong thing because there is little Washington can do to stop it. However, as we should have learned in these last 14 years, there is much it can do to make things far worse than they ever needed to be. The grim question today is simply how long this painful process takes and how high a cost it extracts."

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"America’s Secret African Drone War Against the Islamic State"


Nick Turse berichtet, dass der amerikanische Krieg gegen den "Islamischen Staat" in Syrien und Irak bis vor kurzem auch durch Drohnenoperationen einer geheimen US-Einheit in Dschibuti am Horn von Afrika geführt worden sei. "From November 20, 2014, until October 7, 2015, [Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Drake] commanded the 60th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, a unit operating under the auspices of U.S. Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT), which flew MQ-1 Predator drones from Chabelley Airfield in the tiny sun-baked African nation of Djibouti. For the uninitiated, Chabelley is the other U.S. outpost in that country - the site of America’s lone avowed 'major military facility' in Africa, Camp Lemonnier - and a key node in an expanding archipelago of hush-hush American outposts that have spread across that continent since 9/11. Last week, in fact, the New York Times reported on new Pentagon plans to counter the Islamic State by creating a hub-and-spoke network of bases and outposts stretching across southern Europe, the Greater Middle East, and Africa by 'expanding existing bases in Djibouti and Afghanistan – and … more basic installations in countries that could include Niger and Cameroon, where the United States now carries out unarmed surveillance drone missions, or will soon.'"

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"America’s Reckless War Against Evil"


Der Kampf gegen den "Islamischen Staat" habe sich in den USA erneut zu einem "Krieg gegen das Böse" gewandelt, stellt Ira Chernus, Religionswissenschaftler an der University of Colorado Boulder, etwas entnervt fest. Die bekannten Folgen einer Strategie unter diesen Vorzeichen seien offenbar sowohl von der politischen Führung als auch von der Öffentlichkeit vergessen worden. "Let me try to lay out our repetitive mistakes, all six of them, one by one, starting with... Mistake Number One: Treating the enemy as absolute evil, not even human. (...) Mistake Number Two: Buried in the assumption that the enemy is not in any sense human like us is absolution for whatever hand we may have had in sparking or contributing to evil’s rise and spread. (...) Mistake Number Three: Call it blotting out history. We lose the ability to really understand the enemy because we ignore the actual history of how that enemy came to be, of how a network of relationships grew up in which we played, and continue to play, a central role. (...) Mistake Number Four: We assume that the enemy, like Lucifer himself, does evil just for the sake of doing it. (...) Mistake Number Five: To convince ourselves that the Islamic State is evil incarnate, we imagine that the enemy is as relentless, intractable, and implacable as the devil himself. (...) Mistake Number Six: The belief that we have only one option: annihilation."

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"Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?"


Pepe Escobar schreibt, dass in China gegenwärtig eine dritte industrielle Revolution im Gange sei, die das Weltgefüge nachhaltig verändern könnte. Peking habe keinerlei Interesse an einer militärischen Konfrontation mit den USA, sondern trage den Kampf um globalen Einfluss fast ausschließlich auf ökonomischer Ebene aus. "Make no mistake about it: whatever Washington may want, China is indeed the rising power in Eurasia and a larger-than-life economic magnet. From London to Berlin, there are signs in the EU that, despite so many decades of trans-Atlantic allegiance, there is also something too attractive to ignore about what China has to offer. There is already a push towards the configuration of a European-wide digital economy closely linked with China. The aim would be a Rifkin-esque digitally integrated economic space spanning Eurasia, which in turn would be an essential building block for that post-carbon third industrial revolution."

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"Why the Paris Climate Summit Will Be a Peace Conference - Averting a World of Failed States and Resource Wars"


Angesichts der voraussehbaren sicherheitspolitischen Folgen eines ungebremsten Klimawandels betrachtet Michael T. Klare die anstehende UN-Klimakonferenz in Paris zugleich als "Friedenskonferenz". "A failure to cap carbon emissions guarantees another result as well, though one far less discussed. It will, in the long run, bring on not just climate shocks, but also worldwide instability, insurrection, and warfare. In this sense, COP-21 should be considered not just a climate summit but a peace conference - perhaps the most significant peace convocation in history."

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"Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Special Ops 'Successes'"


US-Spezialeinheiten sind im Jahr 2015 Berichten zufolge bereits in 147 Ländern aktiv gewesen. Nick Turse schreibt, dass das US-Militär die entsprechenden Operationen für überaus erfolgreich halte, eine Behauptung, die von einigen Experten angezweifelt werde. "I put it to Vietnam veteran Andrew Bacevich, author of Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country. 'As far back as Vietnam,' he tells me, 'the United States military has tended to confuse inputs with outcomes. Effort, as measured by operations conducted, bomb tonnage dropped, or bodies counted, is taken as evidence of progress made. Today, tallying up the number of countries in which Special Operations forces are present repeats this error. There is no doubt that U.S. Special Operations forces are hard at it in lots of different places. It does not follow that they are thereby actually accomplishing anything meaningful.'"

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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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