US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

Monkey Cage


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08.04.2019

"Designating Iranian military unit a ‘terrorist organization’ will make U.S. relations with Iran more difficult. Here’s how."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/04/08/designating-irgc-terrorist-organization-will-make-us-r
elations-with-iran-more-difficult-heres-how/?utm_term=.588ae039fc54

Die US-Regierung hat die Iranische Revolutionsgarde wie angekündigt formell zu einer "Terrororganisation" erklärt. Afshon Ostovar schreibt, dass Iran im Gegenzug das US-Militär als Terrorbedrohung einstufen könnte. "That might sound silly, but it could also cause real problems. Should Iran officially consider U.S. forces to be terrorists, then any personnel connected to the U.S. military could be subject to attacks by Iranian proxies or Iranian agents. This would make U.S. operations in Iraq much more dangerous. The potential for escalation between the United States and Iran would increase, with any attacks on U.S. troops by Iranian proxies or tense encounters at sea between the United States and IRGC navies carrying the greater potential for military escalation. More broadly, designating the IRGC an FTO will be difficult for any future administration to walk back from. Any administration that seeks to engage Iran diplomatically will have a difficult time getting around the IRGC’s central position in the Islamic Republic. In effect, designating the IRGC is designating the Islamic Republic by proxy."

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20.03.2019

"At long last, peace might be possible between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Here’s what’s needed."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/03/20/long-last-peace-might-be-possible-between-armenia-azer
baijan-heres-whats-needed/?utm_term=.a05eea26b51d

Anna Ohanyan meint, dass der demokratische Wandel in Armenien eine Chance zur Beilegung des jahrzehntelangen Streits um die Region Bergkarabach eröffnet habe. Hierfür wäre ihrer Ansicht nach jedoch ein regionaler Ansatz zur Konfliktlösung nötig. "Research also suggests that peace agreements are more likely to be implemented if all parties involved in a conflict are included in the peace process. What’s needed now are ways to engage the groups most affected by the conflict: rural communities near the conflict lines, women, refugees and Nagorno-Karabakh itself, all of which have been left out of negotiations over the years. Studies have shown that single-shot, top-down peace deals often fail — unless the parties simultaneously build broad-based connections among societies. (...) Such regional security can take the form of regionwide rules, treaties, pacts or issue-focused organizations. They can enable community leaders to work together on shared problems — such as drug trafficking, rural poverty, distorted trade routes, water cooperation or preserving cultural heritage sites — across conflict lines. Building such connections in the region can help shift diplomacy away from short-term concessions and focus it instead on longer-term, regionwide issues of bread-and-butter governance."

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05.01.2019

"Bashar al-Assad’s international rehabilitation has begun"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2019/01/05/assads-long-road-to-international-rehabilit
ation/?utm_term=.1b8175759297

Christopher Phillips schreibt, dass die diplomatische "Rehabilitierung" des syrischen Präsidenten Bashar al-Assad weiter voranschreite. Selbst Saudi-Arabien habe sich an den Gedanken gewöhnt, dass Assad weiterhin in Damaskus regieren wird. "Saudi Arabia, a lead rebel sponsor during the war, seems increasingly willing to accept Assad remaining in Damascus, hoping to lessen his dependence on Riyadh’s regional rival, Iran. It is even expected that the Arab League, which expelled Assad following his brutal crackdown on protesters in 2011 that initiated the civil war, will welcome him back in 2019. (...) Assad’s road to full rehabilitation remains blocked by three significant obstacles: the United States, the European Union and NATO-ally Turkey. The United States seems the most immovable of these."

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30.10.2018

"What 500 elections in 28 European countries can tell us about the effects of anti-immigration rhetoric"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/10/30/what-500-elections-in-28-european-countries
-can-tell-us-about-the-effects-of-anti-immigration-rhetoric/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1d8577b05b62

Elizabeth Dekeyser und Michael Freedman haben Daten aus über 500 Wahlgängen in 28 europäischen Ländern analysiert, um herauszufinden, welchen längerfristigen Einfluss hitzige Migrationsdebatten auf das politische Klima haben. "Integrating information from over 500 elections between 2002 and 2015 across 28 European countries and nearly 300,000 respondents, we find that as elections approach, Europeans hold more negative attitudes toward immigration. When we delve into this a bit further, we find that while the overall effect is negative, individual attitudes are actually becoming more polarized, with more people viewing immigration either very positively or very negatively. These negative effects linger even after the elections. We see a roughly symmetrical effect on attitudes pre- and post-election. But these effects are not permanent. As elections recede, individual attitudes become less negative and polarized, returning to a more moderate average in the period before a new election approaches. (...) given the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from the Republican Party, we expect that many Americans’ attitudes will become increasingly anti-immigrant as well."

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12.10.2018

"There’s grim news on climate change. Will it lead to mass migration and conflict?"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/10/12/how-does-climate-change-push-migration-and-
conflict-heres-what-our-interviews-reveal/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.bd8d9762b697

Der jüngste Bericht des Weltklimarates hat die Sorge geweckt, dass die Folgen des Klimawandels weltweit zu verschärften Konflikten und verstärken Migrationswellen führen könnten. Gabriele Spilker, Vally Koubi, Lena Schaffer und Tobias Böhmelt haben im Zuge eines Forschungsprojekts mit über 3.500 Betroffenen in fünf Entwicklungsländern gesprochen, um zu erfahren, wie diese Entwicklung dort wahrgenommen wird. "The challenge here is to show that environmental change indeed triggers migration in the first place and that these kinds of migrants then contribute to actual violence in their new host regions. Here are takeaways from our research: 1. People affected by climate change often try to adapt — to avoid migrating. (...) 2. For those who migrate, the type of environmental event they experienced matters. (...) A recent World Bank report on climate change and migration reveals that, given adequate development opportunities, including adaptation measures, internal migration in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America triggered by climate change could be reduced by up to 80 percent. This prediction is in line with our findings on the impact of environmental change on internal migration."

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20.04.2018

"How Brexit could kill Northern Ireland’s peace accords"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/04/20/how-brexit-could-kill-northern-irelands-pea
ce-accords/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.efb9ef16a2b8

Kimberly Cowell-Meyers und Carolyn Gallaher erläutern, warum der Brexit den Friedensprozess in Nordirland gefährdet. Das Karfreitagsabkommen basiere auf der Annahme, dass sowohl Irland als auch Großbritannien den politischen und wirtschaftlichen Rahmen der EU teilen. "According to political scientist Brendan O’Leary, the agreement 'made Ireland bi-national,' providing 'imaginative elements of co-sovereignty.' As such, even though the constitutional question at the heart of the conflict — should Northern Ireland be part of Ireland or the U. K.? — has not been definitively answered, the agreement meant the incompatible identities of unionist and nationalist could be, if not reconciled, at least balanced. Brexit calls all these relationships into question. The most pressing issue is the border. (...) Brexit may also nullify Britain’s membership in the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR is important because it guarantees a common set of rights for Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland’s new legal structures. (...) Brexit may also upend the economic integration between Ireland and Northern Ireland. (...) Perhaps most important, Brexit has the potential to wreck Northern Ireland’s power-sharing institutions. (...) Brexit will profoundly change the agreement and could weaken the willingness of some parties to support it. The agreement may survive, but its parties will have to reimagine it for a post-Brexit world."

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02.04.2018

"Should the Obama administration have made different decisions about Syria? This is what a controversial study found."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/04/02/what-policy-lessons-are-there-from-the-war-
in-syria/?utm_term=.f0a628a1ebec

Eine neue Studie des U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum hat sich mit der Frage beschäftigt, ob die Obama-Regierung versäumt habe, das Blutvergießen in Syrien mit einer anderen Strategie zu verhindern. Mona Yacoubian, die an der Studie beteiligt war, meint, dass aus der Analyse trotz ihres letztlich spekulativen Charakters einige wertvolle Lehren gezogen werden könnten. "Finding the “sweet spot” for the use of force demands greater effort. These lessons could offer valuable insights as the United States confronts two impending crises with existential stakes: North Korea and Iran. First, Syria’s catastrophic conflict should motivate the development of creative and innovative strategies on the use of force both to undergird diplomacy and to deter the commission of atrocities. Marrying the credible threat and potential use of force with the pursuit of diplomatic objectives requires more rigorous thinking. (...) Second, and related, new approaches to the use of force for civilian protection are essential. This still underdeveloped doctrine would entail a measured military intervention that deters atrocities yet does not escalate conflict."

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28.02.2018

"How to keep armed groups from using land mines"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/28/how-to-pressure-nonstate-actors-against-usi
ng-land-mines/?utm_term=.6d73be8d1381

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, Simon Hug, Livia I. Schubiger und Julian Wucherpfennig berichten, dass die Bemühungen Im Kampf gegen den seit 1997 verbotenen Einsatz von Landminen trotz fehlender zentraler Mechanismen zur Durchsetzung des Verbots viel Erfolg gehabt hätten. Von besonderer Bedeutung sei dabei die Einbeziehung nichtstaatlicher Konfliktparteien. "The nongovernmental organization Geneva Call has been working to engage armed groups from numerous war-affected countries such as Sudan and Syria — and get these groups to comply with international humanitarian law. The organization has had success in getting many of them to commit to specific humanitarian norms. One of their main areas of engagement is the use of land mines. (...) Are these commitments more than mere scraps of paper, and do they really make an impact on actual behavior? Our research shows that nonstate actors who have signed conventions do subsequently reduce their use of land mines. Moreover, by signing a convention on banning land mines, nonstate actors can also make governments more likely to follow suit. (...) Basically, the nonstate actors gain standing, and the government cannot afford to lose face. (...) The lesson from the mine ban commitment shows that compliance with international law does not need central enforcement, but it can be induced by changing the incentives of actors, even starting with nonstate actors."

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22.02.2018

"Five reasons the Olympics haven't solved the North Korea problem"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/22/the-olympics-havent-solved-the-north-korea-
problem-here-are-5-reasons-why/?utm_term=.e449f3f36a9e

Mira Rapp-Hooper nennt fünf Gründe, warum die Kontakte zwischen Nord- und Südkorea während der Olympischen Winterspiele den Konflikt zwischen Nordkorea und den USA ihrer Meinung nach allenfalls zeitweise entspannen werden. "After the Olympics are over, the temperature between Washington and Pyongyang will almost certainly spike again. Here are five reasons. Inter-Korean diplomacy isn’t about nuclear weapons. (...) Alliance trouble ahead. If Moon decides to pursue a North-South summit, he may further postpone annual military exercises with the United States, which have already been pushed back because of the Olympics. (...) The U.S. negotiating position hasn’t changed. (...) The U.S. objectives haven’t changed. (...) The North Korean nuclear program proceeds apace. (...) because inter-Korean diplomacy has moved ahead of nuclear diplomacy, because there has been no real progress between Pyongyang and Washington, and because the U.S. and North Korean positions remain locked in opposition, this Olympic pause will be transitory. Let’s hope it is not broken by fire and fury."

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15.01.2018

"Russia is looking to engage with the Taliban. Here’s why"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/01/15/russia-is-looking-to-engage-with-the-taliba
n-heres-why/?utm_term=.167b0bae500b

Samuel Ramani analysiert die Motive der russischen Afghanistan-Strategie, zu der nach den Worten von Außenminister Lawrow auch Verhandlungen mit den Taliban gehören. Moskau setzt demnach darauf, dass Anführer im moderaten Lager der Taliban im Kampf gegen den IS und den Drogenhandel zur Kooperation bereit sind. "Russian policymakers distinguish between these two camps by analyzing the strategic interests and policy preferences of midlevel and senior Taliban leaders. In particular, they look to cooperate with Taliban factions that wield considerable political influence in regions with high concentrations of Islamic State fighters — and who oppose drug trafficking. (...) Moscow has concerns about drug-related crime from Afghanistan to Central Asia — so Taliban members who oppose drug trafficking have emerged as pragmatic partners. (...) However, there is a second motivation for Russia’s Taliban links. Building an international consensus around Moscow’s selective engagement strategy bolsters Russia’s international status as a conflict arbiter."

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08.01.2018

"Populists have one big thing right: Democracies are becoming less open"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/01/08/populists-have-one-big-thing-right-democrac
ies-are-becoming-less-open/?utm_term=.e4200736c8b4

Sheri Berman führt den Aufstieg populistischer Bewegungen auf die zunehmende Unfähigkeit westlicher Demokratien zurück, gesellschaftliche Probleme zu erkennen und angemessen auf sie zu reagieren. In den USA sei die wachsende ökonomische Ungleichheit das wohl größte dieser Probleme. In Europa seien der Niedergang der Volksparteien und der technokratische Charakter der EU wichtige Faktoren der demokratischen Krise. "In short, rather than being a consequence of the challenges they face, Western democracies’ current problems are largely a result of the declining responsiveness and effectiveness of democratic institutions, which has made them less able to recognize and respond to the grievances of their citizens. Mainstream diagnoses of Western democracies’ current problems may, in other words, have the causality backward: Institutional decay may not have entirely created the challenges facing Western democracies, but it has at the very least aggravated them. This understanding of democracy’s problems goes against the grain of another popular contemporary diagnosis of Western decline: that it has been caused by 'too much' democracy."

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08.01.2018

"A new Korean war would kill more U.S. military personnel than you might think"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/01/08/a-new-korean-war-would-kill-more-u-s-milita
ry-personnel-than-you-might-think/?utm_term=.01a48508e194

Einige Experten glauben Tanisha M. Fazal zufolge, dass ein offener Konflikt zwischen Nordkorea und den USA nicht unbedingt mit Atomwaffen, sondern auf konventionelle Art ausgefochten werden würde. Die Zahl der Opfer unter den in Südkorea stationierten US-Truppen könnte dabei offenbar deutlich höher ausfallen als bisherige Schätzungen vermuten lassen. "In these recent conflicts, the ratio of wounded to killed has tilted sharply down from that of the past. In the U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, approximately three service members were wounded for every one killed. In Iraq and Afghanistan, that ratio shifted to about 10:1. If the ratio had stayed the same, three times as many U.S. military personnel would have died in Afghanistan and Iraq. This shift is important to understand — because it helps us see why fatalities in a new Korean war would be so high. (...) Modern combat medicine has made great advances in stemming blood loss, for example, but those procedures are typically temporary measures, carried out to keep a patient alive until airlifted to a higher-level, trauma-care facility. And that was possible in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the United States had undisputed control of the skies. But it would not be true on the Korean Peninsula, at least at first. (...) We do know (...) that the recent successes of U.S. military medicine have depended on air evacuation — which would be harder to achieve in a new Korean war. That means far more service members would almost certainly die if war broke out between the United States and North Korea."

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02.01.2018

"Why North Korea succeeded at getting nuclear weapons — when Iraq and Libya failed"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/01/02/why-north-korea-succeeded-at-getting-nuclea
r-weapons-when-iraq-and-libya-failed/?utm_term=.b49e9e7ca058

Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer, Politikwissenschaftlerin an der University of Oslo, erklärt, warum Nordkorea sein Atomwaffenprogramm im Gegensatz zu früheren Anwärtern wie Irak und Libyen erfolgreich umsetzen konnte. "1. Kim Jong Un made nuclear weapons his top priority. Authoritarian leaders may appear to pursue nuclear weapons with determination, but not all do so wholeheartedly. (...) 2. Kim Jong Un shielded scientists. Management strategy is an important, and frequently misunderstood, factor in why some autocrats succeed while others fail. (...) 3. A little self-reliance goes a long way. North Korea has developed the ability to produce nuclear weapons and missiles indigenously. The nation has had help along the way — hiring foreign scientists, buying and exchanging key technologies with other states and for-profit networks — but has gotten more benefits from these exchanges than Iraq or Libya did. (...) States forced to rely on themselves may have to start with suboptimal technologies, but in the long run they are better prepared to succeed than nations that cut corners by buying nuclear technology off the shelf."

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31.10.2017

"With the destruction of the caliphate, the Islamic State has lost far more than territory"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/10/31/the-caliphate-that-was/

Mit seinem Kalifat in Syrien und Irak habe der "Islamische Staat" nicht nur sein Territorium, sondern auch einen zentralen Pfeiler seiner globalen Anziehungskraft eingebüßt, schreiben die beiden Terrorismus-Experten J.M. Berger und Amarnath Amarasingam. "By declaring a caliphate, the group did something that other jihadist groups only talked about, accessing a wellspring of historical, philosophical and theological details. It presented a more sophisticated rejection of the West than other jihadist groups, focused not only on 'sinful' cultural elements, but also real, substantial alternatives. And thousands of people from all over the world responded. (...) the loss of the living caliphate is still a devastating blow, in two important senses. First, the flow of new entitative content has been severely disrupted by the return to an insurgent/covert footing. (...) Second, the dismantling of social structure is inherently destructive to entitativity. The disruption of the protostate naturally reduces its groupness for potential adherents, because there is no longer a living society to join."

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16.10.2017

"President Trump didn’t pull out of the Iran deal. Here’s what that says about the politics of foreign policy."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/10/16/president-trump-didnt-pull-out-of-the-iran-
deal-heres-what-that-says-about-the-politics-of-foreign-policy/

Elizabeth Saunders glaubt, dass die offene Kritik des republikanischen US-Senators Bob Corker an Donald Trump zur Entscheidung des Präsidenten, das Atomabkommen mit dem Iran nicht unilateral aufzukündigen, beigetragen haben könnte. Corkers Äußerungen hätten eine Tür für andere Senatoren und Abgeordnete geöffnet und könnten den Einfluss der Republikanischen Partei auf die Außenpolitik des Weißen Hauses wieder vergrößern. "After his highly unusual comments about what he regards as Trump’s incompetence, some observers argued we may soon see more public GOP criticism of Trump. As Jonathan Bernstein points out, such direct criticism is unrealistic. But Corker’s comments can still matter in less visible ways, particularly on foreign policy. Scholars of Congress and foreign policy have long noted that Congress constrains the president in more ways than may be obvious."

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11.10.2017

"The myth of massive support for independence in Catalonia"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/10/11/the-myth-of-massive-support-for-independenc
e-in-catalonia/

Die katalanische Regionalregierung beruft sich bei ihren Unabhängigkeitsbestrebungen auf das Ergebnis des unter kontroversen Bedingungen durchgeführten Referendums vom 1. Oktober. Eric Guntermann meint, dass diese Abstimmung einen falschen Eindruck von der öffentlichen Unterstützung für eine Sezession vermittle. "The most recent survey by the Catalan government’s Center for Opinion Studies (CEO), which was conducted in July, showed that only a minority of Catalans (35 percent) supported independence. (...) Before 2010, it was rare for more than 20 percent of Catalans to support independence. After 2010, support increased for two reasons. First, the Great Recession struck, leading to widespread unemployment. Second, the Constitutional Court struck down an overhaul of Catalonia’s statute of autonomy — the equivalent of its constitution — at the request of Spain’s conservative People’s Party. (...) In short, Catalans are not hardcore separatists in many respects. Many do not support secession, and especially a unilateral move toward secession. Many identify with both Catalonia and Spain."

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05.10.2017

"Saudi Arabia finally let women drive. Don’t mistake it for democratic reform."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/10/05/saudi-arabia-finally-let-women-drive-dont-m
istake-it-for-democratic-reform/

Stéphane Lacroix macht darauf aufmerksam, dass das Fahrverbot für Frauen in Saudi-Arabien kurz nach der Verhaftung mehrerer Oppositioneller aufgehoben worden sei. Neben progressiven Reformern seien dabei auch ultrakonservative Islamisten festgenommen worden. Lacroix schlussfolgert, dass die Modernisierung des Regimes nicht mit einer Demokratisierung verwechselt werden sollte. "Though mostly popular, the modernizing reforms have little to do with empowering civil society or promoting democratic governance. They are better understood as a bid to make the Saudi leadership yet another 'modernizing autocrat' in the region. The new social pact offered is simple: fewer political freedoms in exchange for the promise of state-driven social progress and economic results. Saudi Arabia is no longer the exception it once was."

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23.09.2017

"Kurdistan and Catalonia are voting on independence. Welcome to the age of secession."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/09/23/kurdistan-and-catalonia-are-voting-on-indep
endence-heres-what-we-know-about-secessionist-groups/

Angesichts der Unabhängigkeitsbestrebungen der irakischen Kurden und der Katalanen in Spanien meint Ryan Griffiths, dass ein neues "Zeitalter der Sezession" angebrochen sei. "Secession occurs when a region within a state breaks away to form its own sovereign state. There were 55 active secessionist movements around the world as of 2011, and an average of 52 movements per year since 1945. Most have failed to achieve their goal of independence, sometimes coming to an agreement with their central government or simply fading away. Roughly a third have resulted in violence. Indeed, some claim that secessionism is the chief cause of violence in the world today. As I argue in my recent book, we are truly living in the Age of Secession."

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14.09.2017

"5 things you need to know about the Rohingya crisis — and how it could roil Southeast Asia"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/09/14/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-rohingya-cr
isis-and-how-it-could-roil-southeast-asia/

Mayesha Alam erläutert die komplexen Hintergründe der Rohingya-Krise in Myanmar anhand von fünf Stichpunkten. "1. Civilians are paying the price for a small, armed insurgency (...) 2. Yes, it’s about religion and ethnicity (...) 3. But it’s also about natural resources — especially land (...) 4. Bangladesh can’t deal with this crisis alone (...) 5. No other international actor appears to be stepping in to help solve the political crisis".

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28.08.2017

"Trump says Pakistan 'harbors terrorists.' The real story isn’t so simple."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/08/28/trump-says-pakistan-harbors-terrorists-the-
real-story-isnt-so-simple/

Präsident Trump hat Pakistan in seiner Vorstellung der neuen Afghanistan-Strategie der USA vorgeworfen, Terroristen eine sichere Zuflucht zu bieten. Dieser Vorwurf ist nach Ansicht des Pakistan-Experten Peter S. Henne nicht völlig aus der Luft gegriffen, er spiegle die komplexe politische Realität im Land allerdings nur ungenügend wider. "My research suggests that Pakistan is not following a conscious policy of 'harboring terrorism.' Instead, its leaders are constrained by a long and complex history that intertwines Islam and Pakistani security. (...) The United States has been putting pressure on Pakistan for decades, and neither tough words nor threats to cut off aid have worked for long. That suggests Pakistani leaders appear more afraid of a backlash from their society and military than they are of U.S. anger. This does not bode well for the Trump administration’s new Afghanistan strategy. Stabilizing Afghanistan will be much easier with a cooperative Pakistan, but that is unlikely to happen. Instead of making threats, U.S. policymakers would be better off working out whatever temporary arrangements they can with Pakistan, realizing the constraints of Pakistan’s leaders — and perhaps considering other options that do not rely on Pakistan."

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08.08.2017

"Islamic State’s next move could be underground criminal networks"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/08/08/islamic-states-next-move-could-be-undergrou
nd-criminal-networks/

Der "Islamische Staat" könnte sich nach dem endgültigen Zerfall seines "Kalifats" in die kriminelle Unterwelt zurückziehen, schreibt Aisha Ahmad. "Since the Islamic State no longer has the ability to tax and control illicit trade routes, its leadership is retreating into the underground economy to stay financially afloat. Most important, the group has turned to other mafia-style money laundering methods to hide and protect its large cash resources. 'They’re already looking into other economic models, which look very much like organized crime,' [Renad Mansour, a fellow at Chatham House who has been tracking these networks in Iraq and Syria for years,] said. 'They’re changing money into American dollars and investing in local businesses, such as pharmaceutical companies or car dealerships.' As its fighters move underground, the Islamic State plans to use these businesses as front operations to conceal and launder its massive cash resources."

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26.07.2017

"Why is Putin backing North Korea? To build up Russia as a great power."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/07/26/why-is-putin-backing-north-korea-to-build-u
p-russia-as-a-great-power/

Samuel Ramani erwartet, dass sich Russland im Konflikt zwischen den USA und Nordkorea in naher Zukunft noch entschiedener an die Seite Pjöngjangs stellen wird. "Numerous Western analysts, like Bloomberg View columnist Leonid Bershidsky and Council of Foreign Relations fellow Van Jackson, have attempted to explain Russia’s conduct by highlighting Moscow’s economic and geopolitical links to Pyongyang. But there’s more. Moscow defends North Korea in a way that’s designed to get both the Russian public and the international community to see Russia as a great power. (...) The goal is to rally public support for their policies and increase Moscow’s international position as a credible counterweight to U.S. hegemony. You can see this in two ways: first, in Russia’s attempts to showcase itself as more effective at resolving conflicts in the Korean peninsula than the United States; and second, in Russia’s efforts to lead an international coalition against Washington’s coercion of North Korea."

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26.06.2017

"Why are the Western Balkans in crisis? These are the three primary tensions."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/26/why-are-the-western-balkans-in-crisis-these
-are-the-three-primary-tensions/

Ingrid Bego nennt drei Gründe für die zunehmenden politischen Spannungen in den Ländern des Westbalkans. "The lack of healthy political-party competition in many of these countries has led to one-party and one-leader regimes, often mired in clientelistic politics, when political support is tied to exchanges of goods and services. These regimes, in turn, are unwilling to give up power and adopt timely economic and political reforms needed to guarantee membership in the E.U. (...) Russian interference in the Slavic-majority nations in recent years has further complicated the political landscape. (...) The E.U. faces a dilemma. If the bloc demands lengthy, meaningful changes in exchange for membership, Russia could take advantage of the opening and push against the expansionist European agenda by offering nationalist incentives and an alternative vision for the Western Balkan states. If the E.U. speeds up membership talks, it could ensure short-term stability in the region but potentially undermine democratic reforms, leading to anti-E.U. sentiments in countries where citizens have yet to reap the benefits of democracy."

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23.06.2017

"How to understand Boko Haram"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/23/how-to-understand-boko-haram/

Laura Seay empfiehlt zwei neue Bücher über die nigerianische Terrorgruppe Boko Haram. "Brandon Kendhammer’s 'Muslims Talking Politics: Framing Islam, Democracy, and Law in Northern Nigeria' seeks to explain how northern Nigerians understand the relationship between their faith and Nigeria’s at times unsteady democracy. (...) In the book, he analyzes an astonishing range of historical and modern discourses from the 19th-century Sokoto Caliphate through the colonial period and the tumult of early post-colonial years to the present day to argue that most Nigerian Muslims see Islamic religious values and sharia law as compliments to, not detractors from, democratic institutions. (...) Like Kendhammer, Alexander Thurston seeks to understand how religion and societal values intersect. Thurston examines northern Nigerian religious values with a deep dive into the history and development of particular strains of Islam in northern Nigeria in 'Salafism in Nigeria: Islam, Preaching, and Politics.' Based on extensive fieldwork in Nigeria’s north, Thurston’s fascinating book examines how the Salafi strain of conservative Islam made its way to the region and how the development of a canon of religious texts and thoughts affects the way that Nigerian Muslims might encounter Salafism."

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07.06.2017

"How Trump’s alignment with Saudi Arabia and the UAE is inflaming the Middle East"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/07/how-trumps-alignment-with-saudi-arabia-and-
the-uae-is-inflaming-the-middle-east/

Marc Lynch meint, dass US-Präsident Trump die Konflikte im Nahen Osten mit seiner nahezu uneingeschränkten Unterstützung Saudi-Arabiens verschärfe. Die einseitige Konzentration der USA auf den Iran vernachlässige zudem die Rivalitäten zwischen den sunnitischen Mächten in der Region. "The competition between Qatar and the Saudi-Emirati coalition has long been one of the key lines of regional politics. Since the mid-1990s, Qatar has contested Saudi hegemony over the Gulf and competed as a regional power broker. (...) The uprisings of 2011 produced a rare moment of unity among the Gulf Cooperation Council states. Qatar supported the intervention into Bahrain, and allowed Saudi Arabia to take the lead in formulating a GCC response to Yemen. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE worked together to push successfully for military intervention in Libya and less successfully for a similar intervention in Syria. But this cooperation faded quickly as the sense of existential threat passed, and competition quickly intensified in almost every arena. (...) Trump’s embrace of the Saudi-UAE vision during his Middle East trip looked dangerous at the time. The unfolding implications over the last two weeks suggest that those risks may have been understated."

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23.04.2017

"The effects of climate change will force millions to migrate. Here’s what this means for human security."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/04/23/the-effects-of-climate-change-will-force-mi
llions-to-migrate-heres-what-this-means-for-human-security/

Der Klimawandel wird in den kommenden Jahren Millionen Betroffene zur Migration zwingen, sind Kelly M. McFarland und Vanessa Lide überzeugt. Sie stellen eine neue Studie des Institute for the Study of Diplomacy der Georgetown University vor, die sich mit den Hintergründen und möglichen Folgen dieser neuen Migrationswelle beschäftigt hat. "ISD’s April 2017 report, 'New Challenges to Human Security: Environmental Change and Human Mobility,' brings together analysis and discussion from experts on climate change, resource management, migration, foreign policy and national security, and included government and nongovernmental organization policymakers and foreign policy practitioners. The report provided a number of guiding principles for policymakers. Here are five key findings: 1) Environmental migration poses significant human security challenges. (...) 2) Extreme weather events are likely to displace more people. (...) 3) Many displaced people head to nearby cities, and that’s a problem. (...) 4) We don’t adequately define 'environmental migrants.' (...) 5) 'Planned relocations' will become more frequent."

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18.04.2017

"Why presidential candidates (like Trump) campaign as isolationists but (like Trump) govern as hawks"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/04/18/why-presidential-candidates-like-trump-camp
aign-as-isolationists-but-like-trump-govern-as-hawks/

Verlan Lewis erläutert, warum sich Präsidenten in der Geschichte der USA immer wieder von ihren Wahlversprechen einer "isolationistischen" Außenpolitik abgewandt und als "Falken" regiert haben. "Since foreign policy is an area where presidents face few constraints, they are especially prone to intervene with military force abroad — regardless of their previous campaign rhetoric or party ideology. (...) in a presidential campaign — all other things being equal — the challenger’s party is usually less interventionist than the incumbent’s party. But if the challenger wins, he or she will probably pursue a foreign policy as interventionist as that of the predecessor they criticized in the campaign. At that point, the two parties will change their positions on foreign policy accordingly. (...) The past two decades have followed this same pattern. (...) It’s no wonder, then, that in the 2016 primaries, the GOP nominated a less interventionist candidate like Trump. And it’s no surprise that Trump is beginning to govern as an interventionist. Now sit back and watch whether the two parties change their foreign policy views to fit."

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29.03.2017

"Why do countries relapse into war? Here are three good predictors."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/03/29/why-do-countries-relapse-into-war-here-are-
three-good-predictors/

George Frederick Willcoxon hat in einer Studie für die UNO untersucht, warum konfliktbeladene Staaten Gelegenheiten zur dauerhaften Beendigung der Gewalt oft nicht nutzen können. "Long-standing international conventional wisdom prioritizes economic reforms, transitional justice mechanisms or institutional continuity in post-war settings. However, my statistical analyses found that political institutions and military factors were actually the primary drivers of post-war risk. In particular, post-war states with more representative and competitive political systems as well as larger armed forces were better able to avoid war relapse. These findings challenge a growing reluctance to consider early elections and political liberalization as critical steps for reestablishing authoritative, legitimate and sustainable political order after major armed conflict."

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23.03.2017

"Denmark already has a Muslim ban. It’s just called something else."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/03/23/denmark-already-has-a-muslim-ban-its-just-c
alled-something-else/

Samantha Ruth Brown macht darauf aufmerksam, dass die Trump-Regierung in ihren Bemühungen um ein Einreisverbot für Bürger bestimmter muslimischer Staaten international nicht allein stehe. Auch in Europa gebe es viel Unterstützung für entsprechende Gesetze. Am weitesten fortgeschritten sei dabei Dänemark. "(...) few Americans would suspect which country has done so most successfully: Denmark, which many American liberals, including Bernie Sanders, praise for its comprehensive welfare state. That welfare state, however, is apparently intended for a homogenous population. As few Westerners realize, the Danish government has spent the past decade and a half implementing some of the most restrictive immigration policies in the world. Let’s look at several of the policies that have been put in place over time. (...) Both the Trump administration and a series of Danish governments have aimed at inhibiting Muslim migration without saying so explicitly within the regulations themselves. Instead, both countries have proposed and implemented regulations that purport to improve national security, integration and compatibility, and that disproportionately affect Muslims. We will see which approach is more successful."

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21.03.2017

"Trump won’t allow you to use iPads or laptops on certain airlines. Here’s why."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/03/21/trump-wont-allow-you-to-use-ipads-or-laptop
s-on-certain-airlines-heres-the-underlying-story/?utm_term=.78e2b5e93f8b

Die US-Regierung hat neue Einschränkungen für den Transport von elektronischen Geräten bei Flügen aus bestimmten muslimischen Staaten beschlossen. Offiziell wird diese Entscheidung auf Sicherheitsbedenken zurückgeführt, Henry Farrell und Abraham Newman schreiben allerdings, dass auch Wettbewerbspolitik eine Rolle spielen könnte. "It may not be about security. Three of the airlines that have been targeted for these measures — Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways — have long been accused by their U.S. competitors of receiving massive effective subsidies from their governments. These airlines have been quietly worried for months that President Trump was going to retaliate. This may be the retaliation. (...) If this were happening in a different sector, it would make for a pretty interesting case. (...) It’s very likely that the Trump administration will make more unilateral rules that are justified using the language of national security, but are plausibly motivated by protectionism, so we may find out."

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