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11.04.2019

"Venezuela is a Tragedy of Corruption, But Not a Threat"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/venezuela-is-a-tragedy-not-a-threat/

Doug Bandow warnt vor einer militärischen Intervention der USA in Venezuela, das von Außenminister Pompeo erneut zu einer "Bedrohung" für die USA erklärt worden ist. In der Reaktion der US-Regierung auf die Entsendung von russischen Truppen nach Venezuela erkennt er zudem ein gehöriges Maß an Heuchelei. "Russia has sent weapons and personnel who are thought to be repairing S-300 anti-aircraft missiles and training Venezuelan helicopter pilots. The reaction of the administration — which is aiding Russia’s neighbor Ukraine in their military conflict — was hypocritical outrage. 'Russia has to get out,' said the president. He added that 'all options are open,' presumably including military action. National Security Advisor John Bolton called the Russian presence 'a direct threat to international peace and security in the region' — though it’s Washington that’s been threatening war. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted, 'The United States has its responses being prepared.' The Russian Foreign Ministry reminded 'U.S. politicians that they live in the 21st rather than the 19th century' and that 'Venezuela is a sovereign state.' Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov unkindly noted: 'Take a look at the map of the U.S. military bases — the whole world is dotted' with them. Secretary Pompeo apparently looked to the Monroe Doctrine, declaring, 'This is our neighborhood.' Yet Washington previously dismissed Russian complaints about NATO expansion, claiming not to believe in sphere of interest geopolitics."

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10.04.2019

"Libya Is Our Regime Change Nightmare"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/libya-is-our-regime-change-nightmare/

Daniel Larison erinnert daran, dass die aktuelle Situation in Libyen das Resultat des vom Westen herbeigeführten Regimewechsels im Jahr 2011 sei. "Ever since the collapse of the old regime and Gaddafi’s violent death in 2011, Libya has been split among rival militias, and since 2014 it has had two would-be national governments. The government based in Tripoli now enjoys international recognition and some Western support, while the government in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk has benefited from the support of Egypt, the Saudis, and the United Arab Emirates. (...) Eight years later, Libya is still living with the instability and violence that resulted from U.S.-backed regime change made possible by Western intervention. Like many other such interventions, the Libyan war has left behind a legacy of upheaval and destruction. The civilians that supposedly benefited will be living with the consequences for years and probably decades to come."

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03.04.2019

"The Age of the Lone Wolf Terrorist"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-age-of-the-lone-wolf-terrorist/

Steven Metz führt das von einigen Experten ausgerufene neue Zeitalter des "Lone Wolf"-Terrorismus auf den bisher ersatzlosen Niedergang traditioneller gesellschaftlicher Strukturen zurück, die insbesondere jungen Männern in der Vergangenheit ethische Normen vermittelt hätten. "For a range of reasons, we live in an epoch of anomie, as traditional authority structures of all types, from religious institutions to news broadcasts to political leaders, have become less effective at instilling and enforcing ethical norms and at providing a structure for individual meaning, self-identification, and belonging. This has particularly affected young men, who generally need structures outside the family and want to see themselves as heroic protectors of something. The result is a dark pool of people — mostly young men — who, without traditional authority structures, have become lost, angry, and alienated. The vast majority eventually outgrow this. Some find non-pathological structures of which they are able to see themselves as heroic protectors. Others deflect their anger and alienation via an alternative framework, whether as an athlete or sports fan, or through entertainment like video games and superhero movies, or through a network of friends. Some find fulfillment in faith. Some turn to gang membership. But a few cannot manage or redirect their anger and alienation and choose instead to politicize it. Some of these are drawn to extremist ideologies. A small number with particularly demanding demons turn to violence."

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28.03.2019

"Saudi Arabia is Losing the War in Yemen"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/saudi-arabia-is-losing-the-war-in-yemen/

Der Krieg der von Saudi-Arabien angeführten Koalition gegen die Huthi-Rebellen in Jemen dauert jetzt bereits vier Jahre. Michael Horton stellt fest, dass der erhoffte schnelle Sieg trotz der Unterstützung durch die USA und Großbritannien ausgeblieben sei. "The result has been the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet. Yet despite this destruction, Yemen has turned into Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam. Ditto for the UAE. The two countries have sunk billions of dollars and countless troops and mercenaries into what has become a quagmire of catastrophic proportions. What they had hoped would be a decisively quick war has turned into an albatross, with the rest of the world now questioning their motivations and urging their Western helpmates to withdraw support immediately. (...) Without sustained international pressure on Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran, the war in Yemen will continue for years to come. All the while, it will drain both the UAE and Saudi Arabia of billions of dollars, spawn new militant groups, and ironically provide Iran with more opportunities to expand its influence. Most critically, the war will continue to kill, maim, starve, and impoverish tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians."

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21.03.2019

"Endorsing Illegal Annexation and the ‘Rules-Based Order’"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/endorsing-illegal-annexation-and-the-rules-based-order/

Daniel Larison meint, dass US-Präsident Trump mit seinem Tweet zum Status der Golanhöhen bestätigt habe, dass die oft beschworene "regelbasierte internationale Ordnung" von den USA nur akzeptiert werde, wenn sie den nationalen Interessen dient. "Trump’s decision confirms in the eyes of every other state that our government only claims to care about a 'rules-based order' when it can be used to target certain regimes for punishment. The U.S. has always treated itself and its allies and clients differently and held other governments to a higher standard, but endorsing Israel’s illegal annexation breaks new ground in cynical disregard for international law. (...) Of course, granting recognition to an illegal annexation is not simply recognizing things as they are. It is an act aimed at legitimizing an illegitimate status quo. The purpose of extending recognition to another state’s illegal annexation is not to acknowledge reality, but to try to change it. The legal reality for more than fifty years is that the Golan Heights belong to Syria, and for more than fifty years the U.S. has acknowledged that reality."

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14.03.2019

"Will Democrats Go Full Hawk?"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/will-democrats-go-full-hawk/

Dass die progressive US-Senatorin Elizabeth Warren den von Präsident Trump angekündigten Truppenabzug aus Syrien offen begrüßt hat, sei im derzeitigen Umfeld der Demokraten eine Ausnahme, stellt Jack Hunter fest. Das sogenannte "Trump derangement syndrome" (TDS) habe Teile der Partei auch in der Außenpolitik erfasst und dazu geführt, dass viele Demokraten heute Positionen der Neokonservativen vertreten. "A 2020 victory by a Democratic president who runs against Trump’s troop withdrawals could possibly lead to an even more hawkish party. If Trump is re-elected, a demoralized and increasingly pro-war MSNBC could go nuclear. Then again, a more progressive Democratic nominee could feasibly lead the party in a more antiwar direction, closer to what energized liberals a decade ago during Barack Obama’s ascent. A second-term President Trump could start listening to advisers John Bolton and Mike Pompeo more than Rand Paul, become even more hawkish, and drive the Left to become more dovish in pure partisan reaction. There is one thing we can count on: the Left’s blind rage toward Trump isn’t going anywhere. That abiding hatred will continue to play an outsized and often illogical role in determining what most Democrats believe about foreign policy."

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07.03.2019

"What Happened When We Kept Out of the India-Pakistan Fracas?"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-happened-when-we-kept-out-of-the-india-pakistan-fra
cas/

Die verhaltene Reaktion der USA auf die jüngste Konfrontation zwischen Indien und Pakistan sollte nach Ansicht von Doug Bandow als Modell für die künftige US-Außenpolitik dienen. Washington habe sich auf Apelle für eine friedliche Lösung beschränkt, da offensichtlich gewesen sei, dass die USA auf beide Länder nur begrenzten Einfluss ausüben könne. Auch in anderen Krisen wäre diese "Strategie des Nichtstuns" Bandow zufolge zu begrüßen. "The world is full of geopolitical upsets, national implosions, military conflicts, internal collapses, humanitarian tragedies, political instabilities, and regional hostilities. The U.S. can safely ignore most of them. Indeed, America’s safety usually requires ignoring them. Intervening puts Americans at risk for little potential gain. Consider the other candidates for the South Asia 'do nothing' model. (...) As the specter of nuclear war rises in South Asia, it is good to remember that not every problem on earth is America’s responsibility. Indeed, most are not, or at least should not be. Washington should instead enjoy the peace in its own neighborhood that has naturally resulted from its being the globe’s most powerful nation."

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01.03.2019

"Willing ISIS Brides Should Be Tried for Treason"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/willing-isis-brides-should-be-tried-for-treason/

Scott McConnell hält die "Welle der Empathie", die IS-Anhängerinnen wie Hoda Muthana in den USA und Shamima Begum in Großbritannien aus liberalen Kreisen entgegenschlägt, für völlig unangebracht. "Treat her 'with compassion,' urges the liberal Guardian. Naturally, her attorney describes her as a 'victim.' Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn avers that Begum obviously 'needs to answer questions' about her activities upon her return but also needs also to be 'shown support.' (...) The problem of the returning jihadis shouldn’t be insurmountable from a logistical, numerical, or financial standpoint. It seems straightforward enough that people who joined governments engaged in war with the West committed treason — and should be tried as traitors if they seek to return. (...) Young people are attracted to societies and organizations that exhibit faith in their own legitimacy and are willing to sacrifice for it. Whatever one might say about Shamima Begum and her cohorts, they aren’t cowards and they aren’t snowflakes. Their reappearance now raises the question of whether the West believes in itself sufficiently to punish its traitors and rally those who want it to have a future. The verdict is still out on that."

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26.02.2019

"Zarif’s Resignation and Our Bankrupt Iran Policy"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/zarifs-resignation-and-our-bankrupt-iran-policy/

Daniel Larison interpretiert die Rücktrittserklärung des iranischen Außenministers Mohammad Javad Zarif als Erfolg konservativer Kräfte in Teheran, die seit dem Ausstieg der USA aus dem internationalen Atomabkommen wieder an Einfluss gewonnen hätten. "Zarif has been under pressure from hard-line critics inside Iran for years, and that pressure has increased significantly since the U.S. withdrawal last year from the nuclear deal that he negotiated. His resignation seems to be an acknowledgment that hard-liners have gained enough ground at home that he is no longer able to do his job effectively. (...) It is possible that Zarif’s resignation won’t be accepted, but the fact that he felt the need to offer it shows that his position has been steadily eroding over the last year. Hard-liners are in the ascendant inside Iran, and that is due in no small part to the Trump administration’s destructive and bankrupt Iran policy. Iran hawks may like to pretend that Iran doesn’t have domestic politics and that there are no differences between relative moderates and hard-liners, but this latest development proves them wrong once again."

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24.02.2019

"Military Intervention Would Be a Disaster for Venezuela"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/military-intervention-would-be-a-disaster-for-venezuela/

US-Senator Marco Rubio, der Berichten zufolge einen prägenden Einfluss auf die Venezuela-Strategie der US-Regierung ausübt, hat auf den gescheiterten Versuch der Opposition, die Einfuhr von Hilfslieferungen nach Venezuela zu erzwingen, mit einem umstrittenen Tweet reagiert. Daniel Larison warnt angesichts Rubios "unverblümter" Anspielung auf das Ende von Diktator Gaddafi in Libyen vor den Folgen einer militärischen Intervention zum Sturz von Präsident Maduro. "Rubio is a reflexive hawkish intervetionist, and he has been the driving force behind the administration’s Venezuela policy. He has extraordinary influence over what that policy will be, and now he is making a clear threat that Maduro is going to meet the same grisly fate as Gaddafi. The parallels between this policy and the Libyan intervention were already worrisome, and now they are genuinely alarming. If Rubio wanted to give Maduro an additional incentive to hang on and fight to the bitter end, recalling Gaddafi’s violent death at the hands of his domestic enemies should do the trick. No one can honestly look at the legacy of the Libyan intervention and conclude that it would be good to repeat the same policy in Venezuela, and a war in Venezuela would likely last longer and cost a lot more than the Libyan war did."

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20.02.2019

"Venezuela and Trump’s Plunder Doctrine"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/venezuela-and-trumps-plunder-doctrine/

Daniel Larison macht auf Äußerungen Donald Trumps aufmerksam, die erkennen ließen, dass sich der US-Präsident bereits im Jahr 2017 Gedanken über einen militärischen Angriff auf das ölreiche Venezuela gemacht habe. "It seems that the idea of attacking Venezuela is never very far from Trump’s mind: 'In a July 2017 private briefing with intelligence officials, President Donald Trump apparently asked why the US wasn’t at war with Venezuela, noting that 'they have all that oil and they’re right on our back door.'' The latest claim is found in Andrew McCabe’s book, but it shouldn’t be dismissed. It is consistent with Trump’s many public and private statements floating the idea of invading Venezuela. Trump first publicly threatened military intervention as an option in August 2017. This latest report indicates that he was already thinking along these lines at least a month earlier. (...) In the past, Trump’s advisers and U.S. regional partners have dissuaded the president from pressing ahead with his horrible idea, but it keeps coming up for two important reasons: Trump is absolutely not a non-interventionist, and he sees countries rich in natural resources as desirable targets for plunder. Trump’s initial support for intervening in Libya included the suggestion that the U.S. should get to take control of the country’s oil as a reward."

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19.02.2019

"Good Riddance to 'Arab NATO'"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/good-riddance-to-arab-nato/

Das von der US-Regierung geförderte Projekt einer "Arabischen NATO" steht einem Bericht des Wall Street Journal zufolge möglicherweise bereits wieder vor dem Aus. Nach Ansicht von Daniel Larison ist dies eine gute Nachricht. "The so-called Middle East Strategic Alliance, also known as the 'Arab NATO,' was a lousy idea that served no American interests and would have pulled the U.S. into many new unnecessary conflicts in the region if the organization had somehow ever come into being. It was a measure of how unworkable such an alliance was that half of its would-be members wanted no part of its original main objective of hostility towards Iran. The fact that several of the states being considered for this group were busy blockading one of the others underscored how few interests they all had in common."

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14.02.2019

"Where 'Religious Freedom' Means Avoiding a Bloodbath"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/where-religious-freedom-means-avoiding-a-bloodbath/

Doug Bandow schreibt anlässlich der Veröffentlichung des Berichts "Religious Freedom in the World" der katholischen Organisation Aid to the Church in Need, dass Religionsfreiheit heute in vielen Teilen der Welt zu einer Überlebensfrage geworden sei. "The foreword for the latest report is authored by Cardinal Dieudonne Nzapalainga of the Central African Republic. In his nation, he writes, 'religious freedom is not a concept; it is a question of survival.' Americans would have trouble understanding, but 'the issue,' he says, 'is how to avoid a bloodbath.' That is no overstatement. In the Middle East, religious minorities are being exterminated. Unleashed by promiscuous American military interventions, radical Islamists are murdering, enslaving, and displacing Christians, Yazidis, Jews, and other religions minorities — even Shiites and liberal Sunnis. And the Middle East is not the only locus of persecution. Some of the worst episodes are occurring in Africa, including in Cardinal Nzapalainga’s Central African Republic, and Asia, specifically in the world’s two most populous nations, China and India."

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07.02.2019

"Trump’s 'Eyeball-to-Eyeball' Orders to the Generals on Syria"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/trumps-eyeball-to-eyeball-orders-to-the-generals-on-syri
a/

Trotz der breiten Kritik aus beiden Parteien im Kongress will US-Präsident Trump am angekündigten Truppenabzug aus Syrien festhalten. "(...) the reaction to Trump’s decision was so overwhelmingly negative that Washington pundits speculated that it was only a matter of time before Trump 'walked back' the decision by slowing the withdrawal — a deferential nod, it was said, to wiser and more seasoned foreign policy veterans. In fact, that not only hasn’t happened, the president has dug in his heels, issuing eyeball-to-eyeball orders to military commanders that are anything but ambiguous. (...) for perhaps the first time in his presidency, Trump has succeeded not only in confusing his critics but (perhaps inadvertently) flushing them out. In truth, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the obvious: that those who whinge on about Trump 'turning Syria over to Iran' or 'betraying the Kurds' are the same people who got us into this mess in the first place."

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30.01.2019

"Terror Experts Expect the Worst"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/terror-experts-expect-the-worst/

Jon Basil Utley berichtet über eine Terrorismus-Konferenz der Jamestown Foundation, auf der die Warnung geäußert worden sei, dass die USA dabei seien, den Kampf gegen den internationalen Terrorismus zu verlieren. "Bruce Hoffman, who runs Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies, said at a the recent Jamestown Foundation annual terrorism conference that there is no stalemate, but rather that the U.S. is actually losing. In fact, terrorist seeds are 'constantly regenerating,' and militants are just biding their time for new, major attacks. (...) Michael Ryan, Jamestown Senior Fellow, said that the threat of biological weapons in terrorist hands has increased because of 'new, easily available biological agents.' He said we should expect more attacks on Americans and American interests, that both Al Qaeda and ISIS still have tens of thousands of followers. (...) General John Allen, President of Brookings Institution and former commander of American forces in Central Asia, served as the keynote. He said the U.S. must stabilize nations after it invades them or terrorist threats will just rise up again. He implied that America should help in the cost of rebuilding Syria."

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29.01.2019

"If the Army Stands With Maduro, What Is Plan B?"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/if-the-army-stands-with-maduro-what-is-plan-b/

Der Ausgang der Krise in Venezuela hängt Patrick J. Buchanan zufolge in erster Linie davon ab, ob die Streitkräfte weiterhin zu Präsident Maduro halten werden. Noch sei unklar, welche Strategie die US-Regierung verfolgen würde, wenn der erhoffte Regimewechsel ausbleibt. "Invade? That would invite disaster. Venezuela is not Panama, Haiti or Grenada. Larger than Texas, its population is more than 30 million. And U.S. forces are already committed around the world. A blockade and sanctions would magnify and deepen the suffering of the people of Venezuela long before they would bring down the regime. Would our allies support a blockade? And if years of suffering by the Venezuelan people have not shaken Maduro’s hold on power, what makes us believe more of the same would persuade him? (...) Are we inviting a civil war in Venezuela? Should the shooting start in Caracas, what do we do then? Did anyone think this through? Maduro is an incompetent brutal dictator whose ideology has helped to destroy a nation. But if he can change the narrative from a confrontation between a tyrant and his persecuted people to that of an embattled defender of Venezuela being attacked by Yankee imperialists and their domestic lackeys, that could resonate among the masses in Latin America. And from all indications, Maduro intends to defy the U.S. and rally the radicals and anti-Americans in the hemisphere and the Third World."

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26.01.2019

"Rubio’s Regime Change Misadventure"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/rubios-regime-change-misadventure/

Daniel Larison verweist auf US-Senator Rubio als treibende Kraft hinter der Venezuela-Strategie der USA. Rubio sei ein "fanatischer Ideologe", der noch keine militärische Intervention der USA abgelehnt habe. "Rubio’s influence over Venezuela policy is a good example of how hawkish interventionists have been able to dominate the Trump administration. Trump is ignorant and easily swayed by advisers that propose 'tough'-seeming actions, and Rubio has been happy to provide the suggestions. The president is of course responsible for endorsing Rubio’s awful ideas, but Rubio has been the driving force behind this policy of regime change. Given the senator’s record of terrible foreign policy judgment, we should assume this policy will fail and backfire on the U.S."

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22.01.2019

"How a Foreign Reporter Got Jaded Over the United Nations"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-a-foreign-reporter-got-jaded-over-the-united-nations
/

James Jeffrey, der als freier Journalist u.a. in Ostafrika tätig ist, erläutert, warum ihn seine Begegnungen mit Vertretern der Vereinten Nationen und westlicher Hilfsorganisationen ernüchtert zurückgelassen haben. Auch in der Bevölkerung seien die westlichen Helfer häufig unbeliebt. "(...) these days in the foreign aid world, no one is willing to take risks or ownership: all they care about is career, promotion, keeping a clean slate, and landing the next juicy posting. It’s a long way from the impressive original Charter of the United Nations, described by Cooke as 'another noble document of dubious practicality.' Therein may lie many of the above problems."

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16.01.2019

"Tulsi Gabbard and the Great Foreign Policy Realignment"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/tulsi-gabbard-and-the-great-foreign-policy-realignment/

In den USA haben die ersten Demokraten ihre Kandidatur für die Präsidentschaftswahl im Jahr 2020 angekündigt. Zu ihnen gehört die Kongressabgeordnete Tulsi Gabbard, die sich in den vergangenen Jahren mit ihrer Ablehnung von US-Militärinterventionen auch gegen das eigene Parteiestablishment gestellt hat. Trotzdem wäre sie nach Ansicht von James P. Pinkerton im Fall einer Nominierung keineswegs chancenlos. "(...) the Democrats are changing. That is, many neoconservatives, having supported Bush 43 and Republicans, then turned against Trump and the GOP in 2016; they have, in effect, joined the Democratic Party. And in so doing, they’ve given the Democrats a distinctly Hillary-like — if not Bush 43-like — aspect. Most notably, MSNBC, which styles itself as the most progressive of the cable news channels, has become a haven for Bush 43 alums. (...) Will that sort of rhetorical pile-driving open up a path for Gabbard as the dovish candidate — or will it simply harden the opposition to her? We’ll have to see. (...) if Gabbard could somehow win the 2020 Democratic nomination, she’d likely be formidable in the November election. That is, she’s a woman, she’s 'diverse' — she was the first Hindu elected to Congress — and she’s a combat veteran with a no-nonsense attitude toward terrorism. And yes, she’s pro-peace. These days, among Americans overall, that’s a winning hand."

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14.01.2019

"The Push to Get Rid of Bolton"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-push-to-get-rid-of-bolton/

Die jüngsten Veröffentlichungen vertraulicher Informationen aus Regierungskreisen in Washington deuten Daniel Larison zufolge darauf hin, dass es innerhalb der Administration Bemühungen gebe, den umstrittenen Nationalen Sicherheitsberater John Bolton zu diskreditieren und möglicherweise aus dem Amt zu drängen. "The National Security Advisor has had a reputation of being an abrasive and obnoxious colleague for a long time, and his attempts to push his aggressive foreign policy agenda have made him even more enemies. If Bolton is 'under attack' from within the administration, it is because he has behaved with the same recklessness and incompetence that characterize his preferred policies overseas. He should be attacked, and with any luck he will be defeated and driven from office. Unfortunately, we have been seeing the opposite happen over the last few weeks: more Bolton allies are joining the administration in important positions and at least one major rival has exited. Bolton’s influence in the administration is an important indication of what U.S. foreign policy will look like in the months and years to come, and the longer he remains National Security Advisor the worse it will be for U.S. interests."

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07.01.2019

"It’s Splitsville for Trump and His Generals"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/its-splitsville-for-trump-and-his-generals/

Mit dem Rücktritt von Verteidigungsminister Mattis sei die "Liebesaffäre" des US-Präsidenten mit "seinen" Generälen scheinbar endgültig beendet, schreibt Andrew Bacevich. Dies liege auch daran, dass Trump das zivil-militärische Verhältnis in der US-Regierung falsch eingeschätzt habe. "Devoid of prior experience in either government or the military, Trump radically misconstrued the role of commander-in-chief. The title itself is a grand one, suggesting that the bearer makes decisions (Remember George W. Bush: 'I am the decider.'), to which subordinates respond by briskly saluting, making an about face, and marching off to do precisely what they’ve been told to do. As Trump has discovered, very much to his frustration, that’s not the way the civil-military relationship actually works. (...) Further complicating Trump’s problem is his rejection of the worldview to which senior military officers, along with the rest of the permanent national security apparatus, subscribe. Trump professes to believe in 'America First.' Mattis, Kelly, and McMaster and other members of the brass believe in 'global leadership,' which implies (among other things) gargantuan Pentagon budgets, a vast network of bases, suitably compliant allies who provide markets for American arms, and — a recent codicil — a willingness to fight very long wars even when those wars prove unwinnable and pointless."

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06.01.2019

Bolton’s Syria Conditions Are Designed to Prevent U.S. Withdrawal

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/boltons-syria-conditions-are-designed-to-prevent-u-s-with
drawal/

John Bolton, Nationaler Sicherheitsberater von Präsident Trump, hat einen Abzug der US-Truppen aus Syrien von einem vollständigen Sieg über den IS und von türkischen Garantien für die Sicherheit der syrischen Kurden abhängig gemacht. Nach Ansicht von Daniel Larison ist dies ein Manöver der "Falken" im Trump-Team, um die USA dauerhaft in Syrien zu halten. "One of the reasons that I didn’t believe that U.S. withdrawal from Syria would really happen was the presence of Bolton and Pompeo on Trump’s national security team. As committed Iran hawks, they have strong incentives to delay and undermine any withdrawal plan, and Bolton is already doing that with his current trip abroad to 'reassure' regional clients. It seems that they will pay lip service to the long-term goal of withdrawal, play along with the idea that U.S. forces will eventually leave, but then set so many conditions and create so many obstacles to withdrawal that it will never take place. Bolton’s conditions are designed to make withdrawal practically impossible for the foreseeable future."

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04.01.2019

"Why the United States Won’t Be Able to Quit Syria"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-the-united-states-wont-be-able-to-quit-syria/

David C. Hendrickson meint, dass der angekündigte US-Truppenabzug aus Syrien mit der weiterhin geltenden Iran-Strategie der US-Regierung kaum zu vereinbaren sei. Er hält es deshalb nicht für ausgeschlossen, dass dem Rückzug in Syrien eine Eskalation an einer anderen Front folgen könnte. "With his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, Trump has wounded, perhaps mortally, the neoconservative plan to use the Kurds as a lever against both Turkey and Iran. But don’t believe for a second that the great game is over. (...) Trump is most unlikely to break from that consensus. He says 'we’re done'; in all probability, we are not done. Trump has announced a withdrawal of forces from Syria, but his administration is still wedded to the breaking of the regime and an economic war on its people. And Syria aside, Trump is still actively engaged on the other anti-Iranian fronts. He will be under intense pressure to show his mettle on that question, and he may think it to his advantage to do so."

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20.12.2018

"Trump’s Decision to Leave Syria Was No ‘Surprise’"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/trumps-decision-to-leave-syria-was-no-surprise/

Mark Perry hält es dagegen für falsch, Trumps Entscheidung für einen Truppenabzug aus Syrien als "impulsive" Handlung zu charakterisieren. Hochrangige US-Offiziere hätten bereits seit Samstag gewusst, dass der Entschluss im Raum stehe. Das Telefonat zwischen Trump und Erdogan sei dabei tatsächlich entscheidend gewesen. "During Friday’s telephone call, Erdogan once again took a hard line against the Kurds, and the administration’s support for them. A part of his argument was that the U.S. had said it was allying with the Kurds to destroy ISIS which, as Erdogan argued, had been accomplished. Nor was Erdogan influenced by Trump’s contention that the U.S. needed to remain in Syria in order to check Iranian influence in the region. Erdogan, we have been told, was ready for the argument: the best hedge against Iran, he told Trump, was not the Kurds, or even the Saudis, but Turkey. Erdogan, as it turns out, wasn’t the only one making that argument. As reported in these pages last April, senior U.S. military officers, including Gen. Curtis Michael 'Mike' Scaparrotti (the highly respected head of the U.S. European Command), warned that the U.S. 'marriage of convenience' with the YPG in its fight against ISIS in Syria was poisoning its relationship with Turkey — a NATO ally. (...) Nor, as we’ve been told, are senior military officers concerned that the announced U.S. withdrawal from Syria gives Putin a victory. 'Complete and absolute nonsense,' a very senior officer who served multiple tours in the region told us. 'I hate to put it this way, but I think it’s true. We can’t repair Syria — and it’s not our job to do it. If Putin wants to inherit it, that’s fine.'"

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10.12.2018

"Mueller’s Investigation is Missing One Thing: A Crime"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/muellers-investigation-is-missing-one-thing-a-crime/

In seiner Bestandsaufnahme der laufenden Ermittlungen gegen US-Präsident Trump stellt Peter van Buren fest, dass Sonderermittler Mueller nach wie vor keine Hinweise auf Verbrechen des Präsidenten vorgelegt habe. "The core problem — at least that we know of — is that Mueller hasn’t found a crime connected with Russiagate that someone working for Trump might have committed. His investigation to date hasn’t been a search for the guilty party (...) so much as a search for an actual crime, some crime, any crime. Yet all he’s uncovered so far are some old financial misdealings by Manafort and chums, payoffs to Trump’s mistresses that are not in themselves illegal (despite what prosecutors simply assert in the Cohen sentencing report, someone will have to prove to a jury the money was from campaign funds and the transactions were 'for the purpose of influencing' federal elections, not simply 'protecting his family from shame'), and a bunch of people lying about unrelated matters. And that’s the giveaway to Muller’s final report. There was no base crime as the starting point of the investigation. With Watergate, there was the break-in at Democratic National Headquarters. With Russiagate you had…Trump winning the election."

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28.11.2018

"Hillary Clinton: Conservatives Were Right on Mass Migration"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/hillary-clinton-conservatives-were-right-on-mass-migrati
on/

James P. Pinkerton schreibt, dass Hillary Clinton mit ihrer im Guardian geäußerten Kritik an der europäischen Migrationspolitik unter moderaten Liberalen keineswegs allein stehe. "It’s also worth noting that other leaders on the moderate left have also endorsed tougher border restrictions. In the same November 22 Guardian article that quoted Clinton, former British prime minister Tony Blair declared, 'You’ve got to deal with the legitimate grievances and answer them, which is why today in Europe you cannot possibly stand for election unless you’ve got a strong position on immigration because people are worried about it.' (...) In fact, in yet another Guardian interview, former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry went further: 'Europe is already crushed under this transformation that is taking place due to migration.' (...) Undeniably, a new hard-nosed pessimism about population flows is creeping into the discussion, even among the Davos Men. In September, tycoon-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates said, perhaps somewhat awkwardly, that African population growth was 'the elephant in the room.'"

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19.11.2018

"Denuclearization Is a Dead End, But Engagement Isn’t"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/denuclearization-is-a-dead-end-but-engagement-isnt/

Daniel Larison ist von den jüngsten Berichten über einen praktischen Stillstand der Verhandlungen über eine Denuklearisierung Nordkoreas nicht überrascht. Das Ziel der Entwaffnung Nordkoreas sei von Beginn an unrealistisch gewesen. Für die Entspannung des Konflikts auf der Halbinsel werde es allerdings wichtig bleiben, dass die Kontakte und Verhandlungen zwischen den USA und Nordkorea fortgeführt werden, so Larison. "The administration’s failure with North Korea is not a reason to give up on engagement and negotiations with Pyongyang, but to recognize that fixating on North Korea’s disarmament has always been a dead end and the wrong priority for our diplomatic efforts. There is a common misconception that skeptics of Trump’s disarmament agenda don’t want diplomacy with North Korea to succeed. On the contrary, the only way that there will be successful diplomacy with North Korea and the establishment of an enduring peace regime between North and South Korea is if the U.S. stops making disarmament the most important and indeed the only issue on the agenda."

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12.11.2018

"North Korea and the 'Great Deception'"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/north-korea-and-the-great-deception/

US-Experten haben einem Bericht der New York Times zufolge nach eigenen Angaben 13 Standorte lokalisiert, die darauf hindeuten, dass Nordkorea weiter an seinem Atomwaffen- und Raketenarsenal arbeitet. Daniel Larison bezweifelt diese Angaben nicht, er lehnt allerdings die Interpretation der Times ab: "It is wrong to say that North Korea is being deceptive by continuing to develop the missile program that it has been developing for years. There is no agreement that prohibits them from doing what they are doing, and so they can’t be deceiving anyone by carrying on with their missile development. It is to be expected that North Korea would continue to develop and build missiles when their government has never said that it would not do so. If anyone has attempted a 'great deception' over the last six months, it is the administration officials that have pretended that North Korea agreed to disarm at Singapore. If the existence of these sites 'contradicts Mr. Trump’s assertion that his landmark diplomacy is leading to the elimination of a nuclear and missile program,' the fault lies entirely with Trump. He is the one making false claims of progress in pursuing the administration’s unrealistic goals, and it is hardly the first time that reality has not lined up with the president’s statements."

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08.11.2018

"Who ‘Lost’ Crimea?"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/who-lost-crimea/

US-Präsident Trump hat seinem Amtsvorgänger Obama vorgeworfen, die russische Übernahme der Krim "erlaubt" zu haben, da Obama von Präsident Putin nicht ausreichend respektiert worden sei. Daniel Larison hält diese Interpretation der Vorgänge für "bizarr". "The assumption that Russian actions hinge on their leader’s attitude towards ours is bizarre and ignores that Russia has agency and interests that have nothing to do with us or our presidents. (...) Trump talks about 'losing' Crimea as if it were ours to lose. The language of 'losing Crimea' is itself a throwback to the dumbest Cold War-era rhetoric that promoted the fantasy that it was within America’s power to 'keep' or 'lose' entire countries. That sort of thinking is delusional, and it’s very dangerous if this is how the president looks at international crises. Obama didn’t 'lose' Crimea, and it was never the responsibility of the U.S. government to stop what Russia did. Russia’s action was aggressive and illegal, but the U.S. was under no obligation to risk a war with a nuclear-armed state to undo it."

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07.11.2018

"Midterms Show America Isn’t Done Dividing"

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/midterms-show-america-isnt-done-dividing/

Innenpolitisch hätten die Kongresswahlen nur bestätigt, wie geteilt das Land heute tatsächlich sei, meint Daniel DePetris. "The House will now be at the center of the #Resistance in Washington. Democrats will wield committee chairmanships and subpoena power, and you can bet that several major investigations will be launched against the administration when the next Congress is officially sworn in. The GOP Senate, however, will provide the White House with an ally on Capitol Hill and a formidable check on whatever bills soon-to-be Speaker Pelosi jams through the chamber. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, the United States has never been as divided politically as it is right now. (...) After tonight’s split decision, the next two years could very well be even more divisive than the last two."

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