US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The American Conservative


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"How Our Economic Warfare Brings The World To Heel"

Doug Bandow hält die aktuelle Praxis der Verhängung von Wirtschaftssanktionen durch die US-Regierung für einen Ausdruck "beispielloser Hybris". Die Strategie sei generell nicht nur ineffektiv, sondern führe einen globalen "Blowback" herbei. "Commercial penalties have a role to play in foreign policy, but economic warfare is warfare. It can trigger real conflicts — consider Imperial Japan’s response to the Roosevelt administration’s cut-off of oil exports. And economic warfare can kill innocents. When UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright was asked about the deaths of a half million Iraqi babies from U.S. sanctions, her response was chilling: 'We think the price is worth it.' Yet most of the time economic war fails, especially if a unilateral effort by one power applied against the rest of the world. Washington policymakers need to relearn the meaning of humility. Incompetent and arrogant sanctions policies hurt Americans as well as others. Unfortunately, the resulting blowback will only increase."

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"Meet The Cold War Liberals"

James Carden stellt fest, dass der "progressive Realismus" im außenpolitischen Denken der US-Demokraten, der einige Gemeinsamkeiten mit dem konservativen Realismus habe, seit dem Wahlsieg Donalds Trumps auf dem Rückzug sei. Heute habe sich unter amerikanischen Liberalen ein "neoprogressiver Realismus" ausgebreitet, dessen Positionen an den Kalten Krieg erinnerten. "To attack the president and his administration, critics revived Cold War attitudes. This is now part of the neoprogressive foreign policy critique. It places an 'authoritarian axis' at its center. Now countries ruled by authoritarians, nationalists, and kleptocrats can and must be checked by an American-led crusade to make the world safe for progressive values. The problem with this neoprogressive narrative of a world divided between an authoritarian axis and the liberal West is what it will lead to: ever spiraling defense budgets, more foreign adventures, more Cold Wars — and hot ones too. (…) Cold warriors in both parties frequently mistook communism as a monolithic global movement. Neoprogressives are making this mistake today when they gloss over national context, history, and culture in favor of an all-encompassing theory that puts the 'authoritarian' nature of the governments they are criticizing at the center of their diagnosis. By citing the threat to Western democracies posed by a global authoritarian axis, the neoprogressives are repeating the same mistake made by liberal interventionists and neoconservatives. They buy into the democratic peace theory, which holds without much evidence that a world order populated by democracies is likely to be a peaceful one because democracies allegedly don’t fight wars against one another."

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"If France Wants The Middle East, Let Them Have It"

Die französische Verteidigungsministerin hat der US-Regierung nach dem Abzug von US-Truppen aus Syrien und dem Ausstieg aus dem Atomabkommen mit dem Iran vorgeworfen, sich im Nahen Osten nicht genug zu engagieren. Willis Krumholz hält die Kritik für unangemessen und schreibt: "(…) with all due respect to the French defense minister, her analysis is both backwards and tone-deaf. She rightly mentions France’s (and America’s) role in fueling the Syrian Civil War, but totally ignores the indescribable damage that has ensued. The human cost alone of that conflict has been staggering, yet nothing has been achieved aside from the rise of the Islamic State and other radical Sunni groups. Parly also has the audacity to decry Iranian influence in the Middle East. Yet she glossed over the fact that that influence in Syria and Yemen, over its Shia Muslim friends, was directly proportional to the pressure being placed on those Shia groups by Sunni forces, which were backed by Western military might. In other words, Iran only became heavily involved in Syria after the West decided to foment a civil war and attempt to topple the Assad regime. Likewise did the chaos in Syria resulted in Assad inviting Russia to enter the region. (…) That being said, the Middle East really is more relevant to French security, so if they want to take the reins, America should be grateful. And if countries like Russia and China are dumb enough to get trapped in the region’s quicksand, not to mention a 1,400-year-old Shia-Sunni divide, we should start popping the champagne."

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"Can We Impeach The FBI Now?"

Der neue Untersuchungsbericht des Generalinspekteurs des US-Justizministeriums Michael Horowitz über die FBI-Ermittlungen gegen das Wahlkampfteam des damaligen Präsidentschaftskandidaten Donald Trump bestätigt nach Ansicht von Peter van Buren, dass die Behörde eine systematische Geheimdienstkampagne zur Delegitimierung des Kandidaten und späteren Präsidenten durchgeführt habe. "The Horowitz Report is being played by the media for its conclusion: that the FBI’s intel op run against the Trump campaign was not politically motivated and thus 'legal.' That covers one page of the 476-page document, but because it fits with the Democratic/mainstream media narrative that Trump is a liar, the rest has been ignored. 'The rest,' of course, is a detailed description of America’s domestic intelligence apparatus, aided by its overseas intelligence apparatus, and assisted by its Five Eyes allies’ intelligence apparatuses. And the conclusion is that they unleashed a full-spectrum spying campaign against a presidential candidate in order to influence an election, and when that failed, they tried to delegitimize a president. (…) The current Horowitz Report, read alongside his previous report on how the FBI played inside the 2016 election vis-a-vis Clinton, should leave no doubt that the Bureau tried to influence the election of a president and then delegitimize him when he won. It wasn’t the Russians; it was us."

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"5 Infuriating Takeaways From The 'Afghanistan Papers'"

Barbara Boland fasst die Ergebnisse des neuen Afghanistan-Dossiers der Washington Post in fünf Punkten zusammen: "1) The government suppressed its own 'Lessons Learned'. Probably the biggest unintentional irony here is the Pentagon’s title for the project: 'Lessons Learned.' (…) the witnesses’ first-hand accounts and unvarnished truths were suppressed for years. (…) 2) Staggering Amount of Money Wasted. Perhaps the most outrageous takeaway is the untold sums wasted in the war: 'One unidentified contractor told government interviewers he was expected to dole out $3 million daily for projects in a single Afghan district roughly the size of a U.S. county. (…). Three million dollars. A day. In one Afghan district. (…) 3) Who are the ‘Bad Guys’? Officials repeatedly acknowledge in 'Lessons Learned' that with so many competing agendas in Washington that it was like having no real war strategy at all. (…) 4) It was all fake news, lies and spin (…) 5) Eighteen Years In, two parties responsible, no one accountable. (…) These papers show a clear attempt to mislead and deceive the American people about the extent of the administrative and bureaucratic waste and incompetence that was occurring. What these interviews reveal is mind-blowing; that no one has been unaccountable is criminal."

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"Trump’s Saudi First Response To The Pensacola Attack"

Nach den tödlichen Schüssen eines Mitglieds der saudi-arabischen Luftwaffe auf dem US-Militärstützpunkt in Pensacola habe sich US-Präsident Trump sofort schützend vor die Saudis gestellt, schreibt Daniel Larison. "The Pensacola shooting was a treacherous attack carried out by a member of the Saudi military against U.S. officers on American soil. The only reason that this man was in the U.S. at all was so that he could receive pilot training that he would probably have gone on to use in the service of the kingdom’s despicable bombing campaign in Yemen. The attack calls into question the Saudi military’s vetting of its own officers and the U.S. military’s scrutiny of the officers that it accepts into its training programs. This Saudi officer should never have been in the U.S., and it is a serious failure by both governments that he was allowed to participate in this program. (…) This is the latest in a series of episodes in which the president parrots the Saudi line, because he has been determined to appear subservient before the Saudi government whenever there has been an opportunity to do so. One might think that an attack on a U.S. military base by a Saudi officer would be an occasion when he would make an exception, but it is not."

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"Fears That Saudi-Exported Extremism Is Spreading Throughout Africa"

James Jeffrey berichtet über eine Serie von Anschlägen auf christliche Kirchen in Äthiopien, die mit der Ausbreitung des von Saudi-Arabien geförderten Wahhabismus in Verbindung gebracht worden ist. "(…) the attacks are occurring amid concerns over increased Islamic extremism in the Horn of Africa, including in Ethiopia. 'Islamic extremism has been growing in Ethiopia and has been a concern for many analysts in the region,' says Tewodrose Tirfe, chairman of the Amhara Association of America, another U.S.-based diaspora group. 'Money from the Gulf region has been pouring into the country, building mosques, [Islamic] schools, and introducing the Wahhabi form of Islam to Ethiopian Muslims since the early 2000s.' Wahhabism is a strict, fundamentalist Islamic doctrine and religious movement, backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Both countries have shown an increased interest in Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa region over the past few years. While Tewodrose says he doesn’t believe Saudi Arabia or the UAE are directly involved in fomenting religious tensions in Ethiopia, he does note that, over the centuries, Ethiopians of all ethnic groups have long respected diverse religious institutions. Hence the burning of churches is a 'foreign' idea that must have been 'exported to the country.' Fears are thus mounting that any hint of religious conflict could make an already highly volatile situation even worse."

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"A Terrorist Designation For Cartels Is A Bad Idea"


US-Präsident Trump hat damit gedroht, die mexikanischen Drogenkartelle als Terrororganisationen einzustufen. Daniel Larison halt dies aus mehreren Gründen für eine schlechte Idee: "Designating drug cartels as terrorists is both unnecessary and potentially quite dangerous. For one thing, it continues a bad habit of defining every problem as terrorism, and that in turn could lead to further militarization of an already failed drug war. (…) Designating the cartels as terrorist organizations is more likely to impede U.S.-Mexican cooperation. This is another case where heavy-handed hawkish posturing will cause significant harm and undermine the very effort it is supposed to be helping. This idea has been considered before, but it has always been rejected because the costs would far exceed the benefits (…). As Andres Oppenheimer pointed out when this came up in March, designating cartels would divert resources away from genuine counter-terrorism work. Besides, the cartels don’t really fit the definition of terrorist organizations needed for the designation. There may occasionally be some overlap in tactics between criminal organizations and terrorist groups, but they are not the same thing and shouldn’t be treated as if they are."

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"Arab Spring 2.0: Don’t Get Any Ideas, Washington"

Doug Bandow hält die bisher zurückhaltende Reaktion der US-Regierung auf die neuen Protestwellen im Nahen Osten für angemessen. "We see through the glass darkly, observed the Apostle Paul. The Middle East again is proving to be perennially unstable, even without a new blundering American intervention. Hopefully popular aspirations for democracy and prosperity will have a better end this round. However, no one should have any illusions about the likelihood that nationalistic Arab sentiments will coincide with pro-American and especially pro-administration sentiments. Washington should be careful what it wishes for: new, democratic, nationalistic regimes might be less willing to tolerate future U.S. meddling."

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"Macron’s Warning: Europe Must Unite Or Die"

James Pinkerton betrachtet die NATO-Kritik des französischen Präsidenten als realpolitischen Weckruf für die Europäer. "(…) fey dream-talk about being a 'humanitarian superpower' might play well in Berlin — but the real world operates by sterner rules. Rich and high-minded territories that can’t defend themselves have a way of being swallowed up by tougher customers; that’s been the fate, for example, of such opulent enclaves as Vatican City, Goa, Hong Kong, and Macau. And so today, rich little Singapore should be thinking a lot about how to become a high-tech, high-powered garrison state, such as Israel. Europe, boasting a population of half a billion and a sixth of the world’s GDP, might seem safe enough. Yet its difficulty in providing for even the basics of frontier defense is a sign of lassitude — and perhaps even a prefiguration of doom. Still, as this author has noted in the past, France didn’t come all this way these past 1,500 years so it could climb up some ivory tower and evanesce into the atmosphere. The iron spirit of Charlemagne still abides in Gallic heads, and in Macron, one hears the realpolitique echoes of Richelieu, Talleyrand, and DeGaulle."

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"NATO’s Real Enemy: Not Trump But Macron"

Bill Wirtz betrachtet die NATO-Kritik des französischen Präsidenten als ernst gemeinten Angriff auf das Militärbündnis. Macron betrachte die NATO als Hindernis auf dem Weg zur Schaffung einer europäischen Armee. In der EU habe diese Position noch keine Mehrheit. "His strategy is clear: discredit NATO and make it vulnerable to a threat that isn’t real. While Trump wants members to spend more so the alliance can have meaning again, Macron wants to weaken NATO in order to make a positive case for a European army. The French president says in his Economist interview that Europe stands on 'the edge of a precipice' and that it needs to start thinking of itself strategically as a geopolitical power; otherwise Europeans will 'no longer be in control of our destiny.' Ursula Von der Leyen, the former German defense minister and newly appointed European Commission (the EU’s executive) president, stands firmly on the side of NATO. She has contradicted Macron by calling for an 'army of Europeans' rather than 'a European army,' thereby rejecting a centralized command in favor of a confederal defense union. (…) Will NATO disappear? Probably. Alliances and pacts come and go because they are rarely worth the paper they’re written on. If Armenia were to launch an attack on Turkey, it seems implausible that public opinion in France would support a military intervention, even though that would be called for under the treaty. However, with Von der Leyen’s commitment, and with Macron losing support in Brussels, the alliance isn’t on its last breath yet."

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"Think Hate Speech Laws Will Work? Just Look At Europe"

Die Beschränkung der Meinungsfreiheit durch Gesetze zum Verbot sogenannter Hassreden in Europa sollte den USA als warnendes Beispiel dienen, meint Will Collins. Die Restriktionen erstickten politische Debatten über kontroverse Themen, ohne ihrem Ziel, der Bekämpfung des politischen Extremismus, näher zu kommen. "These failures have not deterred European policymakers — Germany is on the verge of tightening its hate speech laws — but they should give Americans pause. The practical effect of German policy has been the creation of a blueprint for regulating online speech for authoritarian governments in Russia and Vietnam, not a reduction in hatred or political extremism. Indeed, one senses that even for speech restrictionists, the purpose of hate speech laws is more symbolic than functional. But symbolic of what? Far from being totems of tolerance or inclusion, European speech restrictions are symptomatic of institutional malaise. We are treated to the absurd spectacle of British police chasing down Twitter users for offensive tweets, or the French government jailing activists for the high crime of displaying a political banner on a ski slope. Meanwhile, issues that have roiled the continent’s politics for years — immigration, Islamic extremism, the troubled relationship between the European Union and its member states — fester beneath the surface."

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"Will Julian Assange Die in Prison?"

Angesichts des zuletzt bedenklichen psychologischen Zustands von Julian Assange halten es einige Beobachter Barbara Boland zufolge nicht mehr für ausgeschlossen, dass der WikiLeaks-Gründer in britischer Haft sterben könnte. Der UN-Sonderberichterstatter über Folter, Nils Melzer, habe den britischen Behörden psychologische Folter vorgeworfen und ein Ende der "unmenschlichen" Haftbedingungen von Assange gefordert. "Assange is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day, and permitted 45 minutes exercise. When he has to be moved, guards clear the corridors and lock all cells to guarantee he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the exercise period. Assange 'continues to be detained under oppressive conditions of isolation and surveillance, not justified by his detention status,' said Melzer, who pointed out that Assange completed his prison sentence for violating his British bail terms and is 'being held exclusively in relation to the pending extradition request from the United States.' (…) The UK ignored earlier pleas that to protect Assange’s health and dignity, Melzer said, and his condition has progressed to the point where 'his life was now at risk.' In fact, when Melzer tried to raise the alarm in the media, The Guardian, The Times, the Financial Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Canberra Times, The Telegraph, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Newsweek all refused to publish his op-ed."

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"It’s Time for a Neo-Nixonian Foreign Policy"

Greg R. Lawson erinnert an die außenpolitische Kursänderung der USA unter Präsident Nixon, der sich 1972 mit seinem historischen Besuch in Peking von ideologischen Vorbehalten abwandte und die pragmatische Öffnung zu China einleitete. Nun sei es an der Zeit für eine geopolitisch begründete Abkehr von diesem Kurs, so Lawson. "First and foremost, China and Russia should not ally. This would be a geopolitical disaster for the U.S., which is why it has been a cornerstone for much of Cold War policy since the Nixon era. (…) This calls for recasting the American relationship with Russia at a fundamental level. Specifically, Russia should be split from China in a way not dissimilar from how President Nixon and Henry Kissinger worked to exploit the Sino-Soviet split to counterbalance the Soviets. At that time, China was clearly the weaker power in the triangular diplomatic gambit. Today, it is Russia. NATO should informally recognize that Russia would have what amounts to a sphere of influence. There will be a red line, but the red line will not be set in any former Soviet republic. Ukraine and Georgia will never be admitted into NATO and must remain essentially neutral entities between the West and Russia. If Russia’s western frontiers can be managed, the U.S. should actively encourage Moscow to shift its focus towards Central Asia."

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"New York Times Confirms: It’s Trump Versus the Deep State"

Die Berichterstattung der New York Times über die Hintergründe der Kampagne zur Amtsenthebung von Präsident Trump bestätigt nach Ansicht von Robert W. Merry die These vieler Trump-Anhänger, dass der Präsident in Washington als Outsider gelte und gegen Insider eines "Deep State" kämpfe. "(…) they implicitly give support to those who have argued that American foreign policy has become the almost exclusive domain of unelected bureaucrats impervious to the views of elected officials — even presidents — who may harbor outlooks different from their own. This is a big deal because, even in today’s highly charged political environment, with a sitting president under constant guerrilla attack, few have been willing to acknowledge any such deep state phenomenon. (…) Trump wanted to restore at least somewhat cordial relations with Russia, whereas the deep state considered that the height of folly. Trump wanted to get out of Afghanistan, whereas the deep state totally opposed such a move. Trump viewed America’s role in Syria as focused on defeating ISIS, whereas the deep state wanted to continue favoring the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump was wary of letting events in Ukraine draw America into a direct confrontation with Russia, whereas the deep state wants to wrest Ukraine out of Russia’s sphere of influence even if it means opening tensions with the Bear. Trump wanted to bring China to account for its widespread abuse of normal trading practices, whereas the deep state clung to “free trade’’ even in the face of such abuse. These are big issues facing America. And the question hovering over the country as the impeachment drama proceeds is: are these matters open to debate in America? Or will the deep state suppress any such debate?

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"Europeans Attacking Trump Over Turkey Haven’t a Leg to Stand On"

Ist US-Präsident Trump für die türkische Invasion in Nordsyrien verantwortlich? Bill Wirtz weist darauf hin, dass die Europäer zum türkischen Fehlverhalten aufgrund ihres Flüchtlings-Deals mit Ankara ebenfalls einiges beigetragen hätten. "As a result of these payments, Turkey has taken up its part of the obligation, and increased its intake of refugees from just above 4 million in 2016 to close to 6 million this year. Many of them live in very rough conditions. And while Ankara cashes in the money from Europe, it also deports thousands of refugees back to Syria, confiscating their legal documents and belongings in the process. Last year, Human Rights Watch reported, 'Turkish authorities in Istanbul and nine provinces on or near the Syrian border have stopped registering all but a handful of recently arrived Syrian asylum seekers.' That’s the dark secret about the arrangement: the EU has made Turkey its external border patrol, enabling it to steal from innocent people harmed by military interventions that European countries participated in. So if it’s time to get tough on Turkey, the question really is — who goes first? And maybe the Europeans might want to think twice before they criticize the U.S. for enabling Ankara’s bad behavior."

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"America Doesn’t Belong in Syria"

Doug Bandow verteidigt die Entscheidung des US-Präsidenten, die US-Truppen aus Nordsyrien abzuziehen, dagegen als konsequente Kurskorrektur der von Barack Obama eingeleiteten Syrien-Politik der USA. Dabei erinnert er daran, dass die Stationierung der US-Soldaten in Syrien aus legaler Perspektive immer schon fragwürdig gewesen sei. "(...) the mission remains entirely illegal, without congressional or international warrant. On his own authority, the president entered a foreign war, occupied a foreign country, dismembered a foreign nation, established a foreign security commitment, and threatened war against a foreign government along with its long-time foreign allies. This is the sort of behavior that the British king engaged in, which the nation’s founders sought to curb by placing the power to declare war in congressional hands. Of course, there remains much to criticize about the president’s decision to move U.S. forces away from the border and presumably exit entirely. Even when he does the right thing, he usually does so for the wrong reason and in the wrong way. (...) Perhaps the only way he can set policy is by acting without warning, essentially by fait accompli."

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"Trump Makes Another Bad Choice for National Security Advisor"

US-Präsident Trump hat mit Robert O’Brien einen Nachfolger für den entlassenen Sicherheitsberater John Bolton ernannt. Daniel Larison zufolge handelt es sich bei ihm um einen typischen republikanischen Falken: "O’Brien previously served in the Bush administration’s State Department. Hugh Hewitt, who wrote the foreword to O’Brien’s book, has described him as a 'long time colleague of John Bolton.' Since the Bush years, O’Brien advised the Romney 2012 campaign, and he also advised the short-lived Scott Walker campaign in the 2016 cycle. He is a typical hawkish Republican. Curt Mills referred to him in his recent report on the race to replace Bolton this way: 'Robert O’Brien, the Trump hostage negotiator whose stock has risen in the administration in recent months, is 'Bolton lite,' according to a source who has known O’Brien for years."'

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"After Bolton, Trump’s Second Term Depends on America First"

Ll" W. James Antle III vom konservativen Washington Examiner hofft, dass US-Präsident Trump nach der Entlassung seines Sicherheitsberaters seine außenpolitischen Wahlkampfversprechen endlich umsetzen wird. Es sei immer bedenklich gewesen, dass Trump sich mit früheren Mitgliedern der außenpolitischen "B-Teams" von George W. Bush und John McCain umgeben habe. "So far there has been a disconnect between Trump’s rhetoric and the Trump record. He has allowed underlings to essentially override him on Afghanistan and Syria. He scrapped the Iran nuclear deal without a viable alternative and vetoed a bipartisan resolution rebuking U.S. participation in the unconscionable Saudi war on Yemen. He has escalated many of the ongoing presidential wars that lack constitutionally required congressional authorization. At the same time, Trump has periodically called for bringing the troops home, only to face internal opposition bordering on insubordination. (...) What has listening to his vanquished Republican rivals gotten Trump? No border wall, no broader immigration reform, no infrastructure bill, no Obamacare repeal or replacement, no credit for cutting taxes. They collaborated successfully on judges and jobs, which should be enough to turn out the conservative base, but Trump has less to sell to the working-class swing voters who changed Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan from blue to red. Those Americans are tired of seeing their children sent to die in nation-building exercises overseas as their own communities crumble around them at home."

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"Amazon is Teaming Up With Police for Mass Surveillance"

Dan King bezeichnet die enge Kooperation des Amazon-Konzerns mit Polizeibehörden in den USA als weiteren Schritt zur Massenüberwachung der Bevölkerung. "What do you call the use of a network of cameras that are constantly recording and can be accessed by police? Well, according to Ring, Amazon’s home security company, somehow the answer isn’t 'surveillance.' Ring, which has joined into secretive partnerships with local law enforcement agencies, granting them access to video from people’s doorbell cameras, has reportedly prevented police from describing the partnership as 'surveillance.' This they can do because the contract allows Ring to review any police press releases before they’re sent out. It’s ridiculous, of course, because it keeps people in the dark about what their law enforcement agencies are up to. (...) If being unwittingly caught on camera when walking down the street by a company that works with hundreds of law enforcement agencies, and potentially having that footage shared with police, doesn’t constitute 'surveillance,' then what does? We certainly shouldn’t leave that up to Amazon to decide."

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"Bolton Likely Axed Over Taliban Deal, Leaks"

Barbara Boland führt die Entlassung John Boltons darauf zurück, dass der Nationale Sicherheitsberater sich dem US-Präsidenten in Verhandlungen und öffentlichen Äußerungen immer wieder entgegengestellt habe. Zudem habe Bolton mit gezielten Veröffentlichungen vertraulicher Informationen versucht, die öffentliche Debatte in eine von ihm gewünschte Richtung zu lenken. "(...) the writing was on the wall for Bolton for some time, in part because he had a habit of leaking information to the press that would damage negotiations he didn’t agree with. The situation became so bad that Trump’s special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad reportedly refused to allow Bolton to leave the room with a copy of the nascent Afghanistan deal. That decision was followed by a flurry of pro-Bolton leaks and anti-deal coverage in the press. (...) in recent days, it appears Trump became frustrated with Bolton publicly contradicting him and scuttling his negotiations. Bolton opposed Trump’s face-to-face negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, backed an unsuccessful campaign to remove Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro from power, and promoted an aggressive stance towards Iran. The argument over the Camp David Taliban deal might have made their final break inevitable."

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"Trump’s Afghanistan Debacle"

Das Scheitern der Verhandlungen der USA mit den Taliban kann nach Ansicht von Daniel Larison vor allem auf das große Ego des US-Präsidenten zurückgeführt werden. Donald Trump habe einen potentiellen diplomatischen Erfolg verschenkt, weil er zum Schluss im Mittelpunkt stehen wollte. "The negotiations to bring the war in Afghanistan to a close were probably the closest thing to a diplomatic success that the Trump administration has had in the last two and a half years, so it is fitting that Trump himself destroyed the process by trying to put himself at the center of it. Once again, the president has shown that he much prefers a grandiose spectacle to the slow, unglamorous work of patient diplomacy, and he would sooner dynamite a negotiating process than give up a chance at a photo op. (...) Above all, this episode shows that Trump is incapable of following through on anything, and when push comes to shove he will cave and run away. Such a man is unable to conclude a successful negotiation with anyone, and he certainly doesn’t have the wherewithal to defend an agreement in the face of determined opposition."

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"How China Weaponizes Mass Migration Against Hong Kong"

Die chinesische Regierung will die Kontrolle über Hongkong langfristig auch mit Hilfe einer Kampagne der Masseneinwanderung von überwiegend parteitreuen Festlandchinesen erlangen, berichtet Alessandra Bocchi. "China has instituted an immigration scheme that allows 150 Mainlanders a day to migrate to Hong Kong and local officials have no power to vet or control who comes. Protesters say the program is being administered by the Chinese Communist Party in order to dilute Hong Kong nationalist sentiment and make the island more pro-Beijing. What’s viewed in Hong Kong as a forced immigration program has actually been fueling tensions between Mainlanders and Hongkongers for years, but the protests have brought the issue into stark relief. Many new immigrants from mainland China tend to support Beijing, while native Hongkongers have been backing the anti-government protests for nearly five solid months."

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"Under New U.S.-Taliban Deal, More Troops Stay than Leave"

Barbara Boland zeigt sich angesichts der Zahl der US-Truppen, die nach einem Friedensabkommen mit den Taliban in Afghanistan bleiben sollen, ernüchtert. US-Präsident Trump habe offenbar auf diejenigen Stimmen in Washington gehört, die vor einem vollständigen Truppenabzug warnen. "There are between 13,000 and 14,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, where they have been assisting the Afghan government and fighting al Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorists. The new plan returns U.S. troop levels to 8,600, approximately the same number that President Obama left in place after he withdrew forces from Afghanistan in 2014. The war in Afghanistan is the longest in U.S. history. (...) Nine former U.S. ambassadors warned Tuesday that Afghanistan could ignite in a 'total civil war' if President Donald Trump withdraws all U.S. forces before a peace agreement between Kabul and the Taliban is concluded. 'This is called losing,' Brit Hume said on Fox News Sunday. 'We completely — ultimately abandoned that situation over there, partly because it’s unpopular, partly because people are frustrated with it, partly because it’s been going on so long. We are not likely to appreciate the results and the public won’t either.'

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"Artificial Intelligence Will Make Our Forever Wars Truly Forever"

Dimitri Simes Jr. fürchtet dagegen, dass der militärische Einsatz Künstlicher Intelligenz die Schwelle für Kriegseinsätze deutlich senken wird. "When humans are no longer doing the fighting, it’s easy to conclude that the costs of war are smaller. Of course, that isn’t true. (...) these costs are very real, but they’re also too far removed from the lives of everyday Americans to be truly felt. Once machines replace humans on the battlefield, it will become even easier for hawkish politicians to sell the public on unwinnable and counterproductive wars. A burdensome conflict, so it goes, is a conflict that people think about. But that’s not the kind of war we’ll fight if the conflict process becomes smooth as silk. (...) As AI takes on a bigger role in the military, it will be asked to deal with sensitive and high-stakes situations like the 1983 nuclear crisis. Given its track record so far, that prospect should worry us. If we rush to embrace AI, we will hand over the power to make decisions about war and peace to rigid algorithms. And that’s exactly the way our 'forever wars' will become truly endless."

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"Could Brexit Leave the UK Vulnerable to Pressure From U.S. Hawks?"

Barbara Boland meint, dass Großbritannien nach einem erfolgreichen Brexit in den geplanten Handelsgesprächen mit den USA zu sicherheitspolitischen Zugeständnissen gezwungen werden könnte. "That deal is likely to come with strings attached — Washington may request that Britain take a harder line against Iran, or cooperates with efforts to squeeze Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which the U.S. deems a national security risk. While it’s still unclear how Johnson will navigate foreign policy, there are early indications that London will toe Washington’s line. (...) The possibility that Brexit will force London will give in to Washington on foreign policy is being seriously considered by multiple European diplomats, British politicians, and foreign policy experts at the core of Brexit and Iran policymaking. Undoubtedly aware of how Brexit will increase Washington’s leverage, notorious Iran war hawk and Trump national security advisor John Bolton voiced the administration’s full-throated support of even a no-deal Brexit, adding that 'we are prepared to proceed as rapidly as the Brits are.'"

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"Are Yemen’s Houthis the Future of War?"

Michael Horton hält es für bemerkenswert, dass es den schiitischen Huthi-Rebellen in Jemen in den letzten Jahren mit ihren begrenzten Mitteln gelungen sei, regionale Großmächte wie Saudi-Arabien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate militärisch in Schach zu halten. "How did this poor, lightly equipped and armed rebel group do it? And what does it mean for the United States, which continues to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in complex, costly, and vulnerable weapons systems? First, the Houthis have grasped the algebra of insurgency. In an article penned in 1920, T.E. Lawrence argued that insurgents would be victorious if they understood and applied a set of 'algebraical factors.' He listed these as mobility, force security, and respect for the populace. The Houthis have refined and applied all three to varying degrees over the last decade. (...) Second, the Houthis have enthusiastically embraced the use of drones. (...) with the use of cheap and relatively easily manufactured drones, they have conducted aerial surveillance and launched attacks on targets, including ones in Saudi Arabia. Drones, even more than the missiles the Houthis build and launch, have been a game changer, and have been seamlessly integrated into the Houthis’ already mobile and capable forces. (...) The war in Yemen points to a future where the overly complex weapons systems that the U.S. buys at the behest of its military-industrial complex may be rendered less and less effective."

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"Why the UAE Cut Their Losses and Pulled Out of Yemen"

Trotz einer sorgfältig formulierten offiziellen Begründung für den Abzug der Truppen der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate aus Jemen meint Michael Horton, dass das "Kleine Sparta" letztlich auf die Aussichtlosigkeit des Krieges reagiert habe. "(...) the UAE is getting out of Yemen not because it is winning — or has won — but because the country’s leadership understands they cannot win. 'Little Sparta,' as former secretary of defense James Mattis referred to the UAE, possesses a military that is significantly more competent and capable than that of its main ally in Yemen, Saudi Arabia. However, the UAE and its proxies have failed to defeat Yemen’s Houthi rebels, and while they’ve made some gains against Yemen’s al-Qaeda franchise, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), these will prove fleeting. Such failures come despite the fact that the UAE has spent tens of billions of dollars in Yemen arming and training various militias and security forces. (...) It is to the credit of the UAE’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayad, that he and his government have recognized the ineffectiveness and danger of continued military involvement in Yemen’s interlocking wars. Rather than doubling down, as the U.S. has done so many times in its own failed wars, the UAE has decided to cut its losses and shift its policy to something more pragmatic and achievable."

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"Trump Didn’t Start the Fire"

Robert W. Merry hält es für opportunistisch, US-Präsident Trump die Schuld an den Massakern in El Paso und Dayton zuzuschieben. Die US-Demokraten zielten mit ihrer aktuellen Kampagne darauf ab, ein Amtsenthebungsverfahren gegen Trump durchzusetzen. Trump selbst habe diesen Angriffen allerdings durch seine "brutale und grobe Rhetorik" den Boden bereitet. "If Trump is as bad — even evil — as these people say, any hesitation on impeachment would constitute a dereliction of duty. But then what is the evidence that Crusius was motivated by Trump’s restrictionist rhetoric on immigration? That, absent such rhetorical flights, he would have demurred from his evil plot? There is none. Meanwhile, the Dayton killer, Connor Betts, declared himself a 'pro-Satan leftist,' who hated Trump and wanted socialism under an Elizabeth Warren presidency. Do we think that Warren’s brand of democratic socialism somehow induced Betts to undertake his ghastly deed? Of course not. (...) The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial dismissing the idea that Trump was responsible in any way for the El Paso killings, nevertheless chastised him for 'the divisive tone of his public rhetoric.' The editorial added, 'Either Mr. Trump restrains his rhetoric or he will pay a consequential political price.'"

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"We’ve Defeated Domestic Terror Before and We Can Do It Again"

James P. Pinkerton betrachtet die jüngsten Massenschießereien in El Paso und Dayton als Teil einer einheimischen "Terrorwelle". In der Geschichte der USA sei dies nichts Neues. Drei frühere Terrorwellen seien erfolgreich mit Mitteln bekämpft worden, die seiner Ansicht nach auch heute zum Einsatz kommen sollten. "The first wave began in the late 19th century, as political passions ran high amidst mass immigration, mass industrialization, and mass urbanization. (...) To put it bluntly, good police work and tough tactics — including deportations — defeated terrorism, perhaps even staving off some sort of revolution. Yet if that first terror wave had come from the left, the second, during the 1930s, came from the right — that is, the rise of fascism. Interestingly, this second wave was mostly thwarted on the home front, thanks to strong government action. (...) A third terror wave came in the late ’60s and early ’70s, perpetrated by student radicals and other opportunistic hangers-on. (...) Once again, the nation responded: the police were beefed up, private security companies multiplied, metal detectors were installed, and, yes, the FBI continued to do good work. (...) Okay, so now we’re in a fourth wave of domestic terror, which might be said to have begun with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 innocents. (...) Just on August 5, President Trump declared that the Justice Department, including the FBI, would mobilize against domestic terrorism, and specifically named “white supremacy” as one of the targets. (...) Trump has put himself squarely in the tradition of tough-minded federal counterterrorism action, in keeping with his no-nonsense approach to crime overall. It’s up to the Democrats now to articulate their own counterterrorism policy."

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Wo gibt es Kriege und Gewaltkonflikte? Und wo herrscht am längsten Frieden? Welches Land gibt am meisten für Rüstung aus? liefert wichtige Daten und Fakten zu Krieg und Frieden.

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