US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The American Conservative


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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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"Time for Ukraine — and America — to Make a Deal With Russia"


Die Präsidentschaft des früheren TV-Komikers Volodymyr Zelensky sollte nach Ansicht von Doug Bandow von den USA als Gelegenheit verstanden werden, die Krise mit Russland endlich beizulegen. Putin sei mit Sicherheit kein Freund des Westens, er sei allerdings auch nicht allein für den Kollaps der russisch-amerikanischen Beziehungen verantwortlich. Eine Einigung würde deshalb auf beiden Seiten Kompromisse erfordern. "First, NATO should indicate that expansion of the alliance has concluded. (...) Second, the Minsk agreement would be refined and implemented. (...) Third, the West would drop sanctions on Moscow. (...) Fourth, Moscow would eschew future intervention in American and European political affairs. (...) Fifth, Ukraine would be free to form commercial ties and forge economic agreements both east and west. (...) Sixth, Crimea’s final status would be left for the future. Ukraine and the West would informally recognize that Russia is highly unlikely to return the territory under the best of circumstances while officially refusing to acknowledge the transfer. (...) How Zelensky would view such a proposal is unknown. But he would have good reason to embrace an agreement that ended Russian military intervention and secured his country’s freedom to choose economically. Crimea would not be returning, but under no circumstance other than full-scale war is it ever likely to be. And Ukraine need not formally accept the territorial loss."

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"The New Quincy Institute Seeks Warmongering Monsters to Destroy"

Andrew Bacevich und Trita Parsi äußern sich in diesem Interview über die ersten Schritte des im Juni gegründeten Think-Tanks "Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft". Das von George Soros und Charles Koch finanzierte Institut will sich für ein Ende der "endlosen Kriege" der USA einsetzen und ist deshalb im außenpolitischen Establishment in Washington auf Widerstand gestoßen. "It seems apparent to us that the myriad foreign policy failures and disappointments of the past couple of decades have induced among both progressives and at least some conservatives a growing disenchantment with the trajectory of U.S. policy. Out of that disenchantment comes the potential for a Left-Right coalition to challenge the status quo. The QI hopes to build on that potential. (...) U.S. elite consensus on foreign policy has collapsed and the void that has been created begs to be filled. But it has to be filled with new ideas, not just a repackaging of old ideas. And those new ideas cannot simply follow the old political alignments. Transpartisan collaboration is necessary in order to create a new consensus. Koch and Soros are showing tremendous leadership in that regard."

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"All-or-Nothing Diplomacy Always Yields Nothing"

Daniel Larison ist vom bisherigen Ausbleiben konkreter Erfolge der US-Verhandlungen mit Nordkorea nicht überrascht. Nordkorea warte seit 18 Monaten auf eine amerikanische Korrektur der "Alles oder Nichts"-Diplomatie. Solange diese Korrektur ausbleibe, seien handfeste nordkoreanische Zugeständnisse kaum zu erwarten. "North Korea has been remarkably clear that they aren’t going to wait on the U.S. forever, and they have repeatedly mentioned that the end of this year was how long the administration had to make the necessary change. Meanwhile the Trump administration seems to have internalized its own propaganda about the extent of progress made with North Korea, and that has created dangerous false expectations of what North Korea is supposed to do. North Korea knows it didn’t commit to doing anything yet, but the administration promotes the fiction that they have committed to disarm and need to 'fulfill' those commitments. (...) The Trump administration is waiting on something that will never occur, and in the meantime they are frittering away their opportunity to reach a more modest arms control agreement. As usual, an all-or-nothing approach to diplomacy leaves us with nothing."

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"The Tulsi Effect: Forcing War Onto the Democratic Agenda"

Unter den demokratischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten sei Tulsi Gabbard die einzige, die die amerikanischen Kriege ins Zentrum ihrer Kampagne gerückt habe, schreibt Danny Sjursen nach den ersten Debatten der Kandidaten. Im aktuellen politischen Umfeld der US-Demokraten werde dies wahrscheinlich zu ihrer Niederlage führen. "Democrats, liberals, progressives — call them what you will — don’t really do foreign policy. Sure, if cornered, they’ll spout a few choice talking points, and probably find a way to make them all about bashing President Donald Trump — ignoring the uncomfortable fact that their very own Barack Obama led and expanded America’s countless wars for eight long years. (...) Gabbard, shamefully, is the only one among an absurdly large field of candidates who has put foreign policy, specifically ending the forever wars, at the top of her presidential campaign agenda. Well, unlike just about all of her opponents, she did fight in those very conflicts. The pity is that with an electorate so utterly apathetic about war, her priorities, while noble, might just doom her campaign before it even really starts. That’s instructive, if pitiful."

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"Bolton Gets Ready to Kill New START"

Präsident Trump und Präsident Putin haben bei ihrem Treffen während des G20-Gipfels vereinbart, die Verhandlungen über Abrüstungsabkommen neu aufzunehmen. Daniel Larison ist allerdings sicher, dass US-Sicherheitsberater Bolton alles daran setzen wird, um Gespräche wie die über eine Verlängerung des New-START-Abkommens durch überzogene Forderungen zum Scheitern zu bringen. "Just as Bolton is ideologically opposed to making any deal with Iran, he is ideologically opposed to any arms control agreement that places limits on the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The 'flaws' he identifies aren’t really flaws that he wants to fix (and they may not be flaws at all), but excuses for trashing the agreement. He will make noises about how the current deal or treaty doesn’t go far enough, but the truth is that he doesn’t want any agreements to exist. In Bolton’s worldview, nonproliferation and arms control agreements either give the other government too much or hamper the U.S. too much, and so he wants to destroy them all. He has had a lot of success at killing agreements and treaties that have been in the U.S. interest. Bolton has had a hand in blowing up the Agreed Framework with North Korea, abandoning the ABM Treaty, killing the INF Treaty, and reneging on the JCPOA. Unless the president can be persuaded to ignore or fire Bolton, New START will be his next victim."

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"War With Iran Would Make Trump A One-Term President"

W. James Antle III ist sicher, dass Präsident Trump im Fall eines Krieges der USA gegen den Iran seine Wiederwahl im kommenden Jahr verpassen würde. Dies sei einer der Gründe, warum die "Falken" in Washington Trump in den Krieg treiben wollten. Auch die Demokraten im Kongress könnten demnach aufgrund dieser Aussicht darauf verzichten, sich einem kriegswilligen Weißen Haus in den Weg zu stellen. "The architects of the failed George W. Bush foreign policy rightly derided by Trump as a 'big, fat mistake' on the campaign trail today exercise undue influence inside this White House. The end result could be a war with Iran. Just as their last turn at the wheel wrecked the Bush presidency and eventually left Barack Obama in power alongside three-fifths Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, the Republican Party’s wildest hawks could now ensure that Trump is a one-term president. The president once understood this, telling Jeb Bush, 'Your brother and his administration gave us Barack Obama…. Abraham Lincoln couldn’t have won.' (...) The Democrats in the House have an opportunity to put their money where their mouths are. But maybe they won’t. An Iraq-like war in Iran would go a long way toward accomplishing their main goal: making Donald Trump a one-term president."

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"Of Course Iran Hawks Want War with Iran"

Die "Iran-Falken" in Washington wollen den Vorfall im Golf von Oman Daniel Larison zufolge nutzen, um endlich die von ihnen ersehnte offene Konfrontation zwischen beiden Ländern herbeizuführen. Nach Ansicht des neokonservativen Kolumnisten Bret Stephens sollte die US-Regierung dem Iran offen mit der Versenkung seiner Schiffe drohen. "Calling for the U.S. to threaten sinking the Iranian navy is to demand that our government threaten massive escalation and the initiation of a major war over relatively minor incidents. It is also calling for putting thousands of U.S. sailors in grave danger. The U.S. Navy presumably would prevail in any fight, it would come at a much higher cost than most Americans expect. Harry Kazianis wrote an article for TAC about the wargame he participated in that simulated a war with Iran in the Persian Gulf, and the results were very ugly (...). Advocates of attacking Iran have often exaggerated the ease and speed of military action against Iran, and they fail to take seriously how costly and destructive such a conflict would be. Not only is Stephens’ proposal an absurd overreaction, but it also confirms that many Iran hawks certainly do want to have a war with Iran and have been trying to create the conditions for one for a long time."

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"The Latest Balkans Breakdown is None of Washington’s Business"

Doug Bandow empfiehlt den USA, sich aus den aktuellen Spannungen auf dem Balkan, einem "geopolitischen schwarzen Loch", herauszuhalten und die Lösung des Konflikts zwischen Serbien und Kosovo den Europäern zu überlassen. "The U.S. should remain aloof from the latest Balkan follies. Edward P. Joseph of SAIS recently proposed that the Trump administration 'demand' that Kosovo and Serbia 'end the cycle of provocation,' 'produce a detailed framework' for war crimes prosecutions, 'seek the long-term basing of U.S. troops' in Serbia, 'offer Belgrade a vast upgrade in the military and civil relationship, potentially to the level of strategic partnership,' and provide 'both Serbia and Kosovo a generous development package.' These ideas are frankly mad. The U.S. has nothing at stake that warrants further meddling in this graveyard of good intentions. Nor does Washington have any idea how to fix the region. Geopolitical social engineering has consistently failed in the Balkans. Forcing antagonistic peoples to live together generated disorder, chaos, violence, and slaughter. If the Europeans have a better idea, let them try it. The Balkans should be their responsibility."

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"Pence Assures West Point Grads: 'You Will Fight On A Battlefield'"

US-Vizepräsident Mike Pence hat Kadetten der Militärakademie West Point in einer Rede in Aussicht gestellt, dass sie mit "an Sicherheit grenzender Wahrscheinlichkeit" in einen Krieg ziehen werden. Daniel L. Davis, selbst ein Veteran der U.S. Army, findet die Äußerung und die dahinter stehende Geisteshaltung "verstörend". "The Commander in Chief’s number one priority is to keep our citizens safe — but his sacred duty to the men and women who wear the uniform is to consider their lives as the most precious commodity our country produces. Casually sending them to every far-flung mission in the world that’s even possible shows that reality is very different: our senior leaders give very little consideration to their lives. Especially on this Memorial Day weekend when we’re supposed to honor our war dead, we should reaffirm that we will not sacrifice the life of one American Service Member unless the threat to our country is grave, imminent, or war has been thrust upon us. That’s not presently the case, as the Vice President confirmed."

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"Are the Germans Really Russophilian Nationalists?"

Paul Gottfried widerspricht Richard Herzinger von der Welt am Sonntag, der den Deutschen in einem Beitrag für das US-Magazin The American Interest vorgeworfen hatte, seit dem 19. Jahrhundert eine "Schwäche" für Russland zu haben. "Germanophobia and Russophobia both figure prominently in a recently published commentary by Richard Herzinger in The American Interest. In 'Germany’s Russia Lobby,' Herzinger explains that 'From Nietzsche to Mann to Merkel, German culture has long had a soft spot for Russia.' Herzinger’s rant against the Germans and Russians segues into his attacks on Angela Merkel for deciding to buy natural gas from Putin’s Russia. (...) Herzinger cherry-picks statements by German authors that are intended to suggest that they have a morbid attraction to Russian politics and culture. (...) A center piece for Herzinger’s case that German antidemocrats can’t resist autocratic Russians is the tract 'Observations of a Nonpolitical Man,' completed by the celebrated German novelist Thomas Mann in 1918. According to Herzinger, this work was produced as a 'cultural-historical schema of sorts, with German and Russians on the one side and Western democracies on the other.' In fact, this work was being drafted while Germans and Russians were shooting each other on the battlefield, and its praise of Russian spirituality, especially among the peasants, does not seem to have been characteristically German."

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"Impeachment Should Be on the Table If Trump Bombs Iran"

Sollte sich US-Präsident Trump entschließen, in der aktuellen Iran-Krise Luftschläge gegen iranische Ziele anzuordnen, hätte der US-Kongress einen handfesten Grund für ein Amtsenthebungsverfahren, stellt Gene Healy vom Cato Institute fest. "If the administration can’t be convinced to stand down, the House of Representatives should launch a preemptive strike of its own. They should credibly threaten to impeach the president if he goes to war without congressional authorization. Waging war without legal authority is an impeachable offense, if anything is. Impeachment was designed to thwart attempts to subvert the Constitution; congressional control of the war power was one of that document’s core guarantees. (...) Current members of Congress should find it hard to live with themselves if they don’t do something to prevent the Trump administration from dragging us into an illegal and unnecessary war. Yet so far the congressional response has been limited to ineffectual grousing and the introduction of a few bills that are wholly inadequate to the task at hand."

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"Why Tiny Qatar May Be Our Greatest Hope in the Iran Crisis"

In der aktuellen Iran-Krise könnte Katar Mark Perry zufolge eine wichtige Vermittlerrolle spielen. Das Emirat stelle den USA den unentbehrlichen Militärstützpunkt Al Udeid bereit und pflege zugleich gute Beziehungen zu Teheran. "For some, those enhanced relations provide a told-ya-so moment (as in 'see, we told ya they were in the pockets of the mullahs'). But for others, Qatar’s friendship with Iran could well make the difference between war and peace. The truth of this was obvious last week when, in the midst of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin al-Thani arrived in Tehran for talks aimed at dampening the crisis. (...) 'He’s one of the best, a top-notch diplomat. I wish he was ours,' John Duke Anthony told me. 'It might be that the Iranians were a little miffed to see him, as he’s not the representative of a great power, but they know he has close relations with the U.S. and influence in Washington. That matters.' This seems more than notionally true. Qatar matters. It’s the mouse that roared — the Qataris, not the Saudis or Emiratis, have become America’s most important ally in the Persian Gulf."

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"China Has Already Lost the Trade War"

Christopher Whalen erläutert, welche ökonomischen Folgen ein Handelskrieg zwischen den USA und China haben würde. Er meint, dass Peking keine effektive Antwort auf Washingtons Strafmaßnahmen habe. Dies gelte auch im Hinblick auf die von China gehaltenen amerikanischen Staatsanleihen im Wert von mehr als einer Billion Dollar. "Treasury securities are essentially a substitute for cash. If the Bank of China decided to hold its surplus funds in cash, it would be difficult to move into other currencies because of size constraints. The dollar is the world’s means of exchange because it is a very large currency that can easily accommodate significant transactions such as oil and other commodities, investments, and global debt payments. Central banks around the world hold dollars and Treasury securities as liquid reserves, especially nations that have weak currencies or external account deficits. (...) If the Bank of China were to hold its dollar surplus in cash, where would it deposit the funds to earn a return? Major global banks. And what would the major global banks do with the new dollar deposits from the Bank of China? Buy Treasury bonds and other low-risk dollar securities. Indeed, asset-hungry nations such as Japan and the EU could probably absorb China’s entire portfolio and would be glad to do so. The truth is that China really has very few options to retaliate against the trade sanctions imposed by the Trump administration."

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"Reminder: Trump, Not Bolton, is the President"

W. James Antle III berichtet über Meldungen, die darauf hindeuten, dass es zwischen US-Präsident Donald Trump und seinem Sicherheitsberater John Bolton zunehmende Dissonanzen gebe. "Unsatisfied with the direction of U.S. foreign policy? You’re not alone. The Washington Post describes a 'frustrated' Donald Trump who feels he has been 'misled' about how easy it would be to oust Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. (...) 'It used to be that the staff around the president were the counterweight to some of his more aggressive impulses. Now it seems as if the situation has reversed itself,' former Trump official Fernando Cutz told the Washington Examiner. 'The president is the counterweight to some of his more hawkish staff members, particularly Bolton.' Trump has said as much himself. 'I actually temper John,' he recently advised reporters. 'I have John Bolton and I have other people that are a little more dovish than him and ultimately I make the decision.' Who are these doves? And when will the president of the United States make a decision that overrides a rogue national security team ideologically committed to policies that are nearly the opposite the ones he campaigned on in 2016? Those are the fateful questions that could determine the course of a presidency — and the country."

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"Facebook and Google Must Be Regulated Now"

Jonathan Tepper meint, dass die Tech-Unternehmen Facebook und Google eine Größe erreicht haben, die eine effektive unternehmerische Steuerung und Beaufsichtigung ohne staatliche Regulierung unmöglich macht. "For years, many on the Left and the Right did not want to regulate Facebook or Google as these companies were growing rapidly and were mythologized on magazine covers as the very best of Silicon Valley. Today, the environment has changed. Television personalities on the Right like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, as well as lawmakers on the Left like Senator Elizabeth Warren have been pushing the idea of regulating — or even breaking up — the platforms. It is uncertain what path reform will take, but reform appears inevitable and it must be done wisely. High degrees of regulation can entrench monopolists. Regulations should be simple, principles based, and must promote competition. And since Facebook and Google are natural monopolies, they must not enjoy monopoly-like rents for providing its services. The most immediate need for reforms cover three areas: 1) user privacy and control over data; 2) the role of Facebook and Google as media companies; 3) their economic and political power as monopolies."

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"The Beginning of the End of Open Borders in Europe"

Frankreichs Präsident Macron hat sich für eine Neuverhandlung des Schengen-Abkommens ausgesprochen und damit nach Ansicht von Bill Wirtz möglicherweise das Ende des freien Personenverkehrs in der EU eingeläutet. "Macron is likely to face opposition from within his own party and from other European leaders who have made defense of free movement a talking point for years. But one thing is certain: Macron has opened a debate on changing the dynamics of free movement in Europe. His mainstream status will give others cover to question this fundamental principle. If anti-immigration parties were looking to make their position more mainstream, then 'Europe’s savior' just handed it to them."

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"Venezuela is a Tragedy of Corruption, But 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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"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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"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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"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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"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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"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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"What Happened When We Kept Out of the India-Pakistan Fracas?"

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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"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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"Zarif’s 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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"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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"Venezuela and Trump’s 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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