US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

New York Times


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"Boko Haram Is Back. With Better Drones."

Dionne Searcey berichtet, dass die radikalislamische Terrorgruppe Boko Haram nach zehn Jahren eines "verheerenden Krieges" besser bewaffnet sei denn je. Das nigerianische Militär werde dagegen immer schlechter ausgerüstet und sei "demoralisiert". "A full decade into the war (...) Boko Haram militants are still roaming the countryside with impunity. Their fighters now have more sophisticated drones than the military and are well-armed after successful raids on military brigades, according to local politicians and security analysts. (...) By many accounts, the Nigerian military is demoralized and on the defensive. Some soldiers have complained they haven’t had a home leave in three years. Their weapons and vehicles have fallen into disrepair. (...) The government allocates the equivalent of nearly $80 million dollars each quarter to the war effort, and yet Nigerian soldiers lack ample ammunition and medical care — leaving many residents to ask where all the money is going."

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"How Trump’s Plan to Secretly Meet With the Taliban Came Together, and Fell Apart"

Die New York Times berichtet über die Hintergründe des überraschend geplanten und dann wieder abgesagten Treffens des US-Präsidenten mit Taliban-Anführern in Camp David. "What would have been one of the biggest headline-grabbing moments of his tenure was put together on the spur of the moment and then canceled on the spur of the moment. The usual National Security Council process was dispensed with; only a small circle of advisers was even clued in. And even after it fell apart, Mr. Trump took it upon himself to disclose the secret machinations in a string of Saturday night Twitter messages that surprised not only many national security officials across the government but even some of the few who were part of the deliberations."

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"Is Xi Mishandling Hong Kong Crisis? Hints of Unease in China’s Leadership"

Die Reaktion der chinesischen Führung auf die Krise in Hongkong habe in Peking Zweifel an den Führungsqualitäten von Präsident Xi Jinping hervorgerufen, berichtet die New York Times. "(...) although few in Beijing would dare blame Mr. Xi openly for the government’s handling of the turmoil, there is quiet grumbling that his imperious style and authoritarian concentration of power contributed to the government’s misreading of the scope of discontent in Hong Kong, which is only growing. (...) There are hints of divisions in the Chinese leadership and stirrings of discontent about Mr. Xi’s policies. Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a political science professor at Hong Kong Baptist University and an expert on Chinese politics, said it appeared that there was debate during the annual informal leaders’ retreat in Beidaihe, a seaside resort not far from Beijing. Some party leaders called for concessions, while others urged action to bring Hong Kong more directly under the mainland’s control, he said. Mr. Cabestan said he believed that 'the Chinese leadership is divided on Hong Kong and how to solve the crisis.' Wu Qiang, a political analyst in Beijing, said Mr. Xi’s government had in effect adopted a strategy to procrastinate in the absence of any better ideas for resolving the crisis."

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"The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran"

In der israelischen Regierung gebe es Überlegungen über einen unilateralen Präventivschlag gegen den Iran, berichten Ronen Bergman und Mark Mazzetti in ihrer ausführlichen Darstellung der Zusammenarbeit amerikanischer und israelischer Iran-Falken in den vergangenen zehn Jahren. Hintergrund sei die Erwartung, dass sich US-Präsident Trump im Gegensatz zu seinen Amtsvorgängern einem Militärschlag nicht entgegenstellen würde. "Once again, more than a decade after they first raised the subject with American officials, Israeli officials have been considering the possibility of a unilateral strike against Iran. Unlike with Bush and Obama, there is greater confidence that Trump wouldn’t stand in the way. Netanyahu has recently been flexing Israeli muscle around the Middle East — launching hundreds of raids into Syria against Iranian and Hezbollah arms stores and troop concentrations, and undertaking an even bolder operation in July against a base in eastern Iraq that, Israeli intelligence believed, was being used to store long-range guided missiles en route to Iranian forces in Syria. The threat of war could be a bluff, or an election ploy. But it also represents a dangerous confluence of interests: an American president often reluctant to use military force and an Israeli prime minister looking to deal with unfinished business."

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"Trial for Men Accused of Plotting 9/11 Attacks Is Set for 2021"

Das Militärtribunal gegen den mutmaßlichen Chefplaner der Anschläge vom 11. September 2001, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, soll den Aussagen eines zuständigen Richters zufolge am 11. Januar 2021 in Guantanamo beginnen. "The case against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other men, should it proceed, would be the definitive trial tied to the Sept. 11 attacks. Until now, only foot soldiers of Al Qaeda have been tried at Guantánamo, and many of their convictions have been overturned. (...) The delay is in part a reflection of the difficulty the military has had in carrying out prosecutions in a judicial system that was created in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. It is still unclear if the trial will actually occur. A judge has yet to rule on whether crucial F.B.I. agents’ descriptions of the defendants’ confessions are admissible because the defendants were tortured in C.I.A. prisons. Defense lawyers have said they will go to federal court closer to the trial start date to try to stop the proceedings."

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"In Iran’s Hierarchy, Talks With Trump Are Now Seen as Inevitable"

In iranischen Führungskreisen habe sich die Überzeugung durchgesetzt, dass der Konflikt mit den USA wohl nicht ohne Gespräche mit Präsident Trump beizulegen sei, berichtet Farnaz Fassihi. Hintergrund sei die Erwartung der Wiederwahl Trumps und die Sorge, dass Iran den harten US-Sanktionen vier weitere Jahre nicht widerstehen würde. "It is a remarkable turnabout for the political establishment in Tehran, which for the past 40 years has staked its legitimacy on defiance of the United States but has been particularly hostile toward Mr. Trump. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran teased a possible meeting with Mr. Trump earlier this week, indicating he would be willing if it would benefit Iranians. Mr. Rouhani reversed himself within 24 hours, suggesting he may have been overruled by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But the people with knowledge of the Iranian hierarchy’s thinking said Mr. Rouhani’s behavior should be viewed as part of the emerging new strategy. They said the strategy was following two parallel tracks: displaying a more defiant position on Iran’s military and nuclear energy policies to irritate Mr. Trump, while signaling a willingness to talk under certain conditions, appealing to what are seen as his deal-maker instincts."

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"Ransomware Attacks Are Testing Resolve of Cities Across America"

In den USA häufen sich der New York Times zufolge die Versuche, Städte und Gemeinden durch Lösegeld-Trojaner zu erpressen. "This has been the summer of crippling ransomware attacks. Wilmer — a town of almost 5,000 people just south of Dallas — is one of 22 cities across Texas that are simultaneously being held hostage for millions of dollars after a sophisticated hacker, perhaps a group of them, infiltrated their computer systems and encrypted their data. The attack instigated a statewide disaster-style response that includes the National Guard and a widening F.B.I. inquiry. More than 40 municipalities have been the victims of cyberattacks this year, from major cities such as Baltimore, Albany and Laredo, Tex., to smaller towns including Lake City, Fla. Lake City is one of the few cities to have paid a ransom demand — about $460,000 in Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency — because it thought reconstructing its systems would be even more costly. In most ransomware cases, the identities and whereabouts of culprits are cloaked by clever digital diversions."

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"As Taliban Talk Peace, ISIS Is Ready to Play the Spoiler in Afghanistan"

Im Fall eines Friedensvertrags zwischen den USA und den Taliban würde der "Islamische Staat" bereit stehen, um die Rolle des gewalttätigen "Spielverderbers" zu übernehmen, schreibt Mujib Mashal. "The Islamic State is set to grow if an extreme layer of insurgents breaks away from the Taliban to keep fighting, and it is likely to thrive if a hastily managed American military withdrawal leaves chaos behind. 'This is a replacement for the Taliban,' said Abdul Rahim Muslimdost, an Islamist cleric who has been jailed in Pakistan and in the American detention camp at Guantánamo Bay. (...) 'Remember my words,' Mr. Muslimdost said. 'If there is a settlement with the Taliban, and they become part of the government, Pakistan has the replacement for them ready already. They will continue this war in Afghanistan in the name of the Islamic State.'"

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"ISIS Is Regaining Strength in Iraq and Syria"

Der "Islamische Staat" in Irak und Syrien sei dabei, erneut zu einer gefährlichen Bedrohung zu werden, berichtet die New York Times. "Although there is little concern that the Islamic State will reclaim its former physical territory, a caliphate that was once the size of Britain and controlled the lives of up to 12 million people, the terrorist group has still mobilized as many as 18,000 remaining fighters in Iraq and Syria. These sleeper cells and strike teams have carried out sniper attacks, ambushes, kidnappings and assassinations against security forces and community leaders. The Islamic State can still tap a large war chest of as much as $400 million, which has been hidden in either Iraq and Syria or smuggled into neighboring countries for safekeeping. (...) These trends, described by Iraqi, American and other Western intelligence and military officials, and documented in a recent series of government and United Nations assessments, portray an Islamic State on the rise again, not only in Iraq and Syria, but in branches from West Africa to Sinai. This resurgence poses threats to American interests and allies, as the Trump administration draws down American troops in Syria and shifts its focus in the Middle East to a looming confrontation with Iran."

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"The U.S. Needs More Nukes"

Bret Stephens fordert eine Modernisierung und eine Aufstockung des amerikanischen Atomwaffenarsenals, um den russischen "Betrug" im Rahmen des ausgelaufenen INF-Vertrags angemessen zu beantworten. Neue Bemühungen zur Rüstungskontrolle hält er nicht für ausreichend. "(...) the problem with all arms-control treaties isn’t that they lack for good intentions. It’s that the bad guys cheat, the good guys don’t, and the world often finds out too late. Germany cheated on the arms limitations imposed by the Versailles Treaty. The Soviet Union cheated on virtually all of its international accords, including the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty and the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty. North Korea cheated on the 1994 Agreed Framework with the Clinton administration. Iran repeatedly violated its commitments under both the Nonproliferation Treaty and the Iran deal itself. And now Russia is cheating again. (...) Right now, the U.S. arsenal does have gaps, thanks to Russian treaty violations, is increasingly decrepit, thanks to delayed modernization, and may not be large enough in the face of not one, but two, major nuclear adversaries."

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"With Tougher U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela, Bolton Says 'Time for Dialogue Is Over'"

Donald Trumps Sicherheitsberater John Bolton hat sich auf einer internationalen Konferenz, die Wege zur friedlichen Lösung des Konflikts in Venezuela suchen wollte, mit deutlichen Worten für eine kompromisslose Haltung gegenüber der Maduro-Regierung ausgesprochen. "During the conference of more than 50 countries in Lima, Peru, the Trump administration rejected compromises proposed by international mediators and some Latin American nations as it doubled down on its so-called maximum pressure policy to oust Mr. Maduro. Mr. Maduro’s government wasn’t invited, prompting his allies — Cuba, China, Russia and Turkey — to decline the invitation to the meeting. (...) On Tuesday, the conflicting strategies were laid bare. In Lima, Mr. Bolton said 'the time for dialogue is over.' (...) Harold Trinkunas, a Venezuelan politics expert at Stanford University, said the new sanctions may now give Venezuelan opposition leaders leverage to seek concessions from Mr. Maduro’s government by asking the Trump administration to back off. But he expressed doubt that the strategy would succeed."

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"The World Used to Fear German Militarism. Then It Disappeared."

ZEIT-Redakteur Jochen Bittner erklärt in diesem Beitrag für die New York Times, wie der Pazifismus das einst als militaristisch gefürchtete Deutschland "erobern" konnte. "This attitude may indeed be annoying. But the best that others can expect from Germany is to behave like a nonneutral Switzerland. German pacifism is here to stay, and there’s no use asking the country to be what it isn’t. Instead, allies would do better to encourage German leadership by means of its real strengths, economic clout and diplomatic credibility — the ability to speak softly while carrying a big carrot."

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"Private Surveillance Is a Lethal Weapon Anybody Can Buy"

Sharon Weinberger beschreibt am Beispiel der Verkaufsreise eines US-Sicherheitsunternehmens nach Usbekistan, wie sich der internationale Handel mit hochmodernen Überwachungstechnologien zu einem kaum regulierten Milliardenmarkt entwickelt habe. Davon profitierten nicht nur autoritäre Regierungen, auch private Konsumenten könnten leicht an diese "Waffen" gelangen. "In the past year, there have been at least two high-profile reports that authoritarian states have used Western surveillance technology intended to track down criminals and terrorists to spy on journalists or political activists: The United Arab Emirates company DarkMatter allegedly spied on journalists (a claim the company denies); the Saudi government has been accused of using spyware made by the Israeli firm NSO Group to hack into the phone of a close associate of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi writer killed in his country’s consulate in Istanbul last October. And in the United States, security researchers are raising the alarm that cheaper versions of this technology are being used and abused by private consumers. While other kinds of weapons are subjected to stringent international regimes and norms — even if these are often broken — the trade in spy technology is barely regulated."

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"Trump’s Immigration Approach Isn’t New: Europe and Australia Went First"

Die neue harte Einwanderungspolitik der USA orientiere sich an Vorbildern in Europa und Australien, schreiben Max Fisher und Amanda Taub. In beiden Fällen habe sich jedoch gezeigt, dass die Erfolgsaussichten dieser Strategie ungewiss sind. "(...) this model relies on two strategies to keep migrants and refugees from reaching the border at all: 1) Make the journey so daunting that they will not even attempt it. 2) Enlist poorer countries to detain or expel those who do anyway. That approach, which Europe and Australia have taken to extremes beyond many of Mr. Trump’s policies, was meant to curb record migrant arrivals and the white backlash to them that was upending Western politics. Those arrivals have since declined, and populist revolts cooled. But the lessons of Europe and Australia’s experience may not be so straightforward. Strategies to deter or block migrants, research has found, may temporarily reduce arrivals. Over the long term, however, they may simply push migrants to try even more dangerous routes. They may also end up requiring governments to take ever more extreme measures to shut down each new round of arrivals."

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"American Commandos Gear Up for New Shadow War With Russia"

US-Spezialeinheiten bereiten sich Eric Schmitt zufolge auf einen "Schattenkrieg" gegen Russland in Osteuropa vor. "Secretive, behind-the-lines mission rehearsals and other operations by 1,400 American and allied commandos to combat shifting Russian threats have laid bare a fundamental tension in the Trump administration: While the president courts Moscow, much of his government considers it an increasingly dangerous foe. (...) Under a revamped Pentagon strategy to counter growing threats from Russia and China, American commandos are teaming up with partners on Europe’s eastern flank to thwart Russia’s so-called hybrid warfare, which allied officials say increasingly involves manipulating events using a mix of subterfuge, cyberattacks and information warfare. The threats hark back to Cold War-era intrigue, but so far are being fought with bytes and bandwidth, not bombs and bullets."

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"Buddhists Go to Battle: When Nationalism Overrides Pacifism"

In Sri Lanka und Myanmar sei der eigentlich als pazifistisch geltende Buddhismus zur Grundlage von radikalen religiös-nationalistischen Bewegungen geworden, schreibt Hannah Beech. "Buddhists constitute overwhelming majorities of the population. Yet some Buddhists, especially those who subscribe to the purist Theravada strain of the faith, are increasingly convinced that they are under existential threat, particularly from an Islam struggling with its own violent fringe. As the tectonic plates of Buddhism and Islam collide, a portion of Buddhists are abandoning the peaceful tenets of their religion. (...) Given that Theravada Buddhists constitute overwhelming majorities in the five countries where their faith is practiced — Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand — it might seem strange that they feel so besieged. But Buddhism, whose adherents make up only 7 percent of the global faithful, is the only major religion whose population is not expected to grow in absolute numbers over the next few decades, according to the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, the number of Muslims, who make up just under one-quarter of the world’s population, is growing quickly, buoyed by youthful demographics and high fertility rates. By 2050, Pew projects that there will be nearly as many Muslims in the world as there are Christians."

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"NATO Considers Missile Defense Upgrade, Risking Further Tensions With Russia"

Nach dem Ende des INF-Vertrags erwägt die NATO, ihre europäischen Raketenabwehrsysteme, die sich bislang offiziell nur gegen potentielle Bedrohungen von außerhalb Europas richten, für eine Abwehr russischer Mittelstreckenraketen auszubauen. "Any change to the stated mission of NATO’s current missile defense system — aimed at threats from outside the region, like Iran — would probably divide the alliance’s member countries and enrage Russia, which has long said it views NATO’s missile defense site in Romania and one under construction in Poland as a threat to its nuclear arsenal and a source of instability in Europe. 'It would be a point of no return with the Russians,' said Jim Townsend, a former Pentagon official and expert on the alliance. 'It would be a real escalation.'"

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"U.S. Tech Companies Sidestep a Trump Ban, to Keep Selling to Huawei"

US-Unternehmen wie Intel und Micron haben der New York Times zufolge Maßnahmen eingeleitet, um den Huawei-Boykott der US-Regierung zu umgehen und weiterhin Geschäfte mit dem chinesischen IT-Unternehmen zu machen. "United States chip makers are still selling millions of dollars of products to Huawei despite a Trump administration ban on the sale of American technology to the Chinese telecommunications giant, according to four people with knowledge of the sales. Industry leaders including Intel and Micron have found ways to avoid labeling goods as American-made, said the people, who spoke on the condition they not be named because they were not authorized to disclose the sales. (...) The sales will help Huawei continue to sell products such as smartphones and servers, and underscore how difficult it is for the Trump administration to clamp down on companies that it considers a national security threat, like Huawei. They also hint at the possible unintended consequences from altering the web of trade relationships that ties together the world’s electronics industry and global commerce."

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"As U.S. and Iran Face Off, Europe Is Stuck in the Middle"

Europa stehe der aktuellen Konfrontation zwischen den USA und Iran weitgehend machtlos gegenüber, stellt Steven Erlanger fest. "While the Europeans want to preserve the deal — which they see as important for their own security and for the stability of the Middle East — they are basically powerless in the face of American military and financial clout. Iran is calling on Europe to solve its economic problems brought on by the sanctions or face a collapse of the nuclear deal as Iran begins to exceed limits on uranium enrichment. But Washington wants the Europeans to join in pressing Iran to enter humiliating new negotiations to shut down Tehran’s nuclear program entirely, limit its missile programs and restrict its regional ambitions. (...) So, caught in the middle, the Europeans have been reduced to calling for restraint and de-escalation while both Washington and Tehran seem set on raising tensions — risking a conflict that, by accident or design, could burn the Middle East and disrupt the world’s energy supplies."

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"Mohamed Morsi Died in a Soundproof Cage"

Die Begleitumstände des plötzlichen Todes des früheren ägyptischen Präsidenten Mohammed Mursi haben nach Ansicht von Mona Eltahawy den Charakter des Regimes von Präsident Abdel Fattah al-Sisi bloßgelegt. "In three separate but politically motivated trials that made no pretense at fairness, Mr. Morsi was sentenced to more than 45 years in prison. He was kept in what was effectively solitary confinement for the past six years, during which he saw his family just three times, and was denied sufficient medical attention for his diabetes, high blood pressure and liver disease, which his lawyers had long warned would lead to his death. (...) By contrast, look to the cushy treatment afforded to Mr. Mubarak by a 'justice system' he had spent years stacking with his men. (...) It speaks volumes to the continued cruelty as well as insecurity of the el-Sisi regime that it forced Mr. Morsi’s family to bury him under heavy security at a Cairo cemetery rather than at the family’s cemetery in the province of Sharqiya. If the death sentence against Mr. Morsi in 2015 was overturned because the regime did not want to make a martyr of him, its cruelty has guaranteed that is exactly what he will become."

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"In Face-Off With Iran, Escalation May Depend on Who Prevails Inside Washington and Tehran"

Ob der Streit über die Angriffe auf zwei Schiffe im Golf von Oman zu einem Krieg der USA gegen den Iran führen könnte, wird nach Ansicht von David E. Sanger und David D. Kirkpatrick auch davon abhängen, ob sich die Hardliner in beiden Lagern durchsetzen. "In Iran, tension with the United States bolsters the appeal of hard-line politicians aligned with the Revolutionary Guards in next year’s parliamentary elections. In Washington, it strengthens the hand of hawks in the administration who may be trying to urge Mr. Trump toward more forceful action while weakening the claims of his critics — including most Democrats — who argue that President Barack Obama’s outreach to Tehran had been working. (...) The question now is whether escalation prevails, or whether the instinct to back away from direct confrontation — by Mr. Trump and those in Iran who see some kind of accommodation with the West as the only way out of the country’s isolation — kicks in. It is hardly guaranteed, but it has happened before."

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"U.S. Special Forces Battle Against ISIS Turns to Containment, and Concern"

US-Spezialeinheiten in Afghanistan haben der New York Times zufolge die Hoffnung aufgegeben, den "Islamischen Staat" im Osten des Landes dauerhaft vertreiben zu können. Künftige Operationen sollen deshalb das strategische Ziel der Eindämmung verfolgen. "The extremist group is growing, able to out-recruit its casualties so far, according to military officials. It is well funded by illicit smuggling and other revenue streams. And in the eastern part of the country, Islamic State fighters are waging a war of terrain that the United States military can — for now — only contain, those officials said. Interviews with six current and former American officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, indicated that the group is poised to expand its influence if the United States and the Taliban reach a peace settlement. (...) Deep in Afghanistan, the immediate conclusion has been to try to keep up the pressure through patrols and raids by American and Afghan Special Operations units. But the officials acknowledge that it all amounts to more of a containment effort than anything that could eradicate the Islamic State loyalists here."

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"For Central Americans, Fleeing to Europe May Beat Trying to Reach U.S."

Angesichts der erschwerten Reise in die USA erwägen Migranten aus Zentralamerika Melissa Vida zufolge, stattdessen nach Europa zu ziehen. "The number seeking asylum in Europe has increased nearly 4,000 percent in the last decade, according to official figures, and the rate of arrivals is accelerating. Nearly 7,800 applied for asylum in Europe last year, up from 4,835 in 2017. The distance may be greater, but many have found that the journey to Europe is safer and much cheaper than paying smugglers to get through Mexico to the United States. (...) Spain is the first choice for many Central Americans because of the shared language, established networks of friends and family and opportunities to work in the informal economy. Another draw is the perception that the authorities are more tolerant, particularly after considering the danger and expense likely to be involved in a journey to the United States."

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"Why Should Immigrants 'Respect Our Borders'? The West Never Respected Theirs"

Suketu Mehta ist in seinem Beitrag zur Migrationsdebatte der Ansicht, dass sich westliche Länder zur Aufnahme von Migranten verpflichtet sollten, wenn die Herkunftsländer eine westliche Kolonialgeschichte haben oder sie durch westliche Politik bzw. Kriege ruiniert wurden. "Today, a quarter of a billion people are migrants. They are moving because the rich countries have stolen the future of the poor countries. Whether it is Iraqis and Syrians fleeing the effects of illegal American wars, or Africans seeking to work for their former European colonial masters, or Guatemalans and Hondurans trying to get into the country that peddles them guns and buys their drugs: They are coming here because we were there. Before you ask them to respect our borders, ask yourself: Has the West ever respected anyone’s borders? A vast majority of migrants move from a poor to a less poor country, not a rich one. Immigration quotas should be based on how much the host country has ruined other countries. Britain should have quotas for Indians and Nigerians; France for Malians and Tunisians; Belgium for very large numbers of Congolese."

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"The Most Powerful Arab Ruler Isn’t M.B.S. It’s M.B.Z."

Nicht der saudi-arabische Kronprinz Mohammad bin Salman, sondern Prinz Mohammed bin Zayed aus den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten könne heute als einflussreichster arabischer Herrscher betrachtet werden, meint David D. Kirkpatrick. Mohammed bin Zayed habe in den vergangenen Jahren stets die Nähe zu den USA gesucht und sei deshalb in der Lage, aggressiv und mit amerikanischer Unterstützung gegen den Iran und die Muslimbruderschaft vorzugehen. "Western diplomats who know the prince — known as M.B.Z. — say he is obsessed with two enemies, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Trump has sought to move strongly against both and last week took steps to bypass congressional opposition to keep selling weapons to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 'M.B.Z. has an extraordinary way of telling Americans his own interests but making it come across as good advice about the region,' said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser under President Barack Obama, whose sympathy for the Arab Spring and negotiations with Iran brought blistering criticism from the Emirati prince. When it comes to influence in Washington, Mr. Rhodes added, 'M.B.Z. is in a class by himself.'"

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"Trump Undercuts Bolton on North Korea and Iran"

Peter Baker und Maggie Haberman berichten, dass die Diskrepanzen zwischen den außenpolitischen Äußerungen des US-Präsidenten und seines Sicherheitsberaters in den vergangenen Tagen besonders offen zu Tage getreten seien. Während John Bolton seinen rhetorischen Konfrontationskurs gegenüber Iran und Nordkorea unvermindert fortsetze, habe Donald Trump bekräftigt, keinen Regimewechsel in Teheran anzustreben und die jüngsten nordkoreanischen Raketentests nicht als Verletzung von UN-Resolutionen zu betrachten. "In playing dove to Mr. Bolton’s hawk, Mr. Trump may be simply keeping adversaries off balance, as some backers maintained. But questions about his relationship with his chief foreign policy coordinator have profound implications for the president as he tries to manage standoffs in Asia, the Middle East and South America without alienating the United States’ allies. (...) In private, Mr. Trump has made fun of his adviser’s militant reputation, suggesting that he was the one restraining Mr. Bolton rather than the other way around. 'If it was up to John, we’d be in four wars now,' one senior official has recalled the president saying. (...) One person close to Mr. Trump said the situation resembled the moment when the president turned on Rex W. Tillerson, his first secretary of state, but still took another six months or more to push him out. Others expressed doubt that Mr. Trump would get rid of Mr. Bolton before next year’s re-election campaign."

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"In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc"

Eine von der NSA entwickelte und 2017 entwendete Schadsoftware wird der New York Times zufolge seit drei Wochen von "digitalen Erpressern" benutzt, um die Stadtverwaltung in Baltimore nahezu lahmzulegen. "It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high, and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs. The N.S.A. connection to the attacks on American cities has not been previously reported, in part because the agency has refused to discuss or even acknowledge the loss of its cyberweapon, dumped online in April 2017 by a still-unidentified group calling itself the Shadow Brokers. Years later, the agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation still do not know whether the Shadow Brokers are foreign spies or disgruntled insiders. (...) Since that leak, foreign intelligence agencies and rogue actors have used EternalBlue to spread malware that has paralyzed hospitals, airports, rail and shipping operators, A.T.M.s and factories that produce critical vaccines. Now the tool is hitting the United States where it is most vulnerable, in local governments with aging digital infrastructure and fewer resources to defend themselves."

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"Potential Clash Over Secrets Looms Between Justice Dept. and C.I.A."

US-Präsident Trump will die geheimdienstlichen Informationen, die zu den langjährigen Russland-Ermittlungen gegen ihn geführt haben, gegen den Willen der CIA öffentlich machen. Julian E. Barnes und David E. Sanger erläutern, warum sich der Geheimdienst dem Präsidenten so vehement widersetzt. "Though the ultimate power to declassify documents rests with the president, Mr. Trump’s delegation of that power to [Attorney General William P. Barr] effectively stripped Mr. Coats and the C.I.A. of control of their secrets. The move could endanger the agencies’ ability to keep the identities of their sources secret, former intelligence officials said. Mr. Coats and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, will fight hard to ensure that their most valuable secrets — the identities of sources — are protected, former officials have said. (...) Mr. Trump has long held that he was a target of the “deep state,” at various points accusing Mr. Obama without evidence of tapping his phones, the F.B.I. of secretly trying to undermine his candidacy and past intelligence chiefs of bending their findings to prove Russian involvement in his election victory."

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"Colombia’s Army Changes Pledge to Carry Out Killings"

Nach heftiger Kritik hat das Militär Kolumbiens angekündigt, auf die umstrittene Selbstverpflichtung zur Verdoppelung der Zahl von gefangenen oder getöteten Kämpfern und Kriminellen zu verzichten. "The orders had unnerved some senior army officers, who said the intense pressure to carry out attacks was heightening the risk of civilian casualties and had already led to suspicious deaths by overzealous soldiers. Colombia endured as many as 5,000 illegal killings in the mid-2000s after soldiers were pressured by their superiors to increase attacks on guerrilla fighters during the country’s civil war. Many soldiers killed innocent peasants during that era to lift their combat numbers, sometimes even dressing up civilian victims in rebel fatigues and planting weapons near their bodies to make them look like enemy fighters. (...) After the Times investigation, Maj. Gen. Nicacio Martínez Espinel, the top commander of the army, told the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo that he would withdraw the pledge required of officers."

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"Trump Administration Could Blacklist Chinese Surveillance Technology Firm"

Die US-Regierung erwägt offenbar Sanktionen gegen weitere chinesische Unternehmen. Der New York Times zufolge könnte es diesmal den Konzern Hikvision treffen, der Überwachungstechnologien entwickelt und dem die Beteiligung an der Unterdrückung der muslimischen Uiguren-Minderheit im Nordwesten Chinas vorgeworfen wird. "The move would effectively place the company, Hikvision, on a United States blacklist. It also would mark the first time the Trump administration punished a Chinese company for its role in the surveillance and mass detention of Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority. (...) Hikvision is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of video surveillance products and is central to China’s ambitions to be the top global exporter of surveillance systems. The Commerce Department may require that American companies obtain government approval to supply components to Hikvision, limiting the company’s access to technology that helps power its equipment. Administration officials could make a final decision in the coming weeks."

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