US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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"Trump’s Ukrainegate could help Ukraine"

Die Ukraine könnte nach Ansicht von Joanna Hosa vom jüngsten Skandal um Donald Trump durchaus profitieren. "While the focus on corruption is not ideal, being in the spotlight might be good for Ukraine. Oscar Wilde’s observation that 'there is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about' holds true for Ukraine. World leaders are again hearing that the war in Ukraine is not over and that it is an important European country. Zelensky’s message that 'Ukraine needs more support fighting its two wars: with corruption and in Donbas' has a new audience. There will now be more scrutiny of American support for Ukraine, which will help protect the country from threats to withhold it – explicit or otherwise. Ukraine is gaining prominence – so much so that Trump has even stopped calling it 'the Ukraine', which is quite something."

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"Can Germany stop Libya becoming the new Syria?"

Die geplante internationale Libyen-Konferenz in Deutschland sollte nach Ansicht von Tarek Megerisi als Gelegenheit für einen diplomatischen Durchbruch genutzt werden, um das Abgleiten des Landes in ein Chaos nach syrischem Vorbild zu verhindern. Dabei werde viel auf die Vorbereitung des Gipfels durch die Bundesregierung ankommen. "If Germany wants its new initiative, and rare foray into north African foreign policy, to result in greater Libyan stability, then it will have to work hard to ensure that the right agenda is on the table, and that it has enough allies present to make it count. (...) Germany knows the problem facing it all too well, given that Haftar’s assault coincided with its presidency of the Security Council, during which time its attempts to see through resolutions in special sessions were blocked or watered down. Recent statements by Merkel and Germany’s ambassador to Libya suggest that Germany is aware of the perils of allowing Libya to continue down its current path, and of the importance of constraining international interference in Libya. (...) The follow-up matters too: if the Germany conference is to be the first step towards stability, then it will inevitably be followed by a mediation process. Berlin should work to ensure that this event is used to provide [UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé] with the space to resume his bottom-up process as that mediation process."

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"Mapping armed groups in Mali and the Sahel"

Andrew Lebovich hat die Einflusszonen radikalislamischer Gruppen und internationaler Akteure in Mali, Niger und Burkina Faso in einer informativen Karte dargestellt. "Violence is tearing Mali and the Sahel apart. But who are the armed groups behind the bloodshed? Where are international actors stationed in the region? And what motivates them all? This project maps jihadist and non-jihadist groups and pinpoints the presence of external actors in the region as of May 2019."

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"Nothing to see here: Europe and the INF treaty"

Die Europäer hätten das Ende des INF-Vertrags mit demonstrativer Gleichgültigkeit aufgenommen, stellt Nick Witney fest. Dahinter stehe keineswegs ein gestiegenes Selbstbewusstsein, sondern eine tiefsitzende Weigerung, die neue Bedeutung der Atomwaffenfrage anzuerkennen. "As ECFR found in a comprehensive recent survey of attitudes towards nuclear deterrence across Europe, Europeans are choosing to address these issues with, in the words of the report’s title, 'eyes tight shut'. In some member states, folk memory of the domestic conflicts sparked by the Euromissile Crisis is evergreen. Others – particularly non-NATO members – retain a deep-seated attachment to unilateral nuclear disarmament. Few have any appetite for facing up to the wider implications of the deterioration of the US security guarantee to Europe under Trump. So, if the Russians and the Americans seem ready to view the painfully constructed arms control regimes of the twentieth century as disposable, most Europeans seem ready to go with the flow. (...) it is myopic to refuse to take the elevated Russian nuclear threat seriously. As the ECFR report cited above argues, Europeans need to take their heads out from under the duvet and start thinking seriously about how to create a 'Euro-deterrent' – that is, about how to effectively extend the deterrence capacity of the French and British nuclear arsenals to cover European partners and allies."

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"From plaything to player: How Europe can stand up for itself in the next five years"

Der frühere schwedische Ministerpräsident Carl Bildt und Mark Leonard vom European Council on Foreign Relations erläutern in diesem Strategiepapier ihren sicherheitspolitischen Fahrplan für die neue EU-Kommission. "The coming five years herald acute pressure on Europe, particularly as Russia, China, and the US undermine multilateral institutions and treat trade, finance data, and security guarantees as instruments of power rather than global public goods. The new high representative should move quickly to rewire European foreign policymaking to exercise strategic sovereignty. The high representative needs more support on this strategy – from deputies, special representatives, and foreign ministers tasked with specific roles. The new leadership team in Brussels needs to reoperationalise European defence, build Europe’s self-sufficiency through a strong European pillar in NATO, and consider innovations such as a European Security Council. Europe will only build greater unity by tackling controversial issues head on in the European Council and the Foreign Affairs Council. The high representative needs to play a much more active role in these debates."

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"A tribunal for ISIS fighters?"

Der Fall der drei im Irak zum Tod verurteilten französischen IS-Kämpfer hat erneut die Frage aufgeworfen, was mit europäischen Anhängern des "Islamischen Staates", die in Irak oder Syrien aufgegriffen worden sind, geschehen sollte. Anthony Dworkin zufolge findet die Idee eines internationalen Tribunals zunehmend Anklang. Vor der Einrichtung eines solchen Tribunals müssten allerdings einige wichtige Fragen geklärt werden. Dworkins Fazit lautet: "For the moment, Europe’s newfound enthusiasm for an international tribunal remains more a political aspiration than a well-developed and credible policy. Next week’s meeting may start the process of transforming this aspiration into a clearly defined project that can decide between the different options and generate support for a path forward. A tribunal would provide a powerful way of ensuring that those most responsible for the crimes of ISIS were held accountable. But it would not generate a magical solution to the problems posed by the broad mass of European fighters and ISIS supporters in Syria. Europe should not put off the task of devising other ways to handle the detainees while discussions on an international tribunal gradually advance."

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"The strange influence of the Macedonian model"

Vessela Tcherneva schreibt, dass die begrüßenswerte politische Entwicklung in Nord-Mazedonien auch in anderen Balkan-Ländern eine positive Wirkung zeige. "After almost a decade at the bottom of the list of Western Balkans’ aspirants entering the European Union, North Macedonia climbed a steep slope to catch up, even overtaking some along the way. Its path included public protests and external pressure (from the United States and the EU) which brought down long-time authoritarian prime minister Nikola Gruevski. His successor – Zoran Zaev, a relatively unknown politician from a small town – led an SDSM government that concluded a friendship treaty with Bulgaria and resolved the long-standing dispute with another neighbour, Greece, over North Macedonia’s name. (...) Zaev’s victory was the last episode in a process that began more than three years ago and proved that a clear vision and strong political will can defeat authoritarian leaders, resolve symbolic issues with neighbours (even in the Balkans!), and reinstate a country’s as a credible EU candidate. (...) Meanwhile, several waves of protest have spread across the Western Balkans in recent months. All have been influenced by the events in North Macedonia (...)".

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"The march of Haftar: Why Europeans should stand in the way of the Libyan National Army"

Tarek Megerisi meint dagegen, dass sich die Europäer dem Vormarsch der Libyschen Nationalarmee (LNA) von General Haftar auf Tripolis entgegen stellen sollten. Die Hoffnung, dass Haftar Libyen stabilisieren könnte, hält er für illusorisch. "The key point to understand is that Haftar is not as strong as he appears and cannot in the end deliver stability to Libya. He cannot make good on all the promises he has made either to his Libyan counterparts or to the international partners to whom he has promised preferential access and authoritarian stability. Despite the effective branding, Haftar is not actually in control of an army in the traditional sense of the term. The LNA is a shaky alliance between various militias of tribal, religious and local interests around a core of more traditional forces (who themselves are highly compromised by Salafist components.) (...) At this point, his forces are overextended, his finances stretched, and if he’s forced to fight, he may be more fragile than many realise. Indeed, his recent escalation was, in part, driven by these vulnerabilities and his need for quick success. In the end, Haftar has no unifying ideology on which to build a legitimate system of governance and no army to supplant the existing patchwork of militias and local forces controlling Libya. So, it is unlikely that any rule he concocts will be stable for long after his expansion ceases."

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"France's strongman strategy in the Sahel"

Tarek Megerisi und Andrew Lebovich schreiben, dass Frankreich derzeit versucht, die Sahelzone durch die Unterstützung der dort herrschenden autoritären Regierungen zu stabilisieren. Langfristig könnte diese Strategie allerdings zu einer Stärkung extremistischer Kräfte führen, so ihre Warnung. "While this may look like Françafrique redux in which France controls or exerts undue influence on its African partners, the situation is in many ways more complicated than this. France is now highly dependent on auxiliaries and partners – be they national leaders or armed groups that patrol the borders of Mali and Niger. Such partnerships can have dangerous consequences, as can be seen when these auxiliaries commit human rights abuses or pursue policies that may threaten broader French stabilisation goals. Indeed, some of the instability in the region may partly result from these interventions and partnerships. (...) Each country in the region is facing a different kind of internal threat: worsening jihadist violence in Mali and Burkina Faso; a potential increase in militancy and trafficking in northern Niger; various rebellions in northern Chad; and now a return to violence in southern Libya. If the European – particularly French – response in each case is to merely reinforce authoritarian rule, it could inflame such militancy in the long run."

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"Negative energy: Berlin’s Trumpian turn on Nord Stream 2"

Gustav Gressel wirft der Bundesregierung wegen deren Festhalten an der Gaspipeline Nord Stream 2 vor, die sicherheitspolitischen Umstände des Projekts zu ignorieren und "Doppelstandards" zu offenbaren. "Germany has no capacity or domestic mandate to deal with the geopolitical fallout of its choices on Nord Stream 2. It cannot prevent Russia from absorbing Belarus, nor from escalating the war in Ukraine. In environmental and climate politics, German leaders often emphasise that one should not commit to policies whose ramifications one cannot control. But, in a mirror image of Trump’s approach to climate policy, Merkel simply bows to ideological stubbornness and the lobbying efforts of domestic industry and special interest groups.“

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"Europe should do better on Venezuela"

Pawel Zerka lobt die bisherige Reaktion der EU auf die Krise in Venezuela, kritisiert aber zugleich, dass es keine gemeinsame Position der europäischen Regierungen gebe. "So far, the European Union has coped with the challenge surprisingly well. It has allowed its members a reasonable degree of flexibility in dealing with Venezuela. (...) However, there are clear limits to what the EU can achieve without establishing a common position on Venezuela. It failed to do so, largely as a result of Italy’s veto. (...) the EU’s lack of a unified position is becoming a serious practical and diplomatic handicap. Individual member states can impose limited sanctions on Maduro’s regime, such as travel bans and asset freezes. But it is hard for them to impose meaningful economic sanctions on Venezuela given the existence of the EU’s single market. Such measures are key to European efforts to place Maduro under real pressure."

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"Russia, Germany, and the INF: Will Berlin break its silence?"

Gustav Gressel warnt nach dem Ende des INF-Vertrags vor einer atomaren Überlegenheit Russlands in Europa und wirft der deutschen Politik vor, auf die drohende Gefahr nicht angemessen zu reagieren. "(...) Berlin has not yet come to terms with the seriousness of the situation and that wider parts of the political establishment do not feel threatened by Russia’s build-up of nuclear-capable carrier means. This, in turn, is causing further suspicion in European capitals that actually feel threatened. (...) It is not a matter of whether NATO should counter-deploy; instead the debate should focus on how to counter-deploy, and who should do this. For the moment there is no indication that the US would deploy intermediate-range systems to Europe other than the next generation cruise missiles deployed on submarines. (...). With submarine-based deterrence off the European coast, along with some rather symbolic freefall bombs in western Europe, the balance of risks and losses looks significantly different to how it did in 1985. But there is no idea in Europe of how to properly relink American and European security, what the burden-sharing within such an arrangement would look like, or what kind of capabilities the Europeans would have to increase on their own in order to change the stakes for Russia. Without an answer to these questions, Russian nuclear superiority over Europe will be a done deal."

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"Top ten foreign policy trends in 2019"

Mark Leonard und Jeremy Shapiro haben zehn außenpolitische Trends zusammengestellt, die das neue Jahr ihrer Erwartung nach prägen werden. "1. Trump takes control of US foreign policy (...) 2. The Democratic House impeaches Trump (...) 3. The North Korea “de-nuclearisation” process breaks down (...) 4. China applies to join the CP-TPP (...) 5. The Ukraine crisis flares up (...) 6. A global downturn triggers a financial crisis in Turkey (...) 7. Saudi Arabia reconciles with the US and Europe (...) 8. The WTO de facto collapses (...) 9. Populists begin a double movement (...) 10. Europe considers a digital tax (...) Bonus: Brexit neither succeeds or fails"

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"The 'European army', a tale of wilful misunderstanding"

Ulrike Esther Franke analysiert die aus ihrer Sicht von Missverständnissen geprägte Debatte über die Bildung einer Europäischen Armee und schreibt, dass viele Experten das Konzept am liebsten "begraben" würden. "Initially intended as a rallying point, the European army idea is thus becoming a liability. Many military and political experts have grown tired of the concept and would prefer to retire it quietly. But, as I argued in the latest episode of Sicherheitshalber, it is not enough for experts to reject the term and move on. (...) It would, therefore, be useful if politicians such as Macron or German Chancellor Angela Merkel could be more precise in their rhetorical support for the long-term vision of a European army: what do they want to achieve, and when? Such precisions would likely reveal that the French and the Germans already have significantly different interpretations of a European army which would be worth addressing. My sense is that the European army idea is similar in scope and ambition to the 'United States of Europe' or former US president Barack Obama’s 'Global Zero' (a world free of nuclear weapons). But, if the concept is a more substantive target for the current European defence procurement and coordination programmes, it is high time that European leaders explained what it would look like in greater detail."

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"Russia, Ukraine, and the battle for religion"

Der Konflikt zwischen Russland und der Ukraine hat sich nun auch auf die Religion ausgeweitet. Andrew Wilson berichtet, dass die orthodoxe Kirche der Ukraine auf einer Bischofskonferenz Schritte unternommen habe, um sich von der russisch-orthodoxen Kirche abzuspalten. "This is an event of potentially huge historical importance. It will add religion to language, war, and patriotism as factors consolidating Ukrainian national identity since 2014. Poroshenko thinks it will help sway his re-election in 2019. More than 12,000 of the Russian church’s almost 35,000 parishes are in Ukraine, and losing even a small number of these would be a terrific blow to Russia and to Vladimir Putin’s concept of a 'Russian world'. So catastrophic, in fact, that the Russian church is hardly likely to acquiesce quietly in the loss."

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"Berlin’s untenable foreign-policy strategic vacuum"

Josef Janning hält die deutsche Debatte über außenpolitische Strategien angesichts der Umbrüche in Europa und im internationalen System für "trivial". "Firstly, the European Union, though a principal framework of German policy, is more politically fragmented than ever, and lacks a stable centre. (...) Secondly, great power politics is transforming the multilateral system. (...) Thirdly, Europe’s and thus Germany’s neighbourhood has lost the fragile stability it once had. (...) The German strategic debate has yet to adapt to any of these challenges. Admittedly, neither Germany nor Europe has broken down under the pressure. But to take this as a guarantee for the future would be utterly naïve."

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"Strait to war? Russia and Ukraine clash in the Sea of Azov"

Andrew Wilson warnt, dass der Konflikt im Osten der Ukraine nicht an Land, sondern auf See neu eskalieren könnte. "The Sea of Azov plays host to the key Donbas ports of Mariupol and Berdiansk. Mariupol itself is indeed known across the world: Russian-backed forces seized it in bitter fighting in 2014, but later relinquished it. Mariupol has since become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. But Russia is now increasingly militarising the Sea of Azov in a series of moves that could have implications not only for maritime trade and supplies into Ukraine, but also for the ongoing land war in eastern Ukraine. The UN may soon need to take steps to stabilise the region."

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"Germany’s defence policy: still living in dreamland"

Nach Ansicht von Ulrike Esther Franke hat Deutschland seinen Platz in der internationalen Gemeinschaft aus sicherheitspolitischer Perspektive immer noch nicht gefunden. "Seventy-three years after the end of the second world war, and twenty-eight years after German reunification, it remains unclear what role Germany wants to and can play internationally. (...) International observers may not realise that in Germany, a self-congratulatory mood suffuses the air whenever discussion arises about the country’s role in European security and defence. The official German narrative, which is widely believed in government ministries (or at least propagated by them), is that ever since the Kosovo war in the late 1990s, Germany has been slowly but steadily emerging as an engaged and reliable actor on the international scene. (...) Even as a German I have been surprised by this narrative’s prevalence. Because outside Germany, observers are considerably less convinced. In fact, there is more than enough disappointment to go around, and the story told sounds quite different."

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"Mad maximalism: The fight to dislodge Iran from Syria"

Die US-Regierung und ihre Verbündeten im Nahen Osten verfolgten im syrischen Krieg mittlerweile das vorrangige Ziel, den Iran aus dem Land zu vertreiben, schreibt Julien Barnes-Dacey. Die "maximalistische" Forderung eines kompletten Abzugs dürfte seiner Ansicht nach jedoch auf ebenso harten Widerstand stoßen und könnte den Konflikt ausweiten. "Averting such escalation now requires some form of implicit accommodation with Iran. Given that perceptions shape reality, Tehran will not budge in Syria so long as its opponents aspire to impose a complete defeat upon it. Despite the growing tensions, this accommodation may still be feasible – so long as expectations are realistically lowered by delinking immediate priorities from the maximalist ambition of a full Iranian withdrawal. For the United States and Israel, core security interests do not require that Syria be cleared of every last Iranian. Instead, they require a way to sufficiently curtail Iran’s presence, particularly along Israel’s immediate border. From its perspective, Tehran might benefit from an arrangement that does not threaten its wider position alongside Assad and that avoids costly escalation."

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"Order from chaos: Stabilising Libya the local way"

Tarek Megerisi hält die bisherige westliche Strategie des "leichten Fußabdrucks" in Libyen für gescheitert und empfiehlt stattdessen einen Ansatz, der die Kooperation mit lokalen Akteuren in den Vordergrund rückt. "Libya needs a wider stabilisation strategy than is currently in place. This renewed strategy should aim to create a virtuous cycle by locking in gains made in governance and service delivery, enabling economic recovery, and assisting a move towards greater security and more meaningful and effective political processes. The ineffectual GNA and corrupt legacy of the Gaddafi years mean that the best way to achieve this comes from local actors, be they municipalities, state-owned companies, or private sector initiatives. This wider strategy will need to be responsive to the structural economic flaws of the Libyan state which hamper stabilisation and encourage destructive, destabilising politics."

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"Trump’s meaningless NATO spending debate"

Jeremy Shapiro empfiehlt den Europäern, die tatsächliche Bedeutung der NATO-Forderungen von US-Präsident Trump nicht aus den Augen zu verlieren. Trump wolle die Debatte über das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel nutzen, um Handelszugeständnisse der Verbündeten zu erzwingen. "So every time Europeans respond to his repeated blandishments on defence spending with new pledges to pay more, he seems to grow ever more sure that he is on to something and doubles down on his critique. One feels confident at this point that such critiques will persist at least as long as the US trade deficit with Europe. Appeasement of Trump’s bullying is not the right strategy. Of course, Europeans need to get their house in order in defence. But that effort has little to do with symbolic defence spending targets and even less to do with the impossible task of satisfying Trump. Rather, they should focus on creating a truly independent defence capability. That effort probably does involve more spending, but more importantly it means creating a European military capability that can stand on its own. Such a capability will allow the Europeans to negotiate with Trump, and future American presidents, from a position of equality."

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"The Trump opportunity: Chinese perceptions of the US administration"

Fünf Asienexperten haben sich für den European Council on Foreign Relations mit der chinesischen Perspektive auf die Präsidentschaft Donald Trumps beschäftigt. François Godement schreibt in seiner Einleitung, dass chinesische Politiker und Experten im Gegensatz zur überwiegend scharfen Kritik an Trump in Europa in relativ moderater Art und Weise über die Politik des US-Präsidenten diskutieren. "Although Chinese America-watchers acknowledge Trump’s narcissistic traits, they also disdain much of the American policy establishment’s analysis of him, seeing it as dead set against his freewheeling, deal-making style. Indeed, one Chinese analyst goes so far as to discuss Trump’s courage and determination, emphasising his policies’ positive effects on the American economy. Of course, this raises questions about whether Chinese experts adopt these positions because they sense opportunities to exploit, or because they take Trump seriously – including the announced backlash against China. Much foreign commentary points to the first interpretation, arguing that Trump’s disregard of the traditional institutions of the Western alliance and attacks against old allies provide too good an opportunity to pass up. However, this edition of China Analysis indicates that the second interpretation is more accurate."

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"Can Europe save the world order?"

Anthony Dworkin und Mark Leonard erläutern in diesem Papier für den European Council on Foreign Relations, welche Schritte Europa unternehmen müsste, um die regelbasierte liberale Weltordnung zu retten. "The EU can best support the preservation of a rules-based system by promoting an adapted vision of international order that takes account of recent developments and new challenges. The EU should place an updated idea of liberal order at the centre of its Global Strategy, and build the capacity to implement this strategy. In doing so, the EU should follow an approach that aims to reconcile some of the tensions between sovereignty and international order that have become problematic in recent years due to the rise of assertive illiberal powers, inconsistencies in Western practice, and a pervasive belief among Western electorates that globalisation is more a threat than an opportunity."

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"Ukrainian elections: Poroshenko and proliferating populists"

Andrew Wilson erläutert das politische Umfeld in der Ukraine ein Jahr vor den Parlaments- und Präsidentschaftswahlen. Die frühere Premierministerin Julija Tymoschenko habe sich derzeit als größte Herausforderin von Amtsinhaber Petro Poroschenko positioniert, der in Umfragen nur noch auf dem vierten oder fünften Platz liege. "(...) she has done so by profiting from social and economic problems rather than addressing past faults. Three other populists follow her in the polls. (...) Poroshenko may only need to gain a vote share of between 10 percent and 20 percent in the first round of the election. The final part of his strategy is to face an opponent who can be easily defeated in the second round. As recently as two years ago, Tymoshenko was such a candidate. At the time, most observers believed that her record as prime minister before the 2010 election would limit her vote share. But, if the polls are accurate, Ukrainians seem to have short memories: her stock has continued to rise."

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"Alone in the desert? How France can lead Europe in the Middle East"

Manuel Lafont Rapnouil mit einer ausführlichen Analyse der französischen Nahostpolitik, mit der Paris seine Rolle als unabhängiger internationaler Machtakteur untermauern wolle. Rapnouil empfiehlt der französischen Führung eine stärkere Einbeziehung der europäischen Partner. "France is seeking to match its ambition to punch above its weight and shape global politics within a more competitive, more fluid, less state-centric, and more fragmented world. Given the centrality of the Middle East as a stage for France and a place of heightened interest for Europe more generally, the region provides a key test case for realising this ambition. Yet any renewed European endeavour by France will succeed only if its fellow EU member states come to terms with the need for Europe to play a growing and more assertive role in the region. (...) Other key European states also need to support a more assertive, more comprehensive and more strategic European policy in the Middle East. These states include Germany, Italy, Spain, and even the UK – in spite of Brexit – as well as other partners that understand the importance of what is at stake in the region, from Sweden to the Netherlands. Germany in particular needs to continue its current evolution toward greater activism in the region, and to recognise that its interests cannot be defined only through commercial ties or refugee containment."

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"Three views on Turkey's Syria intervention"

Die drei Experten Guney Yildiz, Asli Aydıntaşbaş und Julien Barnes-Dacey erläutern, welche Bedeutung die türkische Militäroffensive gegen Kurden für die Konfliktparteien in Syrien hat. Nach Ansicht von Julien Barnes-Dacey wird die türkische Operation die Dynamik des Krieges zumindest aus jetziger Sicht nicht grundsätzlich verändern. "Turkey’s intervention into Afrin adds another messy dimension to the Syrian conflict, not least for the region’s long-suffering civilians. Yet while Turkey’s military push opens up another front - and further consolidates foreign occupation of the country - it will not fundamentally harm Assad’s broader position. Indeed, Turkey’s position enhances Russia’s ability to drive forward a regime-friendly political process. (...) Much now depends on whether or not the Afrin battle is the prelude to a deepening Kurdish-Turkish conflict. This could, like so many other twists and turns in the Syria conflict, still upend everyone’s plans."

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"From Iran to North Korea, German policymakers are at a loss"

Josef Janning meint, dass sich die traditionelle Strategie der deutschen und europäischen Außenpolitik angesichts der aktuellen Krisen im Nahen Osten und in Nordkorea immer deutlicher als "naiv" herausstellt. "The current crises over Iran and North Korea illustrate this European and German dilemma. Both crises cast doubt on European presumptions. Both could be decided by fire and fury, rather than the usual European gloss of political incentives and economic opportunities. (...) The Europeans now find themselves at a loss in the geopolitical struggle between Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey that emerged from the ruins of Iraq and Syria. This regional cleavage is a new layer under the global power struggle between Russia, the United States, and China. Thus old-fashioned power politics has returned to the 21st century. And Germans, like most of their European partners, have no clue what to do. (...) Since 1949, German policymakers, with their own country’s violent history in mind, have avowed that might does not make right. They have placed all their hopes and bets on the supremacy of international law and cooperation over national interest and naked power. The atavism of today’s crises and rivalries has shown that worldview to be untenable, even naive. Berlin needs a new foreign policy. This time, Europe can’t answer for Germany, but the German answer has to include Europe."

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"Ukraine on the brink of kleptocracy"

Gustav Gressel empfiehlt der EU eine entschlossenere Reaktion auf die Tatsache, dass die Ukraine sich gerade zu einer "quasi-autoritären Kleptokratie" entwickle. Die ukrainischen Eliten nähmen eine "pro-europäische" Pose ein, während sie ihre Interessen unter Mitwirkung von Präsident Poroschenko immer rücksichtsloser umsetzten. "(...) the events of the previous months show that, with the current political class in power, there is no European future for Ukraine. Like in Moldova before, the private enrichment of ostensibly 'pro-European' politicians will only discredit the Union, diminish its influence and derail the reform process within the country. The EU therefore needs to act now if it wants to maintain credibility in the Eastern Neighbourhood. (...) Many Europeans shy away from confronting the Ukrainian leadership this directly as they fear that this would damage Ukraine’s struggle for independence and sovereignty vis a vis Russia. But this hesitation is misplaced. Corruption and sovereignty are distinct issues which must be treated as such.

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"EU can go your own way on Iran"

Ellie Geranmayeh rät der EU dagegen, sich von der "zerstörerischen Diplomatie" Donald Trumps zu distanzieren und an ihrer eigenständigen Iran-Strategie weiter festzuhalten. "Instead of following the Trump approach of labeling Iran’s entire leadership as 'rogue' and 'corrupt', European governments seem to be using diplomatic channels with Iran to get clarity over recent events and to highlight their expectations. (...) In their response to evolving developments in Iran, European actors should continue to focus on measures that can assist, rather than harm, the process of democratic reforms advocated by Iranians inside the country. They should continue to urge the Iranian government to implement the right to peaceful assembly provided in the country’s constitution and call for Rouhani to follow up on his proposal to enlarge avenues for peaceful protests. Second, European leaders should use existing diplomatic channels to directly engage Rouhani. (...) Finally, European governments should reiterate their firm support for the nuclear deal if they want to avert a new crisis. (...) There is now greater space for Iranian internal discourse to highlight mismanagement, corruption, and social injustice, and for Iranians to demand accountability and action from their leadership. Fallout over the nuclear deal would shift Iranian public debate and government priorities back onto foreign rather than domestic policy. This would drastically setback much needed reforms that will ultimately have to come from inside Iran."

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