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"Macron’s 'NATO Brain Death' Quote Shows Why the US Has Always Outplayed France"


Mit seiner harschen NATO-Kritik habe Frankreichs Präsident Macron an die Tradition seines Amtsvorgängers Charles de Gaulle angeknüpft, schreibt Kori Schake. Auch der strategische Hintergrund des französischen Vorgehens erinnere an frühere Zeiten. "Like de Gaulle, Macron would unify Europe under France’s conception, with Germany footing the bill. Like de Gaulle, Macron envisions the United States, the United Kingdom, and France (representing Europe) bringing their military power into a Directorate of Three to determine security policies for the West. But the strategy runs aground, both for de Gaulle and for Macron, on two shoals. First, France hasn’t yet convinced its European partners that it is more reliable than the United States. (…) The second difficulty is that Macron expects other Europeans to increase their military contributions while not taking their concerns into account. (…) The U.S. has traditionally outplayed France on transatlantic issues because American policies have been more congenial to European sensibilities, and because the U.S. has taken pains to build consensus. (…) American policy ought not to be as alienating to Europeans as Macron’s. Which means that the right policy response from the United States to Macron’s denigration is to get back to doing what American foreign policy does at its best: Live American ideals and stand quietly resolute with America’s allies."

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"Betraying The Kurds Makes Things Harder for US Operators Everywhere"


Der "Verrat" an den syrischen Kurden wird es dem US-Militär künftig deutlich schwerer machen, bei internationalen Einsätzen lokale Verbündete zu finden, erwartet Jerry Meyerle. "Trust is a powerful commodity that has saved many lives in shadowy battlefields across the Middle East. But it takes a long time to build and can be gone in an instant. The abrupt withdrawal from Syria and cynical disregard for the Kurds’ contribution to the ISIS fight will undermine that trust and put U.S. forces and their missions at risk. (…) The sudden withdrawal from Syria, the openly callous disregard for long-standing relationships with Kurdish forces on the ground, and the cynical talk about taking Syrian oil as if that were the objective all along, will undermine the credibility of these promises in the future. It will be more difficult for U.S. military advisors and special operators to find willing local allies and to build the trust necessary to aggressively prosecute threats to America and survive in places where a heavy U.S. footprint is not possible."

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"SecDef: China Is Exporting Killer Robots to the Mideast"


US-Verteidigungsminister Mark Esper hat Patrick Tucker zufolge offiziell bestätigt, dass China autonome Kampfdrohnen an Länder im Nahen Osten verkaufe. "'As we speak, the Chinese government is already exporting some of its most advanced military aerial drones to the Middle East, as it prepares to export its next-generation stealth UAVs when those come online,' Esper said today at the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence conference. 'In addition, Chinese weapons manufacturers are selling drones advertised as capable of full autonomy, including the ability to conduct lethal targeted strikes.' The Chinese company Ziyan, for instance, markets the Blowfish A3, essentially a helicopter drone outfitted with a machine gun. Ziyan says it 'autonomously performs more complex combat missions, including fixed-point timing detection, fixed-range reconnaissance, and targeted precision strikes.'"

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"Pentagon Vows to Guard the Syrian Oil That Trump Wants to Seize"


Das Pentagon hat bekräftigt, dass die Ölanlagen im Osten Syriens im Fall eines Vormarsches syrischer oder russischer Truppen militärisch verteidigt werden sollen. Die juristische und völkerrechtliche Grundlage dieser Mission sei fragwürdig, schreibt Katie Bo Williams. "Legally — under both international law and domestic law — the United States is in Syria only to fight ISIS. At home, the U.S. relies on congressional authorizations passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks to prosecute the war on ISIS. Internationally, the justification for the U.S.’s incursion into Syria is a 2014 request from Iraq for collective self-defense against ISIS. But Trump put an extreme strain on the legal justification for the oilfields mission on Saturday, when he told reporters at the White House that the United States 'should be able to take some.' (…) 'Protection against Russian and Assad regime forces where U.S. forces are on the ground would fall under inherent self-defense authorities, and is entirely appropriate,' said Brett McGurk, the former State Department envoy for defeating ISIS, who resigned in protest in December over the Trump administration’s Syria strategy. 'Being on the ground for the express purpose of denying those countries access to natural resources, however, would likely require a new legal basis, as it does not fall under the 2001 AUMF.'"

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"Trump Made His Real Syria Mistakes Months Ago"


Nach Ansicht von Daniel DePetris hat US-Präsident Trump seinen tatsächlichen strategischen Fehler in Syrien dagegen bereits vor Monaten begangen. Nach der Zerschlagung des IS-Kalifats hätte die US-Regierung auf einen Deal zwischen der Assad-Regierung und den Kurden drängen und sich danach zurückziehen müssen, so DePetris. "One can draw a straight line between the bloody fight going on in north Syria and Trump’s reluctance 10 months earlier to pull American troops out of the country. From the moment the United States chose to stick around, the administration deliberately chose to transform the mission from battling the Islamic State to serving as the external protector of Kurdish aspirations in Syria’s north. Washington’s troop presence, in turn, gave Kurdish officials false hope that the U.S. would indefinitely deter a Turkish invasion from the north that, based on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rhetoric and actions, would occur sooner or later. (...) While there is no love lost between the Kurds and the Assad regime, the two were at least open to a detente of sorts. An agreement would have given both sides something to savor: for Assad, overall control in a part of Syria that has been out of his reach since the start of Syria’s war 9 years ago; for the Kurds, a deterrent against a Turkish assault. Regrettably, Washington refused to endorse such an arrangement and even obliquely threatened the Kurds with a loss of support should they approach Damascus."

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"The US Is Trying to Restore Deterrence in the Gulf. That Won’t be Enough"


Christopher Bolan vom U.S. Army War College schreibt, dass sich die von der Rivalität zwischen Iran und Saudi-Arabien geprägte Golfregion in einem sicherheitspolitischen Dilemma befinde. Der Versuch der US-Regierung, das Problem durch eine verstärkte Abschreckung Irans zu lösen, werde bestenfalls einen flüchtigen Erfolg haben. "(...) even if they manage to restore deterrence, it will provide only a temporary respite to the primary source of instability in the Gulf: the security dilemma confronting Saudi Arabia and Iran. U.S. policymakers must address this more fundamental issue, lest the region arrive at a '1914 moment' and careen into war. (...) Both sides must ultimately aim to identify concrete steps that Iran, the Arab Gulf states, and outside actors can take to ease the fears and mistrust that fuel sectarian divisions, competition, and conflict."

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"The Intel Community Wants to ID People from Hundreds of Yards Away"


Jack Corrigan berichtet über Bemühungen der US-Geheimdienste, biometrische Überwachungssysteme in einer Weise zu kombinieren, die es erlauben würde, Individuen aus großer Entfernung zuverlässig zu identifizieren. "Facial recognition and other types of biometric tech have improved significantly in recent years, but even today’s most advanced systems become less reliable without a crystal clear view of their subject. Even when the person is standing nearby and looking directly into the camera, facial recognition tech can be prone to errors. But the intelligence community is trying to overcome those limitations in two ways: gathering more extensive training data and creating systems that lean on multiple types of data to identify people."

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"The Amazon Fires Reveal the Dysfunction of the Global Community"


Die bisherige internationale Reaktion auf die Waldbrände im Amazonasgebiet hat nach Ansicht von Franklin Foer bestätigt, in welch schlechtem Zustand sich die internationale Gemeinschaft heute befinde. Foer hält angesichts der globalen Bedeutung des Gebiets harte Sanktionen gegen die brasilianische Regierung für gerechtfertigt. "If a country obtains chemical or biological weapons, the rest of the world tends to react with fury — or at least it did in the not-so-distant past. Sanctions rained down on the proliferators, who were then ostracized from the global community. And in rare (sometimes disastrously misguided) cases, the world decided that the threat justified a military response. The destruction of the Amazon is arguably far more dangerous than the weapons of mass destruction that have triggered a robust response. (...) The situation isn’t without hope. The world can treat Bolsonaro with, at least, the urgency it has shown Venezuela’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro. To force him away from his policy of deforestation, and to prod him to intensely fight the fire, world leaders should threaten to cancel trade agreements and ban the import of timber and beef from companies that operate in the Amazon; they should sanction members of the Bolsonaro inner circle (who, in the grand tradition of the nation’s political history, seem to have achieved an expertise in money laundering); they should turn Bolsonaro and his sons, who serve as their father’s henchmen, into pariahs, forbidding their international travel."

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"Where’s the Coverage of Civilian Casualties in the War on ISIS?"


Neue Studien haben Alexa O'Brien zufolge erhebliche Lücken in der Berichterstattung über die zivilen Opfer des Anti-IS-Kriegs in Irak und Syrien aufgedeckt. "(...) reporting on civilian casualties was found to be either absent or nearly so during key periods of the conflict. For example, between October 2015 and March 2016, when some of the most intense fighting was happening in Iraq, the five major U.S. newspapers (the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today) published a total of just five articles on reported civilian harm from coalition airstrikes. 'Siloed' and largely 'self-directed' is how media professionals describe civilian-harm coverage at their own organizations. Split between the relevant foreign bureaus that covered Iraq and Syria, and the newsrooms back home that cover the U.S. military and defense issues, many of those interviewed said that individual bureau chiefs and newsroom editors often lack the bandwidth or authority to task other bureaus and newsrooms with the subject, leading to intermittent or fragmented reporting."

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"Deterrence Is Failing — Partly Because Iran Has No Idea What the US Really Wants"


Die Eskalation des Konflikts zwischen Iran und den USA ist nach Ansicht von Christopher J. Bolan vom Army War College in Pennsylvania darauf zurückzuführen, dass die US-Regierung Teheran über ihre Ziele und roten Linien im Unklaren gelassen habe. Die entstandene Ungewissheit habe auf beiden Seiten zu Fehleinschätzungen geführt. Um neue Klarheit zu schaffen, hält Bolan sowohl eine kalkulierte militärische Reaktion auf den Vorfall im Golf von Oman als auch neue positive Anreize für Teheran für unerlässlich. "An effective response is almost certain to include U.S. military strikes of one extent or another. The challenge for U.S. policymakers will be to design military strikes that are sufficiently strong to deter future Iranian attacks without provoking escalatory Iranian retaliation that spins out of control and triggers a broader regional war. Such a balancing act will require detailed intelligence, precise military planning, and sophisticated public and private diplomacy. (...) However, identifying small steps that could be taken by Iran that would be quickly rewarded with a comparably small 'reward' by the United States holds the potential to create positive momentum toward reduced tensions. If successful, a series of these small confidence-building steps could provide a sufficient foundation and incentives for both sides to return to the negotiating table and avoid a broader conflict that both sides say they want to avoid."

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"These Are the US Military Bases Most Threatened by Climate Change"


Das Pentagon muss sich Ben Watson zufolge Sorgen um zahlreiche Militärstützpunkte machen, die zunehmend von den Folgen des Klimawandels bedroht werden. "Each service evaluated its infrastructure’s vulnerability to increased flooding, drought, and wildfires; thawing permafrost; rising rivers and coasts; and other effects of climate change. The four services flagged a total of 46 bases as particularly threatened. (...) On Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office issued its own latest look at how military installations are preparing for the climate crisis. The report found that installations were moving too slowly, and that Pentagon higher-ups had not been issuing enough guidance."

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"US to Send 1,000 More Troops to Poland"


Die US-Regierung hat auf die Bitte Warschaus reagiert und will die Zahl der in Polen stationierten US-Soldaten um 1.000 auf 5.000 erhöhen. Dabei soll es sich allerdings nicht um Kampfeinheiten, sondern um rotierende logistische Einheiten handeln. "The U.S. defense official said the addition of the non-combat troops would not violate the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and Russia, which prohibits the permanent basing of NATO troops in former Warsaw Pact countries."

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"North Korea’s Nuclear Bomb Is Much Bigger than Previously Thought!"


Eine erneute Analyse der Daten eines nordkoreanischen Atomtests von 2017 hat Patrick Tucker zufolge ergeben, dass die getestete Atombombe um zwei Drittel größer gewesen sei als zunächst angenommen. "Earlier data put the yield somewhere between 30 and 300 kilotons; the U.S. intelligence community said 140 kilotons. That was already the most powerful device tested by North Korea, topping a 2016 test by about an order of magnitude. But a new look at seismological data suggests that the blast was between 148 and 328 kilotons, and probably around 250 kilotons. (...) A 250-kiloton weapon would be about 16 times more powerful than the one that leveled Hiroshima. (...) The 2017 North Korean test produced an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude. But how you look at that data shapes the conclusion that you reach. The new research uses a statistical trick called a 'relative waveform equalization procedure,' essentially a bit of tuning, like removing static noise from an audio signal, to enable the researchers to better compute 'two very closely located explosions recorded at multiple stations,' according to the paper."

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"The Flash Point Between America and Iran Could Be Iraq’s Militias"


In Irak habe der gemeinsame Kampf gegen den IS in den vergangenen Jahren zu einer Art Allianz zwischen den US-Truppen und den von Iran unterstützten schiitischen Milizen geführt, schreibt Mike Giglio. Bei einer weiteren Verschärfung der Krise zwischen den USA und dem Iran könnten die Milizen den US-Truppen allerdings gefährlich werden. "The fact that U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria remain heavily engaged in the fight against ISIS underscores the risks of a U.S. strategy in the region that seeks to pivot to a new enemy, in Iran, even as the battle with the old one remains a work in progress. And as the past few days have shown, both the United States and Iran have levers with which they can escalate tensions."

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"Europe Should Do More for Regional Security — Starting with Libya"


Daniel DePetris meint, dass sich die transatlantische Debatte über die sicherheitspolitische Lastenteilung nicht auf die Höhe der Militärausgaben konzentrieren sollte. Für die USA sei die Frage wichtiger, mit welchem Aufwand die amerikanischen Verbündeten sich um ihre eigene regionale Sicherheit kümmern. Europa sollte seine Aufmerksamkeit demnach auf den Nahen Osten und aktuell besonders auf Libyen richten. "Libya’s political future is far more critical to Europe than the U.S. As such, it should be Europe — not America — which gets bogged down managing Libya’s conflict and eventual reconstruction. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s most influential politician, has spent the last year calling on her fellow Europeans to take more responsibility for its own affairs. (...) Europe should not be so weak that it must rely on U.S. taxpayers and servicemembers — now $22 trillion in debt and overextended after two consecutive decades of war — to ride to the rescue and bail out the continent whenever a national security challenge arises. If Europe — a populace, prosperous bloc of nations—can’t tend to the challenges in Libya — a small, poor, weak nation in its near abroad — exactly what can it contribute to America’s security?"

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"Did Russia Just Concede a Need to Regulate Military AI?"


Russland hat sich bisher entschieden gegen eine internationale Regulierung der Entwicklung von Waffensystemen mit künstlicher Intelligenz ausgesprochen. Jüngste Äußerungen des Sekretärs des Sicherheitsrats der Russischen Föderation, Nikolai Patruschew, deuten Samuel Bendett zufolge auf ein mögliches Umdenken Moskaus hin. "'We believe that it is necessary to activate the powers of the global community, chiefly at the UN venue, as quickly as possible to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework that would prevent the use of the specified [new] technologies for undermining national and international security,' Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday at an annual international-security conference in Moscow, according to state media. 'Modern technologies make it possible to create attack instruments with the use of artificial intelligence, genetics, and synthetic biological agents — they are often as deadly as weapons of mass destruction.' Such sentiment coming from the Russian military is rather surprising. Starting in 2017, Moscow’s position on LAWS has been fairly consistent: the country agrees with the international consensus that humans must maintain control of them, agrees to continue talking about regulating their use, but opposes international limits on their development."

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"The Inevitable Return of Muddling Along in North Korea"


Richard Fontaine vom Center for a New American Security erwartet, dass das Verhältnis der USA zu Nordkorea nach dem Scheitern des Gipfeltreffens in Hanoi schnell wieder in die gewohnten Bahnen zurückkehren wird. "We’ve been here before, more or less. In 2008, President George W. Bush overruled his more hard-line advisers to seek a deal with Pyongyang, removing North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. In return, North Korea was supposed to provide a faithful account of its nuclear program and destroy the cooling tower at its Yongbyon production facility. (...) No such luck. It turned out that Pyongyang’s account wasn’t faithful at all: It included only plutonium stores and left out enriched uranium. Although North Korea did destroy the cooling tower (and then sent the bill to Washington), within a year Yongbyon was back to reprocessing spent fuel. The North Korean nuclear arsenal didn’t shrink; it grew. Washington had no choice but to reduce the scope of its ambitions and return to managing the problem. Trump’s best option is to do the same."

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"ISIS Might Come Back. That’s Just One More Reason to Get Out of Syria"


Die drohende Rückkehr des "Islamischen Staates" ist nach Ansicht von Bonnie Kristian kein Grund, den beschlossenen Abzug der US-Truppen aus Syrien hinauszuzögern. "'If Sunni socio-economic, political, and sectarian grievances are not adequately addressed by the national and local governments of Iraq and Syria,' the [Pentagon inspector general Report] notes, 'it is very likely that ISIS will have the opportunity to set conditions for future resurgence and territorial control.' U.S. military intervention cannot address these grievances, and there is no sign whatsoever that either the Syrian or the Iraqi government will do so soon. This decision point at which we find ourselves with Syria is a chance to learn from recent history, to avoid making again the mistakes of Afghanistan and Iraq. And the crucial lesson here is that there will always be another enemy who will reemerge in six to 12 months absent U.S. military pressure, because we cannot force the regimes we assist to reform their politics or their armies. (...) There is no credible case that our 2,000 troops could accomplish anything more than they already have by staying. As this potential resurgence itself demonstrates, our military intervention is capable of mowing the grass but not digging out the roots. It is fundamentally mismatched to the task of political and social change needed to move ISIS and its like from suppressed or defeated to unthinkable. We cannot and will not transform Syria by war."

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"Cyber Deterrence Done Right: The Coordinated Actions Against Huawei"


Annie Fixler von der Foundation for Defense of Democracies hält die amerikanische Strategie bei der Verfolgung des chinesischen IT-Konzerns Huawei für wegweisend. Der US-Regierung sei es gelungen, "demokratische Verbündete" wie Kanada und Polen dazu zu bewegen, koordiniert gegen den "Cyber-Widersacher" vorzugehen. "(...) where previous investigations and lawsuits appeared to make no measurable impact on the company’s growth, the new coordinated campaign by U.S. allies and aggressive diplomatic outreach by Washington is beginning to take its toll. At Davos last month, Huawei Chairman Liang Hua admitted that the company may withdraw from countries where it does not feel welcome. (...) These coordinated efforts demonstrated that joint punitive actions can be more powerful than unilateral measures. When the United States and European Union banned equipment and software from Russia’s Kaspersky Lab within three days of each other, the company’s CEO lashed out in frustration. But to date, these have all been ad hoc initiatives. It is time for Washington to create a standing consortium of likeminded nations to identify companies and technology that pose risks to the integrity of critical infrastructure and communications systems and take joint action to excise them from allied systems."

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"Two Ideas That Might Stop a Post-INF Arms Race, and One That Won’t"


Seit dem absehbaren Ende des INF-Vertrags werden Überlegungen darüber angestellt, wie die atomare Rüstungskontrolle neu organisiert und ein neues internationales Wettrüsten verhindert werden könnte. Die Idee eines "INF-Plus"-Vertrags unter Einbeziehung Chinas wird von Daryl G. Kimball von der Arms Control Association (ACA) als aussichtslos abgelehnt. Er plädiert stattdessen für eine Vereinbarung, die die NATO und Russland zum Verzicht auf eine zu nahe Stationierung neuer Raketen verpflichten würde. "One option would be for NATO to declare, as a bloc, that no alliance members will field any INF Treaty-prohibited missiles or any equivalent new nuclear capabilities in Europe so long as Russia does not deploy treaty-prohibited systems where they could hit NATO territory. This would require Russia to move at least some currently deployed 9M729 missiles. As the United States and Russia dispute the range of that missile; perhaps they could agree to bar deployments west of the Ural mountains. (...) Key allies would likely view this as the best post-INF alternative. Germany has already declared its opposition to stationing new intermediate-range missiles in Europe. And Moscow may already be open to a new agreement along these lines."

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"The INF Treaty Is Doomed. We Need a New Arms-Control Framework"


Eugene Rumer vom Russia and Eurasia Program der Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hält den Kampf um den INF-Vertrag für gescheitert. Weder die USA noch Russland seien am weiteren Bestehen der Vereinbarung interessiert. Nun müsse es darum gehen, künftigen atomaren Abrüstungsbemühungen einen neuen Rahmen zu verschaffen. "It is impossible to separate the fate of the INF Treaty from the geography of the NATO-Russia standoff. NATO expansion has provided a robust security guarantee to the countries of Eastern and Central Europe — a guarantee they wanted as a hedge against precisely the kind of Russia they are dealing with today. But Russia rejects the European security order with NATO at its core, and the alliance’s expansion has resulted in a new climate of insecurity along its eastern edge. The asymmetry of the INF Treaty, which allows some intermediate-range systems, but not others, has doomed it in the eyes of Russian defense planners confronted with the new map of NATO and ever-improving U.S. offensive capabilities. (...) The arms control framework built during the Cold War is growing obsolete. It does not keep up with the rapid pace of technological change and the new geography of threats."

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"Army Chief Confirms US Will Hand off ISIS Fight in Syria"


Wenige Stunden nach dem IS-Anschlag in Manbij habe mit Mark Milley zum ersten Mal ein hochrangiger US-General die Abzugspläne der USA für Syrien bestätigt, berichtet Patrick Tucker. "'We are determined to finish that off and then hand the battle off to our indigenous partners,' Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said on Wednesday. His comments came hours after a suicide bomber killed four people in Manbij, Syria, including two U.S. troops, a Defense Department civilian, and one contractor. Three more were injured in the blast, for which ISIS declared responsibility. Milley did not say when U.S. troops would leave Syria, but his characterization suggests a change of one mission goal for the Americans, who until Trump’s tweet last December were intending to remain in country until UN-brokered talks reached a peace deal in Geneva."

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"China’s Military Is Getting Better at a Lot of Things at Once: Pentagon Intelligence"


Einer neuen Pentagon-Analyse zufolge hat sich das chinesische Militär in vielen Bereichen rasant weiterentwickelt. "China’s military power remains limited and its leaders want no war with the United States, but its desire for regional hegemony, global reach, and advanced technology means the U.S. military has much more to watch out for in the years ahead, according to a new unclassified assessment by the Pentagon’s intelligence agency. This is the Defense Intelligence Agency’s first public and unclassified report on the People’s Liberation Army’s arsenal and intentions; the agency released a similar report on Russia’s military last year. (...) one factor will continue to rein in Beijing’s ambitions: experience. China has not fought a war in four decades; moreover, there is a generational gap between newer Chinese military officers, who are being trained for joint warfare across military service branches, and older officers whose have limited experience extends only to their own service branches and regional assignments inside China."

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"Trump’s Wall Fixation Is Impeding Border Security"


David Fidler meint, dass US-Präsident Trump mit seinem Bestehen auf der Errichtung einer Mauer an der Grenze zu Mexiko die modernen Möglichkeiten zur Sicherung nationaler Grenzen vernachlässige und dem Grenzschutz so eher schade. "The president’s obsession that only more concrete slabs or steel slats can better secure the U.S. southern border fundamentally misunderstands what walls have always been. This failure goes deeper than his inability to accept the evidence that no security or humanitarian crisis exists along the border with Mexico. Worse, the wall debate is preventing policymakers from deliberating effectively on how to re-calibrate the utilization of personnel, technology, and physical barriers for improved border security. (...) The course on which the president insists will, if taken, make border patrol agents and advanced technologies subservient to the physical barrier, rather than having agents, technologies, and barriers configured, networked, and deployed in the most effective ways to serve the various national interests and ideals touched by border security.“

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"Moscow’s Little-Noticed Islamic-Outreach Effort"


Hassan Hassan berichtet, dass Russland ein international bisher kaum beachtetes Programm zur Förderung eines moderaten Islams auf den Weg gebracht habe. Dabei bemühe sich Moskau um eine enge Kooperation mit arabischen Staaten, was dort positiv aufgenommen worden sei. "The Russian emissary for this effort is Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic. For Kadyrov, opposition to Islamic extremism is an extension of the war in Chechnya, in which he fought on behalf of Moscow against the separatist Chechen movement. (...) Over the summer, Kadyrov was welcomed like royalty in Saudi Arabia. Saudi authorities let him inside Prophet Mohammed’s room, which is closed to all but special guests. (...) Russia’s Islamic outreach is driven by several factors, first among them domestic worries. Muslims constitute nearly 15 percent of the Russian population, and Moscow fought two religious and nationalist insurrections in the Muslim-majority North Caucasus region. The rise of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria increased Moscow’s concerns about an extremist threat, especially given the sizable role of jihadis from North Caucasus within the two groups."

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"Something We Can Agree On: Close Some Overseas Bases"


Miriam Pemberton vom Institute for Policy Studies gehört zu den Unterzeichnern eines offenen Briefs an den US-Senat, in dem eine überparteiliche Gruppe von Sicherheitsexperten die Reduzierung der Zahl der internationalen US-Militärstützpunkte fordert. "Our group, which calls itself the Overseas Bases Realignment and Closure Coalition, or OBRACC, finds agreement from the right, left, and center that doing so would be an important step toward making the United States and the world safer and more prosperous. (...) The strategy of maintaining U.S. military dominance with a network of about 800 military bases spread across the globe has left us seriously overstretched. It has diverted our resources from our domestic needs, as well as from constructive, non-military forms of global engagement. This strategy has created nationalistic resentments, and even spurs to terrorism, in places where U.S. bases sit. Nobody likes to be occupied. (...) The damage to our national standing and reputation from our empire of bases also extends to the environmental damage to local communities caused by toxic leaks, accidents, and the dumping of hazardous materials. (...) All of these factors argue for shrinking America’s military footprint around the world."

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"Space Force Actually May Be Bargain, New Cost Estimate Says"


Die von US-Präsident Trump geforderte Weltraumarmee würde einer neuen Schätzung zufolge weitaus weniger kosten als bisher angenommen, da es sich im Wesentlichen um eine Neuorganisation bestehender Militärstrukturen handeln würde. "Space Force — the new branch of the U.S. military desired by President Trump — could cost taxpayers as much as $21.5 billion per year, but only $550 million of that would be new money, according to a budget analyst. The estimate from Washington’s resident defense spending guru Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies argues that creating a Space Force, large or small, amounts to nothing more than a reorganization in which money would be transferred out of the Air Force, Army and Navy into the new military service."

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"Russia Has Started to Train Its Entire Military to Fight Drones"


Das russische Militär hat Patrick Tucker zufolge aus einem Drohnenangriff auf einen russischen Militärstützpunkt in Syrien Konsequenzen gezogen und das umfassende Training entsprechender Abwehrmaßnahmen angeordnet. "While the U.S. military and others have developed tactics, techniques, and procedures to fight off drones, Russia is the first country to implement such training on such a wide scale. The move follows a January attack by anti-Assad forces on a Russian military base in Syria, using ten small drones modified to carry explosives. Russian military officials frequently cite attacks by armed consumer drones flown by 'terrorist' groups, said Samuel Bendett, a researcher at the CNA Corporation and a fellow in Russia Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council. 'This threat was judged to be great enough to introduce training to counter such small drones with small fires across so many Russian services – airborne troops, marines and land formations. The training will concern everyone in uniform - from a cook, medic and logistician to front-line forces,' Bendett said."

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"China Is No Reason to Abandon the INF"


Zac Brown hält das Argument, dass der INF-Vertrag eine angemessene amerikanische Reaktion auf das chinesische Raketenprogramm verhindere, nicht für überzeugend. Eine Stationierung von landgestützten Mittelstreckenraketen im Pazifik wäre seiner Ansicht nach "taktisch ineffektiv und strategisch destabilisierend". "First, virtually no allies would be willing to host new American ground-based missiles aimed at China. Japan has come out in defense of the INF Treaty, calling a U.S. withdrawal 'undesirable,' while Australian officials have indicated they have low thresholds for U.S. actions they perceive as needlessly provoking Beijing. Moreover, neither country is likely to view Taiwan as a core security interest in the same way as Washington. (...) This leaves the tiny island of Guam — nearly 2,000 miles from China — as the only realistic base for ground-launched missiles, an option which poses severe challenges for both survivability and military utility. (...) Guam is already a high-value target for Beijing, and any new missile deployment would only raise the incentives strike the island quickly in a fight. Moreover, it’s not completely obvious what this new force would do. (...) Simply put, there’s no need for ground-based, intermediate-range missiles when we have those aplenty in the air and at sea, all of which would be able to get in closer to China before launching."

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"John Bolton Keeps Citing This 2002 Pact as an Arms-Control Model. It’s Really Not."


Nach dem Ende des INF-Vertrags würde es mit dem "New START"-Abkommen nur noch einen Abrüstungsvertrag geben, der die Atomwaffenarsenale der USA und Russlands limitiert, schreibt Steven Pifer von der Brookings Institution. Präsident Trump und sein Sicherheitsberater Bolton hätten bereits angedeutet, dass sie auch diesen Vertrag nicht besonders schätzen. Bolton habe den 2002 unterzeichneten "SORT"-Vertrag als alternatives Modell vorgeschlagen. "That model, however, will go nowhere. The Russians would not agree. Moreover, it is not serious arms control. (...) SORT was short, fitting neatly on two pages. One reason for its brevity: it contained no agreed definitions, no counting rules, and no monitoring measures. (In contrast, START I and New START each ran hundreds of pages in length.) The Russians hoped for more, but they desperately wanted an agreement. Offered SORT essentially on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, Mr. Putin took it. Could the United States negotiate something like SORT with Russia today? No."

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

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