US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

War on the Rocks


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"Prospects for a Turkish Incursion into Syria"

Die Türkei befürchtet Can Kasapoglu zufolge, dass sie an der Grenze zu Syrien bald drei feindlich gesinnten Gruppen gegenüberstehen könnte: der kurdischen YPG, dem "Islamischen Staat" und den Truppen von Präsident Assad. Eine militärische Intervention Ankaras wäre aufgrund der russischen Präsenz in Syrien sehr riskant. "Any Turkish ground incursion would require close air support from Turkish army aviation attack helicopters and air interdiction operations flown by the Turkish air force. Though air superiority would not be a prerequisite for operating Turkish rotary and fixed wing assets in Syrian territory, the Turkish air force would have to deny air superiority to the Russian air force, at the very least. The operational necessity of denying Russian air superiority could lead to direct Turkish–Russian air-to-air clashes. Problematically, the Russian air force detachment in Syria is now much stronger than it was in November 2015, when a Russian Su-24 was downed by the Turkish air force for violating Turkish airspace. (...) In the absence of air superiority, Turkish maneuver units would face significant challenges in an extremely hostile environment that could result in high casualties. If Turkey opts to reduce risk for its ground forces by denying Russian air superiority, the situation could escalate dangerously."

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"Killing Jihadist Hackers Sets a Flawed Precedent"

Das US-Militär hat kürzlich verkündet, zwei "Cyberexperten" des "Islamischen Staates" mit gezielten Luftschlägen getötet zu haben. Meg King und Grayson Clary halten diese neue Taktik der Tötung feindlicher Hacker aus mehreren Gründe für falsch. "This may be lawful, but it reflects a poor strategic playbook for future conflicts. More and more, state and pseudo-state actors will draw on digital irregulars: patriotic or jihadist hacktivists, civilians with spare time and a working knowledge of the Internet. The anti-Islamic State coalition is setting a model for those wars, whoever fights them. And under the standard set by recent strikes, oceans of amateurs would crowd kill lists. From the evidence available, lethal action seems to have been taken too quickly. (...) In the near term, this seems like a tactical error. For one, Sujan and Hussain may well be more valuable to their organization as martyred examples than as living, breathing assets. (...) What’s more, both likely would have been valuable to the coalition as targets for SIGINT collection. 'Now that he’s dead,' Col. Warren said in the Pentagon’s announcement, referring to Sujan, '[the Islamic State] has lost a key link between networks.' If that’s true, he could have been usefully left in place, his devices exploited, and his communications tapped."

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"2016: The Year of the Great Middle East Cyberwar?"

Benjamin Runkle hält es für möglich, dass der schwelende Konflikt zwischen Saudi-Arabien und Iran in diesem Jahr zunächst als Cyberkrieg eskalieren könnte. "While fears of a 'cyber 9/11' may be exaggerated, and even the most damaging cyberwar in the Middle East is likely preferable to a shooting war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, a cyber conflict between the two nations could still have significant repercussions for the United States. (...) Second, it is difficult to contain the effects of cyberweapons with any precision. The Stuxnet virus, for example, inadvertently spread to computers from Indonesia to India to the United States. (...) Finally, there is the possibility that a destructive cyberattack could trigger a kinetic retaliation. America reserves the right to use military force in response to a cyberattack that produces fatalities. Would Saudi Arabia similarly consider a cyberattack that crashed Riyadh’s electrical grid in the midst of a sweltering summer and caused heat-related deaths a casus belli for military action against Iran?"

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"The Islamic State’s Plans for Turkey"

Hilmi Demir und Selim Koru analysieren das Propagandavideo "Turkey and the Fire of Racism" des "Islamischen Staates", um herauszuarbeiten, welche Ziele die Terrormiliz in der Türkei verfolgt. "International observers who accuse the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) of aiding ISIL might be surprised that the video takes the longtime Islamist government into its crosshairs. The AK Party, according to the video, clothes itself in Islamist rhetoric while acting as the 'Crusaders’ hand of tyranny in the region.' Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is specifically labeled an apostate who perpetuates the secular agenda of Turkey’s foundation. ISIL outflanks the AK Party from the right, which is an awkward position for the Islamist behemoth of Turkish politics. The AK Party, after all, is descendant from a radical Islamist tradition that holds opinions very close to those of ISIL."

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"Iran Gave Back the Sailors, but the Persian Gulf is Still a Powder Keg"

Nach der kurzzeitigen Festnahme von zehn US-Seeleuten durch die iranische Marine ist Afshon Ostovar erleichtert, dass die Situation im "Pulverfass" des Persischen Golfs nicht dramatisch eskaliert ist. Dies sei ohne Zweifel auf die jüngste diplomatische Annäherung beiden Länder zurückzuführen, trotzdem bleibe das provokative Auftreten der Revolutionären Garden besorgniserregend. "The nuclear deal showed a side of the Iranian regime that many doubted existed. Iran could compromise, it could build trust, and it could move on from the belligerence of the days of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But the IRGC does not seem to want to move on. To the IRGC, the United States is an enemy. Despite a convergence of interest regarding the self-proclaimed Islamic State, and jihadism more broadly, the IRGC does not trust the United States nor does it have any interest in ceding its ambition of driving U.S. forces out of the region. Many pundits and policymakers hoped that the nuclear deal would be the beginning of Iran’s transformation from rabble-rouser to responsible regional power. It might still be. But for now, it appears that the IRGC is taking advantage of the decreased international pressure on Iran to reassert itself."

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"The Islamic State vs. al-Qaeda: The War within the Jihadist Movement"

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Nathaniel Barr und Bridget Moreng analysieren die Rivalität zwischen dem "Islamischen Staat" und der Al-Qaida. Aus militärischer Perspektive träfen hier zwei unterschiedliche Modelle "revolutionärer Kriegführung" aufeinander, die auf Mao Tse-tung bzw. auf Ernesto 'Che' Guevara zurückgeführt werden könnten. "Al-Qaeda has come to favor covert expansion, unacknowledged affiliates, and a relatively quiet organizational strategy designed to carefully build a larger base of support before engaging in open warfare with its foes. By contrast, the Islamic State believes that the time for a broader military confrontation has already arrived, and has loudly disseminated its propaganda to rally as many soldiers as possible to its cause. The group combines shocking violence with an effective propaganda apparatus in an effort to quickly build its base of support. The Maoist and focoist schools of revolutionary thought provide a useful framework for understanding these groups’ differing strategies. Al-Qaeda exhibits a revolutionary strategy that is both implicitly and explicitly based on the works of Mao Tse-tung, while the Islamic State’s approach is more consonant with the focoist writings of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and Régis Debray."

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"Russia’s New National Security Strategy: Familiar Themes, Gaudy Rhetoric"

Mark Galeotti wirft einen Blick auf die neue russische Sicherheitsstrategie, die im Vergleich zum bisher gültigen Dokument von 2009 "recht extrem" klinge. Abseits der aggressiven Rhetorik sei der Inhalt jedoch kaum furchteinflößend und durchaus vernünftig, so Galeotti. "The new document contains fiercer and more explicit criticism of the West. The key issue is what Moscow calls the West’s efforts to 'levers of tension in the Eurasian region' in order to undermine Russian national interests. (...) Overall, the 2009 document was much more aspirational about opportunities and plans for development, while its successor is much more focused on challenges, problems, and threats — and it is not afraid to point the finger at where they come from. However, beneath the gaudy patina, it is less fearsome and indeed more sensible a document than might otherwise appear."

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"Time to Focus on the Wars Within the War Against the Islamic State"

Der internationale Krieg gegen den "Islamischen Staat" komme nicht voran, weil die lokalen Akteure unterschiedliche Interessen verfolgten, stellt Michael Knights vom Washington Institute for Near East Policy fest. "On one side is the 'Axis of Resistance' — actors like Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian proxies in Iraq like Badr, Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis’ Kataib Hezbollah. Russia has seemingly bet on that camp. This axis is aligned against the Sunni world writ large and determined to exclude the U.S. military from the region. (...) In the other corner is a less cohesive but strengthening alliance that comprises Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the UAE. This group is focused on fighting the Shia Axis of Resistance first and foremost, and, in Turkey’s case, constraining the growth of Kurdish power in Syria and Turkey. (...) To have any hope of deterring, limiting, or winning the coming conflicts in the Middle East, the United States needs to widen its view beyond the Islamic State in the manner that regional states are already doing."

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"Femme Fatale: The Rise of Female Suicide Bombers"

Kathleen Turner, Lieutenant Colonel der US Army, fragt nach den Ursachen des immer noch besonders schockierend wirkenden Einsatzes weiblicher Selbstmordattentäter durch Terrororganisationen. "Several leading researchers have identified likely factors to explain why groups resort to using women to conduct suicide attacks. These may include tactical advantages: an increased number of operatives, increased media attention, and psychological effect. A study of these factors may help better understand why organizations continue to use female suicide bombers to execute critical operations as part of their overall strategy. (...) The growing trend of female suicide bombers is a strategic issue. Reversing this trend is going to require a comprehensive approach to deter groups like ISIL and Boko Haram from going down this path. No matter how shocking they remain, we can’t afford to be surprised by terrorists’ attempts to recruit and deploy female suicide bombers."

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"Does the Islamic State Want an Apocalyptic Showdown? Not So Fast"

Einem Bericht der New York Times zufolge will der "Islamische Staat" aufgrund prophetischer Texte einen apokalyptischen Bodenkrieg gegen westliche Truppen in Syrien und Irak herbeiführen. William McCants rät angesichts derartiger Analysen allerdings zur Vorsicht. In den gleichen Prophezeiungen sei z.B. auch davon die Rede, dass der Konflikt durch einen Waffenstillstand beendet werden könne. "As we contemplate a change of course in the fight against the Islamic State as a result of its recent escalation against the West, it is certainly worth thinking about what the Islamic State hopes to achieve. But our debate should be informed by accurate information about the group’s own internal deliberations, which we do not have (at least that is available to people without security clearances), and its past behavior, which we know a great deal about. Trying to divine the Islamic State’s intensions based on prophecy, false analogy, and selective reading of its strategic literature will only confuse rather than clarify our debate."

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"Curbing the Enthusiasm: Why De-radicalization Programs Get Fanaticism Wrong"

David Martin Jones und M.L.R. Smith glauben, dass westliche Regierungsprogramme zur Entradikalisierung junger Anhänger extremistischer Ideologien am eigentlichen Problem vorbeigehen. "De-radicalization reflects and reinforces a progressive secular rationalism that dismisses religious worldviews, rather than as coherent within their own politico-theological terms of reference. It persists in perceiving disaffected Muslims inclined to travel to Syria or diss the national anthem as 'clowns' and 'numbskulls,' rather than zealots that in some cases are willing to die and behead for the realization of the total vision. The result is that public policy in the West ignores fanatic agency and responds instead in self-consciously depoliticized ways. In effect, this criminological therapeutic model treats the converted zealot not as a danger to the wider society but as a victim pumped full of ideological steroids by unscrupulous online recruiters who, like predatory pedophiles, groom their otherwise innocent prey."

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"Lessons from the Liberation of Sinjar"

Denise Natali betrachtet die Rückeroberung der irakischen Stadt Sinjar als wichtigen taktischen Erfolg der von den USA angeführten Anti-IS-Koalition. Aus strategischer Sicht beständen allerdings weiterhin Probleme, die vor ähnlichen Offensiven gegen IS-Hochburgen wie Mosul und Raqqa gelöst werden müssten. "While reinforcing the coalition–Kurdish alliance, the Sinjar offensive has exposed the deep divisions within the Kurdish camp, and the limitations of future Peshmerga engagements outside their claimed territories. Nor has reclaiming Sinjar enhanced Sunni Arab support for this war — requisite for effectively countering ISIL in Iraq and Syria. In some ways, the Sinjar aftermath has done just the opposite by reinforcing the ethno-sectarian conflicts into which ISIL has been superimposed. If the coalition wants to gain real momentum in countering ISIL in strategically significant strongholds such as Mosul and Raqqah, then it must pay closer attention to the second- and third-order consequences of its campaign on the local balance of power between ethnic and sectarian groups, particularly in Iraq’s disputed territories and where Sunni Arab support is vital."

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"Did Anonymous Just Save The World From ISIL?"

Wie effektiv sind die Online-Angriffe des Hacker-Kollektivs "Anonymous" gegen Anhänger der Terrormiliz "Islamischer Staat"? Clint Watts schreibt, dass die bisherigen Aktionen gemischte Reaktionen hervorgerufen hätten, da offenbar auch unschuldige Nutzer sozialer Netzwerke getroffen wurden. Er empfiehlt den Hackern, sich auf andere Taktiken zu verlegen. "Anonymous hacker skills would be of more value if they focused on infiltration and penetration rather than account and forum shutdowns. Hackers in the past have penetrated governments and corporations revealing internal documents and communications. Should hackers focus on ISIL forum administrators, the accounts of key ISIL leaders, and their encrypted communications, Anonymous could expose the group’s inner workings, reveal operational vulnerabilities, illuminate petty terrorist infighting and erode the groups support from international audiences. Fortunately, a faction of Anonymous seems to be moving in this direction."

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"How the Islamic State’s Favorite Strategy Book Explains Recent Terrorist Attacks"

Das zehn Jahre alte Handbuch "The Management of Savagery" des Al-Qaida-Anhängers Abu Bakr Naji könne Erklärungen für die neue Terrorstrategie des "Islamischen Staates" liefern, schreibt William McCants von der Brookings Institution. "Naji acknowledges that fighting in the open and taking territory makes jihadists extremely vulnerable to attack by powerful nations. But the jihadists are not powerless. They can carry out 'vexation operations' against their enemies where they live. The attacks will compel their enemies to disperse their forces to deal with multiple attacks in multiple places, thus alleviating pressure on nascent jihadist states. Such attacks have additional benefits: They deplete the financial resources of one’s enemy, especially if it invades with a large ground force; they remove the enemy’s aura of invincibility that discourages Muslims from rising up; they stir Muslim anger in the aftermath of inevitable reprisals by the foreign powers; and they boost the morale of the jihadists and attract more recruits to their cause. Terrorist attacks can also be used to punish powerful nations for attacking jihadist statelets. This is called 'paying the price.' Such attacks should be carried out by allied jihadist groups outside of the statelets, which will make the enemy feel surrounded. As a consequence, the enemy will hesitate to carry out attacks against the jihadists on their home turf in the future."

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"How the U.S. Business Community Can Take on the Islamic State"

Amerikanische Unternehmen könnten sich am Kampf gegen den "Islamischen Staat" beteiligen, indem sie Banken, die an den Geldgeschäften des IS beteiligt sind, nach geltendem US-Recht verklagen, schlägt Kevin Carroll vor. "Since declaring a caliphate in June 2014, this group of bloodthirsty extremists has been increasingly taking on the trappings and characteristics of a state. One of the main facets of this effort has been gaining access to the international financial system. The Islamic State seized at least 110 bank branches in the Levant that maintain correspondent relationships with global banks. Terrorist fundraisers publicly direct donations to other, identified banks in the Gulf and wider Middle East, and terrorists use such banks to launder hostage ransom payments. Some of these banks are subject to personal jurisdiction in the United States and hold substantial assets here."

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"5 Things Americans Need to Know About the New Canadian Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy"

Stephen Saideman nennt fünf außenpolitische Richtungsentscheidungen der neuen liberalen Regierung in Kanada, die auch für die USA von Bedeutung sein werden. "What are the five key things Americans need to know? 1. Canada is not going to spend much more money on defense, but not much less either. (...) 2. Canada will remain engaged, but probably opt to participate more in institutionalized multilateral efforts and less ad hoc coalitions of the willing. (...) 3. Canada will take more steps to deal with climate change. (...) 4. Expect more Canadian diplomacy. (...) 5. Despite pulling out of the anti-ISIL bombing mission, Canada is likely to have better relations with the United States in the days ahead."

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"Is the West’s Culture of Heroism Under Threat?"

Kori Schake stellt das Buch "The Heroic Heart" von Tod Lindberg vor, der sich mit der Frage beschäftigt hat, welche Rolle der "Heroismus" in heutigen westlichen Gesellschaften spiele. Lindberg fürchte, dass moderne Interpretationen des Heroismus den Westen verwundbar gemacht hätten. "Lindberg argues that heroism in the ancient world centered on selfish excellence at destruction, whereas our modern conception of heroism is constructed from a selflessness of sacrifice in generosity to others. (...) Lindberg is certainly right that our colloquial use of the term hero has broadened: Teachers that inspire underprivileged children and civic leaders in blighted communities are described as heroic by virtue of their commitment to positive change rather than their exposure to risk of death. And he rightly ridicules its extension to celebrities and 'truth tellers.' But even in the ancient world, civic virtues were appreciated alongside martial ones: Aristotle describes the civic as lesser because military heroism is necessary to produce the conditions for civic life."

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"Frogs of War: Explaining the New French Military Interventionism"

Frankreich gilt nicht erst seit der Beteiligung am Luftkrieg gegen den IS in Syrien als bereitwillige militärische Interventionsmacht. Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer und Olivier Schmitt schreiben, dass Frankreich mit dieser neuen Rolle nach dem Ende des Kalten Krieges u.a. das eigene Selbstverständnis als "Grande Nation" stärken wollte. "On a more realist note, the desire to preserve its sphere of influence in Africa and the Middle East also plays a role in French interventionism. Owing to its colonial heritage, France continued to maintain a network of special contacts and partners in these regions that supported the political and financial interests of many significant groups in France. The desire to preserve its independence, especially against American influence, is another important factor. Though France and the United States remain ideologically very close owing to shared universalist, exceptionalist, and interventionist self-images, these similarities sometimes lead to competition rather than cooperation. Finally, Paris acts because it can. France is part of an exclusive club of military powers capable of deploying first into a theater of operations and projecting power globally."

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"The State of Russian Strategy: Ukraine, Syria, and Beyond"l

Ryan Evans hat sich in diesem Podcast mit dem Russland-Experten Dmitry Gorenburg über das russische Militär und die Strategie Moskaus in der Ukraine und in Syrien unterhalten. "Dmitry Gorenburg, an occasional WOTR contributor and expert on Russian military affairs at the CNA Corporation, sat down with Ryan Evans to chat about the state of Russia’s armed forces, its campaigns in Ukraine and Syria, Putin as a strategist, and how one becomes an expert on Russian military affairs."

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"Putin’s Strategy is Far Better than You Think"

Michael Kofman reagiert auf einen Beitrag von Joshua Rovner auf War on the Rocks, in dem Rovner dem russischen Präsidenten Putin strategische Weitsicht abgesprochen hatte. Kofman glaubt, dass Russland außenpolitisch trotz offensichtlicher Kosten eine durchaus effektive Strategie verfolge, die in den USA häufig nicht verstanden werde. "For Moscow, this confrontation is probably a more comfortable and normal state than the past two decades of cyclical relations with the United States. Punitive sanctions and containment have replaced integration, but where exactly does that leave the West’s strategy for Russia? The United States is not ready to commit to containment and regime rollback, while Europe is wholly unprepared to return to a Cold War-like adversarial relationship with Russia. Nobody wants Russia’s collapse, either. Blaming Putin’s lack of strategy seems to be a knee-jerk response for the rapid conclusion of two decades of Western policy toward Russia and the absence of any replacement."

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"Extreme Makeover, Jihadist Edition: Al-Qaeda’s Rebranding Campaign"

Die Al-Qaida versuche, auf die Herausforderung durch den "Islamischen Staat" mit einer neuen Imagekampagne zu reagieren, schreiben Daveed Gartenstein-Ross und Nathaniel Barr. Ziel sei es, sich als weniger gewalttätige Alternative zu präsentieren. "While the Islamic State’s emergence has harmed al-Qaeda in myriad ways, it has also presented al-Qaeda a long-awaited opportunity. For years, al-Qaeda sought to remake its image, hoping to rid itself of the reputation for brutality that it earned in large part through the excesses of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) — the group that would later rechristen itself the Islamic State. Thanks to two parallel developments — the Islamic State’s emergence and rising Sunni–Shia sectarian tensions in the Middle East — al-Qaeda’s rebranding campaign has been invigorated. Al-Qaeda has taken on the image of a more reasonable — and perhaps controllable — alternative to the Islamic State."

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"Is NATO Treating Poland Like a Buffer State?"

Der polnische Präsident Andrzej Duda hat der NATO in einem Interview in der Financial Times vorgeworfen, Polen und andere östliche Bündnispartner als "Pufferstaaten" zu betrachten. John R. Deni vom Army War College hält den Vorwurf für haltlos und schreibt, dass Duda eine permanente Stationierung von NATO-Truppen in Osteuropa erreichen wolle. Dies bleibe jedoch aus politischen Gründen unwahrscheinlich. "In addition to those political issues, there remains an important policy difference between those like Duda — who are unambiguous in their desire for a permanent NATO presence in the East — and allies such as Germany. For the latter, permanent forward presence in the East would not simply be a violation of a nearly 20-year-old agreement with Russia, but it could also represent an unhelpful escalation of the West’s standoff against Russia over Ukraine. For all of these reasons, Duda is likely to be disappointed in his pursuit of 'NATO bases' in Poland or elsewhere in Eastern Europe. The challenge now facing the other allies – especially in light of the fact that the next NATO summit will occur in Warsaw – is to convince Duda to back down from these demands in a face-saving way."

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"Ukraine and the Art of Exhaustion"

Der Militärexperte Lawrence Freedman vom King’s College London analysiert den Konflikt in der Ostukraine in diesem längeren Beitrag für War on the Rocks aus militärstrategischer Sicht. Beide Seiten scheinen Freedman zufolge darauf aus zu sein, den Gegner in einem langgezogenen Konflikt zu erschöpfen. "Exhaustion here does not so much describe a physical state of being unable to continue with the struggle, but more of a mental state – a sense of weariness and futility that leads to a readiness to accept a political compromise that would previously have been rejected. Exhaustion can be the result not only of frustration with a military position, but also of economic pressure and political discontent."

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"Denmark: Defense Woes in the Little U.S. Ally That Could"

Dänemark gilt Gary Schaub, Jr. zufolge seit 1999 als enger militärischer Verbündeter der USA, der sich an vielen internationalen US-Militäroperationen schnell und bereitwillig mit eigenen Flugzeugen und Soldaten beteiligt habe. Kürzungen des Verteidigungshaushalts und die lange Dauer der Militärengagements könnten allerdings dazu führen, dass diese Politik nicht länger aufrechterhalten werden könne. "It is almost certain that the United States or other coalition partners will extend help to Denmark to keep its aircraft in the fight, but they should make clear to Danish parliamentarians that they are in this predicament because they have consistently underfunded their military. The United States certainly appreciates Denmark’s reliable support but it has been its ability to sustain meaningful military contributions to coalition efforts that have won Denmark plaudits. If its leaders do not value that ability enough to fund it, then Denmark’s reputation will lose its luster and help will not be forthcoming as readily as it may be today."

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"The Islamic State Comes to Russia?"

Russland müsse befürchten, dass viele IS-Anhänger aus dem Krieg in Syrien mit noch radikaleren Ansichten in ihre Heimatländer im Nordkaukasus zurückkehren, schreibt Elena Pokalova vom College of International Security Affairs der National Defense University in Washington. Bisher reagiere Moskau auf diese Gefahr fast nur militärisch. "Russia should limit its overreliance on the military counterinsurgent methods and diversify its counterterrorist approaches. Meanwhile, the rest of the world should learn the lessons from the North Caucasus, which demonstrate the pitfalls of strategies that push insurgencies further underground without addressing their underlying causes."

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"Yes, Germany is Free Riding on American Security"

Verlässt sich Deutschland in seiner Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik zu sehr auf die USA? Ulrich Kühn hat diese Frage in einem Beitrag für War on The Rocks vor wenigen Tagen verneint, der Sicherheitsberater Dustin Dehez widerspricht ihm hier. "The real question, one that Kühn failed to ask, is what exactly is free riding? If it were to mean that Germany does absolutely, positively nothing to contribute to European defense, then Kühn would be correct: Germany is not free riding. It is, after all, doing something. If, however, free riding is meant as continuously and substantially underperforming and not spending the resources that the country could afford and would be sufficient to meet the challenge Europe faces, with an implicit understanding that if push comes to shove, the Americans would show up — well, than yes, Germany is free riding."

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"Are Germans Free-riding on American Security?"

Ulrich Kühn vom Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik an der Universität Hamburg wehrt sich angesichts der jüngsten PEW-Umfrage zur NATO-Bündnissolidarität und der Kritik an niedrigen Verteidigungshaushalten gegen den Vorwurf, dass Deutschland zu wenig zur europäischen Sicherheit beitrage. "German interests are closely connected to the institutional post-WWII network (NATO, the EU, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) that developed in Europe, particularly after the end of the Cold War. The recent aggressive behavior of Russia runs counter to German interests. There are a number of compelling facts and figures showing that Germany is certainly taking counter measures vis-à-vis Russia. (...) Germany is also very active in terms of military defense. In the coming years, Germany will invest more than eight billion euros ($8.9 billion) in defense, increasing the number of main battle tanks it operates by roughly 100 to 330 in total. (...) Taken together, these facts and figures stand in stark contrast to the apparent unwillingness of Germans to contribute to the security and defense of NATO. Obviously, Germans are not free-riders."

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"Confessions of a Jihadi Nerd: A Guide to Reading the New Bin Laden Documents"

Die US-Regierung hat bislang geheime und zum Teil sehr persönliche Dokumente des 2011 getöteten Al-Qaida-Chefs Osama bin Laden veröffentlicht, die offenbar während der Militäroperation im pakistanischen Abbottabad erbeutet wurden. Clint Watts, der sich seit Langem mit Dokumenten dieser Art beschäftigt, gibt einige Empfehlungen zur Lektüre. "After spending a painful number of hours sifting through al Qaeda documents, panning for gold, I have the following recommendations for where to start when you see an al Qaeda document release. If you are new to al Qaeda’s internal documents and these declassifications, here’s my triaging strategy. An important note, the U.S. government has released only a few documents — a small percentage of the total. All of the documents surely have some significance."

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"What You Need to Know about Modern Mercenaries"

War on the Rocks präsentiert das Video eines Vortrags des Sicherheitsexperten Sean McFate, der sich in seinem Buch "The Modern Mercenary" mit dem modernen Söldnertum auseinandergesetzt hat. "Watch Sean McFate discuss his new book, The Modern Mercenary, at the National Defense University. Sean offers an insider’s understanding of the opaque private military world, how its presence can change the future of war and world order as we know it."

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"America Did Hybrid Warfare Too"

In einem weiteren Artikel zur "hybriden Kriegführung" erinnert Todd Greentree daran, dass die USA während des Kalten Krieges ebenfalls militärische "Grauzonen" genutzt hätten. Insbesondere in Zentralamerika hätten die USA unter Berufung auf die Monroe-Doktrin alles unternommen, um den Einfluss linker politischer Kräfte zurückzudrängen. "(...) the method was a low-fear, low-cost, economy-of-force way to manage superpower confrontation that remained well below the threshold that might have provoked a more energetic response. (...) That the United States and NATO, a conventional defensive alliance, should be confounded by similar maneuvers on the part of Russia and left groping to 'connect the dots' from Crimea to the Baltic is not a surprise. What should not be a matter for confusion is that hybrid warfare is not the exclusive province of a nefarious Putin, but rather a method available to any power with the motivation to employ it."

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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