US-Soldaten in Afghanistan



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"Pentagon Says Full Syria Withdrawal Many Years Off"


Das Pentagon kann sich einen endgültigen Abzug der US-Truppen aus Syrien offenbar erst in vielen Jahren vorstellen. "In testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley predicted that the US will continue to have troops inside Syria for many years, and that it is 'hard to foresee anytime soon' when the US might leave. The two told the committee that this presence continued to be about the ISIS threat, and that it would be a long time before regional forces in Syria could fight on their own. It’s not clear what regional forces are even being referred to, as the US troops are centered in a very small area at this point. (…) President Trump now insists that the US war in Syria is exclusively about oil, and the only reason US troops are in Syria is to take Syrian oil with the help of US oil companies to be named later. President Trump has repeatedly reiterated this stance, despite military officials trying to make the war about something else."

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"Turkish Invasion Forcing Syrian Kurds to Adopt Terror Tactics"

Angesichts vermehrter anonymer Bombenanschläge gegen pro-türkische Rebellen im Norden Syriens vermuten Beobachter Jason Ditz zufolge, dass kurdische Gegner der türkischen Invasion mittlerweile zu bekannten Terror-Taktiken greifen. "Turkish officials have been quick to blame specific Kurdish factions, particularly the YPG/PKK, for these attacks, and are trying to present them as vindication for long-standing claims that the Kurdish groups are effectively terrorists. And yet the YPG was not using car bombs generally, or indeed at all, before Turkey started invading Kurdish towns and cities, an offensive that was in no small measure about Turkey’s government’s very real problems with the Kurds. Desperation in the face of a foreign invasion has put the Kurdish groups in a position all-too-common with people living under occupation, adopting terrorist tactics to resist the enemy forces."

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"At Least 74 Killed as Iraq PM Orders Elite Troops to End Protests"

In den vergangenen Tagen haben irakische Sicherheitskräfte Berichten zufolge mindesten 74 Demonstranten getötet und über 3.600 verwundet. "Demands for genuine reform from thousands of protesters and warnings to show restraint in policing by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani are falling on deaf ears in Iraq. With at least 74 killed in crackdowns on protests, and over 3,600 others wounded in the past 3 days, and 149 others killed in the last round of protests, the situation looks likely to further escalate. Having previously promised reforms, Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi is now calling on Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Services to deploy on the streets and 'use all necessary measures' to end public demonstrations against his continued rule. Sistani has yet to react to this, which is the exact opposite of the restraint he counseled. On the other hand, politically powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is demanding Abdul Mahdi back off immediately."

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"What the Media Aren’t Telling You About Turkey and the Kurds"

Marc D. Joffe unterstützt die Entscheidung des US-Präsidenten für einen Truppenabzug aus Syrien dagegen und erinnert daran, dass die Türkei ein NATO-Partner sei und die syrischen Kurden der Terrororganisation PKK naheständen. "Cherry-picking facts or reporting distortions in support of an anti-Trump or pro-intervention narrative does a huge disservice to the American public, who, as the President rightly noted last week, have spent $8 trillion and lost thousands of soldiers on endless wars in the Middle East since 9/11. And, as major media are failing to tell us,, several of those US casualties have been in Syria. (...) there would never have been a good time to remove troops from the Turkish-Syrian border: Turks and Kurds have been at odds for centuries. The US military cannot assure optimal results everywhere: in many cases, we’ll have to tolerate the outcomes that local states and regional powers achieve. Otherwise, the loss of American lives and treasure will continue until our country will no longer be able to take care of itself, let alone others."

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"Saudis Say Iran’s Blame ‘Undeniable,’ But Doubts Persist"

Jason Ditz weist darauf hin, dass die bisher vorgelegten Beweise für eine iranische Verwicklung in die Angriffe auf saudi-arabische Ölanlagen nicht von allen Regierungen umstandslos anerkannt worden sind. "Saudi officials offered pieces of drones they claimed were from Iran, and pieces of missiles that they similarly said were from Iran. They say that in having said that, there was no longer any way to claim that anyone else had done it. Many nations haven’t bought in to this, and aren’t likely to do so. French officials say they don’t intend to comment at all until they see some evidence and have all the facts. That’s not the position the US nor the Saudis are taking. Japan’s Defense Minister was even more doubtful about the matter, saying he wasn’t aware of anything that actually pointed to Iranian involvement. Moreover, he noted that Yemen’s Houthi movement had claimed the attack, and that Japan is inclined to believe them."

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"Trump Mulls $15 Billion Iran Bailout, May Lift Sanctions"

US-Präsident Trump erwägt Berichten zufolge, die französische Initiative zur finanziellen Entlastung Irans zu tolerieren und zudem eigene Sanktionen gegen Teheran aufzuheben. "A $15 billion EU line of credit to Iran in return for oil sales, an effort to get them around near-term economic problems, seems the most likely immediate move, with Trump and Mike Pompeo both considering giving France permission to do it. Iran has suggested they would only be open to talks in the event the US lifted sanctions on th4em. Incredibly, it does appear that this too is under consideration, as Trump is very hopeful for talks, and might actually be willing to do something to make that happen."

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"Saudi Airstrike Kills 130 at Central Yemen Prison"

Bei einem saudi-arabischen Luftangriff auf ein Gefängnis in Jemen sind offenbar 130 Menschen getötet worden. "In one of the deadliest single airstrikes of the entire war, Saudi Arabia carried out a Sunday night attack on a prison in central Dhamar, Yemen, virtually leveling the site. The Red Cross delegation in the country rushed to the scene to take care of the injured. All told, 40 prisoners were recovered alive and are being treated for injuries, while bodies are still being hauled out of the rubble. The Red Cross says they believe everyone else at the site died in the attack. With 170 prisoners held there, that puts the death toll at 130. That’s going to be particularly embarrassing for the Saudis, because the Shi’ite Houthi movement reported that the prison held a large number of pro-Saudi government fighters detained in recent battles."

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"Pentagon Opposes Israeli Attacks on Iraq"

Die Reaktion des Pentagons auf die Angriffe gegen schiitische Milizen im Irak lässt Jason Ditz vermuten, dass Israel die Operation ohne Rücksprache mit den USA durchgeführt haben könnte. "The US revealed Israel was behind the attacks last week, and as attacks hit again over the weekend, Iraqi forces started saying they suspected US involvement. This is not unreasonable, as historically the US supports and facilitates Israeli attacks as a matter of course. The Pentagon statement, however, suggests this is not one of those times, referring to Israel as 'external actors inciting violence in Iraq,' and expressing support for Iraq to exercise self defense 'and protect their democracy.' The democracy comment is likely to particularly rile Israel, because the Israel narrative has long been that they are the 'only democracy' in the entire Middle East."

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"Report: Israel Planning to Attack Houthis in Yemen"

Könnte sich Israel iranischen Interessen bald auch in Jemen entgegenstellen? Jason Ditz berichtet über möglicherweise geplante israelische Angriffe gegen die schiitischen Huthi-Rebellen. "The Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida is quoting 'sources' familiar with the situation ho say that Israel is planning to start attacking targets in the Shi’ite Houthi movement in northern Yemen, as well as targets along the Straits of Bab el-Mandeb. The strikes are being presented by Israeli officials as a continuation of Israel’s attacks against Iranian interests, with the sources setting this up to spin the attack as being about Iranian weapons shipments. Israel is said to be sharing intelligence with the Arab states in the area, presumably meaning Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other GCC nations involved in the ongoing war in Yemen. Spinning the Houthis as a major client of Iran is in keeping with US and Saudi narratives trying to justify the Yemen War, and even though the Houthis have denied this, Israel seems to be willing to buy in."

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"Trump Privately Suggested Full Naval Blockade of Venezuela"

US-Präsident Trump hat Berichten zufolge Überlegungen über eine vollständige Seeblockade Venezuelas angestellt. "Officials say that President Trump has repeatedly raised the idea of a full naval blockade being imposed on Venezuela for at least the last year and a half as a way of trying to impose regime change, saying the US Navy could prevent all ships from entering and exiting the large South American country. One person was quoted as saying that in recent weeks, Trump said 'we should get the ships out there' and 'prevent anything going in.' Trump has confirmed to the media that a blockade is 'an option.' Officially there is not a full naval blockade yet, though the US has made efforts to prevent shipments to Venezuela, and earlier this week was reported to have seized a ship full of food to prevent it getting to Venezuela."

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"Trump Administration Asks Congress to Reauthorize NSA Snooping on Calls, Texts"

Die US-Regierung hat die Wiederaufnahme von zwischenzeitlich eingestellten NSA-Programmen zur Massenüberwachung von Telefonanrufen und Textnachrichten beantragt. "The programs were, officially, shut down in March because of technical difficulties, and the provisions are set to expire in December. But just because they aren’t even using the program, and have openly conceded it was both of 'limited' value and ripe for abuse, outgoing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has issued a letter to Congress urging them to not only reauthorize the surveillance, but to do so on a permanent basis. Coats concedes all the knocks against the program in his letter, but argued that it is conceivable that at some undefined point in the future technology might make it cheaper and simpler to wholesale surveil the public, and argues that they might as well get the authorization now rather than worry about it at that later date."

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"Trump Imposes Economic Embargo on Venezuela"

US-Präsident Trump hat neue Sanktionen gegen die Maduro-Regierung in Venezuela in Kraft gesetzt. "President Trump signed an executive order late Monday imposing a full economic embargo against Venezuela, freezing all government assets in the US and forbidding all transactions of any Venezuelan officials. This is the first major expansion of sanctions against a western hemisphere nation by the US in over 30 years, and is intended to put Venezuela into the same level of economic isolation as similarly restricted Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. (...) This is the latest US effort to try to impose regime change in Venezuela, after a failed military coup earlier this year. It’s not clear how broadly the US intends to enforce the sanctions, for example if they intend to use military force to prohibit naval trade from the Venezuelan coast."

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"Russia, Ukraine Agree on Comprehensive Ceasefire in Donbass"

Jason Ditz hebt die Bedeutung des neu verhandelten Waffenstillstands für den Osten der Ukraine hervor. "The deal is being negotiated by Russia on behalf of Ukraine’s eastern separatist movement, and obliges both sides to move heavy weaponry away from the front line, as well as banning attacks and attempts at forward movement by either side. OSCE officials say this deal, with its open-ended term, is going much further than previous ones, and followed with a joint statement from Russia and Ukraine. This commits both sides more fully to abiding by the deal. This is particularly important because in the past, smaller factions on both sides have felt entitled to simply ignore the deals, arguing they weren’t personally party to the pact. With both governments committed, dishonoring the pact comes at a much bigger price."

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"Bolton Demands Iran Abandon Non-Existent Nuclear Arms Program"

US-Sicherheitsberater John Bolton hat nach der iranischen Überschreitung des Urananreicherungslimits bekräftigt, dass die USA ihren Druck auf Teheran so lange erhöhen werden, bis der Iran sein Atomwaffenprogramm einstellt. Jason Ditz betont, dass es ein solches Programm nicht gebe. "Iran’s Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami reiterated on Monday that Iran will never pursue a nuclear weapon, and that the whole world knows that. The general asked why the world keeps sanctions Iran over the nuclear issue when it clearly isn’t a real issue. US officials have been reiterating the idea of an Iranian 'nuclear threat' so long, and against all reason, that at this point the facts don’t matter for most US officials. Policy is to escalate sanctions, and the escalation has become an end unto itself. (...) This puts Iran in a tough position with the US, because it plainly doesn’t matter what Iran promises, what Iran does, or what Iranian leaders declare as religiously forbidden. The US will always lead with the same nonsensical demand, and US officials will always feel justified with threatening Iran over plain lies."

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"US Special Envoy Tells Europe: Choose Between Us and Iran"

Donald Trumps Sondergesandter Brian Hook hat Europa im Iran–Konflikt Jason Ditz zufolge vor eine drastische Wahl gestellt. "Hook warned the European Union in particular against its attempt to establish a clearing house to allow trade with Iran, saying that the entire continent of Europe has to make a choice: do business with the United States, or do business with Iran. (...) Hook, however, insists that no country has any waivers from America allowing them to buy Iranian oil, or carry out other business with them. Even though in practice it is none of America’s business, Hook said the US intends to sanction any country caught buying oil from Iran in any way. The US threats are largely empty. China has continued to buy oil from Iran despite US warnings, and the US clearly can’t do anything about it. The EU has a similarly large economy and should be able to also call the administration’s bluff, but so far, banks haven’t shown any faith in the EU backing up their promises to protect their companies."

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"Mainstream Media Faults Trump for Not Following Through on Iran Attack"

Jason Ditz berichtet, dass die Entscheidung des US-Präsidenten, einen Militärschlag gegen den Iran kurzfristig abzusagen, in den US-Mainstreammedien als Schwäche interpretiert worden sei. "To be sure, Thursday was meant to be the start of the US-Iran War which hawks have been trying to piece together for generations. Trump ordered the attack, but ultimately, called it off a mere 10 minutes from a strike. What had been a subject of debate was now USA Today accusing Trump of 'not following through.' As concerning as blundering into a huge war in the Middle East had been, the new talking point was Trump showing weakness, and per Kori Schake of the Atlantic, damaging 'America’s credibility.' America can, after all, usually be counted on to react hastily, and stumble into what are in retrospect unfortunate wars. That Trump managed to just barely avoid the siren’s song of war was outside the expectation of American allies, and now they don’t know what to think. (...) Trump talked of proportionality, and his reluctance to kill 150 Iranians, now even Fox and Friends are crying weakness. It’s not surprising the media wasn’t thinking of killing 150 people as a problem. After all, historically death tolls in US attacks are grossly underreported, and they were on board not just for the deaths here, but those in the years of war to come."

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"US to Send $250 Million in Military Aid to Ukraine"

Das Pentagon hat ein militärisches Hilfspaket im Wert von 250 Millionen US-Dollar für die Ukraine enthüllt. Jason Ditz bezweifelt die offizielle Begründung der Unterstützung, der zufolge die zivile Kontrolle des ukrainischen Militärs gestärkt werden soll. "In contrast to the aid packages a few years ago, which were emphasized as purely non-lethal aid not intended to exacerbate tensions, this new aid package seems to be chock full of lethal options for the military. Sniper rifles, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and a host of other weapons were included in the new package. It’s not clear what any of this would have to do with civilian control of the military. It is, however, clear that such weapons would be brought to bear against the eastern rebels in Ukraine, where a ceasefire tends to hold only tentatively at any given time, and US-provided arms might convince the military that they have another opportunity to resolve what is meant to be a negotiated settlement through military means."

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"US Falsely Claims Iran Is in Breach of Nuclear Deal"

Die US-Botschafterin bei der UNO Jackie Wolcott hat dem Iran nach der Erklärung des IAEO-Direktors Yukiya Amano einen Verstoß gegen das internationale Atomabkommen vorgeworfen. "Wolcott argued that Iran’s testing of improved centrifuges are a 'clear violation of the deal,' though most experts agree that the centrifuge language is not particularly clear, and what Iran is doing does not appear to be an actual violation, so long as all such centrifuges aren’t tested at the exact same time. The US accusations could be forgiven as a more strict interpretation of vague language, though since the US has already withdrawn from the treaty, they no longer have any say in its enforcement. This was indeed one of the main arguments by European nations for the US not to withdraw, warning they’d lose a say in interpretation of the rules."

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"Pentagon’s Phony Iran 'Evidence': New Rationale for US Intervention?"

Gareth Porter hat den Verdacht, dass das Pentagon der US-Regierung mit unbewiesenen Vorwürfen gegen den Iran einen Kriegsgrund liefern wolle. "Last week a senior Pentagon official accused Iran of having sabotaged four oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on May 12 and of firing a rocket into Baghdad’s Green Zone on May 19. Iran executed these events, he said, either directly or through regional 'proxies.' But instead of creating sensational headlines, the briefing by Vice Adm. Michael Gilday, the director of the Joint Staff, was a flop, because it was clear to reporters covering it that he could not cite a single fact to back it up. (...) the briefing raises a serious question whether National Security Adviser John Bolton intended to use the new accusation against Iran stoke a war crisis – much as Vice President Dick Cheney, in another era, used the argument that Iraq had purchased aluminum tubes for a covert nuclear weapons program to justify the invasion of Iraq."

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"Officials Suggest US Poised to Attack Venezuela"

US-Außenminister Pompeo und Sicherheitsberater Bolton haben nach dem Scheitern des Umsturzversuches in Venezuela Jason Ditz zufolge erneut eine militärische Intervention der USA ins Spiel gebracht. "While still giving lip-service to the idea that the US can force a 'peaceful' exchange of power through sheer force of will, they are also talking up direct military intervention. The always hawkish John Bolton was of course the most open about this possible US attack, saying that he’s been told by Admiral Faller that US troops are 'on the balls of our feet ready to go' into Venezuela. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others only suggested that invading Venezuela was 'possible,' but talking up the intervention in such a way as to suggest that a lot more possible after that failed coup. Adding to speculation that such a war could be imminent, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has cancelled his planned trip to Europe at the last minute, with officials saying he needs to stay to coordinate policy on Venezuela."

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"US Agrees With Russia, China on Framework for Afghanistan Pullout"

Die USA haben sich mit Russland und China auf die grundsätzlichen Rahmenbedingungen eines Abzugs der NATO-Truppen aus Afghanistan verständigt. "The general idea is that the US and allied forces would leave Afghanistan as part of a peace deal, which would come with a commitment from the Taliban to keep ISIS and al-Qaeda out of the country. These are the terms which were already reported to have been coming out of US-Taliban talks, and the State Department’s own statement said the other nations support an 'orderly and responsible withdrawal of foreign troops.' Negotiating the specifics beyond this framework, including timing, has yet to be done, and US efforts to get the Taliban talking with the Afghan government are on hold after Afghan officials failed to show for last week’s meeting. Getting Russia on board with this deal is particularly important, as Russia has long feared that the inevitable NATO defeat, and withdrawal from Afghanistan was going to destabilize the region, and threaten some of Russia’s close allies, former Soviet states in the vicinity."

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"UN Report: War Has Set Back Yemen More Than 20 Years"

Jemen ist einem neuen Bericht des Entwicklungsprogramms der Vereinten Nationen zufolge durch den Krieg wirtschaftlich um mehr als 20 Jahre zurückgeworfen worden. "The economic losses caused so far are around $88.8 billion, and that’s just assuming the war ends now. If it lasts until 2030, they estimate losses of $657 billion, and 84 percent of the population chronically malnourished. Yemen’s extreme poverty made it easy to underestimate just how far and fast they could fall economically in such a bloody war. The report concluded that even with immediate peace, it would take decades just to get Yemen back to the impoverished ex-ante situation."

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"Killing for Credibility: A Look Back at the 1999 NATO Air War on Serbia"

Brett Wilkins bezeichnet den NATO-Luftkrieg in Serbien vor 20 Jahren in diesem Rückblick als eine Kampagne der "atemberaubenden Heuchelei", die vor allem geführt worden sei, um die Glaubwürdigkeit der NATO zu untermauern. "Waging or prolonging war for credibility’s sake is always dangerous and seems always to yield disastrous results. Tens of thousands of US troops and many times as many Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian soldiers and civilians died while Richard Nixon sought an 'honorable' way out of Vietnam. Ronald Reagan’s dogged defense of US credibility cost the lives of 299 American and French troops killed in Hezbollah’s 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. This time, ensuring American credibility meant backing the vicious KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army] – some of whose fighters had trained at Osama bin Laden’s terror camps in Afghanistan. This, despite the fact that al-Qaeda had already been responsible for deadly attacks against the United States, including the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. (...) Twenty years later, Operation Allied force has been all but forgotten in the United States. In a country that has been waging nonstop war on terrorism for almost the entire 21st century, the 1999 NATO air war is but a footnote in modern American history."

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"Iraqi Parliament Prepares to Evict US Troops"

Im irakischen Parlament beginne sich ein parteiübergreifender Konsens für einen Abzug der US-Truppen herauszubilden, berichtet Jason Ditz. "While many Iraqis accepted the offer of help in the more desperate moments of the ISIS War, the US military has quickly worn out its welcome. Across a number of major political blocs in Iraq, there is growing consensus that the US, and indeed all foreign military forces, need to go. This has been brewing for months. The Iraqis saw Trump’s visit to Iraq, during which he didn’t meet the Iraqi PM, as a sign of disrespect. That the Pentagon keeps insisting they’re staying in Iraq, without asking the Iraqis, only adds to the sense that the US isn’t really an invited guest in any real sense. (...) US hawks are still trying to spin this as proof of an Iran problem. In reality, the US and Iran have been backing the same parties in Iraq since 2003, and US discomfort with that fact has been consistently undermining their goals."

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"New Zealand Police Censor Mosque Attack, Threaten to Jail Citizens Who Share Video"

Die neuseeländische Regierung will die Verbreitung der Videos und des Manifests des Massenmörders von Christchurch Jason Ditz zufolge mit harten Zensurmaßnahmen verhindern. Bürgern, die den Live-Stream des Täters online verbreiten, drohen demnach bis zu zehn Jahre Haft. "The one person jailed so far was a man who shared the original live-stream of the attack. New Zealand police, however, say that all citizens who share any video of the attack face 10 years in prison. They also warned against sharing the attacker’s manifesto, or other 'objectionable and restricted material.' New Zealand’s Internet providers have confirmed that they effectively have to, under penalty of fines, block all international websites that have links to the manifesto or the video itself. ISPs argue that these are 'extreme circumstances,' and that blocking such websites is 'the right thing to do.' Despite all efforts, the video appears not to have been vanished totally from human history, however. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used parts of the video at weekend rallies warning about rising Islamophobia, and quoted the manifesto, which threatened Turkey specifically."

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"Would Social Media Have Censored Video of 9/11 or Kennedy Assassination?"

Thomas Knapp hält es für bedenklich, dass Facebook, Youtube und Twitter die Videos vom Anschlag von Christchurch von ihren Plattformen entfernt haben. "Social media companies should enable our choices, not suppress our choices at the censors’ every whim. If Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube had been primary news sources in 1915, would they have permitted us to view footage (rare, as film was in its early days) of New Zealanders’ desperate fight at Gallipoli? How about the attack on Pearl Harbor? The assassination of president John F. Kennedy? The second plane hitting the World Trade Center? (...) Terrorists don’t need video to 'inspire' them. Like mold, evil grows best in darkness and struggles in sunlight. If you want to help terrorists, hiding the ugliness of their actions from the public they hope to mobilize in support of those actions is exactly how you do it. Contrary to their claims of supporting 'democracy' versus 'extremism,' the social media companies and the censors they 'struggle' to assist seem to side with terror and to lack any trust in the good judgment of 'the people.'"

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"US and Taliban Begin Highest Level Afghanistan Negotiations Yet"

Die Ernsthaftigkeit der Gespräche von Vertretern der US-Regierung und der Taliban in Doha ist Jason Ditz zufolge am Montag durch die Entsendung des stellvertretenen Taliban-Chefs Mullah Baradar bestätigt worden. "Having Mullah Baradar and US negotiator head Zalmay Khalilzad sitting across the table from one another only underscores how serious the talks are getting, and this latest round of talks is expected to continue hammering out specific details. With so much at stake, Khalilzad and Baradar even had a 'working lunch' ahead of the formal talks. Delegates on both sides clearly have high hopes, and are putting a lot into this effort."

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"US, EU, and Kurds at Odds Over ISIS Prisoners in Syria"

Viele aus Europa stammende IS-Kämpfer, über deren Rückführung diskutiert wird, sitzen derzeit in Gefängnissen der kurdischen SDF im Norden Syriens. "The US intends to have Europe take most of them, though France and Germany have both rejected the appeal to accept over 800 detainees, out of the estimated 1,500 currently held. Britain is still debating taking a much smaller number. Germany has suggested they could only consider such moves if they have consular access. The Kurdish SDF say they don’t intend to release the ISIS fighters back into Syria even if they have no place to send them, despite the US trying to scare Europe into taking them with that notion. Even then, the SDF is calling this a 'time bomb,' and warning that the ISIS detainees might conceivably escape and threaten the West if the West doesn’t take them back first, which is either a threat to release them, or a damning indictment of their confidence in keeping detainees."

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"US Military Plans for All Troops to Be Out of Syria by End of April"

Pentagon-Planer gehen einem Bericht des Wall Street Journal davon aus, dass der vollständige Abzug der US-Truppen aus Syrien Ende April abgeschlossen werden könnte. "The most specificity any officials have offered on the US plan for Syria, Pentagon officials confirmed Thursday that the current in-military timeline is to have all US troops out of the country by the end of April. Officials confirmed this could be altered by policy changes in the future, but that for now the intention is to withdraw a significant number of the forces by mid-March, and the rest by the end of April. The State Department was quick to contradict on this matter, saying that there is no timeline for withdrawing from Syria, and that the US is still committed to protecting the Kurdish YPG, and expelling all Iranian troops from Syria."

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"Turkey may start new Syria operation at any moment, Erdogan says"

Präsident Erdogan hat eine neue türkische Militäroffensive gegen die Kurden im Osten Syriens in Aussicht gestellt und behauptet, dass US-Präsident Trump dies gebilligt habe. "The Pentagon had warned last week that they considered any invasion 'unacceptable,' but Erdogan revealed on Monday that he’d spoken to President Trump, and that Trump has expressed support fo the military operation. While the White House wouldn’t confirm an endorsement of the invasion against US-backed Kurds, they did confirm that Trump had spoken with Erdogan about Syria during a recent telephone conversation. US Special Envoy James Jeffrey did, however, say he believed the invasion was 'a bad idea,' and suggested everyone from the president on down had told Turkey that."

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