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"Everyone Misunderstands the Reason for the U.S.-China Cold War"

Der Politikwissenschaftler Stephen M. Walt erklärt, warum die Rivalität zwischen den USA und China aus amerikanischer Sicht nicht mit der Ablehnung der herrschenden Ideologie oder der Führungspersönlichkeiten in Peking begründet werden sollte. "(…) the roots of the present Sino-American rivalry have less to do with particular leaders or regime types and more to do with the distribution of power and the particular strategies that the two sides are pursuing. This is not to say that domestic politics or individual leadership do not matter at all, either in influencing the intensity of the competition or the skill with which each side wages it. Some leaders are more (or less) risk acceptant, and Americans are currently getting (another) painful demonstration of the harm that incompetent leadership can inflict. But the more important point is that new leaders or profound domestic changes are not going to alter the inherently competitive nature of U.S.-Chinese relations. From this perspective, both progressives and hard-liners in the United States are getting it wrong. The former believe that China poses at most a modest threat to U.S. interests and that some combination of accommodation and skillful diplomacy can eliminate most if not all of the friction and head off a new cold war. I’m all for skillful diplomacy, but I do not believe it will suffice to prevent an intense competition that is primarily rooted in the distribution of power."

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"Bullied by Beijing, America’s Closest Allies Regret Saying 'Yes' to China"

Nach Ansicht von Salvatore Babones ist China gerade dabei, einige seiner diplomatischen Erfolge der letzten Jahre zu verspielen. Viele Verbündete der USA überdenken demnach ihren für Washington problematischen Annäherungskurs gegenüber Peking. "The era of cooperation with China may be over soon. Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand are beginning to regret saying 'yes' to China’s strategic overtures. The leaders, once eager to assert a little independence from their often-overbearing superpower ally, now find themselves aligning with the United States to oppose the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks, universities accepting Chinese money to host Confucius Institutes, gross human rights violations in Xinjiang, government repression in Hong Kong, and the militarization of the South China Sea. They are wary of appearing to support a U.S. president who is anathema to many in their own countries, but they increasingly support Donald Trump’s actual policy stances with regard to China. Each country has its own reasons for confronting China, but all of them are, in effect, falling in line with U.S. China policy."

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"Why Is China Downplaying Its Border Clash With India?"

In China werde der blutige Zusammenstoß mit indischen Truppen im Himalaja dagegen heruntergespielt, berichtet James Palmer. Peking sei derzeit offenbar nicht an einer schwer zu kontrollierenden Eskalation des Konflikts interessiert. "India and China both have well-developed mythologies of national martyrdom in war, and the Indian soldiers who died are already filling that role. But it seems unlikely that China will even release the names of the dead. There is state hostility toward releasing any sensitive information — and especially for the opaque military. As indicated by the lack of media coverage, Beijing wants to keep its options open — and it doesn’t want to be trapped by public opinion calling for escalation. Deaths could also be read as a sign of weakness, especially if the Chinese side really did come off worse."

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"Biden Resists Move Left on Foreign Policy"

Der demokratische US-Präsidentschaftskandidat Joe Biden wäre Colum Lynch zufolge bereit, den linken Anhängern seines früheren Rivalen Bernie Sanders in innenpolitischen Fragen entgegen zu kommen. In der Außenpolitik sei ein derartiger "Linksschwenk" jedoch nicht zu erwarten. "As Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, shows signs of nudging his party to the left on domestic policy — proposing student debt relief, expanded health care, and police reforms aimed at outlawing chokeholds and the transfer of weapons of war to police departments — there has been little sign of a similar move over America’s relations with the world. For many in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing who favor a more restrained America, Biden appears to be a man of the past: an unapologetic champion of American exceptionalism. (…) The development has been particularly dispiriting for left-wing Democrats, who felt they had altered the course of the party’s foreign-policy thinking during the primary campaign and demonstrated widespread popular support among Democratic voters for scaled-down military spending and a more restrained foreign policy."

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"The U.S. Election Will Determine Assad’s Future"

Der syrische Nahostexperte Iyad Yousef erläutert, warum eine Niederlage von Donald Trump bei den US-Präsidentschaftswahlen im November auch Konsequenzen für die syrische Regierung hätte. Ein Strategiewechsel der USA in Syrien wäre unter einem neuen Präsidenten zwar nicht zu erwarten, der erwartete Kurswechsel gegenüber dem Iran würde Assad allerdings indirekt zugutekommen. "If Trump wins a second term, Syrians can expect much of the same: The Trump administration will likely continue its maximum pressure campaign on Tehran, maintaining stringent sanctions on the country and forcing it to focus its resources on its own crumbling economy as well as the growing sense of public dissatisfaction with the regime. If presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins, however, the United States will likely pivot back toward diplomacy, choosing to engage with Iran and, crucially, reentering his predecessor’s nuclear deal. As part of this process, a Biden administration would probably lift some economic sanctions on Iran, allowing it to again focus its resources abroad. Of course, the inherent risk of such a move is that Assad would be strengthened in Syria, undermining the U.S. sanctions regime there and strengthening Iran in the Middle East. But it would also mean alleviating public grievances and putting the Syrian economy back on the path to stabilization. (…) Neither a Trump nor a Biden presidency will bring economic sanctions relief for Syria, so the country’s growth potential will remain limited as long as Assad is in power. But if Syria can again rely on substantial support from Iran, expect Assad to hold the reins of power indefinitely."

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"With Scenes of Police Brutality, America’s Beacon to the World Winks Out"

Die aktuelle "Welle" von Polizeigewalt und Rassenungerechtigkeit haben dem internationalen Ansehen der USA nach Ansicht von Colum Lynch und Robbie Gramer schweren Schaden zugefügt. "A world that once looked to the United States to champion democracy and human rights watched with dismay and alarm as police departments across the nation unleashed violent crackdowns on anti-police protesters, targeting looters, demonstrators, and journalists alike, even as President Donald Trump on Monday criticized state governors for their 'weak' response. (…) The overwhelmingly negative international reaction to the crackdown showed how far the United States’ reputation has fallen in the eyes of the world under the Trump presidency, evoking the international opprobrium directed at previous U.S. governments during the Vietnam War and civil rights era, when police in Southern states turned attack dogs on black freedom marchers. 'The erosion of U.S. global leadership has been faster than expected,' a senior European diplomat told Foreign Policy. 'Military supremacy and financial leverage is still there. However, reserves of political and 'soft' power are being depleted rapidly.'"

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"How to End the Special Relationship With Israel"

So wie der Friedensprozess im Nahen Osten einen "natürlichen Tod" starb, müsse auch Washingtons "außergewöhnliche Allianz" mit Israel ein Ende finden, fordert Steven A. Cook auf Foreign Policy. "Even if we assume that both sides want peace, it remains the case that: 1) Israel cannot satisfy the Palestinians’ minimal demands for peace, 2) the Palestinians cannot satisfy Israel’s minimal demands for peace, and 3) the United States does not have the resources or political will to alter the interests of either the Palestinians or Israel. The many analysts and officials who continue to work toward a two-state solution, however admirable their tenacity, can’t do much to clear this fundamental impasse."

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"Will a Global Depression Trigger Another World War?"

Stephen M. Walt warnt, das die weltwirtschaftlichen Folgen der Corona-Pandemie den Boden für militärische Konflikte und sogar einen neuen "Weltkrieg" bereiten könnten. "For starters, we know neither plague nor depression make war impossible. World War I ended just as the 1918-1919 influenza was beginning to devastate the world, but that pandemic didn’t stop the Russian Civil War, the Russo-Polish War, or several other serious conflicts. The Great Depression that began in 1929 didn’t prevent Japan from invading Manchuria in 1931, and it helped fuel the rise of fascism in the 1930s and made World War II more likely. So if you think major war simply can’t happen during COVID-19 and the accompanying global recession, think again. (…) a sustained economic depression could make war more likely by strengthening fascist or xenophobic political movements, fueling protectionism and hypernationalism, and making it more difficult for countries to reach mutually acceptable bargains with each other. The history of the 1930s shows where such trends can lead, although the economic effects of the Depression are hardly the only reason world politics took such a deadly turn in the 1930s. Nationalism, xenophobia, and authoritarian rule were making a comeback well before COVID-19 struck, but the economic misery now occurring in every corner of the world could intensify these trends and leave us in a more war-prone condition when fear of the virus has diminished."

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"Germany’s Angst Is Killing Its Coronavirus Tracing App"

Die schleppende Einführung einer Corona-Tracking-App in Deutschland wird von Tyson Barker als Bestätigung einer grundsätzlichen deutschen "Techno-Ambivalenz" betrachtet. Einmal mehr halte Berlin den technologischen Fortschritt Europas auf. "(…) when Berlin raced to embrace digital technologies to fight COVID-19, some observers took it as a new chapter in the country’s economic leadership. If it seemed too good to be true, however, that’s because it was. Berlin’s efforts are floundering in a sudden, and telling, fashion. Even at a time of unprecedented crisis, Germany seems fated to slow down the continent’s technological advancement. (…) Taken together, the debate is bit of a Rorschach test for Germany in the global geotech age, one that reveals the country is obsessed, moralizing, and anxious about getting left behind. It remains to be seen whether Germany — and Europe with it — will do anything about it. Maybe there’s an app for that."

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"Botched Venezuela Operation Is a Boon for Maduro"

Der offenbar vom US-Sicherheitsunternehmen Silvercorp organisierte Putschversuch in Venezuela könne von Präsident Maduro als klarer Propagandasieg verbucht werden, schreibt Amy Mackinnon. Die venezolanische Opposition um Juan Guaidó habe möglicherweise Verbindungen zu Silvercorp gehabt, obwohl sie jede Kenntnis von der Operation abstreite. "The Venezuelan opposition led by Guaidó has denied any connection to Silvercorp. But the Venezuelan political strategist J.J. Rendón told the Washington Post that he was asked by Guaidó to explore all options to oust Maduro. In October 2019, the Venezuelan opposition signed a $219 million agreement with Silvercorp. Guaidó’s signature appears on the contract, but the opposition disputes its authenticity. 'What is more outrageous to me is that Guaidó’s representatives not only signed the contract with Goudreau with his knowledge, but that they met with several private security contractors who wanted as much as $500 million. They shopped around, and Goudreau was the budget option,' said Geoff Ramsey, the assistant director for Venezuela at the Washington Office on Latin America, a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization. (…) The bungled operation has enabled Maduro to take aim at his most despised adversaries: the Venezuelan opposition, the United States, and Colombia — where the fighters were reportedly trained. 'Obviously the Maduro regime knew about it in advance, but you have to wonder: Were they somehow egging it along?' Eric Farnsworth, the vice president of the Council of the Americas, told Foreign Policy."

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The Coronavirus Is Creating a Crisis on Europe’s Borders

Sinan Ülgen von Carnegie Europe warnt, dass die Coronakrise in den Ländern an den südlichen und östlichen Grenzen Europas zu "finanziellem Ruin, politischer Instabilität und neuen Flüchtlingswellen" führen könnte. "These generally middle-income countries — including Turkey, Ukraine, Egypt, and Morocco — do not benefit from global initiatives like the debt relief programs led by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which target less developed nations. Yet they lack the domestic resources to rebound effectively from the deep recession that awaits them. The rising risk aversion in global markets has constrained their debt-raising options. Their economic well-being has further been undermined by the coronavirus-related economic downturn, raising fears about economic dislocation and political instability. Europe is now looking at the emergence of exactly the type of scenario of regional instability that it sought to preempt. A key recommendation of its 2016 Global Strategy was to improve the political and economic resilience of its regional partners. But now the economic resilience of Europe’s neighbors is clearly at risk."

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"With Kim Jong Un Mysteriously Gone, China Is Likely to Make a Power Move"

Michael Auslin erwartet, dass China die mysteriöse Abwesenheit von Kim Jong Un nutzen wird, um seinen Einfluss auf das nordkoreanische Regime auszuweiten. Für die USA und ihre regionalen Verbündeten wäre dies keine gute Nachricht, so Auslin. "If crisis equals opportunity, then it is only prudent to consider how Chinese President Xi Jinping might view making a bold move to reshape the regional balance of power. A successful intervention by Beijing would permanently alter the geopolitical map of East Asia, isolating Japan and reducing U.S. power in the region. (…) The geopolitical implications of Beijing’s control over North Korea would be enormous. Given the likelihood that Chinese naval and air force units could be present in North Korea, Chinese and American forces would face each other across the Demilitarized Zone. That would make the U.S. alliance with South Korea much more difficult. With both pressure and inducements from Beijing, Seoul could even decide to throw in its lot with China; given Moon’s leanings and an endemic anti-Americanism in South Korea, that should not be inconceivable."

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"After the Coronavirus, Terrorism Won’t Be the Same"

Die weitreichenden Maßnahmen vieler Regierungen zur Eindämmung der Corona-Pandemie könnten gewaltsame Gegenreaktionen hervorrufen, schreibt Raffaello Pantucci. "So far, the number of acts that could reasonably be called terrorism have been quite limited. It is for the most part generic anti-establishmentarianism fed by conspiracy theories. Fear of 5G technology being linked to the spread of the disease has led to the burnings of cell-phone towers across Europe. (…) These acts have a unifying theme. Like most terrorism, they are fundamentally acts of revolt against the established order. (…) For those whose mindset is shaped by this history of anti-government activity, the massive expansion of the state that follows a national crisis like a pandemic outbreak will be a concern. For such individuals, the fear is as much about expansion of the state as it is distrust in government’s activity in general. (…) Others on the fringes are taking this distrust to its violent extreme, and their number is likely to increase over time. The current COVID-19 response is going to expand the presence of the state, draw attention to inequalities that will be exacerbated in the post-coronavirus economy, and ultimately highlight the budget-tightening that is going to have to follow. Some may fear big government, but others will instead grow angry if it is not seen to be dealing with their problems and concerns. These fissures all open up narratives ripe for exploitation by anti-government factions, racist groups, political extremists of every type, and extremist Luddites or other fringe groups."

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"The Coronavirus Could Heal Libya"

Die Coronakrise könnte die Konfliktparteien in Libyen zur Kooperation zwingen und so einen Beitrag zur Beendigung des Kriegs leisten, hoffen Edward P. Joseph und Wolfgang Pusztai. Bisher dauerten die Kämpfe an, weil die Kontrahenten und ihre ausländischen Partner glaubten, kurz vor dem Sieg zu stehen. "A much more realistic approach is desperately needed and, fortunately, available. In a divided country with two governments, two central banks, and separate, degraded health systems, there is at least common acceptance of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Tripoli. This inoffensive entity can and should become the focal point for all coronavirus cooperation between western and eastern Libya — and the focal point for the international community to channel its messaging and support. The fact that the NCDC is based in Tripoli should ease any concerns among diplomats about departing from the convention of recognizing the beleaguered GNA — without at the same time antagonizing the LNA. With support from the U.N. mission to Libya, the NCDC should urgently convene a national 'coronavirus crisis committee' comprising key experts and officials from all three of Libya’s regions. (…) In this plausible way — free from strident condemnations or exaggerated demands — war-torn Libya could see overnight improvement in its pandemic defenses. The moment cooperation begins, the prospects for a meaningful cease-fire will improve markedly. With some luck and goodwill, the need to fight a common viral enemy might lead to a halt in an internecine struggle that has gone on far too long."

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"The Coronavirus Will Cause New Crises in Latin America"

In Lateinamerika könnte die Corona-Pandemie neue politische und wirtschaftliche Krisen auslösen, schreibt Michael Albertus. "No country will be able to entirely avoid the economic and political fallout. But Latin American countries will feel it particularly deeply because of how reliant their economies are on investment and trade from the United States, Europe, and China — all currently home to hot spots for the coronavirus. Economies throughout Latin America still depend heavily on foreign investment and demand for primary commodities such as oil, copper, and zinc. While that remains a winning formula during boom times for advanced economies, it is a shaky foundation. This dependence has already become the crux of today’s underlying economic problems facing the region. Now, the coronavirus pandemic threatens to destroy the foundation entirely."

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"How WHO Became China’s Coronavirus Accomplice"

Die Haltung der WHO zu China wird von einigen Beobachtern sogar als "Komplizenschaft" ausgelegt. Der in Berlin lebende Wissenschaftsjournalist Hinnerk Feldwisch-Drentrup schreibt, dass die Weltgesundheitsorganisation von chinesischer Finanzierung abhängig sei und sich in der Corona-Krise von Peking instrumentalisieren lasse. "'I thought the greatest success of the Chinese party-state was in getting the WHO to focus on the positive sides of China’s responses and ignore the negative sides of the responses,' said Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at the SOAS University of London. 'With the WHO presenting China’s responses in a positive light, the Chinese government is able to make its propaganda campaign to ignore its earlier mistakes appear credible and to ignore the human, societal, and economic costs of its responses.' (…) Osman Dar, global health expert at Public Health England and the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said that China is no different from other countries that seek to exert influence. WHO had evolved out of colonial-era international sanitary conferences convened by the European powers and expansionist U.S. policy, he said. Since WHO was controlled and largely influenced by the national interests of Western powers before, in the past 20 years, countries like China 'have started to have more influence in the global health space.'"

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"The EU Is Abandoning Italy in Its Hour of Need"

Elisabeth Braw wirft der EU vor, Italien in der Coronakrise sträflich im Stich gelassen zu haben. Sie warnt vor langfristigen Folgen des empfundenen Mangels an Solidarität. "To be sure, all governments need to make sure they have enough supplies for their own hospitals, patients, and medical staff. But no European country is suffering remotely as badly as Italy. (…) Europe’s selfishness is morally lamentable, and it’s unwise, because misery loves company. A struggling Italy will drag its European friends down, too, starting with their economies. But the cold response to Italy’s plea points to a larger issue: How would European allies respond in case of crisis even more devastating than the coronavirus — say, a massive cyberattack that knocks out power for a prolonged period of time? (…) at a moment of extreme hardship for a key EU (and NATO) member, Italy’s allies are showing that they can’t be counted on in a severe crisis — and that means Italy may increasingly turn toward China. It will remain stalwart member of the EU and NATO, but why should it support its various European allies next time they’re in a pinch? And why should it pay heed to European allies’ calls for it to reverse its participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which it joined last year?"

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"Global Diplomacy Grinds to a Halt on Infection Fears"

Die internationale Diplomatie sei durch die Corona-Pandemie nahezu zum Erliegen gekommen, berichten Colum Lynch und Robbie Gramer. "The coronavirus has all but halted the world of international diplomacy, derailing major summits and leaving diplomats stranded as governments temporarily ban international travel. The World Trade Organization on Thursday joined a raft of United Nations agencies, financial institutions, and international organizations that have been forced by the virus’s spread to cancel, suspend, or postpone conferences on everything including human rights, the Law of the Sea, and antimicrobial resistance. (…) It remains unclear what impact the coronavirus will have on the U.N.’s vital, and far-flung, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. 'The [U.N.] agencies are assessing how and where humanitarian operations are being disrupted to try to identify solutions as quickly as possible,' Stéphane Dujarric, the chief spokesperson for the U.N. secretary-general, recently told reporters."

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"You May Miss Merkel More Than You Think"

Die vor ihrem politischen Abschied stehende Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel sei für die Welt zu einem "Problem" geworden, meint Noah Barkin. Noch größere Sorgen macht er sich aufgrund des aussichtsreichsten Kandidaten für Merkels Nachfolge, Armin Laschet, den er als pro-russisch und China-freundlich charakterisiert. "Laschet is another story — a cautious moderate in the Merkel mode, but with a dose of her predecessor Gerhard Schröder’s business-über-alles reflex and readiness to engage with authoritarians. In recent years, Laschet has warned against demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin for his annexation of Crimea, criticized Washington for supporting rebels trying to overthrow Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad, and, as leader of the German state with the closest economic ties to China, voiced support for deepening the relationship with Beijing. (…) Laschet has since distanced himself from the politically toxic former chancellor. But his comments on a range of foreign-policy topics prompted top-selling German newspaper Bild last month to demand a pledge from him not to 'cozy up' to authoritarians. (…) Still, Jana Puglierin, who heads the Berlin office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, believes Laschet could inject new momentum into the Franco-German relationship. He is likely to be more open to Macron’s idea to engage with Russia."

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"Europe Is Thinking Harder About Divorcing America"

Peter Rough vom Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C erklärt, warum die politische Klasse in den USA die europäischen Bemühungen um eine selbständige Sicherheitspolitik bisher relativ gelassen verfolge. "With Germany frustrated by the United States (and the United Kingdom consumed by Brexit), France has identified an opportunity to press its Gaullist dreams. At every turn, it has sought to empower the EU while limiting NATO. (…) But those frictions have remained mostly at the technical level for a simple reason: the United States’ political class is sure that Europe will not actually walk out on it. This is true for three reasons that were on display at Munich last week. First, Europe remains divided amongst itself. (…) Second, based on virtually any indicator of power, Europe is in the process of weakening. (…) Third, Americans recognize that Europe lacks attractive power. Today, there is no other bloc in the world that is more European than American. Put another way, if Europe truly separated from the United States, it would struggle to find third parties that would choose it over the United States. (…) If there is something to Westlessness, therefore, it is how quickly some Europeans have forgotten how unattractive the world looked before Pax Americana. Rarely has the West had it as good as it does now. The United States may be demanding a more balanced relationship on everything from trade to security, but that is a small price to pay for what a U.S.-led international system has to offer."

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"Will Irish Elections Lead to Unification?"

Der Brexit habe eine Debatte über die Aussichten einer Wiedervereinigung Irlands ausgelöst, schreibt Dan Haverty in seinem Bericht zu den irischen Parlamentswahlen am Wochenende. Die beiden nationalistischen Parteien Fianna Fail und Sinn Fein hätten sich in ihren Wahlprogrammen verpflichtet, die Vorarbeit für ein Referendum zu leisten. "Neither Fianna Fail’s nor Sinn Fein’s election manifesto mentions timing, both focusing instead on the details of the consultative process required to lay the groundwork for a referendum. This suggests that, if Fianna Fail does choose to engage Sinn Fein in coalition talks, the timing of a border poll won’t be a red line for either party, meaning unity could still be a top priority for the next government. The result could be historic: The decision to hold a border poll would remain the prerogative of the British government, but the combined force of a resurgent Irish nationalism in Northern Ireland (where Sinn Fein forms part of the devolved administration) and a staunchly pro-unity Irish government could be enough to move London in that direction. It is unclear how a border poll would ultimately turn out (and especially what the longer-term consequences could be), but Saturday’s elections could be part of a broader trend leading to Irish unification."

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"Berned Beyond Recognition: How Sanders’s Rise Changes U.S. Foreign Policy"

Nach dem Erfolg des demokratischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten Bernie Sanders bei der Vorwahl in Iowa erwartet Michael Hirsh, dass die Ansichten von Sanders die US-Außenpolitik der kommenden Jahre prägen werden. Dies gelte insbesondere für die Handelspolitik. "(…) the powerful performance of Sanders and his fellow progressive, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in Iowa — while Biden trailed well behind — was evidence that some things probably won’t be the same come November, no matter who wins the Oval Office. One of those things is U.S. foreign policy. We are in a new era for both parties: the post-post-Cold War era. What has changed? First, the Washington Consensus is mostly dead. (…) The Washington Consensus prescribed free trade, budget discipline, privatization, and deregulation. But over the years economists who have endorsed this approach have come to admit that they badly underestimated the effects that 'hyperglobalization' would have in devastating America’s industrial middle class. (…) The rise of Sanders in the Democratic Party — along with that of Warren — to some degree mirrors the rise of Trump inside the Republican Party. Both are outsiders who brazenly called their party’s failures to account; both found adherents who had come to believe that their political parties had betrayed them over free trade, and no longer represented them. Trump spoke of getting 'better' deals from the world; Sanders, getting 'fairer' deals."

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"The Wuhan Virus Is Not a Lab-Made Bioweapon"

Die rasche Ausbreitung des Coronavirus hat das Gerücht aufkommen lassen, dass es sich um eine außer Kontrolle geratene militärische Biowaffe handeln könnte. Justin Ling hält dies für eine haltlose Verschwörungstheorie. "The only basis for the claim is a quote from former Israeli intelligence officer Dany Shoham, who has expertise in biological warfare. 'Certain laboratories in the institute have probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in Chinese [biological weapons], at least collaterally, yet not as a principal facility of the Chinese BW alignment,' Shoham told the [Washington Times]. While Shoham never backed up the claim made in the story that the outbreak stemmed from a biological weapon, other outlets nevertheless picked up the idea and ran with it. The Texas radio station KPRC posted the story to its site, concluding 'some intelligence experts believe the Chinese military’s biowarfare department may be responsible.' A speculation by a single former officer had become 'intelligence experts.' (…) And this bioweapon speculation isn’t exactly new. In 2003, during the SARS outbreak, the Jamestown Foundation think tank published an analysis suggesting 'there are compelling reasons, however unsettling, to at least ask whether there might be any linkage between SARS and China’s biological warfare efforts.' That claim ultimately proved baseless."

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"Outrage Culture Is Ruining Foreign Policy"

Die Reaktionen in den USA auf die gezielte Tötung von General Soleimani bestätigen nach Ansicht von Steven A. Cook, dass die US-Außenpolitik in der amerikanischen Öffentlichkeit zunehmend durch das Prisma der "Empörungskultur" betrachtet wird. "Folks choose teams and advocate for what is best for their side, not necessarily what is in the best interest of the United States. This seemed clear as the conversation - though it was more like people talking in their own echo chambers - about the U.S. killing of the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani unfolded. There was far greater interest among journalists, analysts, and activists in scoring points. (…) It is tempting to chalk it all up to the political silly season. Ahead of his run for the presidency in 1988, then Vice President George H.W. Bush told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to ignore the 'empty canons of rhetoric' that would mark the campaign, assuring his interlocutor that the bombast would recede once the votes were counted, a winner declared, and governing resumed. It is not so much that foreign policy was always insulated from politics, but it was often insulated from outrage. That no longer seems to be the case, and we are worse off for it."

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"Russia’s Role in the Libyan Civil War Gives It Leverage Over Europe"

Russland habe durch seine Rolle im libyschen Bürgerkrieg neuen Einfluss in Europa gewonnen, schreibt Anas El Gomati vom Sadeq Institute in Tripolis. "Russian efforts do appear, to an extent, to be succeeding. The number of migrants fleeing to Europe is rising again, and Russia has convinced Germany that it is a key player in the conflict, earning it a seat at the negotiating table in Berlin. Although Moscow has clearly clawed itself into a position of strength, it doesn’t want to invest resources indefinitely in Libya. It will only do so long enough to maximize the potential geopolitical gains it can reap from Europe. Now that European leaders are willing to talk to Moscow, and it appears that sanctions might be on the table, Russian policymakers may consider initiating a conversation with Europe over both finding a resolution to the conflict in Libya and ending sanctions. Russia’s role is still limited, so European powers don’t necessarily need to feel pressure to give in to Russian demands. The risk, of course, is that Russia might then decide to increase its involvement and amplify the pressure on Europe. It is unclear how that could turn out for either Russia or Europe, but what is clear is that Moscow is trying hard to exploit the world’s most chaotic conflicts as a way of reaping geopolitical rewards elsewhere."

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"Trump’s Growing European Base"

Der Aufstieg rechtspopulistischer Parteien und Bewegungen in Europa habe in Umfragen zu einem spürbaren Rückgang des europäischen Antiamerikanismus geführt, stellt Bruce Stokes vom German Marshall Fund of the United States fest. "If there is one unifying sentiment among supporters of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Italy’s Lega Nord, the Sweden Democrats, the National Rally in France, and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), it is that they all increasingly approve of Trump. That’s rooted in the extreme right’s soft spot for authoritarians and Trump’s own anti-immigrant stance. (…) When it comes to their reasons for backing Trump, half to two-thirds of supporters of right-wing parties in Europe approve of the administration’s efforts to limit immigration. (Only a fraction of the rest of the European public supports such constraints.) Support for Trump’s anti-immigrant stance among right-wing populists is particularly prevalent in France and Germany, where it is three times higher than found among the rest of the public. (…) Across the continent, the right’s enthusiasm for Trump has helped boost European support for the United States overall, which is up from historic lows."

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"China Isn’t the Only Problem With 5G"

In der Debatte über die Sicherheitsrisiken der kommenden 5G-Netze weist der IT-Sicherheitsexperte Bruce Schneier darauf hin, dass es nicht ausreichen werde, dem chinesischen Unternehmen Huawei einen unkontrollierten Zugang zur 5G-Infrastuktur zu verwehren. Die Netze selbst haben demnach Schwächen, die seiner Ansicht nach nicht mehr repariert werden können. "The 5G security problems are threefold. First, the standards are simply too complex to implement securely. This is true for all software, but the 5G protocols offer particular difficulties. Because of how it is designed, the system blurs the wireless portion of the network connecting phones with base stations and the core portion that routes data around the world. Additionally, much of the network is virtualized, meaning that it will rely on software running on dynamically configurable hardware. This design dramatically increases the points vulnerable to attack, as does the expected massive increase in both things connected to the network and the data flying about it. Second, there’s so much backward compatibility built into the 5G network that older vulnerabilities remain. (…) Third, the 5G standards committees missed many opportunities to improve security. Many of the new security features in 5G are optional, and network operators can choose not to implement them. (…) Solutions are few and far between and not very satisfying. It’s really too late to secure 5G networks. (…) In the long term, the United States needs a national policy that prioritizes security over both corporate profits and government surveillance. 5G security is just one of the many areas in which near-term corporate profits prevailed against broader social good."

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"There Is Nothing Left for Americans to Do in Iraq"

A. Cook geht davon aus, dass die USA den Kampf um Einfluss im Irak gegen den Iran verloren haben. Eine weitere Stationierung von US-Truppen ergebe vor diesem Hintergrund und angesichts der innenpolitischen Situation im Irak kaum noch Sinn. "There is an argument to be made that the United States must remain in Iraq to fight the Islamic State. In the abstract that makes sense, but reality is different. The central government in Baghdad — such as it is — through corruption, dysfunction, venality, and malevolence is contributing to conditions that are ripe for the Islamic State to reemerge as a significant threat. That would be a reason to stay in Iraq, but given the fact that the United States has zero influence over Iraqi politics, U.S. forces would be reduced to a never-ending mission of whack-a-mole in an environment in which there is even less trust and more enmity between the Iraqi and U.S. governments. That makes it harder to fight terrorists. (…) There is nothing left for Americans to do in Iraq. American officials and analysts cannot allow themselves to be convinced that the United States must remain in Iraq because if diplomats and military officers try a little harder, things might get better, or because Washington has sunk vast sums into the country, or because it would be handing Iran a victory. The Iranians have already won that battle. And the sooner U.S. policymakers can digest that fact, the better."

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"Trump Administration Blocks Iran’s Top Diplomat From Addressing the U.N. Security Council"

Die US-Regierung hat dem iranischen Außenminister Javad Zarif die Einreise für dessen geplanten Auftritt vor dem UN-Sicherheitsrat in New York verwehrt, obwohl die USA verpflichtet sind, Diplomaten der Vereinten Nationen Zugang zu gewähren. "'Any foreign minister is entitled to address the Security Council at any time and the United States is obligated to provide access to the U.N. headquarters district,' said Larry Johnson, a former U.N. assistant secretary-general. Under the terms of the U.S. agreement with the United Nations, 'they are absolutely obligated to let him in.' Johnson, who currently serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University Law School, noted that the U.S. Congress, however, passed legislation in August 1947, the so-called Public Law 80-357, that granted the U.S. government the authority to bar foreign individuals invited by the United Nations to attend meetings at its New York City headquarters if they are deemed to pose a threat to U.S. national security. But Johnson said the U.S. law would require the individual be 'expected to commit some act against the U.S. national security interest while here in the United States.'"

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