US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

Asia Times


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"No end in sight for US-China consulate tit-for-tat"

Peking hat auf die Schließung des chinesischen Konsulats in Houston mit der Schließung des US-Konsulats in Chengdu geantwortet. Frank Chen erläutert die Hintergründe der Maßnahme, der weitere folgen könnten. "Following US President Donald Trump’s threats to close more Chinese consulates, with the San Francisco outpost getting a special mention, it is also believed that Beijing is preparing to fight back. Beijing may shut Washington’s shop in the northeastern city of Shenyang if the US moves to target Beijing’s people in San Francisco. Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing broadsheet Wenweipo also noted on Friday that refusing to renew the visas of Americans at the city’s consulate could also deal a further blow to Washington. The paper said that even though it would be irrational to close the US consulate in Hong Kong, Beijing could, through the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s office in the territory, tighten visa vetting to 'halve' the number of American diplomats there."

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"US tech giants exposed if China takes Taiwan"

Eine "Übernahme" Taiwans durch China hätte auch auf wirtschaftlicher Ebene erhebliche globale Folgen, schreibt Scott Foster. "Books and articles have expounded on the political, military and geostrategic aspects of the problem, with intriguing maps of the first and second island chains blocking China’s access to the Pacific Ocean. But these analyses about Taiwan’s fate often ignore one of the most worrying aspects of the problem: American reliance on Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturing. As David Arase, professor of international politics at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, notes, 'Even an unsuccessful invasion of Taiwan would cause a supply chain disruption.' (…) TSMC is the world’s largest and most technologically advanced dedicated semiconductor foundry, with about half of the global market for contract chip manufacture. (…) We can imagine what might happen if Taiwan were absorbed by the People’s Republic of China, if Communist Party 'observers' were added to TSMC’s top management and if a Party committee were implanted within its organization."

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"North Korea’s first sister forges ahead"

Der politische Aufstieg der Schwester von Kim Jong Un in der nordkoreanischen Machthierarchie ist einem südkoreanischen Bericht zufolge weiter vorangeschritten. "New evidence suggesting that Kim Yo Jong has been promoted far beyond her former role of first sister and personal assistant to Kim Jong Un keeps cropping up. The latest is a report by the Seoul-based news organization Daily NK that she has been bumped up from alternate member to full member of the Political Bureau of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee. (…) Daily NK is known for doing most of its reporting by speaking on cellphones to people inside North Korea. Its report, if true, tends to confirm my speculation that concludes a July 15 Asia Times analysis of the outlook for the succession to ultimate power in the family dynasty in case Kim Jong Un should die. It would be one more bit of support for my gut view that Kim Yo Jong has been chosen as successor to Kim Jong Un, in case he dies before his own son is old enough to rule – and that she is, for the time being, the regime’s pick to serve in a capacity very close to co-ruler."

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"A second ISIS wave is lurking in the dark"

Faisal al Yafai warnt vor einer "zweiten Welle" weltweiter Terroranschläge des "Islamischen Staates". "Both on the battlefield of ideas and on the real battlefield, a second wave is certainly coming. That wave will crash first across West Africa, where clashes between militant groups and national armies are taking place in every country of the Sahel region. (…) It may have fallen off the front pages of Western media after losing its last sliver of territory in March 2019, but make no mistake, ISIS remains a potent force. In the past 15 months, Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks in places as far afield as Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nigeria – not as the inspiration for those attacks or as commanders issuing the orders from afar, but as actual perpetrators. The threat of extremist ideas proliferating online is as deadly as ever and with the demise of the ISIS proto-state, that threat is even magnified in some ways."

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"China, India standoff more than a war over rocks"

Bertil Lintner zufolge geht es beim Grenzstreit zwischen China und Indien im Himalaja vorrangig nicht um Territorium, sondern um strategische Interessen. "China, it seems, is keen to send a message to India’s neighbors on who now rules the roost in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly at a juncture when India and many of its allies and partners – not the least the United States – struggle to contain Covid-19 outbreaks at home. But while it is understandable that an increasingly assertive China wants to flex its growing muscles while the West is preoccupied with health crises, regional analysts are left to wonder why Beijing appears to be simultaneously shooting itself in the foot by antagonizing other regional countries. Some analysts believe China is flexing its muscles, not just on the Himalayan border but also in the South China Sea and over Taiwan, as a sort of new Cold War litmus test to gauge which nations are willing to openly criticize Beijing’s more assertive posture and which remain reticent."

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"Afghan bounty claim to reset US-Russia relations"

Der frühere indische Diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar vermutet, dass die Berichte über angebliche russische Kopfgeldzahlungen für getötete US-Soldaten das Ziel haben, die Beziehungen der USA zu Russland weiter zu vergiften und Moskaus Einfluss auf die Friedensverhandlungen in Afghanistan zu begrenzen. "(…) it is one of those situations where evidence and proof do not really matter. It is the controversy itself that matters, the dust it raises on the political and diplomatic turf. The focus is on whether Trump actually knew months ago about this intelligence assessment of a Russian bounty and, equally, why the White House National Security Council did not act on it by punishing Russia with more sanctions. (…) The Afghan security agencies presumably played a key role in the unearthing of the unholy Russia-Taliban nexus. Ashraf Ghani’s government in Kabul was never friendly toward Moscow and had all along resented Russia’s attempts to muzzle its way into the intra-Afghan peace talks. (…) The Times controversy will ensure that Russia is kept out of the intra-Afghan peace talks that are due to start in the near future. (…) In the final analysis, what the Times controversy underscores is the deeply entrenched hostility toward Russia across the political aisle in Washington and within the 'Deep State' and the strategic community at large."

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"Philippines challenging China in South China Sea"

Die Philippinen haben Richard Javad Heydarian zufolge vor, sich Chinas territorialen Bestrebungen im Südchinesischen Meer mit stiller Unterstützung der USA entgegenzustellen. "Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials are now lobbying President Rodrigo Duterte to resume stalled energy exploration in the sea to shore up the nation’s sagging energy security and reassert sovereign claim to seabed energy resources contested by China. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is pushing for Chinese compensation for Filipino fishermen who nearly drowned during an incident last year in which a Chinese militia vessel sank their wooden boat, named F/B GimVer 1, in waters near the contested and energy-rich Reed Bank. The distinct and firm shift in the Philippines’ stance vis-à-vis China also reflects the still-strong influence of the country’s defense and foreign policy establishment, which has been skeptical of Duterte’s Beijing-friendly stance from the outset of his tenure."

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"US to blame for new freeze on Korean peninsula"

Ein einflussreicher Berater des südkoreanischen Präsidenten habe seine Zurückhaltung aufgegeben und die US-Regierung für die erneute Verschlechterung der Beziehungen zu Nordkorea verantwortlich gemacht, berichtet Andrew Salmon. "Moon Chung-in is a special advisor to President Moon Jae-in – no relation – on foreign affairs and national security. He was previously a key behind-the-scenes player in previous South Korean administrations that conducted the 'Sunshine Policy' of engagement with North Korea. Respected as one of the most experienced and incisive players in inter-Korean affairs, Moon is also eagerly sought-after due to his outspoken voice. In a meeting with Seoul-based foreign correspondents on Friday, he did not disappoint on either count. He said North Korea’s recent aggression toward South Korea was probably due to Pyongyang’s frustration at Seoul’s inability to follow through on commitments. Seoul cannot deal with Pyongyang because it is beholden to international sanctions and its relationship with Washington, Moon said. Diplomatic and bureaucratic professionals in Washington, Moon said, have not only failed to leverage the goodwill generated between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, but have deliberately dragged relations into the deep freeze."

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"Modi on a precipice after China’s soldier killings"

Der indische Premierminister Modi sei nach dem Zusammenstoß chinesischer und indischer Truppen im Himalaja unter politischen Druck geraten, schreibt Sumit Sharma. "News of the killings sent shockwaves across India with public opinion building for action against China. Some want India’s revenge to begin with canceling projects for Chinese companies and cutting the extensive imports that give China a bilateral trade surplus of about US$53 billion. (…) The Chinese challenge comes at a tough juncture for India but less so for Beijing, some experts suggest. With 355,000 Covid-19 cases, India is the fourth-worst affected country after the United States, Brazil and Russia. China has largely managed to contain the spread of the virus with fewer than 85,000 cases. India’s economic growth has slowed after a 75-day lockdown. (…) In an attempt to get a national consensus, Modi called a meeting of all political parties for June 19. Indian governments have typically taken all political leaders along when deciding on issues such as external aggression. The response to Pakistan’s occupation of higher mountains at Kargil in Ladakh in 1999 was also decided by a consensus of all parties."

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"China’s domestic politics hamstring its diplomacy"

Denny Roy meint, dass die chinesische Führung in ihrer außenpolitischen Reaktion auf die Corona-Pandemie eine diplomatische Gelegenheit verpasst habe. Hauptgrund sei, dass Peking seine internationale Strategie innenpolitischen Erwägungen unterworfen habe. "On balance (…) China’s pandemic diplomacy in the first half of 2020 has clearly failed. (…) The reason for its failure is that China’s international pandemic outreach was an extension of Chinese domestic politics, specifically the insecurity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the regime’s emphasis on promoting the image of paramount leader Xi Jinping. (…) The phenomenon of domestic politics influencing foreign policy is certainly not unique to China. But the peculiarities of the PRC political system, especially in the Xi era, create additional baggage that may keep China from punching its weight as a potential global leader."

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"Nationalism trumps cooperation in virus vaccine race"

Alan Boyd weist darauf hin, dass die Entdeckung eines COVID-19-Impfstoffs mit enormen Profiterwartungen verbunden wäre. Gegenwärtig führe China dieses nationalistisch geprägte Wettrennen um den Impfstoff an. "China has emerged as the leading contender to produce a Covid-19 vaccine as concerns grow that nationalism and commercial interests could frustrate efforts to ensure equal access to an eventual treatment. With three vaccine candidates approved for human testing — from consortia led by CanSino Biologics, Sinovac and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products — Beijing may have the biggest say in that process. (…) Across the Pacific, meanwhile, US President Donald Trump announced an extraordinary national campaign last week involving drug companies, government agencies and the military, code-named 'Operation Warp Speed', to get an approved American vaccine in production by January. Remarkably, the costs of the research will be underwritten by taxpayers, thus shielding private pharmaceutical firms from financial risks incurred, a strategy that mirrors the military-commercial axis employed by China. Health agencies are worried that both countries will give any vaccines to their own populations first, even if there is a greater need elsewhere."

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"How Singapore lost its grip on Covid-19"

Singapur galt international lange als Erfolgsgeschichte im Kampf gegen Covid-19. Mit der Ausbreitung des Coronavirus unter schlecht bezahlten ausländischen Arbeitskräften im Stadtstaat habe sich dieses Bild jedoch dramatisch gewandelt, schreibt Nile Bowie. "Not unlike the two economic realities inhabited by Singapore’s transient workers and its citizens and permanent residents, the outbreak itself has been likened to a tale of two infections. When a record 1,426 new cases were reported on April 20, only 16 cases involved Singaporeans and residents with the vast majority of the infections occurring in foreign worker dormitories. 'Singapore is running two epidemic curves at the moment, there’s outside the dorms and inside the dorms,' said Dale Fisher, a senior infectious diseases consultant at the National University Hospital. 'One is skyrocketing up just like New York and Italy did, and the other one is plateauing down in low double-figures.'"

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"Confucius is winning the Covid-19 war"

Pepe Escobar stellt die angeblich "gelassene" Reaktion von Millionen Asiaten der "Furcht, Panik und Hysterie" gegenüber, die die Corona-Pandemie im Westen ausgelöst habe. Er macht dafür weniger politische als kulturelle Gründe verantwortlich: "Berlin-based, South Korean-born philosopher Byung-Chul Han has forcefully argued the victors are the 'Asian states like Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore that have an authoritarian mentality which comes from their cultural tradition [of] Confucianism.' (...) That’s a reductionist view and plenty of nuances should apply. Take South Korea, which is not 'authoritarian.' It’s as democratic as top Western liberal powers. What we had in a nutshell was the civic-mindedness of the overwhelming majority of the population reacting to sound, competent government policies. (…) I offer, as a working hypothesis, that the Asia triad of Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu has been absolutely essential in shaping the perception and serene response of hundreds of millions of people across various Asian nations to Covid-19. Compare this with the prevalent fear, panic and hysteria mostly fed by the corporate media across the West."

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"How China brought the world to a standstill"

Nach Ansicht von Gordon Watts kann kaum ein Zweifel daran bestehen, dass China für die schnelle globale Ausbreitung von Covid-19 mitverantwortlich ist. Nun wolle Peking die Gelegenheit nutzen, die durch die Pandemie entstanden sei. "'Beijing’s late, inadequate and skewed information disclosures accelerated the virus’ global spread. China’s manipulation of information continues to hamper response efforts. Now, as the world wrestles with the pandemic, and its human, economic and social costs, Beijing is maneuvering to 'seize the opportunity' that the crisis presents,' a report by Horizon Advisory, a consultancy in Washington and New York which tracks Chinese government and economic activity, revealed. ''At present, the Covid-19 situation has been contained in China; most regions have resumed work and production … It is possible to turn the crisis into an opportunity – to increase the trust and the dependence of all countries around the world of [the] 'Made in China' [concept],'' Han Jian, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, wrote earlier this month, according to the Horizon study, compiled by co-founders Emily de La Bruyere and Nate Picarsic."

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"Turkey used buses, beatings to push migrant wave"

Die türkische Regierung steuere den Zustrom von Flüchtlingen und Migranten an die Grenze zu Griechenland, um die EU je nach Verhandlungslage gezielt unter Druck zu setzen, schreibt Ahmad Zaza. "Turkey’s refugee population, namely Syrians welcomed at the height of its support for the rebellion next door, are now seen as both a burden and a tool to be used in negotiations. For the past two weeks, Ankara has encouraged or coerced its migrant population to seek entry to Europe’s eastern flank, Greece. (…) Erdogan’s administration, which accuses Brussels of not holding up its end of the bargain, is looking to negotiate a better deal in the wake of renewed violence in Idlib. Turkey’s tactics of the past two weeks offer a window into what it could be willing to do to achieve that."

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"Putin may be compelled to hand Idlib to the Turks"

Anlässlich des Moskau-Besuchs von Präsident Erdogan hält Stephen Bryen es für möglich, dass es zu einem russisch-türkischen Deal kommen könnte, der Ankara faktisch die Kontrolle über die syrische Idlib-Provinz überträgt. Für die Assad-Regierung wäre dies "verhängnisvoll". "If the Russians let the fight continue there is little doubt that the Syrian army will be defeated in Idlib, a major blow to the Assad regime. It will also be a clear setback to the Iranians and Hezbollah, whose fighters are also under Turkish attack and have suffered an unknown number of casualties. But Russia has little choice. (…) Turkey has already shown its willingness to pour front line troops into the Idlib conflict. Therefore, it is not exactly a cease fire that is on the table in Moscow. Rather, what is on the table is a major concession giving control of Idlib to Turkey. No matter how the deal is packaged, if that is the outcome it could be fatal for Assad’s government. If Assad is incapable of defending his territory and has lost the practical support of Russia in defending his borders, his government could collapse as Assad’s supporters will start running for cover or deposing him to cut a deal with the opposition forces in the country."

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"How the coronavirus crisis destroyed the Xi 'myth'"

Die Coronavirus-Epidemie habe den sorgfältig aufgebauten "Mythos" um den chinesischen Präsidenten Xi Jinping wahrscheinlich nachhaltig zerstört, schreibt Gordon Watts. Die chinesischen Behörden gingen derzeit hart gegen Kritiker der Staatsführung vor und die Medienmaschine setze alles daran, Xi und den inneren Kreis der Kommunistischen Partei zu schützen. Der angerichtete Image-Schaden sei trotzdem unübersehbar. "A climate of 'fear' now exists as China’s central government closes down chatrooms of dissent. Moreover, every aspect of the coronavirus coverage on state-run media has Xi at the center of the message. Even so, that has failed to hide the damage which has been inflicted on the country’s political elite, especially after the death of 'People’s Martyr' and Wuhan whistleblower Li Wenliang. (…) academic Yuen Yuen Ang, of the University of Michigan, has peered into her crystal ball and concluded that 'Chinese politics and governance will not be the same' after the epidemic has finally been eradicated. 'Xi cannot avoid blame for the backlash against his restrictive domestic policies and assertive actions abroad, which had already begun to undercut support for him even before the epidemic. With the death of Li Wenliang, a doctor who was rebuked by state authorities for warning others about the virus, the failings of Xi’s top-down approach have been laid bare,' she said in a commentary for Project Syndicate. 'The myth that Xi and his supporters have sustained about the virtues of centralized control has been demolished.'"

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"Coronavirus solidifies US-China decoupling"

Der Ausbruch des Coronavirus habe das Tempo der geopolitischen "Entkopplung" zwischen West und dem Ost beschleunigt, schreibt Christina Lin. "In November 2019, Henry Kissinger was in Beijing for the Bloomberg Next Economy Forum, warning that the US and China are in the 'foothills of a Cold War', saying that conflict could be worse than World War I if left to run unconstrained. These comments came in the context of escalating tensions in recent years over trade, increasing rhetoric of military conflict over Taiwan and the South China, Sea, accusations of espionage and influence campaigns, and an all-out competition to define the norms and values underpinning the international order. One month later in December, there was an outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, which resulted in worldwide panic and the de facto quarantine of the Chinese economy via city lockdowns, business shutdowns, and travel bans from the international community. (…) In recent years, China watchers have been growing alarmed at the rapid deterioration of US-China relations. Nowadays, it is common to hear arguments warning of a split of the global economy into mutually exclusive American and Chinese spheres of influence. The former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has warned that if indeed we arrive at a fully ‘decoupled world’, it would herald the return of an 'iron curtain' between the East and the West, and 'the beginning of a new conventional and nuclear arms race with all its attendant strategic instability and risk.'"

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"Virus threatens to wipe out millions of businesses"

In China könnte der Ausbruch des Coronavirus Gordon Watts zufolge schwerwiegende wirtschaftliche Folgen haben. "Millions of small businesses in China could be destroyed by the coronavirus outbreak, which has swept across the country, threatening 'social stability.' Painting a picture of industrial chaos, Huang Qifan, the vice-chairman of the National People’s Congress Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, warned that the impact of the newly-named Covid-19 disease was 'scarier than the epidemic itself.' (…) Beijing has already started to roll out a substantial stimulus package. But this will only kick-in once the country gets back to work, which is the elusive one-trillion-dollar question."

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"On Trump’s demand that Japan pay more for security"

Nicht nur Südkorea, auch Japan soll nach dem Willen des US-Präsidenten künftig sehr viel mehr für die Stationierung von US-Truppen auf eigenem Territorium bezahlen. Scott Foster betrachtet die Forderung vor dem Hintergrund der Bemühungen der japanischen Regierung, die eigenen Militärausgaben deutlich zu erhöhen. Er warnt davor, das Bündnis leichtfertig aufs Spiel zu setzen. "Would we really want Japan to go it alone, perhaps fueled by resentment at being abandoned by the country it has relied upon and looked up to since 1945, considering that Japan’s trade with China is greater than its trade with the US, that Japan and Russia are a natural economic fit and have a shared interest in offsetting China and that Japan has no interest in America’s fight with Iran? Would America be happy to retreat to Guam, Hawaii and the West Coast, abandoning an alliance with the world’s third largest and second most sophisticated economy? How would China, Southeast Asia and Australia react to this? Japan is America’s front line in the Western Pacific, America has Japan’s back, and together they are far more powerful than China. How valuable is that?"

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"Timeline charts rising toll of coronavirus"

Die Asia Time verlinkt zu einer Karte des Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, auf der die weltweite Ausbreitung des Coronavirus und die Zahl registrierter Ansteckungen und Todesfälle live verfolgt werden können. "After the single-biggest daily increase in deaths – 57 – the 362 fatalities from the new coronavirus passes the 349 mainland deaths from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis in 2002-2003. But with 19,856 confirmed infections, the mortality rate for the new coronavirus is far lower at around 2.1%, compared with 9.6% for SARS."

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"Syrians enlist in Libya war day after Berlin talks"

Einen Tag nach der Berliner Libyen-Konferenz könne im Norden Syriens immer noch beobachtet werden, wie Rekruten sich registrieren lassen, um in Libyen für die Türkei und die Regierung in Tripolis zu kämpfen, berichtet Ahmad Zaza. "'The registration of fighters to go to Libya is continuing until this moment,' an Asia Times correspondent in Syria reported Monday afternoon, after visiting one of three recruitment centers in the Turkish-dominated northern countryside of Aleppo. Approximately 800 Syrian men are currently preparing to go to Libya, an official with Syria’s opposition Ministry of Defense told Asia Times on condition of anonymity. (…) 'Every man who wants to go fight in Libya gets a monthly salary of $2,000. His family will receive $50,000 if he is killed in battle there, and he will be awarded $35,000 in case of permanent injury,' the source said. At least 2,000 fighters are currently undergoing training in Turkey or have already been flown to Libya and deployed to frontline positions, according to a January 15 report in the UK newspaper The Guardian."

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"Beijing needs to listen to HK’s 'silent majority'"

Das Ergebnis der Kommunalwahlen in Hongkong hat gezeigt, dass sich die chinesische Regierung angesichts der andauernden Proteste keineswegs auf eine stille prochinesische Mehrheit stützen kann. Es sei völlig offen, wie Peking auf die unerwartete öffentliche Unterstützung der Protestbewegung reagieren wird, schreibt Stephen Vines. "It is clear that the so-called ‘silent majority’ has spoken not only securing 86% of the 452 seats up for election but also knocking out some of the biggest names in the pro-China camp. The tsunami of votes for the Democrats even dislodged incumbents in Hong Kong’s ‘red’ districts, supposedly unflinchingly loyal to Beijing. (…) The pro-China camp has been quick to moan about the unfairness of the election, saying that the atmosphere of violence put them at a disadvantage. But the facts of the matter are that a peaceful poll was carried out with the participation of almost 73% of the electorate. This is almost double the turnout figure for the last district elections four years ago. (…) The Chinese Communist Party has no history of backing down in the face of protests and has little experience of responding to independent elections. It is quite possible that it will instruct its ciphers in Hong Kong to simply ignore the result. However, even members of the pro-China camp are now urging their bosses to get rid of Lam and to think of ways to reduce tension by going some way to meet the protestor’s demands."

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"Vandalism is a necessary tactic, say HK vanguard"

Einige Aktivisten in Hongkong hätten Vandalismus als "notwendige Taktik" ihrer Proteste verteidigt, berichtet Jeff Pao. "Vandalizing shops and blocking roads may make life unpleasant for Hong Kong’s residents, but it is the only effective way to put pressure on the government, according to protesters interviewed by Asia Times in Central on Wednesday. Sam, a 25-year-old teacher, said he disapproved of violence but acknowledged that it was the only way protesters could advance their cause. (…) He said that through the disruption of Hong Kong business activities and property damage, the business sector may eventually feel compelled to help the protesters by pressuring the government to agree to a compromise. He said he would never assault people but added that it was acceptable to vandalize shops and banks as properties can be repaired."

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"5G policy 'biggest strategic disaster in US history'"

Ein Berater des US-Präsidenten hat David P. Goldman zufolge davor gewarnt, dass die USA bei der Weichenstellung für die kommenden 5G-Netzwerke vor dem "größten strategischen Desaster der US-Geschichte" stehen könnten. Der US-Regierung sei es nicht gelungen, China eine prominente Rolle beim globalen 5G-Ausbau zu verwehren. Hinzu kämen eigene Versäumnisse wie eine inkompetente Regulierung und Fehler von US-Unternehmen. "The adviser has urged President Trump to make a radical policy shift to ensure that the United States isn’t late to roll out 5G. The US president hasn’t yet made a decision, the adviser said. The US military controls most of the spectrum that civilian 5G broadband would use, and the major US telecom providers are holding back from a full commitment to 5G, the adviser added. (…) If President Trump backs away from the global campaign against Huawei championed by US intelligence agencies and focuses instead on accelerating America’s own 5G rollout, prospects for an early end to the US-China trade war will improve markedly. China doesn’t like American pressure to reduce the bilateral trade deficit but is willing to buy more US agricultural products and energy to placate a protectionist president. American attempts to stifle Huawei, though, are viewed by China as an existential issue: If the United States can’t accept the fact that China has taken leadership in an important field of technology, the Chinese believe, it means that America wants to stifle China’s development. In that case, China would hunker down for a long-term trade war."

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"Rebuilding Syria – without Syria’s oil"

Pepe Escobar betrachtet das erste Treffen des neuen Verfassungskomitees für Syrien in Genf als hoffnungsvolles Zeichen. Der Erfolg der Verhandlungen hänge allerdings auch von den Entwicklungen vor Ort ab. Aktuell sei dies z.B. ein türkischer Vorstoß gegen die Stadt Tal Tamr, die sich mit 50km Entfernung zur Grenze deutlich außerhalb der von Ankara beanspruchten Sicherheitszone befinde. "Then there’s the nagging issue that simply won’t go away: the American drive to 'secure the oil' (Trump) and 'protect' Syrian oilfields (the Pentagon), for all practical purposes from Syria. (…) All across the Global South, especially among countries in the Non-Aligned Movement, this is being interpreted, stripped to the bone, for what it is: the United States government illegally taking possession of natural resources of a third country via a military occupation. (…) Under international law, the whole 'securing the oil' scam is a euphemism for pillaging, pure and simple. Every single takfiri or jihadi outfit operating across the 'Greater Middle East' will converge, perversely, to the same conclusion: US 'efforts' across the lands of Islam are all about the oil. Now compare that with Russia-Iran-Turkey’s active involvement in a political solution and normalization of Syria – not to mention, behind the scenes, China, which quietly donates rice and aims for widespread investment in a pacified Syria positioned as a key Eastern Mediterranean node of the New Silk Roads."

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"Vladimir Putin, Syria’s pacifier-in-chief"

Nach Ansicht von Pepe Escobar spielen die Pipeline-Pläne Irans, Iraks und Syriens im Hintergrund der aktuellen Ereignisse in Nordsyrien immer noch eine entscheidende Rolle. "As I have argued for years, Syria to a large extent has been a key 'Pipelineistan' war – not only in terms of pipelines inside Syria, and the US preventing Damascus from commercializing its own natural resources, but most of all around the fate of the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline which was agreed in a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012. This pipeline has, over the years, always been a red line, not only for Washington but also for Doha, Riyadh and Ankara. The situation should dramatically change when the $200 billion-worth of reconstruction in Syria finally takes off after a comprehensive peace deal is in place. It will be fascinating to watch the European Union – after NATO plotted for an 'Assad must go' regime change operation for years – wooing Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus with financial offers for their gas. NATO explicitly supported the Turkish offensive 'Operation Peace Spring.' And we haven’t even seen the ultimate geoeconomic irony yet: NATO member, Turkey, purged of its neo-Ottoman dreams, merrily embracing the Gazprom-supported Iran-Iraq-Syria 'Pipelineistan' road map."

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"Lebanese army prepares to step in as nation revolts"

Alison Tahmizian Meuse zufolge gibt es Anzeichen, die darauf hindeuten, dass die libanesische Armee eine gewaltsame Eskalation der Massenproteste gegen die Regierung verhindern möchte. "The leadership of the Lebanese armed forces was carefully gaging a nationwide protest movement on Tuesday — as ruling political factions scrambled to contain a massive eruption of discontent. A video showing Lebanese soldiers forcefully stopping dozens of motorcyclists – purported supporters of the Shiite party Hezbollah and its ally Amal – from attacking protesters in central Beirut late Monday night, went viral on social media, spreading from mobile phones to the airwaves. (...) The composition of, and support for the Lebanese army, cuts across sectarian lines, and it is seen as a clean institution in comparison to the corrupt political class. It also enjoys the backing of the United States. 'There is little doubt that the [army] may be called upon to act in favor of civil peace again, and decisively,' said Nerguizian. The army is already deeply involved in managing and monitoring the situation, with 'all operational units currently involved in internal stability operations.'"

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"US military pivoting from Mideast"

Christina Lin macht darauf aufmerksam, dass das US-Militär seine Truppenpräsenz zuletzt nicht nur in Syrien, sondern auch in Katar reduziert habe. Sie interpretiert dies als Ausdruck eines Strategiewechsels der USA im Nahen Osten und meint, dass die EU in einer Art Arbeitsteilung die Rolle als neue Ordnungsmacht in der Region übernehmen könnte. "Trans-Atlantic relations would likely evolve into a new division of labor, with the EU assuming more responsibility for its eastern and southern neighborhood, while the US focuses on the Asia-Pacific rim. This is due to increasing divergent interests and a threat-perception gap, which was recently punctuated at the United Nations, where the US and Russia blocked an EU-drafted resolution on NATO member Turkey’s invasion of Syria. (...) And as the US continues to pivot away from the Mideast, one ponders if the stage is set for the EU army, perhaps more so than Iran, Russia or others, to rise up as the new security guarantor for the Euro-Mediterranean region."

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"Hong Kong’s failing revolution"

Der in Peking lebende italienische China-Experte Francesco Sisci erinnert angesichts der revolutionären Forderungen der Protestierenden in Hongkong daran, dass die meisten Revolutionen in der Geschichte gescheitert seien. Der chinesischen Regierung empfiehlt er deshalb Geduld. "From what we can see, the best policy for Beijing is not a crackdown but to let the movement eat itself from within, and thus show to the domestic Chinese public and the world the results of unrestrained 'democratic' demands and wanton violence. We could call it an evolution of the 'Qiao Shi' method. In the face of this 'revolutionary chaos,' Beijing conversely will show restraint and benevolence in not deploying tanks for a bloody crackdown, and yet firmness in not giving in to extremists. (...) Eventually everything could peter out in months or years. In time, this could all play out in favor of the authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing. And perhaps it is right to be so. In a revolution, the government needs only to hold out and keep its nerve; it is the protesters who have to think of ways to score a victory."

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Wo gibt es Kriege und Gewaltkonflikte? Und wo herrscht am längsten Frieden? Welches Land gibt am meisten für Rüstung aus? liefert wichtige Daten und Fakten zu Krieg und Frieden.

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

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