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US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The New York Times


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"F.B.I. Releases Newly Declassified Document Related to Sept. 11 Attacks"


Die US-Bundespolizei FBI habe ein bisher unter Verschluss gehaltenes Dokument zur möglichen Rolle der Regierung Saudi-Arabiens bei den Terroranschlägen vom 11. September 2001 veröffentlicht, beobachten Mark Mazzetti und Michael Schmidt. "Some members of the commission that investigated the 2001 attacks believed that if the Saudi government had any role in the plot, it was likely to have involved consular officials. But the document released on Saturday provided no new conclusive evidence about the Saudi government's role. Speculation around the possible Saudi role increased over the years because of the government's refusal to declassify 28 pages of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks that specifically addressed possible connections between the kingdom and the terrorist plot."

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"Facebook sent flawed data to misinformation researchers."


Facebook habe fehlerhafte Daten an Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler weitergeleitet, welche die Verbreitung von Falschnachrichten untersuchten, erklärt Davey Alba. "The data included the interactions of only about half of Facebook's U.S. users - the ones who engaged with political pages enough to make their political leanings clear - not all of them as the company had said. (…) 'This undermines trust researchers may have in Facebook,' said Cody Buntain, an assistant professor and social media researcher at the New Jersey Institute of Technology who was part of the group of researchers, known as Social Science One, who have been given the user activity information. (…) This is the second time in recent weeks that researchers and journalists have found discrepancies in the data sets Facebook has provided for more transparency on the platform."

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"A Qatari jet carries more than 100 foreigners from Kabul."


Erstmals seit dem Ende der Evakuierungsaktion der USA und anderer Staaten habe ein internationales Passagierflugzeug Afghanistan verlassen, schreiben Victor Blue, Sami Sahak und Marc Santora. "The first passenger flight to leave Afghanistan since the frenzied U.S. military evacuation ended late last month arrived in Doha, the Qatari capital, on Thursday with more than 100 foreigners, including Americans, aboard, and Biden administration officials said they expected more such flights in coming days. (...) The flight was the first step in resolving a diplomatic impasse that has left scores of Americans and other international workers stranded in Afghanistan. However, there has been no indication that the Taliban will allow tens of thousands of Afghans who qualify for emergency American visas to leave."

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"Biden Moves to Declassify Some Documents Related to Sept. 11"


Präsident Joe Biden habe das US-Justizministerium und weitere Behörden angewiesen, die Veröffentlichung geheimer Dokumente zu den Terroranschlägen am 11. September 2001 auf die USA zu prüfen, beobachtet Annie Karni. "For years, families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks have pushed the federal government to reveal more information about any Saudi involvement in financing the attacks. (…) It is not clear what documents the Justice Department will release when its review is complete."

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"Facebook Said to Consider Forming an Election Commission"


Facebook erwäge die Berufung einer Kommission, die das Unternehmen bei Fragen rund um Wahlen beraten soll, bemerken Sheera Frenkel, Mike Isaac und Ryan Mac. "Facebook has approached academics and policy experts about forming a commission to advise it on global election-related matters, said five people with knowledge of the discussions, a move that would allow the social network to shift some of its political decision-making to an advisory body. The proposed commission could decide on matters such as the viability of political ads and what to do about election-related misinformation, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were confidential. (…) Outsourcing election matters to a panel of experts could help Facebook sidestep criticism of bias by political groups, two of the people said."

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"Biden Sticks to Afghan Deadline, Resisting Pleas to Extend Evacuation"


Die USA hielten an ihrem Vorhaben fest, bis Monatsende sämtliche Truppen aus Afghanistan abzuziehen, konstatieren Mark Landler und Michael D. Shear. "President Biden said Tuesday that the United States intended to withdraw completely from Afghanistan at the end of the month as planned, rebuffing pleas from Britain, France and other NATO allies to keep troops in Kabul and hastening the end of a frantic evacuation that has become a grim coda to two decades of war. (...) Even as Mr. Biden spoke from the White House, officials said the United States had already begun to reduce its military presence at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, sending about 300 of the 5,800 Marines and soldiers home in anticipation of the conclusion of their rescue mission within a week."

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"ISIS Poses 'Acute' Threat to U.S. Evacuation Efforts in Kabul, Sullivan Says"


Der Nationale Sicherheitsberater von US-Präsident Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, habe vor einem Terroranschlag des sogenannten "Islamischen Staates" auf den Flughafen in Kabul gewarnt, schreibt Eric Schmitt. "President Biden's national security adviser warned on Sunday that the threat of a terrorist attack by the Islamic State posed a serious danger to the administration's evacuation of thousands of Americans and Afghan allies from the international airport in Kabul. 'The threat is real. It is acute. It is persistent. And it is something that we are focused on with every tool in our arsenal,' Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said on CNN's 'State of the Union.'"

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"With Afghan Collapse, Moscow Takes Charge in Central Asia"


Russland habe in Folge der faktischen Machtübernahme der Taliban in Afghanistan an Einfluss in Zentralasien gewonnen, erklären Andrew Kramer und Anton Troianovski. "The strengthening of Russia's position in Central Asian security matters is part of a broader shift brought about by the Taliban's rise to power. Russia, China and Pakistan all stand to gain influence in regional affairs with the West's withdrawal, while the United States and India stand to lose. 'I'm thinking of this as a post-Western or post-U.S. space now,' said Alexander Cooley, director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, and an authority on Central Asia. 'It's a region transforming itself without the United States.' And largely to Russia's benefit."

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"Intelligence Warned of Afghan Military Collapse, Despite Biden's Assurances"


Die US-Geheimdienste hätten frühzeitig vor einem schnellen Kollaps des afghanischen Militärs gewarnt, stellen Julian Barnes, Adam Goldman und Mark Mazzetti fest. "One report in July - as dozens of Afghan districts were falling and Taliban fighters were laying siege to several major cities - laid out the growing risks to Kabul, noting that the Afghan government was unprepared for a Taliban assault, according to a person familiar with the intelligence. Intelligence agencies predicted that should the Taliban seize cities, a cascading collapse could happen rapidly and the Afghan security forces were at high risk of falling apart."

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"Biden stands behind Afghan withdrawal, despite 'hard and messy' final days."


Präsident Joe Biden habe seine Entscheidung verteidigt, die US-Truppen aus Afghanistan abzuziehen, berichten David Sanger und Michael Shear. "Speaking to the American people from the East Room after returning briefly to the White House from Camp David, Mr. Biden said he had no regrets about his decision to end the longest war in United States history. But he lamented that two decades of support failed to turn the Afghan military into a force capable of securing its own country. (…) 'Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country,' he said, accusing the military of laying down its arms after two decades of U.S. training and hundreds of billions of dollars in equipment and resources."

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"U.S. Signals It Will Release Some Still-Secret Files on Saudi Arabia and 9/11"


Die US-Regierung erwäge, bislang unter Verschluss gehaltene Akten zu den Terroranschlägen vom 11. September zu veröffentlichen, schreiben Katie Rogers, Heather Murphy und Charlie Savage. "The Biden administration, under pressure from families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, said on Monday that it intended to disclose some long-classified documents that the families think could detail connections between the government of Saudi Arabia and the hijackers who carried out the attacks. (...) In a court filing in long-running litigation brought by the victims' families against Saudi Arabia, the Justice Department said that the F.B.I. 'recently' closed a portion of its investigation into the terrorist attacks and was beginning a review of documents that it had previously said must remain secret with an eye toward disclosing more of them."

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"South Africa Is Falling Apart"


William Shoki beschreibt die jüngsten Entwicklungen in Südafrika: "In the past few weeks, South Africa was gripped by the biggest explosion of unrest in decades. Shopping malls and warehouses were looted, supply trucks attacked and businesses destroyed. At least 337 people died. (…) President Cyril Ramaphosa has since sought to calm the country, suggesting the worst is over. But it doesn't feel that way. In fact, the events of the past weeks have demonstrated a bleak truth about the country. The deep rot of South Africa's social and political order - rife with racial tension, communal mistrust, injustice and corruption - is now on full display. The rainbow nation, supposed beacon of reconciliation, is falling apart."

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"Disinformation for Hire, a Shadow Industry, Is Quietly Booming"


Private Firmen, deren Geschäftsmodell die Verbreitung von Desinformationen ist, gewönnen an Bedeutung, konstatiert Max Fisher. "Private firms, straddling traditional marketing and the shadow world of geopolitical influence operations, are selling services once conducted principally by intelligence agencies. They sow discord, meddle in elections, seed false narratives and push viral conspiracies, mostly on social media. And they offer clients something precious: deniability. 'Disinfo-for-hire actors being employed by government or government-adjacent actors is growing and serious', said Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, calling it 'a boom industry'."

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"Constant but Camouflaged, Flurry of Cyberattacks Offer Glimpse of New Era"


Einst als eine neue Art der Kriegsführung gedacht, seien von Regierungen beauftragte Hackerangriffe inzwischen ein weitverbreitetes und vielleicht dauerhaftes Merkmal der globalen Ordnung geworden, konstatiert Max Fisher. "Governments have become cannier at exploiting the connectivity of the digital era to advance their interests and weaken their enemies. So have freelance hackers who often sell their services to states, blurring the line between international cyberconflict and everyday crime. (…) Rather than resembling a new kind of war, hacking is coming to play a role in the 21st century much like espionage did in the 20th, analysts and former officials believe. It is a never-ending cat-and-mouse game played by small states and great powers alike."

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"How China Transformed Into a Prime Cyber Threat to the U.S."


Die Cyberaktivitäten Chinas hätten sich im vergangenen Jahrzehnt verändert, stellt Nicole Perlroth fest. "While it once conducted relatively unsophisticated hacks of foreign companies, think tanks and government agencies, China is now perpetrating stealthy, decentralized digital assaults of American companies and interests around the world. Hacks that were conducted via sloppily worded spearphishing emails by units of the People's Liberation Army are now carried out by an elite satellite network of contractors at front companies and universities that work at the direction of China's Ministry of State Security, according to U.S. officials and the indictment. While phishing attacks remain, the espionage campaigns have gone underground and employ sophisticated techniques."

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"China Criticized the Afghan War. Now It Worries About the Withdrawal."


Die chinesische Führung sei besorgt, dass der Abzug der internationalen Truppen aus Afghanistan die zentralasiatische Region destabilisieren könnte, bemerkt Steven Lee Myers. "(…) China fears that the breakdown of order in Afghanistan could spill out of the country to other neighbors, including Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Pakistan. (…) 'We don't want to see a turbulent country around us that becomes such a soil for terrorist activities,' said Li Wei, an analyst at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a research organization in Beijing affiliated with the Ministry of State Security."

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"Russia's most aggressive ransomware group disappeared. It's unclear who disabled them."


Die Webseite der Hackergruppe REvil sei seit Dienstagmorgen nicht mehr erreichbar, bemerkt David Sanger. "The mystery is who made it happen. The group, called REvil, short for 'Ransomware evil,' has been identified by U.S. intelligence agencies as responsible for the attack on one of America's largest beef producers, JBS. Two weeks after Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin met in Geneva last month, REvil took credit for a hack that affected thousands of businesses around the world over the July 4 holiday. (…) While the disappearance of the hackers' online presence was celebrated by many who see ransomware as a new scourge - one Mr. Biden has called a critical national security threat - it left some of the group's targets in the lurch, unable to pay the ransom to get their data back and get their businesses running again."

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"A magnet for exploitation: Haiti over the centuries."


Seit der Gründung Haitis sei das Land Spielball der Interessen anderer Staaten, analysieren Selam Gebrekidan und Constant Méheut. "For decades, European powers, and later the United States, refused to recognize it as an independent republic. (…) Haiti, with a population of 11 million, is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere."

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"Taliban Try to Polish Their Image as They Push for Victory"


Die Taliban versuchten, sich als effektive Gouverneure zu profilieren und ihren Ruf zu verbessern, beobachten Thomas Gibbons-Neff und Najim Rahim. "But the signs that the Taliban have not reformed are increasingly clear: An assassination campaign against government workers, civil society leaders and security forces continues on pace. There is little effort to proceed with peace talks with the Afghan government, despite commitments made to the United States. And in areas the insurgents have seized, women are being forced out of public-facing roles, and girls out of schools, undoing many of the gains from the past 20 years of Western presence."

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"Ethiopia Leader, Stung by World Condemnation, Denies Troops Were Defeated"


Äthiopiens Premierminister Abiy Ahmed bestreite, dass seine Truppen in Tigray besiegt worden seien, schreibt Simon Marks. "In his first comments since Ethiopia suddenly ended its military operation in the northern region of Tigray, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that his army units had been ambushed and 'massacred' while passing through villages, but that any claims that his military had been defeated were 'a lie.' (…) Tigrayan leaders, who say they have reconstituted themselves as the government of Tigray, said in a statement on Monday: 'The brave Tigray army, in a manner that's difficult to explain, has destroyed enemy forces and is following the fleeing remnants and crushing them.'"

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"Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Secretary During Iraq War, Is Dead at 88"


Robert McFadden skizziert den Lebensweg und die politische Laufbahn des ehemaligen US-Verteidigungsministers Donald Rumsfeld, der am Dienstag im Alter von 88 Jahren verstarb: "Donald H. Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense for Presidents Gerald R. Ford and George W. Bush, who presided over America's Cold War strategies in the 1970s and, in the new world of terrorism decades later, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, died on Tuesday at his home in Taos, N.M. (…) His complex character - he was a creative and dedicated reformer to admirers, a vain and egotistical bully to detractors - was the subject of endless debate and analysis in public forums, newspaper and magazine articles, television documentaries and books."

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"Russian Mercenaries Are Driving War Crimes in Africa, U.N. Says"


UN-Ermittlern zufolge hätten russische Söldnertruppen während einer Militäroperation Anfang des Jahres in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik Zivilisten getötet, Häuser geplündert und Gläubige in einer Moschee erschossen, schreibt Declan Walsh. "The accusations of atrocities are documented in a report for the U.N. Security Council that was obtained by The New York Times and that details abuses tied to the contentious Russian involvement in the Central African Republic, an impoverished yet mineral-rich country that has been locked in civil war for nearly a decade. Russian mercenaries, deployed in the guise of unarmed military advisers, led government forces into battle during an offensive to oust rebels from several towns in January and February, the report found. And as well as committing abuses, the Russian operatives established themselves in the major mining centers of a country with large reserves of diamonds."

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"In France's Military, Muslims Find a Tolerance That Is Elusive Elsewhere"


Constant Méheut und Norimitsu Onishi beleuchten die Situation muslimischer Soldatinnen und Soldaten in Frankreichs Militär: "For the past two decades, as France's Muslim population has sought a greater role in the nation, officials have often tried to restrict Islam's public presence under an increasingly strict interpretation of French secularism, known as laïcité. (…) But one major institution has gone in the opposite direction: the military. The armed forces have carved out a place for Islam equal to France's more established faiths - by hewing to a more liberal interpretation of laïcité. Imams became chaplains in 2005. Mosques have been built on bases in France and across the world, including in Deir Kifa, where some 700 French soldiers help a United Nations force keep peace in southern Lebanon. Halal rations are on offer. Muslim holidays are recognized. Work schedules are adjusted to allow Muslim soldiers to attend Friday Prayer."

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"On the Front Line: A Night With Afghan Commandos"


Jim Huylebroek schildert das Vorgehen einer afghanischen Eliteeinheit während einer nächtlichen Operation gegen die Taliban: "As the city lights faded and the Soviet-era military helicopter banked over the fields and canals of southern Afghanistan one night in May, the Afghan commandos on board made their final checks, looking at maps and adjusting their weapons before turning on their night-vision goggles. (…) The efficiency and professionalism of the operation, carried out by one of the commando corps' smaller and more elite tiers, was a far cry from most units within the Afghan security forces, who often try to hold the line with dwindling supplies, unsteady pay checks and constant attacks."

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"Saudi Operatives Who Killed Khashoggi Received Paramilitary Training in U.S."


Vier saudische Agenten, die an der Tötung des Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi beteiligt gewesen sein sollen, hätten zuvor eine paramilitärische Ausbildung in den USA erhalten, schreiben Julian Barnes, Michael LaForgia und Mark Mazzetti. "The training was provided by the Arkansas-based security company Tier 1 Group, which is owned by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. The company says the training - including 'safe marksmanship' and 'countering an attack' - was defensive in nature and devised to better protect Saudi leaders. (…) There is no evidence that the American officials who approved the training or Tier 1 Group executives knew that the Saudis were involved in the crackdown inside Saudi Arabia. But the fact that the government approved high-level military training for operatives who went on to carry out the grisly killing of a journalist shows how intensely intertwined the United States has become with an autocratic nation even as its agents committed horrific human rights abuses."

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"U.S. Blocks Websites Linked to Iran at Key Point in Nuclear Talks"


Die US-Regierung habe am Dienstag den Zugang zu mehreren Webseiten blockiert, die mit Iran in Verbindung stünden, erläutern Katie Benner, Farnaz Fassihi und Lara Jakes. "One U.S. national security official said the websites, about three dozen in all, were linked to disinformation efforts by Iran and other groups backed by Tehran. A few involved terrorist organizations that targeted coalition forces stationed overseas, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the operation before it was announced. The spokesman for Iran's mission to the United Nations, Shahrokh Nazemi, said the United States was trying to muzzle free speech."

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"Departure of U.S. Contractors Poses Myriad Problems for Afghan Military"


In Folge des Abzugs der US-amerikanischen Truppen aus Afghanistan würden auch zahlreiche internationale, private Sicherheitsdienstleister das Land verlassen, stellen Helene Cooper, Thomas Gibbons-Neff und Eric Schmitt fest. Dies stelle das afghanische Militär vor Herausforderungen: "It is heavily reliant on American and other foreign contractors for repairs, maintenance, fueling, training and other jobs necessary to keep their forces operating, and those contractors are now departing along with the American military, leaving a void that leaders on both sides say could be crippling to Afghan forces as they face the Taliban alone. The problem is especially acute for the Afghan Air Force. Not only does the small but professional fleet provide air support to beleaguered troops, but it is also essential to supplying and evacuating hundreds of outposts and bases across the country - the quickly thinning line that separates government and Taliban-controlled territory."

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"Elite Afghan Forces Suffer Horrific Casualties as Taliban Advance"


Mindestens 24 afghanische Spezialeinsatzkräfte und fünf Polizisten seien im nordafghanischen Bezirk Dawlat Abad von den Taliban getötet worden, schreiben Thomas Gibbons-Neff und Najim Rahim. "It was a profound blow to the elite force at a time when such troops often serve as the only units keeping the insurgents from capturing more territory. (…) 'When the Taliban came to Dawlat Abad, they surrounded the commandos and killed them in less than an hour,' said Mohammad Hakim, a militia commander who escaped the district. What happened in Faryab is playing out in districts across the country, at an alarming rate. Tolo News, a national media outlet in the country, reported fighting in 80 of Afghanistan's roughly 400 districts in the country Thursday."

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"Pentagon Weighs Proposal to Send Dozens of Troops Back to Somalia"


Das Pentagon erwäge, US-Truppen zurück nach Somalia zu entsenden, schreiben Charlie Savage und Eric Schmitt. "The Pentagon is developing a proposal to send dozens of Special Forces trainers back to Somalia to help local forces combat Al Shabab, the terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda - a step that would partly reverse President Donald J. Trump's abrupt pullout of nearly all 700 American troops from the country in January. (…) The proposal has not yet been presented to Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, officials said, and it is not clear whether Mr. Biden would approve such a plan. Among other challenges, the idea is also running into an unresolved policy debate over developing new rules for counterterrorism 'direct action' like drone strikes away from active war zones."

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"Once, Superpower Summits Were About Nukes. Now, It's Cyberweapons."


Erstmals hätten nicht Atom-, sondern Cyberwaffen oberste Priorität bei einem Treffen eines amerikanischen und russischen Präsidenten, erklärt David Sanger. "The shift has been brewing for a decade, as Russia and the United States, the two most skilled adversaries in the cyberarena, have each turned to a growing arsenal of techniques in what has become a daily, low-level conflict. (…) Mr. Biden has made clear that he intends to give Mr. Putin a choice: Cease the attacks, and crack down on the cybercriminals operating from Russian territory, or face a rising set of economic costs and what Mr. Biden calls a set of moves by the United States to 'respond in kind.' But on Sunday, while still at the Group of 7 summit in Cornwall, he acknowledged that Mr. Putin may well ignore him."

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