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"Vaccine Diplomacy Is the New Space Race"


Hal Brands vergleicht das internationale Rennen um die Entwicklung eines Covid-19-Impfstoffs mit dem Weltraumrennen der beiden Supermächte im 20. Jahrhundert. "The space race was the ultimate symbol of Cold War technological competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Now, imagine if that race had been a matter of life and death for millions of people around the world. Those are the stakes involved in producing and globally distributing a Covid-19 vaccine. That unavoidably competitive endeavor will do much to determine how Covid-19 ultimately affects the balance of global power and prestige. For the incoming Joe Biden administration, it offers a strategic opportunity."

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"What Biden’s Win Means for Europe"


Trotz der besseren Manieren des kommenden US-Präsidenten werde sich die liberale internationale Ordnung nicht wiederherstellen lassen, ist Max Hastings überzeugt. "Through the past days and weeks, the governments of Europe have found the U.S. electoral suspense as gripping and fearful as any American. After four years of White House insults and snubs, they are hoping desperately for a reversion to alliance diplomacy and politics, a return to the pursuit of stability and order. Europeans are nonetheless not foolish enough to suppose that a Joe Biden presidency will signal a renewal of the post-World War II Pax Americana. The liberal international order is sundered for good, even if portions of it can be saved."

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"Trump Demands a Plan to Withdraw U.S. Troops From Somalia"


US-Präsident Trump hat offenbar Pläne für einen Abzug der stationierten US-Soldaten in Somalia in Auftrag gegeben. "President Donald Trump has told top advisers he wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia, according to people familiar with the matter, allowing him to make good on campaign pledges to bring soldiers home even though the country remains beset by insurgents linked to al-Qaeda. The Pentagon has begun drafting plans for the president, and discussions have involved National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. The U.S. has 650 to 800 troops in Somalia, according to the U.S. Africa Command, including special forces that are helping train Somalia’s army. All or almost all were sent during Trump’s presidency."

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"Lukashenko and Erdogan Are Laughing at the EU"


Angesichts der Probleme der EU, gemeinsame Sanktionen gegen Weißrussland und die Türkei zu beschließen, fordert Andreas Kluth ein Ende des Einstimmigkeitsprinzips in der europäischen Außenpolitik. "This week, Europe was supposed to impose sanctions against one of them, Belarus’s Alexander Lukashenko, for his blatant manipulation of the country’s election in August and subsequent crackdown on protesters. Instead, Brussels did nothing. If that seems puzzling, ask the bloc’s third-smallest member state by population: Cyprus. The island nation vetoed the sanctions, as any member state can because the EU still requires unanimity for all foreign policy decisions. This has been one factor, amid many, that’s neutered European foreign policy over the years. China, for instance, has often been able to 'buy' one or more small countries with lavish investment promises in return for their veto against EU censures over human rights."

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"China’s Nuclear Buildup Changes Balance of Power"


Hal Brands analysiert die möglichen Folgen der vom Pentagon gemeldeten Strategie Pekings zur Verdoppelung des chinesischen Atomwaffenarsenals bis 2030. "In one sense, it’s not shocking that a country involved in a deepening rivalry with U.S. — which has about 1,400 deployed nuclear warheads — would improve its nuclear capabilities as its power grows. The more challenging question is how much, and in what ways, the Chinese buildup matters. One interpretation is that it doesn’t. Even with 400-plus warheads, China will be far short of nuclear parity with the U.S. (…) A second interpretation holds that the buildup is strategically meaningful, but in a good way. Nuclear strategists have long warned that it can be dangerous for both sides when one actor fears that its nuclear forces are vulnerable to a disarming first strike. (…) The trouble is that nuclear stability can, paradoxically, be destabilizing. This possibility underpins a third interpretation — that the Chinese buildup will make life harder for the U.S. America’s nuclear shield has typically been designed to shore up the conventional defense of exposed allies."

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"How Merkel Can Calm the Conflict Between Greece and Turkey"


Das Nachrichtenportal Bloomberg empfiehlt Bundeskanzlerin Merkel in diesem Leitartikel konkrete Schritte zur Deeskalation des Konflikts zwischen Griechenland und der Türkei. "Having shown that she can get the principal protagonists in the confrontation to pause, she should strive to mediate a permanent resolution. It helps that Germany is a major trading partner of the interested parties, and that Berlin currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency. Bringing Turkey into the East Mediterranean Gas Forum would be a good place to start. This was created by the littoral states to establish a regional gas market and an export hub to Europe. Turkey was left out because the forum includes Cyprus, which Ankara doesn’t recognize. Membership would allow Turkey a share of the resources and access to mechanisms for resolving disputes over where it can drill. Getting Turkey and Cyprus to agree on this would be a challenge for any mediator, to be sure. Greece and Merkel’s other European partners, vexed by Erdogan’s intransigence on other issues, may balk. She could remind them that access to the eastern Mediterranean’s natural gas reserves offers Europe its best alternative to energy dependence on Russia — while telling Turkey and Cyprus that Europe is the logical market for the gas and that the shortest route is through both countries."

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"Europe Just Declared Independence From China"


Der diplomatische Ton Europas gegenüber China habe sich deutlich geändert, stellt Andreas Kluth anlässlich des kürzlichen Europa-Besuchs des chinesischen Außenministers Wang Yi fest. "China’s diplomats were already having a terrible year in Europe, but this week they managed to make it even worse. At this rate, Chinese President Xi Jinping may achieve the dubious feat of alienating the Europeans faster and further than even U.S. President Donald Trump is doing. (…) For years, many European countries, and above all Germany, did their best for commercial reasons to look the other way as China violated human rights, took advantage of Europe’s open markets and bullied some of its Asian neighbors. Those times appear to be over. The list of grievances against China has simply become too long."

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"Libya’s Civil War Has a Rare Shot at Peaceful Ending"


Die aktuelle Pause im libyschen Bürgerkrieg biete die Chance zu einem diplomatischen Durchbruch, meint Bobby Ghosh. Der Präsident des Repräsentantenhauses in Tobruk, Aguila Saleh, werde dabei eine wichtige Rolle spielen. "Can we be optimistic about a cease-fire in Libya? Previous attempts to broker a truce — by Italy, France, Russia and Germany — were doomed by Haftar’s determination to take all of the country, by force. The big difference this time is that the initiative is in Saleh’s hands. 'It’s an important moment that should not be lost,' Stephanie Williams, the UN’s envoy on Libya told Bloomberg. 'I think this is the first time in quite a long time that we’ve seen readiness by two key leaders to really forge what I would say is a made-in-Libya solution.' Saleh enjoys good relations with the countries backing LNA, as well as the wider Arab and North African region. Perhaps more important, Turkey seems to regard him as a more credible negotiator than Haftar. But Saleh can only maintain his political advantage over the rebel commander if he can get good terms from Sarraj."

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"Mali’s Coup Needs a Speedy West African Solution"


Bobby Ghosh schreibt, dass es nach dem Militärputsch in Mali den 15 Staaten der Westafrikanischen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft (Ecowas) zufallen wird, eine Lösung für den Konflikt zu finden. "(…) the unity of the opposition groups gives Ecowas something to work with. For now, the regional bloc will likely not have to reprise its 2017 intervention in Gambia, when member states mustered troops to persuade President Yahya Jammeh to cede power. Nor is France keen to play a major role in resolving the crisis in Bamako: President Emmanuel Macron, after a quick round of calls to the leaders of neighboring states, said he would support Ecowas’s efforts. Macron has tended to view Mali primarily as a counterterrorism challenge, but the coup should serve as a lesson — one all too familiar to American presidents — that the failure to address political problems undermines all other agendas. The French leader can only hope that the Ecowas leadership can find a solution before matters get any worse in Bamako and the jihadists feel emboldened elsewhere."

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"Hezbollah Will Not Escape Blame for Beirut"


Der Trauer in Beirut ist bereits die Wut gefolgt. Hussein Ibish ist sicher, dass sich die Schuldzuweisungen für die verheerende Explosion in der libanesischen Hauptstadt vor allem gegen die Hisbollah richten werden. "Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government says the explosions were caused when careless welding ignited about 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly combustible material used as fertilizer and for bomb-making. (…) Assuming the official account holds up, the disaster again exposes the rot that is destroying the country — an especially corrosive mix of corruption, ineptitude and malign intentions. (…) There are no prizes for guessing who in Lebanon might be interested in keeping such vast quantities of explosive material close at hand. The U.S. Treasury and Israel both believe Hezbollah controls many of Beirut’s port facilities. (…) A guilty verdict would increase domestic pressure on Hezbollah, its allies and the government. When Lebanese have finished mourning their dead, anger will return — the kind that fueled the massive street demonstrations that brought down Diab’s predecessor last October."

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"China Muscles Onto NATO’s Turf, Roiling Alliance Frayed by Trump"


Mit dem Verkauf von sechs Kampfdrohnen an Serbien habe China die strategischen Sorgen der NATO verstärkt, berichtet Bloomberg. "The purchase of the six pilotless aircraft by the NATO partner makes Serbia the first European country to deploy Chinese combat drones. It also underscores China’s broadening strategic footprint on NATO’s doorstep, from cyberattacks and intellectual property theft to strategic investment through its Belt and Road Initiative. (…) The moves could bolster the case made by the U.S., which has struggled to persuade allies to join it in confronting an increasingly assertive China. But other NATO members are cool to that prospect, inclined to keep doing business with China -- and disinclined to follow the lead of President Donald Trump, who criticizes the European allies for not spending enough on defense, unilaterally withdrew from the Paris climate accord and quit the 2015 Iran nuclear deal over loud objections on the continent."

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"Sabotage in Iran Is Preferable to a Deal With Iran"


Die rätselhaften Explosionen der letzten Wochen im Iran werden von Eli Lake als erfolgreiche Sabotage des iranischen Atomprogramms interpretiert. Verdeckte Angriffe wie diese seien eine effektive Alternative zu einem neuen Atomabkommen mit Teheran, so Lake. "(…) the alternative to a deal is not necessarily a costly and dangerous war. The West can delay and foil Iran’s nuclear ambitions by other means. Since late June, explosions have rocked at least three Iranian military facilities. The latest appears to have targeted an underground research facility for chemical weapons. Earlier this month, a building at Iran’s Natanz centrifuge site burst into flames. Much remains unknown about this latest spate of explosions. (…) There are several good reasons to think all of this was an act of Israeli sabotage. (…) The attacks could also undermine the regime’s legitimacy among the Iranian public more generally. Sabotage of this sort shows that Iran’s leaders are not nearly as powerful and all-knowing as they say. At the very least, the fact that someone was able to explode a 'crown jewel' of Iran’s nuclear program should make clear that the civilized world can delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions without conferring legitimacy to the regime."

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"Trump’s Mideast Plan Is Poised to Fall Apart"


Zev Chafets erwartet ein baldiges Scheitern des Nahost-Friedensplans der US-Regierung, da selbst Israels Premierminister Netanjahu nicht daran denke, die für ihn unangenehmen Teile des Plans umzusetzen. "Like the Palestinian leaders, Israeli Jews on the far right hate the deal. They oppose a Palestinian state as a matter of ideology and principle. They fear that the American plan might actually work. This hard core is not politically numerous, but it is influential among Likud voters that Netanyahu relies on. They aim to convince the public that the deal is poisonous, and that Donald Trump is an enemy in disguise. Netanyahu has stood up for Trump, but he is clearly distancing himself from the plan. Last week he told a right-wing newspaper that if the Palestinians fulfill the conditions of the Trump plan, 'then they will have an entity that President Trump defines as a state.' That dismissive language was a first salvo. A few days later, Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz, was more explicit. 'We didn’t announce that we’re adopting the Trump plan,' he said, 'just parts of it.'"

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"U.S. Troop Cuts in Germany Would Be a Disastrous Mistake"


Ein Abzug von US-Truppen aus Deutschland würde dem Konzept des "Westens" einen weiteren schweren Schlag versetzen, meint Andreas Kluth. Noch sei allerdings offen, ob Trumps Drohung tatsächlich umgesetzt werden wird. "As with other bluster emanating from the White House under President Donald Trump, this threatened drawdown may never happen. One reason is that it would simply be too stupid from a strategic and logistical perspective, as American experts such as Ben Hodges, a former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, have pointed out. That’s because the Americans are there not only to deter Russian aggression, which they could also do from Poland — whose prime minister immediately put up his hand to accommodate any surplus U.S. troops. The 'Amis,' as Germans call the the American forces, also use Germany as their hub for missions in the Middle East and Africa. GIs flying to or from Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, pass through Ramstein, the biggest U.S. airbase on foreign soil. If wounded, they get treated at nearby Landstuhl. Some veterans of the ever-turbulent U.S.-German relationship are therefore rolling their eyes. It’s possible that Trump is just having another tantrum about German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who recently said she wouldn’t attend a G7 summit Trump was planning to host, and whom Trump seems to scorn as his symbolic nemesis."

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"The Price of Covid Freedom May Be Eternal Spying"


Andy Mukherjee fürchtet, dass die teilweise Aufgabe der Privatsphäre, die im Zuge der Bekämpfung der Corona-Pandemie weithin akzeptiert wird, die Gesellschaft in vielen Ländern lange nach der Krise prägen könnte. "It hasn’t gone unnoticed that enthusiastic adapters of such software are in East Asia where, as MIT Sloan School of Management professor Yasheng Huang and others note, 'a collectivist spirit may encourage civic-minded embrace of and a more willing compliance with governments’ infection control.' But while cultural differences can help explain the beginning, the end game may be more universal: power and profit. Safely restarting economies will require governments to restore trust in people mingling in factories, offices, cafes and trains. It can supposedly be done with data more granular than what can be obtained from cellphone networks. Hence states want access to phones, with or without informed consent. Turning the clock back will be hard, if not impossible. (…) Just as the Sept. 11 attacks irrevocably shrank personal freedoms as security-at-all-costs became a policy driver, Covid-19 will erode privacy in the name of public health. (…) The bottom line: Where they exist, robust institutions could still offer resistance. In most other places, the individual’s autonomy has already become a virus casualty."

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"Why Germany Will Never Be Europe’s Leader"


In der Coronakrise ist nach Ansicht von Andreas Kluth erneut deutlich geworden, dass Deutschland in Europa nie die Rolle der "gütigen Hegemonialmacht" spielen wird, die andere EU-Länder von Berlin erwarten. Dieses Missverständnis könne das EU-Projekt letztlich zum Scheitern bringen. "The Covid-19 pandemic is (…) a tragic rerun of last decade’s euro crisis. Back then, it was above all the Greeks who were angry at the tightwad Germans, even drawing Hitler mustaches on posters of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Today, it’s primarily Italians and Spaniards who are livid. The Germans, for their part, are once again nonplussed about why others are so upset. This mutual miscommunication is a potential time bomb that could one day blow up the European project. It reflects both a design flaw in the EU and a deficit in German political consciousness. That’s because the EU is an inchoate bloc. To keep working, it needs a benign leader, or hegemon. And only one country is economically and politically (though not militarily) powerful enough to play that role. In Germany itself, this 'hegemony debate' began in 2012 with an essay by a German professor, Christoph Schoenberger. In international relations, a hegemon isn’t a power that dominates others with brute force. Instead, it’s a country that uses its power to preserve a larger system, even at a cost to its more narrowly defined national interests — by being a lender of last resort, for example. (…) The problem is that the country’s public is dead set against this role. (…) This week I gave Schoenberger a call, to hear his thoughts eight years after he launched the hegemony debate. What’s changed since 2012, he told me, is that today the tensions are greater and the resources scarcer, so that somebody must lead: 'Either the Germans do it, or nobody does it, and then the structure collapses.'"

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"Oil's Collapse Is a Geopolitical Reset In Disguise"


In diesem Artikel aus einer Bloomberg-Serie zu den langfristigen Folgen der Coronakrise wendet sich Meghan L. O'Sullivan den Turbulenzen auf den Ölmärkten zu, die ihrer Ansicht nach zu einem "geopolitischen Reset" führen könnten. "As history has shown, a big change in energy markets often precipitates a big change in geopolitics. For instance, the shift from coal to oil catapulted Middle Eastern countries to strategic significance. And the recent technology-driven boom in shale oil elevated the United States to net oil exporter status, changing its outlook on the importance of oil in global affairs. We now face a disruption of such proportions that it, too, will reorder some power relationships. (…) Foreign policy makers and leading thinkers do need to consider how the global order will change in response to the coronavirus. As John Ikenberry pointed out elsewhere, history suggests that initial moves toward isolation could be followed by global efforts to re-create needed institutions. But a U.S. failure to address the more immediate challenges stemming from the Covid-19 oil market collapse will not bode well for any larger effort to remake the world order."

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"Meticulous and Orderly, Germany Can Handle a Pandemic"


Nach Ansicht von Andreas Kluth ist bereits jetzt absehbar, dass Deutschland die Coronakrise im Vergleich zu anderen Ländern relativ gut bewältigen wird. "That’s because this pandemic won’t end with a made-for-television big bang. It’ll be managed patiently into remission, for a long time and through many setbacks, with sobriety, incrementalism and nuance. And, at the risk of stereotyping, these just happen to be traits characteristic of modern Germany generally, and Merkel in particular. (…) Germany also benefited from its federal structure, and in particular the decentralized architecture of its health care system. In that sense, it’s the opposite of centralized France, and of federal but dysfunctional America. (…) By reacting to the outbreak early, Germany also bought itself time to build on other 'preexisting' strengths. Even before Covid-19 struck, it had far more beds in intensive care units than most other countries. (…) Yet another preexisting advantage, on the socioeconomic side, is a century-old labor law that prevents abrupt layoffs and lets employees get paid even when their work temporarily dries up. (…) In part that’s because all German politicians, and citizens, seem to have sworn a secret oath to defer to experts. (…) The flip side of Germany’s 'small-steps' politics is order, reliability and dispassionate competence. It’s not exactly a recipe for vibrancy in good times. But it keeps more people safe when things are bad."

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"The Virus Should Wake Up the West"


Die Coronakrise habe offengelegt, dass kritische Institutionen im Westen im Gegensatz zu öffentlichen Sektoren in Asien nicht länger in der Lage seien, ihre wesentliche Aufgabe, den Schutz der Bevölkerung, angemessen zu erfüllen, stellen John Micklethwait und Adrian Wooldridge fest. "The West’s governmental advantage is now questionable: Simply ask yourself whether you would feel safer today in New York and London or in Singapore and Seoul? Asia is catching up with the West, and in some smaller countries has overtaken it, in large part because Confucian Asia in particular has taken government seriously over the past few decades while the West has allowed it to ossify. The public sector in the West is decades behind its private sector in terms of efficiency and dynamism. (…) Instead, in so far as it’s done anything, the West has turned to what might be described as big-government nationalism, typified by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Donald Trump; reform has taken a backseat to rage. In continental Europe, there has been no change: The European Union has survived both the euro crisis and then Brexit without any serious attempt at self-improvement. Will the Covid-19 crisis be the spur? At first glance, the omens are not good."

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"China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Intelligence Says"


Die US-Geheimdienste haben dem Weißen einen vertraulichen Bericht vorgelegt, demzufolge China alles getan habe, um das Ausmaß des Corona-Ausbruchs zu vertuschen, berichten Nick Wadhams und Jennifer Jacobs. Chinesischen Zahlen zum Stand der Pandemie könnten bis heute nicht getraut werden. China hat die Vorwürfe zurückgewiesen. "The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret, and they declined to detail its contents. But the thrust, they said, is that China’s public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China’s numbers are fake. (…) The U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion is an attempt to divert attention from surging deaths in the U.S. and other Western countries, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China’s state-run Global Times, said on his account on Chinese social media platform Weibo. There was no way for serious data faking to occur in today’s China, especially for an incident that has drawn such widespread attention, Hu said. He said China managed to curtail the death toll in Hubei, the province where the virus first emerged late last year, by sending medical workers and equipment there from other parts of the country."

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"The Oil Price War Is Turning Into a Debt War"


Mit dem absichtlich herbeigeführten Preissturz auf dem Ölmarkt habe Saudi-Arabien einen neuen "Öl-Krieg" begonnen, schreibt David Fickling. Vor wenigen Tagen habe Riad noch erfolglos versucht, Russland zur Kooperation bei der Regulierung der Ölproduktion zu bewegen. "While previously Saudi Arabia hoped to maintain its position and revenues in the oil market by encouraging cooperation between major players, it’s now betting that its best prospect is to do the opposite: Engage in a game of chicken with Moscow and the U.S. independent oil industry, and count on being the last player standing. (…) Riyadh’s race-to-the-bottom strategy only worked in 1985 because it was the lowest-cost producer. Now, its bloated budget means that it’s one of the highest-cost and shakiest players. It remains embroiled in a costly and brutal military quagmire in Yemen, and on Friday arrested senior royals on the grounds they were plotting a coup."

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"How Fast Can a Virus Destroy a Supply Chain?"


Der Ausbruch des Coronavirus stellt Tyler Cowen zufolge auch eine ernste Bedrohung für die Weltwirtschaft dar. Der Grund: Globalisierte Lieferketten seien sowohl effizient als auch fragil. "The global supply chain, already under pressure from President Donald Trump’s trade war, now faces further strain from the coronavirus. And while cross-national supply chains are more robust than they may appear, if they fail they will do so suddenly and without much warning. (…) So far the best bet is that current international supply chains will hold, for the most part, and deliver the goods. But the chance that they will not is rising sharply, as both the trade war and the coronavirus strengthen the hand of those who advocate for more dismantling of international trade networks. And if that dismantling does occur, it is likely to snap into place suddenly — with neither market prices nor advance warning offering much protection. The more people start to believe that long, complex cross-national supply chains are risky, the more fragile they will turn out to be."

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"The EU Can’t Widen and Deepen at the Same Time"


Andreas Kluth hält eine weitere Vertiefung der EU-Integration angesichts der geplanten Beitrittsverhandlungen mit Nordmazedonien und Albanien für schwierig. Frankreich habe dies erkannt und Vorbehalte gegen eine EU-Erweiterung nach bisherigem Muster angemeldet. "Each previous round of enlargement thus introduced new fractures into the EU, some between north and south, others between east and west. Macron is hardly alone in observing that European integration stalled long ago, and that 'widening' had something to do with that. In foreign and defense policy, any member state can veto any decision, thus assuring European irrelevance and impotence on the world stage. Bigger ideas like a European army are nothing more than pipe dreams. In the euro area, neither banking nor fiscal union has been completed, thus leaving the currency union prone to another crisis. (…) On balance, it’s still better to open talks with Tirana and Skopje than to reject them. But the EU must simultaneously confront the bigger dilemma of stalled integration. For that, it has to broach a taboo and talk about a multi-speed Europe."

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"Libya Explains Why Turkey Has No Friends"


Die türkische Intervention in Libyen ist nach Ansicht von Kori Schake nur die jüngste von vielen außenpolitischen Initiativen der vergangenen zehn Jahre, die die Türkei regional immer weiter isoliert hätten. "It is hard to credit now, but there was a time, only a decade ago, when Turkey described its foreign policy doctrine as one of 'zero problems with our neighbors.' But since then, Ankara has burned its boats with Israel over the Gaza Freedom Flotilla; angered Egypt by bitterly criticizing Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi’s military coup and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood; broken with Syria by assisting anti-Assad rebels (and more recently, invading the country’s northeast, there to forcibly repatriate refugees); and antagonized Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by siding with Qatar against their embargo. Now, Turkey is providing direct military assistance to the government of Libya, while the UAE and Egypt — along with Russia — back the rebel army of General Khalifa Haftar. After the failure of cease-fire talks sponsored by Turkey and Russia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to teach Haftar 'a lesson.' If anything, Turkey’s foreign policy now seems designed to aggravate problems with all of its neighbors."

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"Libya’s Endless War Is What Happens If the U.S. Won’t Lead"


Der andauernde Konflikt in Libyen zeigt nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky, wie eine Welt ohne den globalen Führungsanspruch der USA aussehen würde. Kein anderer Staat sei heute in der Lage, die Konfliktparteien in Libyen zu einem Kompromiss zu zwingen. "This is the kind of deadlock which, in the old days of a sole-superpower world, the U.S. could have broken — for better or for worse — by weighing in for one of the sides. The U.S. has a small military presence in Libya, acting occasionally against terrorist groups there. Libya, the country with Africa’s biggest oil reserves, is important for oil-price stability, a key U.S. geopolitical interest, and for the fight against the spread of Islamist terror. Haftar is a dual U.S. and Libyan citizen; he’s someone the U.S. could talk to. President Donald Trump, however, has refused to play by the old Pax Americana rules. (…) The absence of a dominant power capable of altering the balance of forces on the ground makes the Libya conference in Berlin, planned for Jan. 19, a difficult undertaking. Even the persuasive skills of German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not be enough to break the deadlock in a way that will please the Libyan rivals."

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"Slovakia Shows That Hate Speech Is Bad, Banning It Is Worse"


Der aktuelle slowakische Wahlkampf demonstriere anschaulich, welche Folgen ein umfassendes Verbot sogenannter "Hassreden" haben könne, schreibt Leonid Bershidsky. "Three months before Slovakia’s national election, Robert Fico, the nation’s former three-term prime minister and current leader of the ruling party, has been charged with hate speech, an offense that can potentially land him in prison for five years. Though what he said is certainly reprehensible, the case shows why censoring political speech, as many European countries routinely do, isn’t a great idea. (…) Fico’s case, coming as it does in the heat of an election campaign, shows the potential for hate speech laws to be abused for political ends (…). Speech, even disgusting speech, shouldn’t be a crime unless it calls directly for violence. Fico should be allowed to fight on free of harassment. If he loses, it’ll be a sign that European values are alive in Slovakia. If he wins, it’ll be as clear a sign of more nationalist trouble in Eastern Europe — and a signal for moderate forces to organize more effectively."

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"Germany Won’t Enlist in Macron’s European Army"


Die Reaktion des deutschen Außenministers auf die NATO-Kritik des französischen Präsidenten zeigt nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky, dass Deutschland eine französische Führungsrolle in der europäischen Sicherheitspolitik nicht so ohne weiteres akzeptieren wolle. Berlin selbst lehne diese Rolle ebenfalls ab und sehe sich eher als Vermittler. "Germany doesn’t have France’s military ambitions. It’s a low defense spender because higher expenditure is politically unpopular. The Bundeswehr’s combat readiness is constantly in question, and there’s all the weight of history on the shoulders of German leaders. So German politicians see their function in maintaining European security differently than Macron does, even if they, too, refer to 'leadership.' (…) Being a mediator, though, is not the same as being a leader. An unambitious, compromise-minded Germany won’t compete with Macron’s cocky France, but it’ll be a drag on Macron’s security strategizing, getting in the way as he tries to provoke the U.S. with talk of strategic autonomy or flirt with Russia. It’ll provide the reliably boring alternative, and that’s probably for the best: Any machine in which Macron designs the sporty engine needs German-made brakes."

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"How Russia Could Force a Nuclear War in the Baltics"


Russland verfolge im Baltikum eine gefährliche Atomstrategie, die im Konfliktfall leicht zu einem Atomkrieg führen könnte, meint Hal Brands. Die beste Antwort der NATO wäre seiner Ansicht nach eine deutliche Stärkung der konventionellen Verteidigungsstrukturen des Bündnisses vor Ort. "The root of NATO’s nuclear dilemma in the Baltics is that the forces it currently has stationed there cannot put up a credible defense. Yet as earlier studies have noted, the U.S. and its allies could make a Russian campaign far harder and costlier — with a much-diminished chance of rapid success — by deploying an enhanced NATO force of seven to eight brigade combat teams, some 30,000 troops. (…) Russia couldn’t claim credibly that such troops posed any real offensive threat to its territory. But the force would be large and robust enough that Russian troops couldn’t destroy it in a flash or bypass it at the outset of a conflict. It would therefore obviate many of the nuclear escalation dynamics by making far less likely a situation in which NATO must escalate to avoid a crippling defeat in the Baltics, or one in which Russia can escalate to protect its early victories there."

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"Ukraine Peace Talks Get Some Help From Putin"


Leonid Bershidsky schreibt, dass der ukrainische Präsident Zelenskiy vor neuen Verhandlungen über die Zukunft der Ost-Ukraine auf jeden Fall den Eindruck einer Kapitulation vor Russland vermeiden wolle. Moskau gebe ihm offensichtlich genug Zeit für die Überzeugungsarbeit, um die Erfolgsaussichten der Gespräche zu erhöhen. "It’s clear (...) that Putin doesn’t want the peace process to lapse; he’s had, and skipped, plenty of opportunities to say that a summit makes no sense, as he’d done in previous years. Putin is tired of the status quo and the European economic sanctions that come with it. It’s a good moment for moving forward. The U.S. is distracted by its political scandals, the leaders of France and Germany want the Ukraine matter out of the way, and Zelenskiy is eager to keep his electoral promise to end the war. Putin, an experienced negotiator, also knows red lines can be fudged during actual talks. (...) What’s important for Putin is to make sure Kremlin-friendly forces prevail in the eastern Ukraine election. That would give him enough leverage in a reunited Ukraine to give up the people’s republics. That outcome can be assured by finding a balance between giving Zelenskiy enough control to pacify the domestic opposition but not enough to take the pro-Russian leaders out of the running."

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"Africa May Have 90% of the World’s Poor in Next 10 Years, World Bank Says"


Einer Untersuchung der Weltbank zufolge könnten sich in zehn Jahren bis zu 90 Prozent der ärmsten Menschen weltweit in Afrika konzentrieren. "Africa could be home to 90 Prozent% of the world’s poor by 2030 as governments across the continent have little fiscal space to invest in poverty-reduction programs and economic growth remains sluggish, the World Bank said. That’s up from 55% in 2015 and it will happen unless drastic action is taken, the lender said in its biannual Africa Pulse report released Wednesday, in which it also cut growth forecasts for the region’s key economies. The rate of poverty reduction in Africa 'slowed substantially' after the collapse in commodity prices that started in 2014, resulting in negative gross domestic product growth on a per capita basis, according to the report. 'As countries in other regions continue to make progress in poverty reduction, forecasts suggest that poverty will soon become a predominantly African phenomenon.'"

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Informationsportal Krieg und Frieden

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

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

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

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Zahlen und Fakten


Kaum ein Thema wird so intensiv und kontrovers diskutiert wie die Globalisierung. "Zahlen und Fakten" liefert Grafiken, Texte und Tabellen zu einem der wichtigsten und vielschichtigsten Prozesse der Gegenwart.

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