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"The West’s Role in Belarus"


William Courtney und Michael Haltzel analysieren die Optionen, die dem Westen im Umgang mit der Revolte in Weißrussland offenstehen. "The West might consider calling for a new presidential election in Belarus with credible monitoring. The West and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe could provide technical assistance to help ensure fair campaigning and honest balloting. After an election, the Belarusian authorities and opposition might ask for further help, avoiding Yanukovych’s mistake in waiting too long to request mediation support. For now, police repression may clear the streets. But longer-term political stability — and Lukashenko’s personal future — may require a government that enjoys more popular support. Lukashenko may not welcome Western mediation unless he fears being overthrown, a greater risk if security forces begin to defect. If and when asked, the West could be ready immediately to assist with free and fair elections and the formation of a legitimate government."

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"It’s Time for Israel to Take the BDS Movement Seriously"


Bei vielen Protesten der "Black Lives Matter"-Bewegung in den USA wird auch der Nahostkonflikt thematisiert. Ronnie Olesker schreibt, dass Aktivisten die israelische Besatzung mit der von ihnen beklagten Unterdrückung der schwarzen Bevölkerung in den USA vergleichen. Davon könne auch die BDS-Bewegung profitieren, die sich seit Jahren für einen Boykott Israels einsetzt. "(…) the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement, or BDS, which has had limited economic or diplomatic impact in its first 15 years of calling for economic, political, and academic sanctions against Israel, may now finally be positioned for a BLM moment. (…) Currently, 29 U.S. states prohibit boycotts of Israel, but that might change. Younger Americans, especially the growing progressive ranks of the Democratic Party, are keenly aware of the similarities between the BLM and BDS movements, and this could signal a reckoning for Israel. Given international outrage over the oppression of minorities in the United States, it could be only a matter of time before the clamor for Palestinian equality reaches a tipping point similar to BLM. It would be a mistake for Israeli officials to underestimate this possibility as they press on with annexation plans - plans that can be seen as yet another encroachment on the beleaguered human rights of Palestinians."

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"Losing Germany"


Dass US-Präsident Trump ausgerechnet den Verbündeten Deutschland immer wieder vor den Kopf stoße, werde von vielen sicherheitspolitischen Experten in Washington als "geopolitischer Fehler historischen Ausmaßes" wahrgenommen, schreibt Edward Goldberg. "In a world where Trump sees China as a Cold War-style competitor, and where Russia is consistently trying to return international relations to a 19th century-style balance of power game, what is the rationale for pushing Germany further away from the United States and closer to Russia or China? (…) As Robert D. Kaplan pointed out in an interview in the December 5, 2019 edition of CAP X, a British foreign Policy review: 'So that leaves Germany as the most successful of the major powers on mainland Europe and leaving Europe in the hands of Germany – when the next generation of German leaders may not have the wisdom of the Kohls, the Schmidts, the Adenauers and even the Merkels, who had a deep, deep knowledge of World War Two and memories of the Cold War – I think that leaves Britain at the mercy of a very disorganized, less united Europe over which Russia and China will be vying for influence. I would not be surprised if down the road, Germany leans more in the direction of Moscow, because that’s the path of least resistance: take the second Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia, have an informal German-Russian Alliance. This is the fear – I’m not predicting it, it’s just a fear I have.'"

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"How to Blunt the Looming Crisis in West Africa"


Michael Shurkin von der RAND Corporation hält es für möglich, dass die aktuelle Sicherheitskrise in Burkina Faso, Mali und Niger auf die anderen Länder in Westafrika übergreifen könnte. Die USA wären in der Lage, dieses Szenario mit relativ überschaubaren Mitteln zu verhindern, so seine Überzeugung. "It most notably concerns the future security of Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin - Cameroon and Nigeria are already affected. Happily, there is reason to believe that the United States has options that might stave off the worst-case scenarios, if policymakers choose them. Early action including security-sector support could be the key. Many programs already exist, though they are threatened by possible cuts. (…) With relatively small but well-placed investments, the U.S. government could help littoral governments make their populations less vulnerable and their institutions more capable of stemming insecurity and dealing with emerging threats. Economic development always helps, but so would efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and shore up existing justice mechanisms. This would help these countries better address inadequacies, and it would prepare them to counter extremism and terrorism. Police forces are a logical target for assistance. So, of course, are militaries, which even if professional might not be prepared for the kind of fight they could soon face. The United States is already doing many of these things. Extant efforts could be stepped up, supplemented or retooled as the nature of the threat becomes clear."

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"How Iran's Elite Also Benefit From Soleimani's Death"


In der iranischen Innenpolitik werde der Tod von General Soleimaini sowohl für die Hardliner als auch für die moderaten Kräfte nicht nur negative Folgen haben, meinen die beiden Iran-Experten Carol Choksy und Jamsheed Choksy von der Indiana University. "Despite their rhetoric in public, the elimination of Soleimani does much to aid elements within Iran’s political factions. Soleimani’s power and influence had grown vast, both through his own efforts and through the IRGC’s financial network. Khamenei already had begun responding by reducing the military’s clout and thereby seeking to avert a possible coup. (…) Soleimani’s killing provides another line of argument for hardliners pressing Iran to completely abrogate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, exit the UN Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and deploy nuclear weapons. (…) Moderates in Iranian political circles stand to gain as well. Soleimani had joined other IRGC offices in threatening then-president Mohammad Khatami with a coup unless student demonstrations were quashed in 1999. Later, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad enjoyed Soleimani’s support while putting down the popular revolt against his rigged presidential re-election in 2009; the two men had bonded three decades earlier while brutalizing Kurds in Iran’s northwest. More recently, in 2019, Soleimani led the IRGC’s suppression of nation-wide protests sparked by an increase in the fuel price. He even allegedly bragged to Iraqi security officials: 'We in Iran know how to deal with protests.'"

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"Is Germany Going Soft on China?"


Nach Ansicht von Noah Barkin signalisiert Bundeskanzlerin Merkel mit ihrem China-Besuch, dass Deutschland angesichts einer drohenden Rezession nicht gewillt sei, eine geeinte europäische Position gegenüber Peking zu unterstützen. "As the trip approaches, people who follow Merkel’s China policy closely are worried that her government, spooked by a sudden slowdown in the economy, may be heading in the opposite direction, softening its China stance to avoid more economic damage and hedging against an increasingly erratic and unreliable United States under Trump. Mikko Huotari, deputy director of the Mercator Institute of Chinese Studies (MERICS), a think tank based in the German capital, is one of them. 'Berlin may be the biggest threat to a tough, united European position on China right now,' he told me. 'The attitude is 'let's get back to business' with Beijing.'"

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"Are We Ready For a Rare Earths Trade War?"


Im Handelsstreit zwischen den USA und China geht es Jeffrey Wilson zufolge auch um den Zugang zu Seltenen Erden. Die insbesondere für den Hightech-Sektor wichtigen strategischen Ressourcen könnten als effektives Erpressungsinstrument genutzt werden. "China also possesses an extraordinary degree of market power. While not strictly a 'monopolist', in 2017 it produced an estimated 79% of the world’s rare earth oxides. By comparison, OPEC – a longstanding and sometimes-feared energy cartel – accounts for only 41% of global oil output. Outsized market power gives the Chinese government considerable scope to use rare earths as leverage in diplomatic disputes. If China were to suspend rare earth supplies to the US, the consequences would be global. Rare earths have a complex industrial geography, with several countries involved in the cross-border value chains that mine, refine and manufacture these products. Prices would skyrocket as users scrambled to secure supplies, with knock-on effects across the global technology ecosystem."

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"Is It Time to Cut U.S. Losses in Venezuela?"


Ted Galen Carpenter meint, dass es an der Zeit sei, das Scheitern des amerikanischen Plans eines Regimewechsels in Venezuela zu akzeptieren. Sollte sich das Weiße Haus dagegen zu einer Eskalation entschließen, drohe eine Konfrontation wie in Vietnam oder Afghanistan. "Any government facing a probable, high-profile policy failure is always tempted to escalate rather than cut losses. The Trump administration appears to be considering that course. It already has intensified economic sanctions against Venezuela, including targeting the beleaguered country’s oil sales. More worrisome, Trump himself once flirted with the option of a direct U.S. military intervention. (...) An especially important quality for wise policymakers is knowing when to acknowledge that they have made a miscalculation and terminate a failing venture. It is hard to absorb the embarrassment and sunk costs, but the alternative is almost always worse. Escalation typically turns small losses into big ones. Lyndon Johnson’s decision to expand the U.S. military role in Vietnam is the classic example of investing lives and funds to chase a fundamentally flawed policy. The seemingly endless war in Afghanistan is another case of letting false pride and wishful thinking perpetuate a foolish course of action. The Trump administration can still avoid a similar debacle in Venezuela."

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"In Poland, a Fixed U.S. Presence Will Warrant a Russian Response"


Der Informationsdienst Stratfor erwartet, dass die US-Regierung der polnischen Bitte nach einer ständigen Präsenz von US-Truppen auf polnischem Gebiet zumindest teilweise nachkommt. Russland könnte darauf mit der Stationierung von Truppen in Weißrussland reagieren, so Stratfor. "Instead of constructing a single large military base, Washington has proposed to disperse U.S. troops across various existing bases in the country, such as Redzikowo, Poznan and Orzysz. Under this plan, Washington also offered to construct a NATO weapons depot in Powidz (which was initially proposed by the administration of former President Barack Obama), along with the deployment of an additional 1,000-1,500 U.S. military personnel to the country. And while this is a far more modest proposal than the one originally presented by Poland (which, by contrast, suggested a division size of roughly 15,000 U.S. troops), it would nonetheless fulfill Warsaw's long-held desire for a fixed U.S. presence. (...) despite Belarus' strong military ties with Russia, Minsk has so far resisted the idea of opening a Russian military base on its territory. (...) a new U.S. foothold in Poland could very well change Belarus' considerations. Such a military presence would be close to Belarus' borders, posing a more direct threat to the country. Indeed, in late 2018, Lukashenko warned Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz that Belarus and Russia would 'have to respond' to Warsaw's proposed U.S. base, adding that the two countries 'would be forced to deploy something' to counter Warsaw and Washington."

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"Berlin Needs to Heed Washington on Huawei"


Im Streit um die Beteiligung des chinesischen IT-Unternehmens Huawei am 5G-Ausbau in Deutschland sollte die Bundesregierung der Boykott-Forderung der US-Regierung aus eigenem wirtschaftlichem Interesse nachkommen, meint Mike Watson. "The stakes are high because 5G policy is not merely about the esoteric details of making the internet faster. It touches directly on the future of the German auto industry – the heart of its economy. The automotive industry, which directly or indirectly accounts for one out of every seven German jobs, must keep pace in the development of electric and autonomous vehicles for the German economy to successfully adapt to the advent of electric vehicles, which will be challenging enough as it is. Huawei’s entry into Germany will threaten this development. Autonomous vehicles require massive amounts of data exchange, which in turn requires 5G or similar high-speed wireless internet technology. Inserting Huawei into the middle of this exchange will give it access to staggering amounts of information about Germany’s self-driving cars as their manufacturers roll them out. Given Huawei’s history of intellectual property theft, it is reasonable to assume that the tech giant may find another use for that data. In the near future, German car manufacturers might find themselves competing against Chinese rivals sporting copies of their own technology. Huawei’s entry could threaten not only German national security, but the future of the German manufacturing economy."

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"From Germany to Japan, the Strategic View From Two Capitals"


Kenneth Weinstein vom Hudson Institute weist darauf hin, dass Deutschland und Japan, die sich beide als enge Verbündete der USA betrachten, völlig unterschiedlich auf die Präsidentschaft Donald Trumps reagieren. Dies sei vor allem auf das jeweilige strategische Umfeld beider Länder zurückzuführen. "Traveling on to Tokyo, I heard Trump described as the most pro-Japan president in decades -- a man who understands Japan’s security challenges, especially with regard to China and North Korea, and a partner who has worked hand-in-hand with the Japanese and Indian governments to build out Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s 'Free and Open Indo-Pacific' strategy. (...) Nowhere are the divergent perspectives between Germany and Japan more apparent than over Iran and North Korea. Germany was the strongest possible supporter of the Iran deal, even though it offered no permanent restrictions on Iranian nuclear weapons programs. When Mr. Trump tore it up, Germany reacted vehemently. Yet from Abe’s perspective, an Iran-style agreement between the United States and North Korea would have been a strategic disaster, granting Pyongyang assistance, relief from sanctions, and access to international markets without anything close to full and verifiable denuclearization. For Abe, the grounds for Mr. Trump’s rejection of the Iran deal are a prerequisite for the kind of negotiation with North Korea that would safeguard Japan’s security needs."

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"The Salafi-Jihadist Movement Is Winning"


Katherine Zimmerman vom American Enterprise Institute zufolge streben salafistische Extremisten zuallererst eine möglichst hohe Akzeptanz unter sunnitischen Muslimen an. An diesem Maßstab gemessen seien Gruppen wie die Al-Qaida, der IS, Boko Haram und die Taliban nach wie vor sehr erfolgreich. "U.S. counterterrorism strategy under George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump has been defensive and narrowly focused on groups and individuals rather than on the whole Salafi-jihadist movement. (...) Think of it this way: It is as if the United States focused solely on arresting mob hitmen or protection racket toughs and leaders, but let the mafia organization embed itself in vulnerable communities, waiting only for the moment to take over. That is the current state of U.S counterterrorism policy; and the enemy is prospering as a result. (...) Sunni communities tolerate the presence of Salafi-jihadist groups today as a lesser evil in the face of what they see as existential threats. Local conflicts and popular grievances create openings for the movement to grow its influence. Working to resolve these conflicts will block its efforts to infiltrate communities. Reducing the movement’s ability to interact with populations is the only way to weaken it. America’s strategy must change to reflect this reality. We have won many battles, but we are still losing the war."

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"Predicting the Next ISIS"


Colin Clarke hält es für denkbar, dass einer der Ableger des "Islamischen Staates" bald dessen Position als weltweit gefährlichste Terrororganisation übernehmen könnte. Libyen biete dafür derzeit die beste Bühne. "Many factors could fuel the rise of a new Islamic State (ISIS) offshoot, including the relative weakness of the security forces in the area where the terrorists are operating, so it difficult to discern which affiliate could become the next major threat. Additionally, measuring the threat will require an intimate understanding of an affiliates’ capabilities, the degree to which safe haven and sanctuary are available, and the relative ease with which the group can replenish its resources. The emergence of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) provides a blueprint for how the next dominant Islamic State faction could rise up. (...) The known factors that led to the success of AQAP can help identify conditions that could enable an ISIS franchise to achieve equally dangerous footing. When AQAP rose up, Yemen was a failed state in the midst of an internecine civil war, but it was also a country that offered vast swaths of ungoverned space to terrorists to train, organize and plot sophisticated attacks against the West. The situation in Libya offers the closest equivalent to the environment that facilitated the emergence of AQAP between 2009 and 2015."

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"An Armed Gazprom Could Be New Force in Syria"


Nicolai Due-Gundersen schreibt, dass die russischen Energiekonzerne Gazprom und Transneft gute Chancen auf große Anteile an der künftigen Öl- und Gasförderung in Syrien hätten. Dabei könnten die Konzerne ihre Anlagen durch eigene Söldnergruppen beschützen und zugleich großen politischen Einfluss in Syrien ausüben. "Gazprom is already described by some as a state-within-a-state, boasting control of one fifth of global gas reserves. Should Russia deepen its activities in Syria through Gazprom, it will be exporting Gazprom’s corporate military to an already politically complex and fragile region. Perhaps this complication will erode Syria’s stability further. Even if Assad regains complete control, a militarised resource company will no doubt create a situation similar to Ecuador, in which foreign oil firms dictate the political arrangements of their local environment, effectively usurping the state and that state’s military so that it is the oil and not the people who are protected."

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"Armenia: Not Another Color Revolution"


Massenproteste in Armenien haben Premierminister Sargsyan vor kurzem zum Rücktritt gezwungen. Nora Kalinskij erklärt, warum es sich trotz mancher Parallelen zu früheren Protestbewegungen in anderen Ländern nicht um eine "Farbrevolution" handele und der Westen nicht hoffen sollte, dass sich Armenien von Russland abwendet. "In the color revolutions of the past, the West offered indirect support to the protesters through vehicles like nongovernmental organizations. Yet there is no overt evidence that the United States or any European countries directly funded or otherwise materially supported the Armenian protests. (...) For now, with the way things are trending, the West is content to watch the situation unfold. Armenia is a key Russian ally in a crucial buffer zone, so Russia is already on the defensive. But although the West could make things worse, it cannot hope to flip Armenia into the Western camp. The opposition in Armenia has traditionally criticized Sargsyan for his close ties with Russia, yet there is no strong anti-Russian current in Armenian politics. (...) This is because Armenia’s economic and defense imperatives dictate a close alignment with Russia. (...) Russia also shields Armenia from security threats posed by Azerbaijan and Turkey. (...) Because Armenia is in the middle of these forces, the resilience of the protests constitutes a serious threat to the South Caucasus’ fragile political balance. The likeliest scenario is still that they fizzle out, but the fault lines they have laid bare are not going anywhere. There is a lot of tinder here waiting for a match."

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"The Arab World and the Twilight of the Washington Consensus"


Nach jahrelangen Erfahrungen mit Reformprogrammen des IWF und der Weltbank ist der Ruf der liberalen Wirtschaftsordnung und des sogenannten "Washington-Konsens" in der arabischen Welt Michael Gordon zufolge schwer angeschlagen. "After decades of IMF financing, commitments to reform, and billions of dollars, what have these countries to show? Social indicators such as unemployment, poverty, and income inequality actually worsened in the majority of states that accepted IMF intervention through the 1980s and 1990s -- even in those states that 'religiously' followed IMF prescriptions. (...) The liberal economic order has much going for it. But much of the Arab world seems poorly positioned to give more than lip service to the Consensus and the IMF’s mandates. This is especially true in the wake of the financial crisis, the Arab uprisings, and the emergence of the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, seen by many in the less-industrialized world as an alternative to Western domination of global finance."

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"Are Trump's Moves a Springtime For Neoconservatives?"


Die Neubesetzung des Außenministerpostens durch US-Präsident Trump wird von Jacob Heilbrunn als mögliches Signal eines Aufschwungs für die Neokonservativen in Washington gedeutet. Als nächstes könnte demnach der Nationale Sicherheitsberater Herbert Raymond McMaster durch den aus der Bush-Ära bekannten Iran-Falken John Bolton abgelöst werden. "Add Bolton to the mix and you have what amounts to a war cabinet against Iran. Defense Secretary James Mattis would be outnumbered and outgunned. His ally, Tillerson, wanted to negotiate with Iran and opposed summarily terminating the agreement. If this occurs, the irony will be rich. Trump campaigned as someone who would not be George W. Bush redux. In fact, he specifically denounced Bush in the South Carolina debate for lying about the pretext for war in Iraq. But that was then. If he goes down the route to war with Iran, he will be George W. Bush on steroids."

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"How to Live with China in the Balkans"


Filip Vojvodic-Medic vom German Marshall Fund hält die chinesischen Investitionen in den europäischen Balkan-Staaten aus geopolitischer Sicht noch nicht für besorgniserregend, da es sich fast ausschließlich um Infrastrukturausgaben handelt. "Infrastructure investment is primarily used for gaining access to the markets, rather than obtaining geopolitical leverage. Such investment in the Balkans will give Chinese manufacturing another route to Europe, with Chinese construction gaining an impressive portfolio of European standard projects with which to compete afterwards. As far as Chinese loans are concerned, these do buy influence for their duration, but in the European theatre, they can be restructured with the help of the European Investment Bank, if circumstances ever make such a move geopolitically expedient. Where the situation does get more complicated is in foreign direct investment into the real economy. This is where investors do get more of an influence on national politics with the alignment of their interests with those of their workforce and their ability to impact tax receipts through shifts in volumes of output. (...) Concerning China, little is known yet about how this global actor may eventually behave in its new role as a foreign investor. What is known is that Chinese investment is conditional on support for the One-China Policy and could potentially carry some conditionality with regards to the East and South China Sea, but it does not do so at the moment."

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"Memo to the President: Syria Isn't a Vital U.S. Interest"


Angesichts des nahenden Endes des IS-"Kalifats" werde die US-Regierung ihre Syrien-Strategie neu ausrichten müssen, schreiben Aaron David Miller und Richard Sokolsky. Die beiden Experten hoffen dabei auf eine nüchterne Bestandsaufnahme der Realitäten vor Ort. "Washington needs to accept the cruel reality that its role will likely be limited. Indeed, Syria is not going to emerge as a stable pro-Western polity in the orbit of or even significantly influenced by Washington. Instead, others who have the will and skill to invest there will dominate. (...) There are (...) several modest and reality-based steps the United States can take. This include working with the Russians to de-conflict our respective proxies, who will continue to compete to take territory liberated from ISIS fighters; continuing drone strikes and special operations against remaining jihadists; and trying to get the Russians to limit Iranian actions that might trigger a conflict with the Israelis. We are under no illusion that Moscow will do much in regard to the latter, but Putin certainly does not want to see a major Israeli intervention in Syria that could jeopardize his gains there."

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"Washington Cannot Redo the Iran Deal By Itself"


Jamsheed Choksy und Carol Choksy von der Indiana University sind der Ansicht, dass der Iran von der internationalen Gemeinschaft weiterhin unter Druck gesetzt werden müsse, um die militärische Dimension des iranischen Atomprogramms zu blockieren und die Weiterentwicklung iranischer Raketen einzuschränken. Eine unilaterale Aufkündigung des Atomabkommens durch die USA werde dabei allerdings kaum helfen. "All in all the challenges posed by Iran are multifaceted, multilateral, and long-term. Decades of autonomous U.S. sanctions did not induce the Islamic Republic’s cooperation on a nuclear freeze - only a global initiative did so. Even then Tehran did not yield on its missile development, its global power plays, or its domestic repression. Just as the Obama administration did not prevail by itself in crafting the JCPOA, the Trump administration will not be able to produce and implement an effective and enforceable revised deal, nor an entirely new deal, without the full support and cooperation of U.S. partners and of the other superpowers."

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"Russia's Hand Is Visible Everywhere in the Middle East"


Russland habe in den vergangenen vier Jahren das vielfältige Versagen der US-Regierung im Nahen Osten ausgenutzt, um sich als einflussreiche "Schlüsselfigur" der regionalen Sicherheitspolitik zu etablieren, schreibt Nikolas K. Gvosdev. Die neue Rolle Moskau sollte allerdings nicht mit der sowjetischen Politik des Kalten Krieges verwechselt werden. "The Kremlin is no longer interested in spreading a particular ideology nor does it seek to impose any sort of binary choice on countries in the region to 'choose' between Moscow and Washington. This is because Russia is not interested in footing immense bills for security and economic assistance. Instead, the twenty-first century Russian approach is not to displace the United States, which continues to bankroll much of the costs of regional security, but instead to act as the 'hedge bet' for the regimes of the region to balance against America’s preferences and to have options to escape America’s conditionality. The Kremlin offers itself as a more reliable mediator than Washington and proffers equipment and capabilities that Washington is reluctant to provide."

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"President Trump Must Stop the North Korea Nuclear Nightmare"


Harry Kazianis meint dagegen, dass die USA gegenüber Nordkorea nach dem jüngsten Bombentest eine noch aggressivere Strategie verfolgen müssten. "What is to be done? As a first step, it’s time to pull out all the stops to make sure we restrict the amount of financial resources going into North Korea and make it as hard as possible for Kim to build up his nuclear program and H-bomb designs. (...) Second, we need to expand our military footprint in the Asia-Pacific region. (...) Third, our land-based missile defenses in the region need to be ramped up as well as at home. (...) Lastly, President Trump should make clear that it is the policy of the United States that we will never—ever—accept a nuclear North Korea, and that all options still and will always remain on the table. While Washington will not start a war with Pyongyang, Kim must know we would respond to any North Korean military attack with the most severe of kinetic responses. (...) Today we are paying the accumulated price of having not paid the required attention to a national security challenge that should have been front and center for past U.S. administrations."

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"The Decline of Hong Kong and the Future of Asian Liberalism"


Die Hoffnung, dass Hong Kong nach der Übergabe an China vor 20 Jahren den Beginn einer Liberalisierung in Ostasien einleiten könnte, habe sich mittlerweile zerschlagen, stellen Katarina Hall und Nolan Gray ernüchtert fest. "(...) two decades into the unhappy marriage of China and Hong Kong, the upstart island city has moved from being an exemplar of liberalism into a victim of China’s refusal to reform. (...) There are three ways China has violated Hong Kong’s autonomy over the past five years. First, Beijing has gradually ramped up its habit of abducting, harassing, and silencing critics of the Chinese Community Party. (...) Second, China has increasingly intervened in Hong Kong’s democratic institutions. (...) Finally, Beijing’s general disregard for Hong Kong’s autonomy has also come to affect basic civil liberties on the island. (...) Hong Kong once stood as a beacon for prosperity and liberty in East Asia. Yet today it stands as the embodiment of a thus far disappointing Asian Century. While liberalism has retreated in the West, it faces an existential crisis in the East."

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"Russian Gas Trumps American Sanctions"


Nikolay Pakhomov hält die Annahme für unrealistisch, dass russische Erdgasimporte in Europa in den nächsten Jahren durch amerikanisches Flüssiggas ersetzt werden können. "If Washington wants to truly and sustainably reduce the demand for Russian gas in Europe, the best way to achieve it is to economically support diversification, or to outright invest in it. The latter will be very expensive. Besides enormous investments in LNG ports and infrastructure in Europe, American policymakers must find ways to guarantee deliveries of domestic LNG to Europe, instead of Asia where LNG is more expensive and therefore more profitable. Furthermore, Europeans might need help to pay for American LNG, which can be significantly more expensive than Russian pipeline gas. With their plates full, decisionmakers in Washington do not need such a policy headache added to their agenda. And without a large-scale economic intervention from the United States, the situation will not change much - Russian natural gas will remain attractive for large parts of Europe."

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"Iran Could Win Saudi Arabia's Qatari Gamble"


Sollte Katar sich weiterhin den weitreichenden Forderungen Saudi-Arabiens widersetzen, könnte der Iran als Gewinner des aktuellen Golfkonflikts hervorgehen, meint Meysam Tayebipour. "(...) if Qatar opts for defiance with Iranian support, the sanctions and restrictions the Saudis have imposed will look like one big miscalculation – an attempt to discipline a small neighbour that instead drove it into the Iranian fold. (...) All in all, by trying to pressurise Qatar into backing away from Iran, Saudi Arabia has handed its great rival various opportunities that it’s been chasing for years. If Qatar resists the Saudis’ pressure, the Middle East will witness one of its greatest foreign policy backfires for years."

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"After Manchester, It Is Right to Ask Why This Keeps Happening"


Auf den Hass der Terroristen mit Hass zu antworten, führe uns nicht weiter, schreibt Andy Price in The Real Clear World. Vielmehr müssten die westlichen Gesellschaften, so schmerzhaft dies angesichts des neuerlichen Leid sei, herausfinden, wie der Hass der Terroristen entstanden sei und wie man diesen an der Wurzel packen könne. "If the motive for this attack does indeed turn out to be tied to Islamic State, that will indeed include looking at the actions of nation states in the regions that produce this ideology. But so too will it involve looking at the role of religious indoctrination in the very tiny part of the Muslim faith from where these attackers come from. We must also look at the role of marginalisation, economic, political and social, in the make-up of these attackers. If Donald Trump has groped towards a kind of truth in his usual, idiosyncratic response – and he very well may have done just that – with the claim that these people are first and foremost society’s 'losers', then we must examine what it is exactly that makes them so."

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"Time for America to Follow China’s Lead"


Der frühere singapurische Diplomat Kishore Mahbubani stellt fest, dass die aufsteigende Supermacht China im Gegensatz zu den USA an der Stabilisierung der multilateralen Weltordnung interessiert sei. Es wäre seiner Ansicht nach im amerikanischen Interesse, dem chinesischen Beispiel zu folgen. "The United States sees itself as an 'exceptional' country, hence it believes that it has a global responsibility to transform the world. It refuses to be constrained by multilateral rules when it interferes in the internal affairs of other countries. It has promoted many so-called color revolutions, including the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan and the 2011 Arab Spring revolution in Egypt. No other country shares this messianic impulse of the United States. By contrast, China is only interested in improving the livelihoods of its 1.4 billion citizens (or one-fifth of the world’s population). (...) it is now in the national interest of the United States to change course and strengthen multilateral rules and institutions. In an atmosphere of global financial crises and climate change, of pandemics and terrorism, and numerous other international challenges such as famine and cyber-security, it is high time that the United States embraced global institutions and became a responsible stakeholder in the global system once more."

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"Armageddon: The Devastating Consequences of a Second Korean War"


Ein zweiter Koreakrieg würde sich schnell zu einem "Armageddon" ausweiten, warnt Dennis Halpin. Der Fanatismus in der nordkoreanischen Bevölkerung sei nicht nur vorgetäuscht und die Truppen des Regimes hätten u.a. Zugriff auf große Bestände von Chemiewaffen. "The costs of a second Korean war, then, would be massive: another possible two million or more Korean casualties; fifty thousand or more dead Americans; the potential mass military mobilization of the U.S. civilian population for another land war in Asia; the utter destruction of South Korea’s infrastructure, 'the Miracle on the Han' that turned a war-devastated backwater into an economic powerhouse; possible chemical attacks on U.S. Pacific bases and South Korean and Japanese civilians; plunging Pacific stock markets; the total disruption of global trade; the possible intervention of China; and, most devastating of all, the potential use of nuclear weapons in combat for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So the question must be asked: is a surgical strike worth the risk?"

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"Tillerson on Syria: Military Posture Towards Assad Has Not Changed; Trump Not Seeking Regime Change"


US-Außenminister Tillerson hat in einem Interview noch einmal bekräftigt, dass der Raketenangriff gegen Syrien nicht mit einer neuen Militärstrategie zur Durchsetzung eines Regimewechsels in Syrien gleichgesetzt werden sollte. "'The president was very clear in his message to the American people that [Thursday's] strike was related solely to the most recent horrific use of chemical weapons,' Tillerson explained. 'The strike was a message to Bashar al-Assad that your multiple violations of your agreements at the UN, your agreements under the chemical weapons charter back in 2013 that those would not go without a response,' he said. 'We're calling on Bashar al-Assad to cease the use of these weapons. Other than that, there is no change to our military posture.'"

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"Russia Stirs the Hornet's Nest"


Das US-Sicherheitsunternehmen Stratfor wirft der russischen Regierung in dieser Analyse vor, Konflikte in den westlichen Balkanländern bewusst zu schüren, um den Westen vor neue Probleme zu stellen. "For Moscow, meddling in the Balkans is a low-cost and high-yield endeavor. The Russian government has no illusions that it will be able to win the Balkan countries over to its side. Instead, it views the region as a hornet's nest. By stirring it up, Moscow could create a series of crises too deep for the European Union or NATO to contain, thereby giving it another card to play in its negotiations with the West."

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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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