US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The Nation


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"What Our Forever Wars Will Look Like Under Biden"

Danny Sjursen erwartet, dass Präsident Biden den "Status Quo" der "endlosen Kriege" der USA weitgehend unverändert fortführen wird. "The guess of this long-time war-watcher (and one-time war fighter) reading the tea leaves: Expect Biden to both eschew big new wars and avoid fully ending existing ones. At the margins (think Iran), he may improve matters some; in certain rather risky areas (Russian relations, for instance), he could worsen them; but in most cases (the rest of the Greater Middle East, Africa, and China), he’s likely to remain squarely on the status-quo spectrum. And mind you, there’s nothing reassuring about that."

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"The WHO Ignores Taiwan. The World Pays the Price."

In der Debatte über die Corona-Pandemie ist die WHO in die Kritik geraten. Politiker und Experten werfen der Weltgesundheitsorganisation vor, zu chinafreundlich aufzutreten und dabei vor allem das Nichtmitglied Taiwan vor den Kopf zu stoßen. Wilfred Chan erläutert die politischen Hintergründe der Kontroverse, die möglicherweise eine rechtzeitige Bekämpfung der Pandemie behindert habe. "Despite early warnings from Taiwanese officials, the organization kept the island cut off from its global information networks. Now, it may be the rest of the world that’s paying the price. (…) By the time Taiwan confirmed its first case of Covid-19 on January 21, the country was arguably more prepared than any other place in the world. (…) In spite of its decisive response, Taiwan was shut out of the WHO’s emergency meeting on January 22, where representatives from 16 countries — including the PRC, Japan, South Korea, and the United States — opted to delay declaring the coronavirus a global health emergency."

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"Who Is Making US Foreign Policy?"

Die Impeachment-Anhörungen vor dem Geheimdienstausschuss des US-Repräsentantenhauses haben nach Ansicht von Stephen F. Cohen veranschaulicht, dass der US-Präsident, der 2016 mit einer Anti-Neocon-Plattform angetreten war, in der Sicherheitspolitik von Neokonservativen umgeben sei. Es stelle sich die Frage, ob die US-Außenpolitik vom Präsidenten oder vom sicherheitspolitischen Establishment in Washington bestimmt wird. "How did this unusual and dysfunctional situation come about? One possibility is that it was the doing and legacy of the neocon John Bolton, briefly Trump’s national security adviser. But this doesn’t explain why the president would accept or long tolerate such appointees. A more plausible explanation is that Trump thought that by appointing such anti-Russian hard-liners he could lay to rest the Russiagate allegations that had hung over him for three years and still did: that for some secret nefarious reason he was and remained a 'Kremlin puppet.' Despite the largely exculpatory Mueller report, Trump’s political enemies, mostly Democrats but not only, have kept the allegations alive. The larger question is who should make American foreign policy: an elected president or Washington’s permanent foreign policy establishment? (It is scarcely a 'deep' or 'secret' state, since its representatives appear on CNN and MSNBC almost daily.) Today, Democrats seem to think that it should be the foreign policy establishment, not President Trump."

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"Ukrainegate Risks Handing Trump Another Gift"

Aaron Maté erwartet, dass der von den US-Demokraten aufgegriffene "Ukrainegate"-Skandal Präsident Trump politisch nutzen wird. Er erläutert Hintergründe und offene Fragen des vermeintlichen Skandals, der nach dem Willen der Demokraten zu einer Amtsenthebung Trumps führen soll. "Right now, the Democrats could be a party defined by mobilizing millions of people on issues that concern us all: supporting striking GM auto-workers and Chicago teachers, reversing a plutocracy-favoring tax code, or offering up a humane way to withdraw US troops from Syria, instead of joining with Republican hawks and ceding anti-war rhetoric to the warmongering Trump. Instead, Democrats and their media partisans are again the party of secretive hearings and an all-consuming, bureaucrat-driven scandal. After Russiagate, Trump was able to bolster his phony self-image as a working-class champion whose 'America First' agenda is thwarted by coastal globalists and 'deep state' bureaucrats. The way the Ukrainian sequel is unfolding, it will not be a surprise if Trump ends up with new opportunities to exploit resentment toward the Beltway for undeserved Main Street support in 2020, when it matters most."

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"What Happened When the EU Moved Its Fight to Stop Migration to Niger"

Rémi Carayol berichtet in dieser Reportage über die unbeabsichtigten Folgen der EU-Strategie zur Bekämpfung der nach Europa gerichteten Migration durch Niger. "Overnight, an EU-backed law criminalized the main source of income in the city of Agadez. It didn’t stop migration, but it wrecked the economy."

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"The European Left’s Dangerous Anti-Immigrant Turn"

Karina Piser hält die Position der dänischen Sozialdemokraten in der Migrationspolitik für einen "gefährlichen" Rechtsruck. "'The Social Democrats have made it very clear: They realize they’ve lost elections since the late 1990s by being outflanked by the right on immigration,' Rune Stubager, a political scientist at Aarhus University, told me. 'They knew they’d have to change their position on the issue to win.' (...) The Social Democrats say they’ll stick to their new line on immigration, which they describe as critical to maintaining Denmark’s welfare state, one of the most robust in Europe. 'We need to have enough money and enough room in our country, to take care of our citizens,' Nanna Grave Poulsen, a party chairwoman, told me. 'All of our immigration policies need to be put in the context of the welfare issue.' (...) One Social Democrat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the party’s slide had cemented Islamophobia into the center of Danish politics, but that Denmark wasn’t alone in this. 'When it comes to our debate on immigration, the far right has won,' she told me. 'The left has lost. The center has lost. This is true all over Europe.'"

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"How Did Russiagate Begin?"

Stephen F. Cohen hält es für wichtig, dass das US-Justizministerium die Ursprünge der durch den Mueller-Bericht entkräfteten "Russiagate"-Verschwörungstheorie untersucht. "It cannot be emphasized too often: Russiagate — allegations that the American president has been compromised by the Kremlin, which may even have helped to put him in the White House — is the worst and (considering the lack of actual evidence) most fraudulent political scandal in American history. (...) One way to end Russiagate might be to discover how it actually began. Considering what we have learned, or been told, since the allegations became public nearly three years ago, in mid-2016, there seem to be at least three hypothetical possibilities: 1. One is the orthodox Russiagate explanation: Early on, sharp-eyed top officials of President Obama’s intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA and FBI, detected truly suspicious 'contacts' between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russians 'linked to the Kremlin' (...), and this discovery legitimately led to the full-scale 'counterintelligence investigation' initiated in July 2016. (...) 2. The second explanation — currently, and oddly, favored by non-comprehending pro-Trump commentators at Fox News and elsewhere — is that 'Putin’s Kremlin' pumped anti-Trump 'disinformation' into the American media, primarily through what became known as the Steele Dossier. (...) 3. The third possible explanation — one I have termed 'Intelgate,' and that I explore in my recent book 'War With Russia?: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate' — is that US intelligence agencies undertook an operation to damage, if not destroy, first the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump."

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"Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in Ukraine"

Rechtsextreme und ultranationalistische Gruppen gewinnen in der Ukraine fünf Jahre nach dem Euromaidan deutlich an Zulauf, berichtet Lev Golinkin. "Today, increasing reports of far-right violence, ultranationalism, and erosion of basic freedoms are giving the lie to the West’s initial euphoria. There are neo-Nazi pogroms against the Roma, rampant attacks on feminists and LGBT groups, book bans, and state-sponsored glorification of Nazi collaborators. These stories of Ukraine’s dark nationalism aren’t coming out of Moscow; they’re being filed by Western media, including US-funded Radio Free Europe (RFE); Jewish organizations such as the World Jewish Congress and the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and watchdogs like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom House, which issued a joint report warning that Kiev is losing the monopoly on the use of force in the country as far-right gangs operate with impunity. Five years after Maidan, the beacon of democracy is looking more like a torchlight march."

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"Inside the Secretive US Air Campaign In Somalia"

Amanda Sperber berichtet in dieser Reportage über den Luftkrieg der USA in Somalia, der seit dem Amtsantritt Donald Trumps noch geheimer als früher ablaufe. "Since Donald Trump took office, the US military has approximately tripled the number of strikes that it conducts each year in Somalia, according to figures confirmed by the Pentagon, while such actions — and the reasons behind them — have become increasingly opaque. 'It’s hard to know what standards and processes the Trump administration, since taking office in 2017, has been applying to counterterrorism operations in places like Somalia, given the administration’s retrenchment on transparency with respect to the overall policy framework governing counterterrorism strikes,' said Joshua Geltzer, the senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council from 2015 to 2017."

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"Is Russia Solely to Blame for Violations of the INF Treaty?"

Theodore A. Postol, Physiker und emeritierter Professor am Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hält es für falsch, nur Russland für den drohenden Kollaps des INF-Vertrags verantwortlich zu machen. Ein entsprechender Beitrag in der New York Times ignoriere bestimmte Fakten über das Raketenabwehrsystem Aegis, das von der USA in Osteuropa installiert worden sei und das von Russland als potentielle Verletzung des INF-Vertrags betrachtet werde. "The military alleges that the Aegis system does not violate the INF, because the system lacks 'the software, fire control hardware, support equipment, and other infrastructure' needed to launch offensive cruise missiles — but the modifications needed to make the system cruise-missile-ready are relatively simple and could be easily accomplished. Such cruise missiles would have characteristics rather close to those of the Russian SSC-8s. The Russians have rightly raised questions about the possibility that the Aegis Ashore system could constitute a preparatory violation of the INF Treaty. (...) The political situation with Russia is more dangerous than ever, and there are certainly reasons to be concerned with Russian behavior. However, it would be good if the 'independent experts' whom The New York Times relied upon, and the Times itself, were to also ask whether the American side did something to provoke the Russians."

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"Russiagate’s 'Core Narrative' Has Always Lacked Actual Evidence"

Stephen F. Cohen beklagt, dass die Beziehungen der USA zu Russland in den vergangenen zwei Jahren durch die Diskussionen über "Russiagate" beschädigt worden seien, obwohl sich die zentralen Anschuldigungen gegen US-Präsident Trump und gegen Moskau auf zwei Dokumente ohne handfeste Beweise stützten. "Amid this daily frenzy, it’s often forgotten that Russiagate’s 'core narrative,' as one of its most devout and prominent promoters terms it, was inspired by, and continues to be based on, two documents, both published in January 2017: an 'Intelligence Community Assessment' and the anti-Trump 'dossier' compiled by a retired UK intelligence officer, Christopher Steele. (...) In short, in these most dangerous of times in US-Russian relations, American politics is consumed by a Russiagate 'core narrative' that is essentially a conspiracy theory about an alleged conspiracy. The first victim is rational discourse, the second rational policy-making, the third our own national security."

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"The New Cold War Is Here — and Now 3 Major Powers Are Involved"

Drei Ereignisse der letzten Wochen lassen Michael T. Klare zu dem Schluss kommen, dass es an der Zeit sei, tatsächlich von einem neuen Kalten Krieg zu sprechen. Um die internationale Sicherheit in diesem Klima des Misstrauens und der Feindseligkeit zu gewährleisten, sollten seiner Ansicht nach die Abrüstungsinitiativen des ersten Kalten Krieges ebenfalls neu belebt werden. "First, the release of the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, a blueprint for an expanded nuclear arsenal and a more permissive policy regarding nuclear-weapons use. Second, the decision by Chinese officials to eliminate term limits for the country’s president, paving the way for Xi Jinping to remain in office after his next five-year term ends in 2023. And third, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state-of-the-nation address on March 1, in which he announced the development of a new family of nuclear weapons intended to foil US antimissile systems and strike the heart of America. (...) Taken together, these three events have done much to create an international environment of suspicion, hostility, and bellicosity, not unlike the nightmarish climate of the early Cold War. (...) To preserve peace in this new era, it will be necessary to revive many of the disarmament initiatives of the original Cold War era, while also reinvigorating them with the organizational and communications advances of more recent years."

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"US Special-Operations Forces Have Quietly Moved Onto the Russian Border"

Das US-Militär habe in den vergangenen Jahren in vielen Nachbarländern Russlands Soldaten von Spezialeinheiten stationiert, berichtet Nick Turse. "For the past two years, the United States has maintained a special-operations contingent in almost every nation on Russia’s western border. '[W]e’ve had persistent presence in every country — every NATO country and others on the border with Russia doing phenomenal things with our allies, helping them prepare for their threats,' said [Gen. Raymond Thomas, the head of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM)], mentioning the Baltics as well as Romania, Poland, Ukraine, and Georgia by name. (...) According to Major Michael Weisman, a spokesman for US Special Operations Command Europe, elite US forces have deployed to 21 European countries in 2017 and conducted exercises with an even larger number of nations. 'Outside of Russia and Belarus we train with virtually every country in Europe either bilaterally or through various multinational events,' he told TomDispatch."

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"A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack"

Patrick Lawrence berichtet über neue Hinweise, die darauf hindeuten, dass die von WikiLeaks veröffentlichten Informationen über Hillary Clintons Wahlkampf im vergangenen Jahr nicht durch einen Hackerangriff auf die DNC-Server, sondern durch eine nicht autorisierte Weitergabe beschafft wurden. "What the forensic people are now producing constitutes evidence, however one may view it, and it is the first scientifically derived evidence we have into any of the events in which Russia has been implicated. The investigators deserve a response, the betrayed professionals who formed VIPS as the WMD scandal unfolded in 2003 deserve it, and so do the rest of us. The cost of duplicity has rarely been so high. I concluded each of the interviews conducted for this column by asking for a degree of confidence in the new findings. These are careful, exacting people as a matter of professional training and standards, and I got careful, exacting replies. All those interviewed came in between 90 percent and 100 percent certain that the forensics prove out."

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"Media Contempt for Facts Grows Along With the Dangers of War With Russia"

Stephen F. Cohen wirft vielen US-Medien in diesem Podcast vor, in ihrer Berichterstattung über die angeblichen Russlandverbindungen Donald Trumps Fakten zu ignorieren oder widerlegte Behauptungen aufrecht zu erhalten. In vielen Jahren werde diese Praxis Journalistenschulen als Negativbeispiel für "unverantwortliches Medienverhalten" dienen, aktuell könnte sie die USA allerdings in einen Krieg mit Russland führen. "Cohen ends with some relative 'good news.' Political dissent against the escalating new Cold War seems to be breaking out at high levels in Washington and in Europe. Emmanuel Macron, the new French president, has publicly strayed significantly from Cold War Washington on relations with Russia and Putin personally, as well as on Syria and the need for a coalition against international terrorism. And several other European NATO governments, including Germany, are loudly protesting the US Senate’s new sanctions against Russia. Such policy disputes are evident even inside the Trump administration."

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"Terrorism and the Perils of 'Russiagate'"

Der Russlandexperte Stephen F. Cohen meint in dieser Podcast-Diskussion mit John Batchelor, dass die hitzige amerikanische Debatte über die angebliche russische Beeinflussung der US-Präsidentschaftswahl eine effektive Kooperation beider Länder in der Terrorbekämpfung verhindere. "As he promised during the 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump has sought, publicly and privately, such an anti-terrorism coalition with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At each stage of the negotiations, the media’s 'Russiagate' narrative — allegations that Trump himself or his 'associates' have been treasonously compromised by the Kremlin, and for which no actual evidence has yet been produced—has intervened in ways that jeopardize, if not sabotage, the diplomatic process. The two most recent examples are allegations that Trump betrayed intelligence secrets to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during an Oval Office meeting and discussed with him Trump’s recent firing of FBI Director James Comey. And that the president’s son-in-law, and now aide, Jared Kushner, participated in an effort to establish a secret, unofficial 'back channel' of communication with Moscow prior to Trump’s inauguration."

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"Why the New Cold War Is More Dangerous Than the Preceding One"

Der amerikanische Russlandexperte Stephen F. Cohen hält das aktuelle Klima des Kalten Krieges für besonders gefährlich, da sich das Epizentrum des Konflikts zwischen den USA und Russland direkt an den russischen Grenzen befinde und es keine abgesprochenen Regeln zur Entschärfung von Konfrontationen mehr gebe. "(...) most observers, both in Washington and Moscow, now assume that any prospects of a Trump-Putin détente are dead. Cohen is not so sure, pointing to two pieces of evidence. Despite all the harsh words between the two countries, Trump and Putin have still refrained from personally vilifying the other, which suggests each still sees the other as a potential diplomatic partner. (...) More fundamental, Cohen concludes, are two questions that Washington must decide, and in ways it has not previously done. The first is which is the No. 1 threat to American and international security today: Russia or international terrorism?"

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"Why We Must Oppose the Kremlin-Baiting Against Trump"

Stephen F. Cohen meint, dass Demokraten und Republikaner mit dem Vorwurf, dass der Wahlsieg Donald Trumps nur mit russischer Hilfe zustande gekommen sei, ganz konkrete politische Ziele verfolgten. Die erzeugte antirussische Stimmung erinnere an die Hysterie der McCarthy-Ära. "The allegations are driven by political forces with various agendas: the Hillary Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, which wants to maintain its grip on the party by insisting that she didn’t lose the election but that it was stolen by Russian President Vladimir Putin for Trump; by enemies of Trump’s proposed détente with Russia, who want to discredit both him and Putin; and by Republicans and Democrats stunned that Trump essentially ran and won without either party, thereby threatening the established two-party system. Whatever the motivation, the ensuing slurs against Trump, which are already producing calls for his impeachment, pose grave threats to US and international security and to American democracy itself."

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"The Perils of Russophobia"

Patrick Lawrence warnt liberale und progressive Russland-Kritiker in den USA vor einer Eskalation der "Russophobie", die einen neuen McCarthyismus und die Wiederholung der gefährlichen Konfrontation des Kalten Krieges auslösen könnte. "During the Cold War, the long-brewing crisis between Sainte-Beuve’s 'two great nations' reached the point when we were willing to say, via our nuclear options, that human life itself was not as important as our triumph over the East as represented by the Russians. Our current run of Russophobia is but the latest chapter in the story. And now our obligations ought to be plain. The first is to see clearly. It is to 'go beyond our past,' as Nietzsche once put it. The second is to recognize contention between West and non-West for what it is: A pointless exercise rooted in the notion that only one political and social model will fulfill humanity’s aspirations. The third is to refuse to take up and prolong this fruitless struggle. It is to abandon it in the name of global diversity, a multiplicity of preferences and forms. This is the 21st-century task, and the loud, crude bout of Russophobia now threatening to envelop us is nothing but resistance to it."

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