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"What Belarus Learned From the Rest of the World"

Die Demonstrierenden in Weißrussland greifen bei ihren Protesten gegen Präsident Lukaschenko Yasmeen Serhan zufolge auf die Erfahrungen anderer Protestbewegungen zurück. "In some ways, though, the scenes in Belarus are all too familiar. The spontaneous, decentralized rallies across the country and the widespread adoption of social media by protesters resemble the prodemocracy movement in Hong Kong. The solidarity chains featuring thousands of Belarusians dressed in white are reminiscent of the human-chain demonstrations made popular by the Soviet-era independence movement the Baltic Way. Even the protests’ leaderlessness mirrors that of other protests as far afield as Catalonia, Chile, France, India, Iraq, Lebanon, and the United States. These overlapping approaches are emblematic of a global trend in which one country’s grassroots movement adopts the best practices of others. Through the exchange of strategies, slogans, and digital resources, these movements have transcended their borders, inspired one another, and attracted international support. The context and demands might be different, but the tactics are similar."

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"Where the Pandemic Is Cover for Authoritarianism"

Nicht nur in Hongkong werde die Coronakrise von Regierungen genutzt, um autoritäre Maßnahmen mit außergewöhnlicher Reichweite durchzusetzen, stellt Timothy McLaughlin fest. "Though the coronavirus has posed an enormous challenge for world leaders, it has also presented an opportunity — for those who wish to consolidate power, pandemic containment rules offer a convenient tool to stifle inconvenient dissent. Here in Hong Kong, for example, the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, postponed legislative elections scheduled for September by an entire year, sapping momentum from a prodemocracy camp that looked poised to make sizable gains. (…) Hong Kong is hardly the only place where the pandemic has proved to be useful political cover. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the public-health crisis to shut down the country’s Parliament and judiciary — which enabled the prime minister to not only postpone his own corruption trial, but also authorize the security service to track citizens’ movements using cellphone data without legislative oversight. In Bolivia, a forthcoming general election has been twice delayed because of the pandemic — an excuse that opposition parties allege has allowed the country’s interim president to extend her rule."

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"Why America Is Afraid of TikTok"

Michael Schuman erklärt, warum die populäre Videoplattform TikTok des chinesischen Unternehmens ByteDance in den USA vor einem Verbot steht. "With a presidential election approaching, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden should be tapping TikTok to woo young voters. New York bankers should be competing to list ByteDance’s shares on U.S. stock exchanges. A few years ago, all that might have happened. But not now. Most Americans, inside and outside the Beltway, no longer perceive China as a potential partner, but as a strategic enemy. Trump rails against Beijing on Twitter and at news conferences. The old policy of patient engagement is derided as a naive liberal fantasy that did nothing more than hand wealth and power to an authoritarian adversary. Seen through this prism, Zhang and TikTok embody not what’s gone right with China, but what’s gone wrong. TikTok — an app largely devoted to viral dance crazes and teenagers pranking their cats — is part of the China threat: the sharp high-tech edge of the Communist regime, penetrating deep into American society, stealing its secrets, monitoring its citizens, and aiding Beijing’s nefarious aims."

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"Chinese AI Is Creating an Axis of Autocracy"

In China werde KI-Technologie gezielt zur Ausweitung der totalitären Kontrolle der Regierung entwickelt und eingesetzt, schreibt Ross Andersen in seiner Reportage aus Peking. Da China die Technik an autoritäre Regierungen verkauft, sei dies auch ein internationales Problem. "Despite China’s considerable strides, industry analysts expect America to retain its current AI lead for another decade at least. But this is cold comfort: China is already developing powerful new surveillance tools, and exporting them to dozens of the world’s actual and would-be autocracies. Over the next few years, those technologies will be refined and integrated into all-encompassing surveillance systems that dictators can plug and play. The emergence of an AI-powered authoritarian bloc led by China could warp the geopolitics of this century. It could prevent billions of people, across large swaths of the globe, from ever securing any measure of political freedom. And whatever the pretensions of American policy makers, only China’s citizens can stop it. I’d come to Beijing to look for some sign that they might."

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"The Decline of the American World"

Andere Länder hätten die USA in vergangenen Jahrzehnten in der Regel mit Bewunderung, Furcht oder auch Abscheu betrachtet, schreibt Tom McTague in seinem Essay. Angesichts der aktuellen Protestbewegung in amerikanischen Städten sei Mitleid hinzugekommen. "It is hard to escape the feeling that this is a uniquely humiliating moment for America. As citizens of the world the United States created, we are accustomed to listening to those who loathe America, admire America, and fear America (sometimes all at the same time). But feeling pity for America? That one is new, even if the schadenfreude is painfully myopic. If it’s the aesthetic that matters, the U.S. today simply doesn’t look like the country that the rest of us should aspire to, envy, or replicate. (…) A European ambassador told me Trump himself is an expression of American decline. 'Choosing Trump is a way of not very successfully adapting to the globalized world,' the diplomat, who asked for anonymity, said. It is a sign of the United States following other great powers downward, something Biden — a septuagenarian who must be shielded from crowds because he is among the most vulnerable populations for the novel coronavirus — only illustrates further. 'That shows there’s a permanent element in the new U.S. that is not very healthy,' this ambassador said."

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"Biden’s Bad Foreign-Policy Ideas"

Kori Schake erinnert an kontroverse außen- und sicherheitspolitische Positionen des früheren US-Senators und Vizepräsidenten Joe Biden, der Donald Trump im November im Rennen um das Weiße Haus entgegentreten wird. Sie kritisiert vor allem Bidens widersprüchliche Position zu internationalen Einsätzen des US-Militärs. "Biden and his campaign are smart enough to pick up on the easy wins afforded by President Donald Trump’s disastrous foreign policies. (…) Yet while Biden might prove steadier than the incumbent on foreign policy, that is a low standard. And on some issues, Biden seems either to share Trump’s reflexes or accept his basic premises, raising the question of how much a Biden administration would change the substance of American policies. (…) Trump’s and Biden’s positions on Afghanistan are indistinguishable: Both vow to 'end the forever wars' by withdrawing American troops, but neither has a plan for what happens after that. (…) Biden’s favored strategy of 'counterterrorism plus' underinvests in political relationships with countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq that have shaky governments in volatile circumstances. It relies — just as Trump does — on drone strikes and special forces to reach into countries and kill people whom the U.S. fears."

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"The End of Hong Kong"

Das Ende der Autonomie Hongkongs ist nach Ansicht des aus der Stadt berichtenden Timothy McLaughlin nur noch eine Frage der Zeit. China habe in den vergangenen Wochen im Schatten der Coronakrise in "atemberaubenden Tempo" entsprechende Maßnahmen und legislative Schritte unternommen. "Though China has failed to pass a law through its allies in Hong Kong that would allow extraditions to the mainland, it will, through the newly announced national-security legislation, effectively bring its law directly to Hong Kong instead: targeting 'secessionist or subversive activity' and 'foreign and external interference,' while paving the way for mainland security forces to operate in the city, which, although part of China, has maintained its own laws, courts, and police. The legislation will give Beijing a new tool with which to crack down on protesters and dissidents, and push forward education that trumpets the successes of the Communist Party."

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"The Pandemic’s Geopolitical Aftershocks Are Coming"

Tom McTague warnt, dass der ersten Welle der Corona-Pandemie eine "geopolitische zweite Welle" folgen könnte. Sicherheitsexperten hätten bereits entsprechende Szenarien entworfen: "Imagine a scenario: Just as Europe and the United States begin to feel as if they have the coronavirus under control, it takes hold in the developing world. Exhausted, indebted, and desperate for their own economies to get back up to speed, richer countries are too slow to help. Panic ensues. Migrants mass in southern Europe, which is still struggling to pull itself out of a coronavirus-induced depression. Somewhere, a state defaults on debt held largely by Western financial institutions. In the chaos, an autocrat eyes an opportunity for a land grab. A United States already unwilling to take the lead leaves China to step into the void. This is just one (invented) scenario of a number that are raising concerns in Western capitals and that were laid out to me in conversations with more than half a dozen leading security experts, academics, and government advisers in recent weeks. Of those I spoke with, few doubted that a second wave was coming. The real concern was where it would land."

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"Can the West Actually Ditch China?"

In den USA und in Europa sind Stimmen laut geworden, die China für die anfängliche Verschleierung der Corona-Epidemie zur Verantwortung ziehen möchten. Yasmeen Serhan und Kathy Gilsinan zufolge stellt sich allerdings die Frage, ob der Westen den Worten angesichts seiner großen Abhängigkeit von chinesischen Produktionsstandorten tatsächlich Taten folgen lassen kann. "'The world is dependent on China for manufacturing,' Willy Shih, a professor at Harvard Business School who has written on U.S.-China supply-chain issues, told us. This isn’t just about medical supplies — it’s also about electronics, textiles, furniture, toys, and a lot more, adding up to about half a trillion dollars in imports. 'So I’m in the school that talk is cheap. And if you really want to go down that path, then you have to be prepared for the consequences,' Shih said. And it isn’t just a matter of simply relocating to hubs other than China, given that Beijing has cemented itself as the heart of global manufacturing, with more advanced internal supply chains than other possible substitutes. If Western displeasure with China’s coronavirus performance is currently more rhetoric than substance, it may still presage some long-term changes, though there’s some evidence that countries are worried about even just antagonizing Beijing too publicly with their words."

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"Angela Merkel Is Germany’s Scientist in Chief"

Saskia Miller lobt die politische Führungsrolle von Bundeskanzlerin Merkel in der Coronakrise. "For weeks now, Germany’s leader has deployed her characteristic rationality, coupled with an uncharacteristic sentimentality, to guide the country through what has thus far been a relatively successful battle against COVID-19. The pandemic is proving, in many ways, to be the crowning challenge for the quantum chemist turned politician, whose leadership style has consistently been described as analytical, unemotional, and cautious. In her quest for social and economic stability during this outbreak, Merkel enjoys several advantages: a well-respected, coordinated system of scientific and medical expertise distributed across Germany, the hard-earned trust of the public, and the undeniable fact that, given the extreme uncertainty of the moment, steady and sensible leadership is suddenly back in style. With 30 years of political experience, and facing an enormous challenge that begs calm, reasoned thinking, Merkel is at peak performance modeling the humble credibility of a scientist at work. And it seems to be paying off, both politically and scientifically."

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"How China Deceived the WHO"

In den USA mehren sich die Stimmen, die eine Untersuchung der Beziehungen Chinas zur WHO fordern. Kathy Gilsinan zufolge deutet einiges darauf hin, dass die Weltgesundheitsorganisation in der Coronakrise durch chinesische Fehlinformationen getäuscht worden sei. "Trump may well be looking to deflect blame for his own missed calls, but inherent structural problems at the WHO do make the organization vulnerable to misinformation and political influence, especially at a moment when China has invested considerable resources cultivating influence in international organizations whose value the Trump administration has questioned. (…) If this is something short of complicity in a Chinese cover-up — which is what former National Security Adviser John Bolton has alleged of the WHO — it does point to a big vulnerability: The group’s membership includes transparent democracies and authoritarian states and systems in between, which means the information the WHO puts out is only as good as what it’s getting from the likes of Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin."

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"An Unhealthy Military Is Struggling to Fight COVID-19"

Kathy Gilsinan schreibt, dass das US-Militär von der Corona-Pandemie besonders stark gefährdet sei. Die empfohlene räumliche Distanzierung lasse sich nicht nur auf Kriegsschiffen schwer umsetzen. Das Pentagon habe auf diese Fragen bisher keine Antworten gefunden. "The lack of unified instruction from the Pentagon’s leadership about necessary precautions and social-distancing enforcements has created a haphazard approach to containment, with more than 1,500 infections and five deaths so far across the military and Defense Department civilians, dependents, and contractors. 'I can’t put out a blanket policy, if you will, that we would then apply to everybody, because every situation’s different,' Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters in March, when the virus had recently taken the life of one defense contractor. 'Tell me, how do I do six-feet distancing in an attack submarine? Or how do I do that in a bomber with two pilots sitting side by side?'"

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"The Case Against Waging ‘War’ on the Coronavirus"

Yasmeen Serhan bezweifelt, ob die Anstrengungen zur Bekämpfung der Corona-Pandemie von Regierungen tatsächlich als "Krieg" bezeichnet werden sollten. "By choosing to frame the pandemic in military terms, governments are clearly trying to communicate the gravity of this public-health crisis — one that requires the type of state intervention and personal sacrifice most nations haven’t experienced in peacetime. But drawing this imperfect parallel can have the unintended consequence of causing fear and panic too. One look at the barren supermarket shelves and the surge in U.S. firearm sales suggests that it may have already had that impact. If the aim of such imagery is to compel the public to act in the national interest, framing this crisis in war terms may achieve just the opposite. (…) Some leaders have already demonstrated ways of reframing the pandemic that are less likely to spur panic. In Denmark, Queen Margrethe II likened the virus to a 'dangerous guest,' and urged Danes to 'show our togetherness by keeping apart.' Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, invoked perhaps the one thing that is better than any war at rallying nations: sport. 'You can’t win a football game only by defending,' he wrote on Twitter. 'You have to attack as well.'"

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"China Hawks Are Calling the Coronavirus a 'Wake-Up Call'"

"China-Falken" in Washington betrachten die Corona-Pandemie Uri Friedman zufolge als endgültigen Beweis für ihre These, dass die große Abhängigkeit der USA von globalisierten Lieferketten ein "systemisches Risiko" darstellt. "As Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro and Senator Marco Rubio both told me, the crisis is an alarming 'wake-up call' about American vulnerabilities in a globalized world — one that the United States has for decades played a leading role in sustaining. (…) Navarro, the director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, told me that the coronavirus epidemic illustrates how the United States is 'dependent on foreign sources' for crucial medicines and medical supplies. Nearly all surgical and most respirator masks used in the U.S., for instance, are manufactured in other countries such as China and Mexico, resulting in shortages during the current crisis. But the challenges extend beyond medical supplies central to the coronavirus outbreak. Yanzhong Huang, a global-health expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted that China is the largest exporter of medical devices to the United States, and that about 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in American drugs come from China and India. (…) Navarro proposed that the U.S. government should encourage high-tech domestic manufacturing of medical supplies and ensure that everything it procures across federal agencies 'is domestically sourced.' This 'buying American' should include 'not just the finished products, like the pills and face masks and ventilators,' but also 'the critical components, precursor chemicals, and advanced pharmaceutical ingredients we need for production,' he said."

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"Why Jihadists Loved America in the 1980s"

Thomas Hegghammer wirft einen Blick zurück in die 1980er Jahre und erklärt, warum Dschihadisten aus dem Nahen Osten und Asien in den USA in dieser Zeit bei der Anwerbung neuer Anhänger weitgehend freie Hand gehabt hätten. "My new biography of [Abdallah Azzam of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood] shows that in the 1980s, radical Islamists exploited U.S. territory to an extent not previously recognized. In fact, for more than a decade, America was among the most hospitable jihadist-recruitment grounds in the world. (…) But how was it even possible that America had become a cherished recruitment ground for Azzam? The main reason was that America offered unparalleled political freedoms. Azzam and his lieutenants were seen as religious activists, something for which there was high tolerance in the United States. Meanwhile, the U.S. government did not consider them a security threat, because at that time, Sunni Islamists had virtually never perpetrated terrorist attacks in the West."

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"The Coronavirus Is More Than Just a Health Crisis"

Tom McTague schreibt in seinem Bericht aus London, dass die Coronavirus-Epidemie nicht nur medizinische, sondern auch wichtige politische Fragen aufwerfe. "An outbreak like the coronavirus reveals the priorities and values of a society, and how long it can cope without the freedoms it’s accustomed to. Here in London, the government acknowledges that its own power is limited, and that it may have only a small window to impose curbs on a population unused to even basic state restrictions. (…) The dilemma for Johnson is simple: How much time, money, and social upheaval should be spent saving lives from COVID-19? He will have to make this decision in the dark, weighing reasonable expectations of what will happen if he does or does not act in certain ways. He will be presented with scenarios that consider crime rates, drops in consumer spending, job cuts, tax losses, and strains on a health system dealing with other illnesses — as well as deaths from COVID-19."

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"The Coronavirus Is No 1918 Pandemic""

In der Debatte über den Coronavirus werden häufig Vergleiche mit der "Spanischen Grippe" von 1918 angestellt, an der bis 1920 weltweit viele Millionen Menschen starben. Jeremy Brown, Autor des Buches "Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History", erläutert, warum die Situation heute eine völlig andere sei. "That pandemic remains a benchmark, and many commentators have rushed to compare it to the current coronavirus outbreak. What’s most striking about these comparisons, though, is not the similarities between the two episodes, but the distance that medicine has traveled in the intervening century. Whatever happens next, it won’t be a second 1918. (…) The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 occurred in the pre-antibiotic era. Although antibiotics do not treat viruses, they do treat the secondary bacterial infections that sometimes follow. These secondary infections cause severe pneumonia, and were likely responsible for most of the deaths in 1918. (…) If the terrible influenza pandemic of 1918 and the current coronavirus outbreak share one feature, it is this: People are terribly afraid. (…) Chicago’s health commissioner made this clear. 'It is our duty,' he said, “to keep the people from fear. Worry kills more people than the epidemic. For my part, let them wear a rabbit’s foot on a gold watch chain if they want it, and if it will help them to get rid of the physiological action of fear.'"

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"America Is Alone in Its Cold War With China"

Die USA hätten bei der Suche nach internationalen Verbündeten für ihre Konfrontation mit China bisher nur begrenzten Erfolg gehabt, stellt Uri Friedman fest. "Despite the global network of alliances Washington has built up, it’s been unable to convince those allies to hop aboard the 'great-power-competition' express and leave China behind. U.S. officials are learning just how challenging it is to persuade friendly nations that America is a reliable partner capable of providing them with viable alternatives to what China has on offer — that the rewards of drawing closer to Washington outweigh the risks of alienating Beijing. That’s in part because of the mixed messages from the American president himself: He’s notoriously iffy about his commitment to allies (…). In not following America’s lead, these allies have set precedents for how countries caught between the superpowers could act in the future. They have also signaled that international relations today are too intertwined, and Chinese power too magnetic, for them to enlist in a U.S.-led coalition and usher in a Cold War–style bifurcated world. If the United States is intent on reconstructing that world, it will likely find itself largely isolated."

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"The Sanders Doctrine"

Uri Friedman hat sich ausführlich mit der außenpolitischen Plattform des aussichtsreichen demokratischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten Bernie Sanders beschäftigt. Dabei erkennt er Parallelen zum Amtsinhaber Donald Trump. "'Sanders will represent, like Trump, maybe in a more civilized way, a more sophisticated way, a more predictable way, the U.S. partially withdrawing from world affairs,' Gérard Araud, the former French ambassador to the United States, told me. Many European officials consider Sanders 'a left-wing isolationist,' Araud explained. They’re as 'terrified' by the prospect of his presidency as of a second Trump term, because it would sow doubts about America’s continued commitment to NATO and sustaining the U.S.-led international system. (…) That questioning, in truth, started well before Trump. Araud recalled that when the Europeans were pressing the Obama administration to intervene in Libya back in 2011, he received a call from Susan Rice when they were representing France and the United States, respectively, at the United Nations. 'You are not going to bring us into your shitty war,' he remembers Rice telling him. But eventually, Obama caved. Trump and Sanders seem determined to not do the same."

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"How Do You Unmake a Terrorist?"

Zwei Messerangriffe durch vorzeitig aus der Haft entlassene Terroristen haben in Großbritannien eine Debatte über das Deradikalisierungsprogramm ausgelöst, mit dem die Regierung extremistische Häftlinge ideologisch beeinflussen will. Helen Lewis erläutert die Hintergründe des Programms, das durchaus effektiv, aber nie perfekt sein könne. "Clearly, deradicalization can work — several academics currently working in the field are former extremists, and for more than a decade, one of Britain’s leading counter-extremism programs was run by a former al-Qaeda sympathizer who had traveled to Afghanistan. Was there any obvious difference between those who were successfully deradicalized and the others, I asked [Arthur Snell, the former head of the British government’s anti-extremist Prevent program at the Foreign Office]. 'A lot of them are very bright,' he said. They got interested in new ideas, learned new information — and their stark worldview began to crumble. Others, though, were unable to understand the moral choices they had made or the effects of their actions. 'Not every individual can be changed,' Ali said. 'Just like we can’t stop every terrorist attack … and that’s the conflict. We want to maintain that open society. There will always be individuals we can’t reach.' (…) But punishment alone doesn’t unmake terrorists. No one in Britain would argue that extremists should be given an apartment, much less a spouse, but they do need a new life purpose to replace a perceived feeling of an existential struggle. They also need all the things that the British prison system struggles to give any inmate: mental-health support, education, training, and a future."

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"Donald Trump Stumbles Into a Foreign-Policy Triumph"

US-Präsident Trump habe mit seinem außenpolitischen Auftreten fast zufällig dafür gesorgt, dass geopolitische Realitäten aufgedeckt und einige Annahmen über angeblich neue Gesetzmäßigkeiten der internationalen Politik gründlich widerlegt worden sind, schreibt Tom McTague. "A term has been coined to describe this notion: Ryan Evans of War on the Rocks calls them 'Trumportunities.' It is the idea that, whether by accident or design, Trump creates chances to solve long-running international problems that a conventional leader would not. His bellicose isolationist agenda, for instance, might already be forcing Europe to confront its geopolitical weakness; China, its need for a lasting economic settlement with the U.S.; and countries throughout the Middle East, the limits of their power. The president’s erratic behavior might be doing something else as well, something even more fundamental. Through a combination of instinct, temperament, and capriciousness, Trump may be reminding the world of the reality of international relations: Raw military and economic power still matter more than anything else — so long as those who hold them are prepared to use them."

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"It Wasn’t the Law That Stopped Other Presidents From Killing Soleimani"

Kathy Gilsinan weist darauf hin, dass die beiden Amtsvorgänger Donald Trumps ebenfalls die gezielte Tötung des iranischen Generals Soleimani erwogen hätten. Sowohl Bush als auch Obama hätten aus guten Gründen auf den Befehl verzichtet. "Elissa Slotkin, a Democratic representative and former CIA analyst focused on Shia militias, said in a statement that she’d seen friends and colleagues killed or hurt by Iranian weapons under Soleimani’s guidance when she served in Iraq. She said she was involved in discussions during both the Bush and Obama administrations about how to respond to his violence. Neither opted for assassination. 'What always kept both Democratic and Republican presidents from targeting Soleimani himself was the simple question: Was the strike worth the likely retaliation, and the potential to pull us into protracted conflict?' she said. 'The two administrations I worked for both determined that the ultimate ends didn’t justify the means. The Trump Administration has made a different calculation.'"

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"Qassem Soleimani Haunted the Arab World"

In vielen Ländern der arabischen Welt habe der Tod des gefürchteten iranischen Generals Soleimani "Begeisterung" ausgelöst, berichtet Kim Ghattas. "Antipathy toward Iran and its role in the politics of multiple Middle East countries had long been building, predating these latest protests. But the multi-front explosion of popular anger toward Tehran and its proxies, especially from within Shiite communities in Lebanon and Iraq, was perhaps the most complex challenge that Soleimani had faced so far. The recent protests, in fact, explain the relief many feel in Beirut and Baghdad, in Damascus and Sana’a — blaming Soleimani himself for what had befallen their country or community. (…) Soleimani was so central to almost every regional event in the past two decades that even people who hate him can’t believe he could die, a bit like people couldn’t believe that Saddam Hussein was really gone. What happens in his absence? What comes next: war? Chaos? Limited retaliation? Nothing? No one like Soleimani has been assassinated in recent history."

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"The Embassy Attack Revealed Trump’s Weakness"

Der mittlerweile beendete Sturm der US-Botschaft in Bagdad markiert nach Ansicht von Peter Beinart das Scheitern der Iran-Strategie des US-Präsidenten. Donald Trump habe sich durch seine Abkehr vom Verhandlungsprozess mit Teheran in eine Lage manövriert, in der er nur verlieren könne. "(…) absent a revolution that replaces the Islamic Republic with a more pliant regime, he’s at Iran’s mercy. Given the crushing sanctions America continues to impose, Iran has every incentive to make America bleed. Its proxy armies offer it numerous opportunities to do so. And every time it does, it offers Trump the unenviable choice of launching a potentially catastrophic third Middle Eastern war or being exposed as a paper tiger. When it comes to Iran, Trump has shifted Republican foreign policy away from war without shifting it toward diplomacy — the only stable alternative to war. So he’s caught in a kind of purgatory. The American embassy compound in Baghdad, now covered in pro-Iranian graffiti and strewn with broken glass, is the latest symbol of that purgatory. It probably won’t be the last."

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"The Slow Death of Colombia’s Peace Movement"

Juan Arredondo berichtet, dass seit dem Abschluss des Friedensabkommens zwischen der kolumbianischen Regierung und der Farc-Guerilla vor drei Jahren hunderte Aktivisten, Gewerkschafter und Dissidenten ermordet worden seien. "The return to violence has been blamed on several factors, but chief among them is a lack of political support for the peace process. Critics of President Iván Duque charge that, through sins of omission and commission, he has undermined the deal’s prospects for success, and failed to do enough to protect those speaking out. Duque’s right-wing Democratic Center party was a vociferous opponent of the peace deal, and Duque became president in 2018 having campaigned to modify (though not abrogate) the accord. More than a year into his term, fewer than a quarter of the agreement’s nearly 600 provisions have been fully implemented, according to an analysis by Notre Dame University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies."

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"Inside the Collapse of Trump’s Korea Policy"

Die Zweifel an den Erfolgsaussichten der amerikanischen Nordkorea-Diplomatie haben in den vergangenen Wochen weiter zugenommen. Uri Friedman erklärt in seiner Bestandsaufnahme, warum der Versuch von US-Präsident Trump, Nordkoreas Atomprogramm zu stoppen, vor dem Scheitern stehe. "The story of how Trump’s North Korea policy collapsed is in part one of Pyongyang’s intransigence, obfuscation, and bad faith in talks about its nuclear program, as well as one in which U.S. and North Korean officials misread one another and at times placed too much stock in the rosy messages of the South Korean government, a key intermediary. But it’s also a tale about the American president undercutting his own success. Trump prioritized the North Korean threat, amassed unmatched leverage against Pyongyang, and boldly shook up America’s approach to its decades-old adversary. Yet he squandered many of these gains during his first summit with Kim, in Singapore, and set several precedents there that have hobbled nuclear talks ever since. He shifted the paradigm with North Korea in style but not in substance. While transforming the role of the president in negotiations with North Korea, he did not bring the same inventiveness to the negotiations themselves."

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"The Spiritual Disunity of the West"

Das Nato-Treffen in London hat nach Ansicht von Tom McTague bestätigt, welch schweren Stand die Nato als Verkörperung der Idee geteilter westlicher Werte mittlerweile habe. "What can possibly be said to connect Viktor Orbán to Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump to Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson to Angela Merkel? In just the past two days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has questioned Turkey’s commitment to the alliance’s principle of collective defense, Macron has attacked Turkey’s intervention in Syria, and Trump has suggested that the U.S. will impose tariffs on NATO allies. Here is a spiritual union that no longer appears spiritually connected, its members unable to agree on who they are, what they stand for, or even their principal enemy. Does the West, as Bevin described it, still even exist?"

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"Britain’s Secret War With Russia"

Seit der Vergiftung des russischen Ex-Spions Sergej Skripal und seiner Tochter in Salisbury befinde sich Großbritannien in einem verdeckten "Geheimkrieg" gegen Russland, berichtet Tom McTague. "(…) Russia and Britain went toe-to-toe in an international intelligence and PR battle, one in which each landed blows, exposing fissures in their respective systems and societies. Yet, as NATO leaders meet in London this week to discuss the future of the military alliance 70 years after its founding, other lessons emerge, with implications for the wider contest between Russia and the West, which are vying for influence, respect, security, and raw geopolitical power. (…) Unlike a conventional battle, though in keeping with much of modern conflict, there are no obvious measures to determine who won and who lost. The months-long information war that Russia fought with Britain was one in which mistakes were difficult to judge and success hard to immediately quantify. This is a story about disinformation and spycraft. It is also a story that again and again returns to the tiny Swiss town of Spiez."

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"How North Korea Soured on Donald Trump"

Uri Friedman macht die kompromisslose Strategie des US-Präsidenten für den ausbleibenden Erfolg der Verhandlungen mit Nordkorea verantwortlich. "The Kim regime 'now considers summits without payment for cooperation as empty diplomacy that merely helps ... Trump raise domestic political support,' Leif-Eric Easley, a Korea expert at Ewha Womans University, in Seoul, told me. It’s ironically the mirror-image argument to what Trump’s critics contended when he became the first American president to meet with North Korea’s dictator: that it would grant Kim valuable legitimacy while leaving the United States with nothing of substance to show for it. (…) The main holdup in negotiations has been the Trump administration’s unwillingness to ease sanctions on North Korea, even if only partially and in a reversible manner, until North Korea commits to complete denuclearization, so 'if Trump makes a decision to loosen some sanctions I think we could see this roll into a deal pretty quickly,' Victor Cha, a Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and onetime candidate to be Trump’s ambassador to South Korea, told me. (…) As the North Korea scholar Robert Carlin recently wrote, 'If Pyongyang has decided it has a viable option to move to full and final development of its most fearsome weapons while the U.S. sinks into months of savage internal political warfare, then East Asia, in fact the entire Western Pacific, will in a flash become more dangerous than it has been at any time since World War II.'"

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