US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The National Interest


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"Western Values May Not Survive the Coronavirus"

Die Corona-Pandemie habe kaum erwartete Schwächen der westlichen Welt offengelegt, meint Ali Demirdas. Dies könne den Niedergang der liberalen Demokratien im Westen beschleunigen. "For the first time since WWII, the Europeans feel invaded, and for the first time in nearly two centuries, the United States is struggling to defeat an invading army on its soil. All these things considered, the contagion will likely have monumental social, economic, and political impact on Europe and America. For most Europeans, the bitter fact dawned on them that the motto 'United in Diversity,' which signifies the common desire to 'work together for peace and prosperity,' is good as long as the bubble of safety, affluence, and wealth is intact. The pandemic revealed the cherished ideal of European unity can easily be replaced by 'everyone for themselves.' (…) The pandemic scare will change the way the people of the West see the world. The faith in democracy, liberalism, and institutionalism is likely going to decline in favor of a state-centric, and strongman infused system, just as was the case in the interwar era (1918–1939)."

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"Has Germany Defeated the Coronavirus?"

Hunter DeRensis betrachtet die Entwicklung der Coronakrise in Deutschland als Außenstehender und im Vergleich zu anderen Staaten durchaus optimistisch. "As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus and the subsequent deaths continual to rise in places like Italy and New York state, other places in the western world are beginning to get ahead of the pandemic. Germany, through a strong public healthcare system and stringent quarantine measures, is beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. Despite earlier, apoplectic predictions, Germany has been able to keep a low death toll during the crisis. With over 26,000 positive cases, they have only had 111 deaths. This percentage far surpasses the countries of southern Europe, like Italy and Spain."

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"Why Autocrats Love Coronavirus"


Für Autokraten kommt die Corona-Krise nach Ansicht von Melinda Haring und Doug Klain vom Atlantic Council wie gerufen. "Around the world, authoritarian governments are exploiting the global COVID-19 pandemic to crackdown on dissent and suppress their political enemies. From the Nile to the Dnieper, strongmen are shuttering opposition offices, silencing journalists, and banning public demonstrations at crucial moments — often under the guise of public health. (…) Authoritarian leaders are constantly searching for scapegoats, working to rile up the fears of their populace, and trying to tighten their grips. To them, the coronavirus pandemic is a bonanza — the liberal democracies that would typically call them out for their violence, repression, and racism are distracted, with the necessities of stopping the virus in their home countries. If these strongmen go unchecked, the COVID crisis may end with all of us emerging to find a world in which authoritarianism triumphs. More political prisoners, more presidents-for-life, and more despotism. Now, the West needs to figure out how to stop a pandemic and fight authoritarianism at the same time. It can be done."

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"Why Is Terrorism Rising in West Africa?"

Der Informationsdienst Stratfor macht die beiden Gruppen Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) und Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) für die aktuelle Terrorwelle in Westafrika verantwortlich. "JNIM and ISGS initially operated out of central Mali and northern Burkina Faso. Over the past year, increasingly violent and frequent militant attacks have begun affecting the Mali-Niger border area and southern parts of Burkina Faso. Over the past year, more than 2,600 people have been killed and more than a half-million have been displaced in Burkina Faso alone. The surge of jihadist violence is also increasingly encroaching on countries in coastal West Africa. (…) Western forces are unlikely to significantly shift their counterterrorism strategies in the Sahel. A continued slow but steady expansion of coordinated jihadist operations will prompt France will devote more resources to the conflict, but not enough to alter the security environment. The United States, meanwhile, will continue to seek to extract itself from the region as it attempts to refocus its military posture toward great power competition. Should Western powers maintain their current level of support, local governments in West Africa may feel the need to ask for additional help, which could prompt Russia to become a bigger player in the Sahel."

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"Will Coronavirus Collapse Lebanon — And Will It Be Iran’s Fault?"—and-will-it-be-ir

Die Corona-Pandemie treffe den Libanon in einer ohnehin ernsten politischen und wirtschaftlichen Lage, berichtet Matthew Petti. "The small Mediterranean republic is facing a cascading series of crises, culminating in the government defaulting on its sovereign debt earlier this week. The Lebanese health-care sector has taken a serious hit from the country’s ongoing financial crisis as the U.S.-Iranian conflict has caused pro-Iran factions to dig in their heels on repairing the country’s economy. (…) The crisis could also be an opportunity for the central government to win back legitimacy — and it may cast Hezbollah, the pro-Iran political party that currently runs Lebanon’s health ministry, in a negative light. 'The public health system is not very well-resourced,' said Jean AbiNader, communications chair for the American Task Force for Lebanon, but the country has 'a very strong professional class' that could be mobilized to deal with the pandemic."

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"Serbia Built New Rockets To Show NATO That It Is Still Mad About The 1999 Bombings"

Michael Peck betrachtet die aktuelle Aufrüstung des serbischen Militärs auch als Warnung an die NATO. In Belgrad habe man die Bombardierungen von 1999 nicht vergessen. "Still angry after NATO’s 1999 bombing campaign, Serbia has unveiled a new guided rocket that sends a message to its neighbors: if you help NATO bomb us, we’ll bomb your cities. (...) A defense expert in Serbia, which fought Bosnia and Croatia in the 1990s and was bombed by NATO in 1999 over the Kosovo conflict, told Russian media that those missiles will fly if Serbia’s neighbors help NATO again. (…) 'Hopefully no such conflict will ever happen,' Lazanski said. 'But if it does and someone is crazy enough to make his airspace available to any third country willing to attack Serbia [like Bulgaria did in 1999], we now have a missile to reach all the strategic cities in the region.' Serbia is also quadrupling its modern jet fighter force, courtesy of Russia and Belarus. Russia is selling Serbia six MiG-29s as well as Buk medium-range antiaircraft missiles in a $640 million sale. At the same time, Belarus, a Russian ally, is donating eight more MiG-29s and two Buk antiaircraft missile systems."

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"Turkey Has a Drone Air Force. And It Just Went to War in Syria."

Das türkische Militär stützt sich bei seinen Operationen gegen die syrischen Regierungstruppen auch auf seine Drohnenflotte, berichtet David Axe. "The Turkish military’s drones represent an 'asymmetric' force in Syria. Damascus’s forces lack the technology reliably to defeat attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. 'Only sophisticated [electronic-warfare] capabilities that are matched with robust radar-warning and air-defenses can potentially tackle this threat,' drone expert Samuel Bendett told The National Interest. Bendett is a member of the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses' International Affairs Group. (…) Ankara isn’t taking any chances. It has steered its drones around areas defended by Russian missiles and guns, Bendett pointed out. The Turkish military operates around 130 armed drones of several types, including five versions of the Anka plus the Karayel and the Bayraktar TB2. All can carry small, precision-guided missiles. (…) Ankara’s drones might not be capable of defeating the most capable Russian defenses. But against the lightly-armed Syrians, the UAVs can be deadly."

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"Why the Palestinian Authority Should Accept the Trump Administration's Olive Branch of Opportunity"

Eliora Katz und Eyal Tsir Cohen empfehlen den Palästinensern, ihre kategorische Ablehnung des US-Friedensplans zu überdenken. Der Plan sehe u.a. einen vierjährigen Stopp der israelischen Besiedlung palästinensischer Gebiete vor. Sollte diese Gelegenheit verstreichen, könne eine unumkehrbare Situation entstehen. "In 2019 alone, Israel advanced plans to build 9,413 settlement homes, about the same amount as in the previous two years. According to Interior Ministry data, the annual population growth rate of West Bank settlements is well above that of the rest of the Jewish state. Last year, the population of Israeli communities east of the Green Line rose by over 3.1 percent, while Israel’s overall population increased by 1.9 percent. In 2018, the growth rate for Jews in the West Bank was 3.5 percent, almost double the national rate. As these Jewish communities expand, the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state becomes less and less likely. Thus, it is crucial for the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table as soon as possible to take advantage of the historic freeze. This is likely the last moment before the situation becomes irreversible."

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"The Terrorist Challenge: Offshoot Groups Are Waging War Under the Flag of Sharia"

Abdul-Khakim Sultygov, Politikwissenschaftler an der Lomonosov Moscow State University, ist der Ansicht , dass die islamische Welt auf die Bedrohung durch den Dschihadismus und die Möglichkeit einer "islamischen" Atombombe mit einer Neudefinition des islamischen Rechtssystems Scharia reagieren sollte. "Sharia is based upon a state of permanent war with the non-Islamic part of the world and authorizes the use of force against non-Muslim Nations to spread Islam. These are the same rules used by 'jihadist terrorists' to legalize violence against non-Muslims. Thus, the resolution of the fundamental contradiction between Islamic and international law, equivalent to the proclamation of a new 'Westphalian world,' is impossible without revising the provisions of the Sharia which have lost their historical relevance and weaken the position of Islam in the world. (…) it is necessary to solve the initial, institutional task, that is, to convene the Universal Islamic conference of recognized scholars of theology, representing all the theological and legal schools and trends in Islam. I am convinced that a precedent-setting solution for this forum should be the introduction of a Sharia rule that addresses a problem not described in the Quran and Sunnah and not solved by its successors, a problem that is of vital importance for the Islamic world and humanity as a whole — the issue of nuclear weapons."

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"'Century of Humiliation': How the Opium Wars Made China What It Is Today"

Wer das chinesische Selbstverständnis verstehen möchte, sollte nach Ansicht von Sebastien Roblin einen Blick auf die Opiumkriege im 19. Jahrhundert werfen. "It’s hard to over-emphasize the impact of the Opium Wars on modern China. Domestically, it’s led to the ultimate collapse of the centuries-old Qing Dynasty, and with it more than two millennia of dynastic rule. It convinced China that it had to modernize and industrialize. Today, the First Opium War is taught in Chinese schools as being the beginning of the 'Century of Humiliation' -  the end of that 'century' coming in 1949 with the reunification of China under Mao. While Americans are routinely assured they are exceptional and the greatest country on Earth by their politicians, Chinese schools teach students that their country was humiliated by greedy and technologically superior Western imperialists. The Opium Wars made it clear China had fallen gravely behind the West - not just militarily, but economically and politically. Every Chinese government since - even the ill-fated Qing Dynasty, which began the 'Self-Strengthening Movement' after the Second Opium War - has made modernization an explicit goal, citing the need to catch up with the West."

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"Trump's Nightmare Is Here: Is ISIS Making a Comeback?"

Daniel R. DePetris empfiehlt, aktuelle Warnungen vor einem erneuten Aufstieg des "Islamischen Staates" im angebrachten Kontext zu beurteilen. "One of the most fundamental misconceptions about terrorism, in general, is that a final victory against these groups is possible. (…) The word 'defeat' is a terribly counterproductive one to use in the terrorism context, for it suggests that killing every last terrorist on the planet or pressuring a terrorist group to sign some surrender document is not only doable but viable. In reality, 'winning' (another word that should be generally avoided) the war against ISIS in the traditional sense is about as likely as winning the war on drugs, crime, or poverty: it’s nice to think about, but so is climbing Mt. Everest in a day. Terrorism is an ever-changing, ever-amorphous, often faceless threat. Groups constantly evolve their tactics and strategies, shift their goals, re-brand if it suits their interests, lay low when the military pressure becomes unmanageable, and exploit opportunities when they come. Terrorism has been around since the beginning of civilization, and it will, unfortunately, be with us until the end of it. The job of counterterrorism professionals is how best to contain it."

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"'Powered' Out: Samantha Power Misunderstood Her Role"

David Rieff rezensiert die Memoiren "The Education of an Idealist" der früheren UN-Botschafterin der USA, Samantha Power, die unter Präsident Obama eine wichtige Rolle in der US-Außenpolitik gespielt hat. Rieff wirft Powers einen unreflektierten amerikanischen Imperialismus vor und zitiert aus dem Buch "The Quiet American" von Graham Greene: "Again we are back in Quiet American country and Greene’s line about Aiden Pyle, the eponymous American of the book’s title, that 'I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused.' Like Pyle, Power’s good intentions are not at issue. But like so many well-meaning servants of the Pax Americana before her, Power profoundly misunderstands her own role. Cicero wrote of Cato that he 'gives his opinion as if he were in Plato’s Republic, not in Romulus’ cesspool,' and that is Power’s error as well. For when she writes extensively about America’s successes and failures but never of America’s crimes and complicity in crimes, she is engaged in an exercise in idolatry, and idolatry of a particularly exasperating and mediocre kind: self-idolatry. Power is well aware of the dangers of imperial overreach, but she writes as though she remains insensible to the dangers of imperialism itself. This, it seems, is what passes for idealism in the Washington policy establishment these days."

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"Greece Is at the Nexus of the Geopolitical Crossroads"

Griechenland präsentiere sich in den sicherheitspolitischen Fragen im östlichen Mittelmeer immer deutlicher als enger Verbündeter der USA, berichten Eric Edelman und Charles Wald. Die Griechen strebten offenbar an, die Türkei als regionales "NATO-Bollwerk" abzulösen. "Indeed, Athens is doing exactly what American policymakers ask of allies, namely taking on larger duties of collective defense. Greece already spends a greater share of GDP on defense than any NATO member save the United States. This reflects how, after decades of cool relations at best, there is a growing national consensus that partnership with the United States should form the bedrock of Greek security. Remarkably, this turnaround was led by Alexis Tsipras, the former prime minister and former Communist. Now his initiatives are being expanded by the center-right, traditionally more pro-American New Democracy Party."

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"The Brutal Reason American Tanks Shoot Depleted Uranium Shells"

Kyle Mizokami erklärt, warum das US-Militär bei seinen Panzern auch künftig nicht auf den Einsatz der umstrittenen panzerbrechenden Uranmunition verzichten dürfte. "(…) the United States was researching the use of depleted uranium as an armor penetrator. A byproduct of nuclear reactor fuel, depleted uranium was harder and denser than existing tungsten-tipped penetrators. Accelerated to extremely high speeds, this allowed a depleted-uranium (DU) round to smash through an unprecedented amount of armor. The pyrophoric nature of uranium and steel would cause the DU to catch fire upon penetration, causing catastrophic damage inside the tank. (…) The use of depleted uranium as a penetrator has resulted in superior armament for U.S. tankers crossing the battlefield. Nobody knows how long the one-two combination of the M256 gun and DU ammunition will continue to overmatch enemy armor, but given DU’s superior armor piercing capability, it’s a fairly sure bet DU will arm the next generation of Army tanks as well."

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"The World Spends $3 Trillion a Year on Arms"

Einer neuen Untersuchung des US-Außenministeriums zufolge haben Staaten weltweit zwischen 2007 und 2017 jährliche Rüstungsausgaben in Höhe von drei Billionen US-Dollar getätigt. "Ironically, rich, democratic nations – which like to think of themselves as being the most peaceful – also accounted for a bulk of a global arms trade averaging $181 billion annually. 'Countries in the most democratic quintile of world population appear to have accounted for about 92 percent of world arms exports and 50 percent of world arms imports,' the study found. The United States accounted for 79 percent of the global arms trade, or an average of $143 billion per year, followed by the European Union at 10 percent, Russia at 5 percent and China at less than 2 percent."

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"Trump Can't Win In Iraq Because Iran Is Winning The Middle East's Information War"

Im Nahen Osten habe die iranische Interpretation des aktuellen Konflikts mit den USA beunruhigend viele Anhänger, stellt Michael Rubin vom American Enterprise Institute (AEI) fest. Im Informationskrieg gegen Teheran hinke Washington spürbar hinterher. "It is one thing for Iranians to believe their own media. The problem is that across much of Iraq and the Levant, the Iranian narrative is widely accepted. Soleimani, in particular, and the Iranian government more broadly are masters of what military practitioners and strategists refer to as the DIME [Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic] model. The basic idea is that any coherent strategy encompasses all four, and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The United States for its part consistently drops the ball on Information strategies (…). The problem is not just in Iraq. Broadly speaking, the U.S. military’s information strategy is to be truthful in order to build credibility. The drawback to this is that it can take days to determine where the truth lies during which the news cycle moves on. The Iranian strategy — played out in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and elsewhere — is not only to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks but to do it repeatedly."

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"America Might Not Go to War with Iran, But Israel Might"

Dov S. Zakheim weist darauf hin, dass der Iran nicht nur die USA, sondern auch Israel für den Tod von General Suleimani verantwortlich macht. Während ein Krieg mit den USA unwahrscheinlich bleibe, sei ein offener Konflikt Irans oder der verbündeten Hisbollah in Libanon mit Israel durchaus denkbar. "In response to unequivocal threats from both Hezbollah and Tehran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has for the first time officially revealed that Israel is a nuclear power. The country’s war cabinet has been meeting regularly, and its forces are on a high level of alert. Moreover, Netanyahu’s calculus is different from that of his usual soulmate, the American president. Trump has every incentive to avoid a conflict, which could jeopardize his re-election prospects given the war weariness of the American public. On the other hand, Netanyahu, fighting for his political life and seeking to win immunity from prosecution for accepting bribes and committing other crimes, might actually relish prolonged tensions with Tehran, even if they led to some escalation in the long-standing, low-level hostilities between the two states. Having campaigned throughout the past decade on the basis of his ability to lead the nation in a conflict, Netanyahu may hope both to convince the Israeli Knesset to grant him immunity and to convince enough voters in the elections set for March that only he can lead them through what clearly is the most serious Middle Eastern crisis since the Gulf War."

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"Is Germany's Military Dying?"

Die begrenzte Einsatzbereitschaft der neuen Transport- und Kampfhubschrauber der Bundeswehr ist David Axe zufolge der jüngste Beleg für die Materialkrise des deutschen Militärs. "Readiness disasters are perennial news in Germany. In mid-2018 just 10 of the German air force’s then 128 Eurofighter Typhoons were mission-ready, local media reported. At the same time, only 26 of the air force’s 93 Tornado fighter-bombers were ready. The shortage of Typhoons and Tornadoes made it impossible for the German air force to meet its obligation to NATO to maintain 82 fighters in a high state of readiness for a sudden crisis. 'The Luftwaffe is at a low point,' admitted Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, then the new chief of staff of the air force. The problem extended across the German armed forces. According to a 2018 report to the German parliament, only 16 of 72 CH-53 transport helicopters, three of 15 A400 airlifters, 105 of 224 Leopard 2 tanks, and five of 13 frigates were ready. Most catastrophically, none of the German navy’s six submarines were capable of deploying. (…) Incredibly, the German air force plans to acquire scores of new warplanes even as it fails to maintain the planes it already has."

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"The Top Ten Geopolitical Risks for 2020 (North Korea, Elections, China and Much More)"

Robert A. Manning und Mathew Burrows vom Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security wagen eine Prognose über die Wahrscheinlichkeit von Entwicklungen in den geopolitischen Brennpunkten des kommenden Jahres. "Here are ten of the top geopolitical risks to watch out for in 2020: 1. 2020 Elections: (…) Trump win: 60-40 probability. (…) 2. Brexit: (…) Probability of UK-EU trade deal by the end of 2020: 50-50 with much less probability (25 percent) for UK-US deal in 2020. (…) 3. The Great Unraveling: (…) Probability: 60-40 (…) 4. A Bifurcated World: (…) Probability of bifurcated world: 60-40 (…) 5. North Korean Defiance: (…) End of denuclearization diplomacy: 65-35 (…) 6. Nuclear Stability Unravels: (…) Probability: 60-40 (…) 7. Demise of U.S. Traditional Alliances: (…) End of US-ROK alliance, probability 50-50 (strong Department of Defense and Congressional pushback). (…) 8. Nuclear Proliferation: (…) Active moves toward Asian & Middle East proliferation: 40-60 (…) 9. Post-U.S. Middle East: (…) Probability: 55-45 (…) 10. Gray Swan: (…) Probability of a world financial crisis in 2020: 35-65".

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"Israel's 'Iron Dome' Is Headed to Europe"

Tschechien will bei der Modernisierung seiner Luftverteidigung auch auf das israelische Raketenabwehrsystem "Iron Dome" zurückgreifen. "Czech Republic is acquiring Israel’s famed ‘Iron Dome” Multi-Mission Radar in an agreement signed earlier this month. The agreement between the Israel Ministry of Defense and Czech Ministry of Defense will see at least eight ELM-2084 radars operational in Czech Republic in coming years as part of the country’s enhanced Mobile Air Defense Radar program. This is an important $125 million sale because it represents Israel’s inroads into eastern Europe, especially the Visegrad Group of countries that are becoming increasing allies of Jerusalem."

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"Save the Open Skies Treaty"

Mary Chesnut und Robert Farley plädieren dagegen für eine Rettung des "Open Skies"-Vertrags und verweisen trotz mancher Vertragsverletzungen durch Russland auf die vielen Vorteile des Abkommens. "The Open Skies Treaty, however, represents a low-cost answer to an age-old problem of international security, providing a mechanism for monitoring deployments of military forces and providing assurance to vulnerable nations. Discarding the treaty would represent a surrender to anti-arms control fetishism, rather than to a careful assessment of the security interests of the United States. (…) Generally speaking, arms control agreements should collapse when the strategic or technological foundations that underlay the agreement have collapsed.  There is little reason to believe that this condition holds today with respect to the Open Skies treaty. The strategic logic of the agreement - to increase transparency between the United States and Russia - remains wholly sound, and indeed is perhaps stronger today than it was two decades ago. Intelligence sharing arrangements with allies continue to provide useful assurance regarding capabilities and intentions on either side. The treaty does not leave either of the two primary signatories at stark disadvantage relative to one another, or to any third country."

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"North Korea Declares: 'Denuclearization Is Already Gone Out of the Negotiating Table'"

Nordkorea hat angekündigt, dass eine nukleare Abrüstung des Landes in kommenden Verhandlungen mit den USA keine Rolle mehr spielen soll. Daniel R. DePetris kommentiert: "If one had a smidgeon of hope that North Korea’s denuclearization was still a realistic option, it might have evaporated this weekend. Days after a number of senior North Korean officials castigated President Trump for pulling the 'Rocket Man' monicker off the shelf, it sure looks like North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations put the final nail in the denuclearization coffin. 'We do not need to have lengthy talks with the U.S. now and denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiating table,' Kim Song said (…) If Trump is shocked at the news, he hasn’t been paying very much attention over the preceding 18 months. Two summits, one meeting at the Demilitarized Zone, one joint declaration, several letters, and happy words about friendship later, North Korea is no closer today to the proverbial denuclearization than it was when Trump swore the oath of office. If anything. Pyongyang has only gotten further away; Stanford University’s Siegfried Hecker, Robert Carlin, and Elliot Serbin have assessed that in 2018, the North generated uranium and plutonium for an additional 5-7 nuclear weapons. (…) Trump, with a tough election year ahead of him, will now be deprived of the magical denuclearization deal he likely hoped to use on the stump as an example of his negotiating acumen."

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"Is the Mighty NATO Alliance Dying? Three Ways It Can Be Saved"

Die NATO befinde sich heute in einer Krise, aus der es ohne "dramatische Reformen" kaum einen Ausweg geben werde, meint Daniel R. DePetris vor dem NATO-Gipfel in London am 3. und 4. Dezember. Er betrachtet drei grundlegende Änderungen als notwendig: "1. An Accountability Clause: Today, there is no accountability in the alliance. All 29 members in effect have carte-blanche to do what they want regardless of how their decisions correspond to the principles of the NATO charter or impact the rest of the organization. (…) Whatever the form, the goal is the same: no more blank checks that increase the sense of entitlement over the long-term. 2. Close the Door: NATO has gotten far too big for its britches. The institutional pillars of the alliance are wobbling under the weight of small, insignificant members who are poor economically, weak militarily, and quite frankly undeserving of a timeless security guarantee. (…) The alliance shouldn’t be adding more dead weight. 3. Detente with Russia: We get it: not many in the West like the Russians. (…) It will take a long time for the political relationship to change and may not occur until a new generation of leaders takes over in the Kremlin. But the politics can’t bleed into the military domain. The military-to-military channel needs to stay open in order to mitigate the kinds of surprises that lead to misunderstandings, solidify mutual hostility, and make the politics even harder to manage."

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"Sondland Abandons Trump To Defend Himself"

Hunter DeRensis stellt dagegen fest, dass es in der Aussage Gordon Sondlands im Amtsenthebungsverfahren keine konkreten Belege für einen Amtsmissbrauch durch US-Präsident Trump gegeben habe. "(…) Sondland says that Trump never told him military aid was conditioned on the investigations. By September, Sondland 'presumed' the quid pro quo existed based on context clues and his own judgment. (…) Sondland said that on September 9 he spoke on the phone with Trump, and asked, 'What do you want from Ukraine?' Trump responded, 'I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I just want Zelensky to do the right thing, to do what he ran on [anti-corruption].' The delay on military aid was lifted on September 11. (…) Democrats have not yet produced the smoking gun that would result in the ouster of Trump. So far, they have simply demonstrated that Trump’s casual approach toward staffing the ranks of his own administration has boomeranged upon him."

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"What Impeachment Really Reveals About Ukraine"

Der erste Tag der öffentlichen Impeachment-Anhörung hat nach Ansicht von Hunter DeRensis demonstriert, dass es bei dem Verfahren weniger um persönliche Vergehen Trumps, als um die Ablehnung seiner sicherheitspolitischen Strategie gehe. Die Ukraine werde dabei als enger Verbündeter der USA im Kampf gegen Russland dargestellt, der vom US-Präsidenten durch die Zurückhaltung von Militärhilfe im Stich gelassen worden sei. "According to [William B. Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine], 'the security assistance we provide is crucial to Ukraine’s defense and to the protection of the soldiers I met last week. It demonstrates to Ukrainians — and Russians — that we are Ukraine’s reliable strategic partner. It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression.' Maybe so, but how is that best accomplished? Is it better to pursue a modern-day version of détente with Russia, as Trump seems inclined to do, or is it better to engage in a standoff with Moscow? Taylor seems to believe that it’s not even permissible to debate this issue. What’s more, Taylor puts the onus on Washington to prove its bona fides to Kiev rather than the reverse. It’s quite remarkable that Trump should have to display his credibility to Ukraine instead of it showing him that there is a benefit to America assisting a country that has been riven by blatant corruption, infighting and intrigue for decades."

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"Open Skies Treaty — What it is, and Why America Might Be Leaving"—what-it-and-why-america-might-be-leaving-95491

Die US-Regierung erwägt derzeit, den "Vertrag über den Offenen Himmel" aufzukündigen. Der Vertrag wurde 1992 von Staaten der NATO und des Warschauer Pakts unterzeichnet und erlaubt den Teilnehmern, gegenseitig ihre Territorien auf festen Routen zu überfliegen und Aufnahmen zu machen. Caleb Larson erklärt, warum die USA den Vertrag verlassen wollen und welche Folgen dies haben könnte. "Both Russia and the United States accuse each other of violating one of the treaty’s core principles: freedom of navigation over any signatory’s airspace. (…) Withdrawing from Open Skies would not necessarily leave the United States at a disadvantage. American satellites are rapidly advancing, recent estimates put their resolution at ten centimeters per pixel, undoubtedly much higher than resolutions from film cameras snapped at 35,000 feet. If the United States withdraws from Open Skies, the real disadvantage would be to countries that do not have an extensive spy satellite network to lean on absent Open Skies flights — and countries that have ongoing territorial conflicts with Russia. Ukraine in particular benefits from data gathered by Open Skies flights over eastern Ukraine and Russia adjacent."

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"ISIS Leader Killed on Turkey’s Doorstep"

Matthew Petti macht darauf aufmerksam, dass der IS-Anführer Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi nur fünf Kilometer von der syrisch-türkischen Grenze entfernt getötet worden sei. Dies werfe Fragen nach der Rolle Ankaras in Syrien auf. "(…) the location of al-Baghdadi’s death — and the people who had sheltered him — underscored serious questions about Turkey’s role in Syria. Idlib Province, where al-Baghdadi was hiding, is under the control of Syrian rebel groups, many of them Turkish-backed. And al-Baghdadi was finally cornered at a village called Barisha, less than three miles from the border with Turkey. His location in Barisha had been known for more than three months, according to New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi. (…) 'There are serious questions that need to be answered concerning how one of the most wanted terrorists in the world was able to stay for months in a safe house so close to Turkey’s border,' said Center for a New American Security fellow Nicholas Heras, who has advised U.S. counterterrorism officials on Syria. Barisha is not under the direct control of Turkey, but Turkish forces have established several 'observation posts' elsewhere in Idlib Province."

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"Elizabeth Warren Wants A Nuclear No First Use Policy, But It Won't Be Easy to Implement"

Die aussichtsreiche demokratische Präsidentschaftskandidatin Elizabeth Warren will die USA im Fall ihres Wahlsiegs 2020 dazu verpflichten, formal auf einen Ersteinsatz von Atomwaffen zu verzichten. Lauren Sukin schreibt, dass Bill Clinton und Barack Obama mit einem ähnlichen Vorsatz angetreten und später gescheitert seien. "Both Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama tried — but failed — to incorporate NFU into their Nuclear Posture Reviews (NPR), the document that defines an administration’s official outlook on nuclear weapons. If Warren wants an NFU, she should look to these Democratic presidents’ pasts to learn how to make her lofty goal achievable. (…) Unlike Clinton, Obama took a very active role in the construction of his NPR. (…) In the end, though, leadership wasn’t enough. The Obama Administration’s NPR was wracked by the tension between realists and idealists. On one hand, Obama had promised to bring about major nuclear reforms, such as committing the United States to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. On the other hand, the military continued to press instead for the document to focus on pragmatic, traditionalist approaches to problems like nuclear terrorism and proliferation. Even Obama’s own national security personnel disagreed amongst themselves."

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"Terrorism: Making a Comeback or on the Decline? A New Report Has Answers."

Daniel R. DePetris stellt den aktuellen Jahresbericht des National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism der University of Maryland vor, der sich mit der internationalen Entwicklung des Terrorismus im Jahr 2018 beschäftigt. "While the product is quite detailed, full of numbers and trends across a wide constellation of countries on multiple continents, several findings stand out immediately. 1. Terrorism in Europe is declining (...) The number of attacks from 2017 to 2018 decreased by 31 percent, with the number of fatalities decreasing by 70 percent. A total of twenty-five Europeans lost their lives to terrorism in 2018 — twenty-five people too many, of course, but a substantially lower number compared to 2015 and 2016. (...) 2. Afghanistan in the doldrums: The war-torn Central Asia country is at the top of the list, having sustained over 9,800 deaths from terrorist incidents in 2018, a 61 percent hike from the previous year. (...) 3. The worst terrorist attack of 2018: (...) Pakistan actually had a much better year in 2018, with overall terrorist attacks and fatalities both down by about a third. But the country was still home to the single deadliest terrorist attack of that year, when an Islamic State bomber targeted an election rally in Baluchistan, killing 150 people and injuring an additional 180."

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"The Kurds Served as America’s Ground Troops in the War Against ISIS"

Sebastien Roblin erinnert daran, dass die Kurden in den vergangenen Jahren von den USA praktisch als Bodentruppen im Kampf gegen den "Islamischen Staat" eingesetzt worden seien. "The Kurds became the Pentagon’s ground-troops-by proxy in, particularly in Syria.  Western warplanes would bomb ISIS-held communities, then YPG/SDF forces would advance until they drew heavy fire.  Then Western operators accompanying the Kurds would call down air attacks targeting the revealed ISIS positions. This was an arrangement that placed the most danger on the Kurds. Up to 11,000 Kurds reportedly died during the conflict. (...) Washington’s latest betrayal of the Kurds highlights a glaring fact — we still live in a Westphalian international order defined by nation-states.  Nations that achieve statehood — even with populations smaller than your average city — are accorded numerous rights and protections by international organizations and diplomatic halls of power. But nations without statehood — even a nation with a population of up to thirty-five million — are left to the whims of states.  Every time Washington has had to choose between supporting the Kurds or a nominally allied state, it has chosen the latter."

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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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