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"Democratic senator says Biden would need tougher nuclear deal with Iran"


Ein Präsident Joe Biden würde Laura Kelly zufolge den Wiedereintritt der USA in das internationale Atomabkommen mit dem Iran anstreben. Im Kongress würde er dabei auf Widerstand aus beiden Parteien treffen. "Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Wednesday said he would support a potential Biden administration rejoining the nuclear deal with Iran if the deal corrected shortfalls of the Obama-era agreement. Menendez, who could serve as chairman if Democrats take a majority in the Senate, said that a Biden administration would have to confront the challenges of Iran in the present and not the parameters of the deal as it was signed in 2015."

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"Trump hoping to strike last-minute nuclear arms deal with Putin before election: report"


US-Präsident Trump hofft, die laufenden "New Start"-Verhandlungen mit Russland kurz vor den Wahlen erfolgreich abzuschließen. "President Trump is hoping to strike a last-minute nuclear arms deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the Nov. 3 election, Axios reported on Sunday. The two leaders have talked about arms control in a series of phone calls over the past six months. But representatives for both countries were unable to make progress in talks in Vienna until recently. (…) A source familiar with the discussions told Axios that the Trump administration thinks it has an agreement in principle that has earned the approval of Putin and Patrushev. Officials told the news outlet that they think the agreement could be completed within a week once talks resume. But Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, disagreed, saying that 'there are still huge differences in approaches, including to the central elements of such an agreement.'"

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"Official: Pentagon has started 'prudent planning' for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May"


Das Pentagon bereite sich in Afghanistan auf einen vollständigen Truppenabzug im nächsten Frühling vor, berichtet Rebecca Kheel. "'I’d like to make it clear that [Defense Secretary Mark Esper] has not issued orders to reduce military personnel below this 4,000 to 5,000 level in Afghanistan, although we are conducting prudent planning to withdraw to zero service members by May 2021 if conditions warrant, per the U.S.-Taliban agreement,' David Helvey, the official performing the duties of assistant secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security at a hearing. The comments come as President Trump has been touting U.S. troop drawdowns in the region in the final stretch of the campaign as evidence he is delivering on his promise to end America’s 'endless wars.' Officials have said they expect to be at about 4,500 troops in Afghanistan by November. The comments also come as the Taliban and Afghan government have started peace talks in Doha, Qatar, aimed at ending the 19-year war."

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"Russia: Chances of extending New START treaty 'minimal'"


Aus russischer Sicht haben sich die Chancen auf eine Verlängerung des New-Start-Abkommens aufgrund der amerikanischen Forderungen deutlich verringert, glaubt John Bowden. "The chances of a new arms treaty with Russia look slim as Russian negotiators appear to be unwilling to accept the Trump administration's terms for a new deal. Reuters reported Monday that a Russian news agency quoted deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying that the chances of extending the START treaty, which eliminated strategic nuclear weapons held by the U.S. and Russia, was 'minimal.' (…) The comments from both sides indicate an unlikely path for a new START treaty in the waning months of the president's first term and as he has sought to head into November with newfound evidence of his administration's success on the foreign policy front."

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"Pompeo says 'substantial chance' Navalny poisoning was ordered by senior Russian official"


Nach Ansicht von US-Außenminister Pompeo gibt es eine "erhebliche Chance", dass die Vergiftung des russischen Oppositionellen Navalny durch ein hochrangiges Regierungsmitglied in Moskau angeordnet worden sei. "'I think people all around the world see this kind of activity for what it is.  And when they see the effort to poison a dissident, and they recognize that there is a substantial chance that this actually came from senior Russian officials, I think this is not good for the Russian people,' Pompeo added. 'I think it’s not good for Russia.  I think people see this and say this is not the way countries that want to be powers, that want to be important and play on the global stage, this is not the way that they should engage in activity.' (…) Trump said last week he is still awaiting evidence that Navalny was given Novichok."

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"Trump considering troop reduction in South Korea: report"


US-Präsident Trump erwägt offenbar, die Zahl der in Südkorea stationierten US-Truppen zu reduzieren. Hintergrund ist der andauernde Streit der USA mit Südkorea über die Verteilung der Kosten der Truppenpräsenz. "The Pentagon has reportedly given the White House options to reduce the U.S. troop presence in South Korea following President Trump’s demands that Seoul pay significantly more to keep U.S. forces there. A U.S. military official told The Wall Street Journal that the Pentagon’s Joint Staff has reviewed forces in South Korea — currently 28,500 troops strong — as part of a broader look at potentially repositioning and reducing deployments across the globe. The Defense Department referred questions to the White House, which did not respond to requests for comment. The potential move drew immediate blowback from Congressional lawmakers, including Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who called such a decision 'strategic incompetence.'"

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"Why we need a little skepticism, and more evidence, on Russian bounties"


Die Debatte über angebliche russische Kopfgeldzahlungen für getötete US-Soldaten in Afghanistan bestätigt nach Ansicht von David B. Rivkin und George S. Beebe, wie sorgfältig man bei der Beurteilung derartiger Berichte sein sollte. "The initial question to ask in evaluating the veracity of the allegation is, how credible are the sources? Here, the answer: not very. (…) The second question is, what other information might support or disconfirm the allegations? Here, too, there is reason for skepticism. (…) Which brings us to a third question: Who benefits from these allegations? The list certainly includes the central Afghan government, which has overseen the interrogations on which the story is based and desperately wants the U.S. military to remain in Afghanistan, despite President Trump’s efforts to wind down our presence. (…) Finally, it is impossible to escape the impression that the rush toward outrage over the Russian bounty allegations is tinged with more than a whiff of hypocritical political opportunism. Senior Democrats who have been quick to charge Trump with treason for failing to punish the Russians might recall their own support for striking nuclear deals and lifting sanctions on Iran not long ago, despite undisputed facts that Teheran provided actual training, operational intelligence and weapons to Iraqi insurgents that led to the killing and maiming of thousands of American soldiers."

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"House panel votes to limit Trump's Germany withdrawal"


Der Verteidigungsausschuss des US-Repräsentantenhauses hat parteiübergreifend eine Novelle verabschiedet, die den geplanten Abzug von US-Truppen aus Deutschland bremsen soll. "The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment, offered by Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.), would block funding to reduce the number of troops in Germany and Europe at large until several certifications are made. It was approved in a bipartisan, 49-7 vote. 'At this time, we can’t afford to reduce our presence in Europe,' Gallego said. 'Russia is a major threat to our country and to the free world.' (…) Gallego and Bacon’s amendment would require the Defense secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman to separately certify that reducing the number of American troops in Germany is in the country's best interests and would not significantly undermine the U.S. and allies’ security. They would also have to certify that NATO allies and other partners in Europe have been 'appropriately consulted.'"

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"Poland in the middle: Its push for US troops may alienate Germany and Russia"


Die polnische Regierung, die sich seit Jahren um permanente Stützpunkte des US-Militärs bemüht, befinde sich angesichts eines möglichen Abzugs von US-Truppen aus Deutschland in einer schwierigen Situation, schreibt Dov S. Zakheim. Warschau möchte demnach den Eindruck vermeiden, von einer Truppenreduzierung in Deutschland zu profitieren. "(…) Warsaw rightly wishes to avoid friction with Germany. Poland’s greatest nightmare is once again to have to confront hostility from its powerful eastern and western neighbors. After all, Germany and Russia carved up Poland three times in the 18th century and then again in 1939. Poland can ill afford to alienate Germany while it faces an ever-increasing threat from Vladimir Putin’s Russia. There is a strong case to be made for stationing additional American troops in Poland. They should not be redeployed from Germany, however. Given Putin’s hostility toward NATO, now is not the time to reduce America’s presence in that country — and certainly not the time to engender friction between two of NATO’s most important member states and major American allies."

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"Defunding police will lead to Republican victory this year"


Eine von US-Demokraten unterstützte Kampagne zur Auflösung von Polizeibehörden in amerikanischen Städten würde Wahlsiege der Republikaner im November nahezu garantieren, ist Douglas Schoen, früherer Berater von Präsident Clinton, überzeugt. "If Democrats persist with this rhetoric about disbanding law enforcement in the midst of the pandemic and the protests, which have at times been violent or involved looting, then they will be playing right into the hands of President Trump and will increase his chances to win the election this year. (…) most Americans do not really want to cut funding for the police. A recent poll on race and justice found less than a fifth of Americans favor a reduction of police departments and more than half of them are opposed. However, a strong majority of Americans support police reform measures to reduce deadly force encounters, including training for police on how to lower conflict and avoid using force, outfitting officers with body cameras, and using an early warning system to identify any problem officers. This is why Democrats should not advocate for defunding the police. They have to instead push for programs at the state and local levels to produce better trained police, focusing on the tactics to lower conflict and holding police accountable for any misconduct."

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"COVID-19 widens the divide in the fractured Middle East"


Die notwendigen Reaktionen auf die Corona-Krise im Nahen Osten werden Seth J. Frantzman zufolge durch die geschwächten Staaten sowie durch die Bürgerkriege, Aufstände und Terrorbedrohungen vor Ort behindert. "The picture across the region is troubling. The Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis documented 36,389 cases on March 25, an increase of almost 8,000 in two days. This is the same situation faced in other countries, but the Middle East is unique in its divisions brought about by conflicts and insurgencies. On a global level, the region forms a bridge between countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which similarly lack testing and measures to confront the virus, and wealthier states in Europe that also are struggling and cannot likely send aid. The only positive emerging in the region is that some militant groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, reportedly are devoting resources to fighting the virus rather than attacking others. However, if the pandemic weakens states and increases poverty, it appears only a matter of time before new conflicts erupt."

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"Why this imperfect deal with the Taliban is still better than no deal"


Michael Kugelman kann die verbreitete Kritik an der Friedensvereinbarung zwischen den USA und den Taliban verstehen. Aufgrund mangelnder Alternativen sollte der Versuch der US-Regierung seiner Ansicht nach trotzdem unterstützt werden. "(…) as imperfect as the deal may be, it is better than no deal at all. That is because nearly 19 years of war in Afghanistan, led by the United States, is not just still raging but has now reached levels of intensity and deadliness never seen before in the country. Any chance to wind down this terrible war, no matter how problematic, is worth taking. (…) The agreement could well fail to spark an dialogue within Afghanistan. A dysfunctional political class may prove incapable of representing the state in talks. The Taliban may conclude it has zero desire to negotiate a power sharing deal within a system it has rejected. But squandering the greatest opportunity yet, warts and all, to launch a peace process amid a terrible war is worse. It is better to try and fail to create a pathway to peace than not to try at all. If you fail in the end, at least you can say you tried."

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"Five things to know about emerging US, Taliban peace deal"


Rebecca Kheel erinnert daran, dass die Umsetzung eines möglichen Friedensabkommens zwischen den Taliban und den USA vor zahlreichen Hürden stehen würde. In Washington gebe es deshalb in beiden Parteien viele Skeptiker. "As the Trump administration appeared on the cusp of the deal announced Friday, lawmakers in both parties told The Hill that peace was still a long way off. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally and leading GOP defense voice, said he was 'willing to give' the Trump administration's plan 'a try.' But he also ticked off a list of conditions he would consider an 'honorable resolution,' including a deal that protects human rights and women's rights and allows the United States to continue to 'protect the American homeland from international terrorists.' Rep. Mac Thornberry (Texas), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, questioned how the United States would verify whether intra-Afghan talks are 'real' or 'a fig leaf.' Lawmakers also noted the Trump administration was previously close to signing a deal with the Taliban before it fell apart at the last minute. In September, Trump invited Taliban leaders to Camp David to finalize a deal but called off the meeting after a Taliban attack killed a U.S. service member."

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"Americans aren't as eager to retreat from the Middle East as politicians seem to think"


Dina Smeltz und John Cookson zufolge deutet eine neue Umfrage darauf hin, dass es in der amerikanischen Öffentlichkeit keineswegs eine klare Mehrheit für einen Rückzug der USA aus dem Nahen Osten gibt. "Conducted just after the U.S. strike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, the polls show that a majority of Americans support maintaining (45 percent) or increasing (29 percent) the U.S. military presence in the Middle East; fewer than a quarter (24 percent) say reduce. This is fairly stable with opinion in 2018. Support for specific long-term military bases in the region has also grown since last asked in 2014, with majorities now saying the U.S. should have bases in Iraq (55 percent, up from 41 percent in 2014) and Kuwait (57 percent, up from 47 percent in 2014). Nearly as many Americans back keeping bases in Afghanistan (48 percent, up from 43 percent in 2014), with support in each instance cutting across partisan lines. Americans’ reasoning here is clear. Asked which region is most important to the security interests of the United States, 61 percent of Americans name the Middle East, up from a plurality of 50 percent in 2018. (…) the reality is that Americans are not as eager to bring the troops home as they are often portrayed. Majorities of Americans say that maintaining U.S. military superiority (69 percent), participating in military alliances (74 percent), and stationing troops in allied countries (51 percent) make the United States safer."

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"How Britain can shape Europe's foreign policy after Brexit"


David Whineray von der Carnegie Endowment for International Peace erläutert, wie Großbritannien die europäische Außenpolitik auch nach dem Brexit beeinflussen könnte. Es wäre auch im Interesse der EU, wenn London weiter eine europäische Führungsrolle spielen würde, so Whineray. "So how can the UK lead European foreign policy after Brexit? Through four new steps. First, by doing more bilaterally with European counties — especially France and Germany. New summits, dialogues and agreements could be launched. Second, by using meetings of other international groupings to coordinate European foreign policy positions and actions. (…) Third, as part of this year’s negotiations on the UK’s future trade and security relationship with the EU, London and Brussels could agree to close co-operation on foreign policy. (…) Fourth, by working closely with the EU in other international organizations, particularly the United Nations. This would also help bolster multilateralism, and show the UK remains globally orientated. Europe should support these steps. In or out of the EU, the UK is a major European political and military power, and one of only two European nuclear states and permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. European views will pack more punch globally if the Brits are also on board."

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"China's biological 'Chernobyl': Different country, same lies"


Der Versuch der chinesischen Führung, das Ausmaß des Coronavirus-Ausbruchs in Wuhan zunächst zu verschleiern, erinnert Bradley A. Thayer und Lianchao Han an die Reaktion der sowjetischen Regierung auf die Atom-Katastrophe von Tschernobyl 1986. "Chinese authorities initially likely did not disclose the severity of the pandemic because they feared this tragedy could trigger massive protests, shaking China’s regime security. China strives always to show a prosperous, harmonious atmosphere, a stabilized society, even at the cost of the health of its citizens. The crisis of this pandemic is far from over. The Communist Party’s handling of the situation demonstrates that socialism with Chinese characteristics — a totalitarian model that lacks transparency, free speech, free press and respect of human rights and human dignity — cannot and will not resolve crises of this magnitude, and similar tragedies are likely to happen."

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"A new era in Russia will allow America to rethink its policy"


Der von Präsident Putin angekündigte Umbau des politischen Systems in Russland sollte in Washington als Gelegenheit zur Revision der amerikanischen Politik gegenüber Moskau wahrgenommen werden, empfiehlt Jeffrey Mankoff vom Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It now seems clear that the era of 'High Putinism' is ending. While Putin has ruled out changing the constitution to allow one person to serve more than two terms as president, he will almost certainly remain the principal power broker within the Russian political system. The institutional setup remains to be seen. (…) These maneuvers are similar to how aging autocrats in China, Singapore, Kazakhstan, and elsewhere have sought to ensure a stable transition. They suggest less that Putin is seeking to retain power forever and more, as he suggested over the weekend, that 'it would be very worrying to return to the situation we had in the 1980s when state leaders stayed in power' without 'ensuring the necessary conditions for a transition of power.' (…) while Russia sorts out its own future over the coming years, the United States has a great opportunity to develop a new approach, one that is not fixated on the caricature of a malevolent Putin as the source of all our problems."

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"Trump sets record for tweets as president on day House makes impeachment case"


US-Präsident Trump hat am Mittwoch innerhalb eines Tages über 130 Twitter-Kurznachrichten veröffentlicht und damit einen neuen Rekord aufgestellt. "President Trump on Wednesday shattered his previous record for most tweets in a day since taking office, tweeting more than 130 times while House Democrats made their opening arguments in his impeachment trial. The president had tweeted 132 times as of 6:20 p.m., according to Factbase Feed, a data firm that tracks Trump's tweets, speeches and daily activities. That number tops his previous personal high of 123 tweets in a day. Trump also set a personal record for retweets in a day as president with more than 110, according to Factbase. (…) Trump spent much of his day traveling back to Washington, D.C., after concluding meetings at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland."

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"5 reasons why US-Europe tensions will grow in the 2020s — and how to stop it"


David Whineray von der Carnegie Endowment for International Peace nennt fünf Themen, die in diesem Jahrzehnt unabhängig vom Amtsinhaber im Weißen Haus dafür sorgen könnten, dass die transatlantischen Spannungen weiter zunehmen. "First, tensions over defense spending. Nestled under the U.S. security blanket, Europeans are likely to continue to spend less than Washington wants. U.S. frustrations with low European defense spending didn’t start with the Trump administration, and will outlast him too. (…) Second are tensions with China. While Republican and Democratic attitudes to Beijing have hardened, Europeans — mindful of their growing economic equities — will remain reluctant to choose between their security relations with the U.S. and growing trade and investment relations with China, aggravating Washington. Third, U.S. interest in Europe — a product of the dominance of the Cold War in U.S. foreign policy — will continue to decline this decade. (…) Fourth, as other powers rise, the United States’s ability to police the world will ebb, and will be constrained by a weary America public. (…) Finally, whether on Iran or climate change, Europeans have gotten accustomed to disagreeing with the U.S. over the last few years in a way that would have been unthinkable under previous administrations. This genie won’t just go back in the bottle. Even if the next president recommits to the EU, Europeans now know a future U.S. president could always revert back again to a Trumpian approach; they will hedge accordingly."

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"Will alleged CIA misbehavior set Julian Assange free?"


Die angebliche CIA-Operation zur systematischen Überwachung von Julian Assange in der Londoner Botschaft Ecuadors könnte zur Freilassung des in Großbritannien inhaftierten WikiLeaks-Gründers führen, meint James C. Goodale. 1973 sei das US-Verfahren gegen den Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg wegen illegaler Versuche der US-Regierung zur Erlangung von Beweisen ebenfalls eingestellt worden. "Can anything be more offensive to a 'sense of justice' than an unlimited surveillance, particularly of lawyer-client conversations, livestreamed to the opposing party in a criminal case? The alleged streaming unmasked the strategy of Assange’s lawyers, giving the government an advantage that is impossible to remove. (…) The usual remedy for warrantless surveillance is to exclude any illegally obtained information from the trial, but that remedy is inapplicable here. The government’s advantage in surveilling Assange is not the acquisition of tangible evidence but, rather, intangible insights into Assange’s legal strategy. There is no way, therefore, to give Assange a fair trial, since his opponents will know every move he will make. When Assange begins his extradition hearing, this will be part of his argument — that the CIA’s misbehavior violates his human rights by depriving him of his right to a fair trial."

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"Paralysis of nations is empowering cities"


Chrystie F. Swiney, Reta Jo Lewis und Sheila R. Foster begrüßen, dass große Städte und Bundesstaaten, aber auch NGOs und Unternehmen aufgrund einer eingeschränkten Handlungsfähigkeit von Nationalstaaten eine zunehmend eigenständige Rolle in der internationalen Politik spielen. "Cities in particular are taking diplomacy into their own hands: They’re setting up offices of international affairs, and global city networks are coalescing to tackle issues like migration, human rights, inclusivity, terrorism and healthcare. Cities are home to over 50 percent of the global population, a number that will skyrocket to nearly 70 percent by 2050. Cities produce over 80 percent of Global GDP and oversee the global supply chain, global trade, and global banking. They are also the greatest global producers of knowledge and creativity. Cities are arguably more accountable than nation-states, more closely connected to their constituents, more aware of the everyday problems that confront everyday people, and as a result, comparably adept and motivated to get things done quickly, efficiently and without a big fuss. Cities should be on the frontlines of diplomacy."

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"Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report"


US-Präsident Trump erwägt einem Bericht der New York Times zufolge, etwa 200 US-Soldaten in Ost-Syrien zu lassen, um eine Übernahme der dortigen Ölanlagen durch syrische Regierungstruppen zu verhindern. "The New York Times reported Sunday that Trump is considering a plan floated by top generals that would leave a remainder force behind in Syria with a dual-purpose mission: to prevent the resurgence of ISIS following Turkey's invasion in the region and to prevent Syrian government forces and their Russian allies from seizing control of oil production facilities in the region. A senior administration official told the Times that Trump favors the plan, which he has been considering for roughly a week, and feels that it would be sufficient to prevent the reversal of U.S. gains against ISIS and allow Kurdish forces in the region to maintain control of oil fields in the area."

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"Time to weigh options for a new course of action in Syria"


Ahmed Charai vom Atlantic Council bezweifelt, dass neue US-Sanktionen gegen die Türkei den militärischen Vormarsch Ankaras aufhalten werden. Langfristig sei es für Washington möglicherweise erfolgversprechender, eine neue Strategie gegenüber der Assad-Regierung zu verfolgen. "If Syria’s northeast could be peacefully reincorporated into the Syrian state under negotiated terms, that might offer some hope of averting a protracted Turkish-Kurdish war and opening a space for the Islamic State to reemerge. After all, Turkey might have few qualms about all-out conflict with a newly isolated Kurdish militia, but the prospect of war with Syria — and, by extension, its Iranian patron — would be another matter entirely. Successfully executing such a gambit would require a degree of diplomatic nimbleness seldom seen. (...) Should this vision be politically or practically unrealizable, America’s last, best option would be an ad hoc combination of military re-commitment (which a careful reading of Kurdish rhetoric indicates is still possible), economic deterrence, and diplomatic reconciliation. It would require President Trump to reconsider his decision to withdraw American troops without consulting America’s allies, to deploy them to the Syrian-Turkish border, and to offer Ankara a calibrated package of political and economic disincentives to halt its military operations."

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"Trump defends Syria move: 'It's time to come back home'"


US-Präsident Trump hat seine kontroverse Ankündigung des Rückzugs der US-Truppen aus Nordsyrien verteidigt. "Speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Trump said he has 'great respect' for the prominent Republicans who are urging him to reconsider his strategy but that 'it's time to come back home.' 'We’ve been there for many, many, many years beyond what we were supposed to be. Not fighting. Just there. Just there. And it’s time to come back home,' Trump said in his first public remarks since the shift was announced late Sunday. 'But I can understand the other side of it,' he continued. 'But if you go by the other side, that means we should never, ever come home.' (...) Shortly after Trump spoke, a senior administration official told reporters in a phone briefing that the shift in strategy did not constitute a withdrawal and that the impacted troops — approximately 50 to 100 special operators in the region — would merely be relocated to other bases in the region. The official also pushed back on any notion that Trump had given a 'green light' to Turkey to conduct the operation."

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"Furor grows after White House releases readout of Trump call"


Die Veröffentlichung des Transkripts des Trump-Telefonats mit dem ukrainischen Präsidenten Selenskyj hat die Forderungen der US-Demokraten nach einer Amtsenthebung des Präsidenten lauter werden lassen. Viele Republikaner sehen Trump dagegen von den Vorwürfen entlastet. "While Republicans sought to brush off the document as nothing new, Democrats pounced, seizing on it to argue that it bolstered the case for impeachment. They are concerned that Trump pressured a foreign government to look into a political opponent, and that he may have used U.S. military aid as leverage. 'The transcript is an unambiguous, damning, and shocking abuse of the Office of the Presidency for personal political gain,' four Democratic committee chairmen said in a joint statement. (...) Most of Trump’s Republican allies on Capitol Hill dismissed the transcript. 'There was no quid pro quo and nothing to justify the clamor House Democrats caused yesterday. The real danger here is that Democrats keep using baseless accusations in hopes of crippling a successful presidency,' said Rep. Dough Collins (Ga.), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. The battle will enter a new chapter Thursday as the House and Senate Intelligence committees hold separate hearings on a whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine’s leaders."

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"Why Greenland is really about China"


Auch Nadia Schadlow vom Hudson Institute in Washington meint, dass die amerikanischen Überlegungen über einen Erwerb Grönlands vor dem Hintergrund der Rivalität mit China betrachtet werden sollten. Die USA suchten einen Weg, um der globalen Investitionsstrategie Pekings entgegenzutreten. "(...) the real story underlying this interest is that China has long understood the relationship between commercial infrastructure projects and global power, and it has weaponized many of its commercial relationships. Washington has yet to develop a strategy to counter Beijing. President Trump reportedly became concerned when he learned about the extent of Chinese investments in this strategic island, which lies at a critical juncture in the North Atlantic, contains rare earth mineral deposits, and is home to a United States Air Force base that is central to American homeland defense architecture. China has recognized the importance of Greenland since at least 2015, when its state enterprises began to invest in mining companies there. (...) Chinese rare earth investments are just one example, close to American shores, of the broader Belt and Road Initiative announced in 2013. (...) Once implemented, these actions provide a foundation for Chinese influence and control below the level of overt military power. It is a form of 21st century strategic depth. The United States must do a much better job of integrating its capabilities to succeed in this competitive geopolitical landscape."

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"The US can't seem to live without Afghanistan"


Aaron David Miller erwartet nicht, dass der "endlose Krieg" der USA in Afghanistan nach einem möglichen Friedensvertrag mit den Taliban tatsächlich zu Ende gehen wird. "If you don’t include the so-called Indian wars, Afghanistan is America’s longest war. When stripped down to its essence, the only truly vital national interest the U.S. has in that hapless and unfortunate land is ensuring that Afghanistan doesn’t become a base for terror attacks against the homeland. However important and ennobling the plight of Afghan women and the expansion of democracy and human rights, they are not worth the number and amount of American lives and treasure we have invested. And there are arguably ways to run effective counter-terror operations other than by deploying large numbers of U.S. ground forces in country. (...) And still eighteen years later the arguments in favor of staying in Afghanistan continue. (...) Maybe the U.S.-Taliban talks will produce an accord with a tight withdrawal schedule; maybe there will be cease-fire; maybe the inter Afghan negotiations will succeed in stabilizing the country. That’s a lot of maybes. The one near-certainty is that this time next year, the U.S. will still have thousands of forces deployed in Afghanistan facing a precarious future. The forever war is still very much forever."

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"China is a rival, not an enemy"


Bonnie Kristian empfiehlt, die offensichtliche Rivalität zwischen den USA und China nicht als "Feindschaft" zu interpretieren. Die angekündigte Verlegung von US-Mittelstreckenraketen nach Asien könnte ein gefährliches Wettrüsten in der Region auslösen, so ihre Warnung. "A more sober-minded and realistic model of U.S.-China relations would recognize that though China is in some ways a partner for the United States and in other ways a rival, it need not be our enemy. With prudence, diplomacy and a rejection of simplistic enemy/friend dichotomies, we can avoid counterproductive hostility that at its worst could claim the lives of millions. In the immediate future, there are two obvious steps for this strategic reorientation. The first would require halting and in short order reversing, the cycle of trade war escalation from the past year. (...) The second step, arguably more important for avoiding tragic and needless military confrontation, is backing away from this missile deployment plan. (...) it is vital that this hardline approach not be permitted to intensify into a new Cold War footing. That does not mean pretending China is not the authoritarian state we know it to be. It does not mean denying human rights abuses or acceding to every demand from Beijing regardless of U.S. interests at stake. But it does mean recognizing, as a group of more than 100 diplomats, academics and former officials recently wrote in a letter to the White House, that China is not 'an economic enemy or an existential national security threat that must be confronted in every sphere.'"

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"Warren's pledge to avoid first nuclear strike sparks intense pushback"


Die demokratische Präsidentschaftskandidatin Elizabeth Warren hat angekündigt, im Fall ihres Wahlsiegs den Verzicht der USA auf einen atomaren Erstschlag zu verkünden. In Washington sei dies in beiden Parteien auf Kritik gestoßen, berichtet Rebecca Kheel. "Republicans slammed the proposal as sending a dangerous signal to both allies and enemies about a lack of U.S. resolve -- previewing a potential attack line from President Trump should the two face off in the general election. Some Democrats do back the idea. But others say a 'no first use' policy like the one Warren proposed is too simplistic for a complex world. 'The worry is that, of course, that should be our policy, but if we tell the world that is our policy … you actually may perversely encourage bad behavior in others,' said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2016. The United States has long reserved the right to be the first country to launch a nuclear weapon in a conflict."

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"NATO's disappearing navies invite trouble in the Baltic Sea"


Die Umstände der Festsetzung eines britischen Tankers im Golf haben nach Ansicht von Dov S. Zakheim demonstriert, in welch schlechtem Zustand sich die Seestreitkräfte der europäischen NATO-Partner befänden. Dies sei auch in der Ostsee zu spüren. "While the Baltic states are too small to field major navies, Poland and Germany likewise have allowed their naval forces to atrophy. The German Navy is barely operational; most of its ships are tied up in port. The Polish Navy is hardly better; the Polish fleet is desperately in need of modernization. (...) With Germany preoccupied with a leadership change because of the pending departure of Angela Merkel, only Poland is currently in a position to bolster NATO’s naval deterrent in the region, much as it has done for its land forces and plans to do for its air forces. There is much to be said for Polish-Swedish cooperation in the Baltic, which a buy of Sweden’s A-26s subs would foster. Regardless from whom the Poles acquire their submarines, however, it is of the utmost importance that they finalize a purchase that will take years to complete and whose costs, therefore, could be spread over time. In so doing, Poland would significantly enhance NATO’s deterrent in the Baltic Sea at a time when freedom of navigation is being tested from the Strait of Hormuz to the South China Sea."

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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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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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