US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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22.04.2021

"Jens Stoltenberg: NATO's climate challenge"

https://www.politico.eu/article/jens-stoltenberg-nato-climate-change-challenge/

Der Klimawandel mache die Welt gefährlicher, betont NATO-Generalsekretär Jens Stoltenberg. "From the Sahel to the High North, rising sea levels and more extreme weather is devastating communities, increasing competition for scarce resources and fueling tensions and conflict. That's why it's so crucial that NATO sets the gold standard on climate change and security, and then takes action to address it. Climate change threatens global security, so NATO must be part of the response. (…) In my view, NATO has a key role to play in three areas when it comes to climate change: understanding the challenge, adapting our operations, and reducing military emissions. (…) My ambition for the NATO summit this year is a clear political commitment from Allied leaders to plan for reductions in military emissions, contributing to the goal of net zero."

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21.04.2021

"U.S. considers more weapons shipments to Ukraine amid Russian buildup"

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/21/us-weapons-ukraine-russia-483908

Auf Anfrage Kiews erwäge die Biden-Administration, zusätzliche Waffen in die Ukraine zu senden, bemerken Natasha Bertrand und Lara Seligman. "Consideration of the request is in its early stages, according to people briefed on the internal deliberations. The administration has been reluctant to provoke Moscow on the military front, and scrapped plans last week to send two Navy warships to the Black Sea amid rising tensions in the region. (…) Among their requests: Patriot missiles, which are deployed in Poland but Ukrainian officials want on their soil, according to a person briefed on the requests and recent comments made by senior Ukrainian official Andriy Yermak."

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12.04.2021

"How the Istanbul Convention became a symbol of Europe's cultural wars"

https://www.politico.eu/article/istanbul-convention-europe-violence-against-women/

Der Disput um die Verwendung des "Gender"-Begriffs in der Istanbuler Konvention, einem internationalen Abkommen zum Schutz von Frauen vor Gewalt, sei zu einem Stellvertreterkonflikt zwischen Ost- und Westeuropa geworden, konstatiert Maïa de la Baume. "One by one, Eastern European countries are turning their back on the document, claiming it will erode their version of 'family values.' (…) The backlash centers on a semantic dispute (…): how, exactly, to define 'gender.' To a crop of increasingly socially conservative European leaders, the document's definition is a surreptitious means to erode distinctions between men and women and 'normalize' homosexuality. To the rest, the issue is not the definition, but what they see as a politically motivated interpretation spread using disinformation."

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11.04.2021

"Hologram wars: The race to 6G"

https://www.politico.eu/article/6g-race-eu-united-states-china/

Die 5G-Netzabdeckung sei in den Großstädten Europas und der USA zwar noch nicht erreicht, doch der Wettlauf um die Entwicklung von 6G habe bereits begonnen, berichten Laurens Cerulus und John Hendel. "'The war for 6G is not just having wireless or antenna or base station - it's much bigger, much more complex and much more strategic,' said John Roese, the global chief technology officer for Dell Technologies. (…) Several Western companies including AT&T, Nokia and Qualcomm launched the Next G Alliance last October through a U.S.-based standards group called the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions. (…) In Europe, companies kicked off the Hexa-X project in January, which includes industry and researchers to design and develop 6G. (…) In China, state officials last month selected 6G as a top priority in its most recent 'five-year plan.'"

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29.03.2021

"NATO wants to set AI standards. If only its members agreed on the basics."

https://www.politico.eu/article/nato-ai-artificial-intelligence-standards-priorities/

Die NATO wolle Standards für die militärische Anwendung von künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) setzen, konstatiert Melissa Heikkilä. Die Mitglieder des Verteidigungsbündnisses verfolgten jedoch sehr unterschiedliche Ansätze, wenn es um die Einbeziehung von KI in ihre Verteidigungspolitik gehe. "The EU's AI strategy takes a cautious line, touting itself as 'human-centric,' focused on taming corporate excesses and keeping citizens' data safe. The U.S., which tends to be light on regulation and keen on defense, sees things differently. There are also divergences over what technologies the alliance ought to develop, including lethal autonomous weapons systems - often dubbed 'killer robots' - programmed to identify and destroy targets without human control. Powerful NATO members including France, the U.K., and the U.S. have developed these technologies and oppose a treaty on these weapons, while others like Belgium and Germany have expressed serious concerns about the technology."

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24.03.2021

"U.S., Russia discuss how to avoid tensions in space"

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/24/us-russia-space-477829

Vertreter Russlands und der Vereinigten Staaten hätten sich getroffen, um die Vermeidung von Konflikten im Weltraum zu besprechen, informiert Jacqueline Feldscher. "The U.S. and Russia have had multiple skirmishes in space, despite the fact that the two nations' civilian space programs work closely together on the International Space Station. (…) Both Russia and the U.S. said they wanted to hold future meetings to make progress on the topic."

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17.03.2021

"EU to US on surveillance: Do as I say, not as I do"

https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-to-us-surveillance-data-flows/

Einige europäische Regierungen versuchten, eine Kontrolle nationaler Überwachungsbefugnisse durch den Gerichtshof der Europäischen Union zu umgehen, schreibt Vincent Manancourt. Gleichzeitig verhandle die EU mit den USA über ein neues Datenabkommen, das von EU-Richtern aus Angst vor amerikanischer Überwachung gekippt wurde. Dieses Verhalten untermauere die Anschuldigung einer europäischen Doppelmoral in Sachen Datenschutz. "On the question of surveillance, it seems it's one rule for the Europe, and another for the United States. (…) 'If EU countries succeed in excluding various intelligence agencies from the control of the Court of Justice of the European Union while the United States remains under its control, I can understand a U.S. position where they will be very frustrated,' said Theodore Christakis, a professor of international and European law at University Grenoble Alpes."

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17.03.2021

"What It Will Take to Break the U.S.-Iran Impasse: A Q&A With Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif"

https://www.politico.com/amp/news/magazine/2021/03/17/iran-nuclear-deal-javad-zarif-qa-476588

Negar Mortazavi spricht mit dem iranischen Außenminister Javad Zarif über Irans Beziehung zu den USA und einer möglichen Rückkehr zum Atomabkommen von 2015. Zarif betonte dabei: "They want a new agreement, (…) they want to talk about the sunset clause, they want to talk about missiles, they want to talk about other issues. That will go nowhere because in the 12 years that we negotiated, from 2003 to 2015, and in the two years that we focused on negotiations, mostly with the Americans, we dealt with all these issues.... Now they want to reopen those discussions, which means another two years of unnecessary discussion. So there's nothing to talk about. (...) The problem with the United States and its Western allies is that when they deal with something and it's not to their 100 percent satisfaction, they want to re-open."

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03.03.2021

"Missing: Has anyone seen Europe's China plan?"

https://www.politico.eu/article/missing-europe-china-diplomacy-economic-plan/

Der EU fehle es an einer China-Strategie, argumentiert Stuart Lau. "Brussels may have declared Beijing a systemic rival, but it hasn't followed that up with concrete countermeasures. (...) 'Over the past few years, Europe has woken up to the strategic challenge posed by the rise of China,' said Boris Ruge, vice chairman of the Munich Security Conference. 'But the EU and its member states still have a long way to go in terms of developing a sophisticated understanding of China and coming together to formulate a response that can be described as strategic.'"

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01.03.2021

"Borrell: EU doesn't have resources to fight disinformation from China"

https://www.politico.eu/article/josep-borrell-eu-doesnt-have-resources-fight-disinfo-china/

Josep Borrell, Hoher Vertreter der Europäischen Union für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, habe darauf hingewiesen, dass die EU weder über die Ressourcen noch über die Autorität verfüge, hybride Angriffe aus China effektiv zu bekämpfen, bemerkt Laurens Cerulus. "(…) (W)hile the EU has ramped up its work to debunk disinformation campaigns from Moscow, 'We have very little resources to study disinformation from China.' (…) Hybrid attacks 'have been targeting our democratic values, our information space and even our infrastructure, our critical infrastructure' during the pandemic, he said, calling the global health crisis 'a real testing ground for new hybrid tactics.'"

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09.02.2021

"China's Eastern Europe strategy gets the cold shoulder"

https://www.politico.eu/article/china-xi-jinping-eastern-europe-trade-agriculture-strategy-gets-the-cold-
shoulder/

Sechs von zwölf eingeladenen EU-Staats- und Regierungschefs sind zum einem von China angesetzten Treffen Anfang dieser Woche nicht erschienen. Ein herber Rückschlag für Peking, konstatiert Stuart Lau. Das sogenannte 17+1-Format sei ein Forum, mit dem China über Investitionen seinen Einfluss in Osteuropa stärken wolle. "This charm offensive is starting to fall flat, however. Eastern European countries are increasingly unconvinced that Beijing is really delivering the economic perks they originally imagined. More crucially, there are security relations to consider, along with diplomatic ties to the new administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, who wants to muster a broad diplomatic counterweight to China."

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09.02.2021

"Borrell defends controversial Russia trip, threatens sanctions"

https://www.politico.eu/article/josep-borrell-defends-controversial-russia-trip-threatens-sanctions/

Der EU-Außenbeauftragte Josep Borrell berichtete vor dem Europäischen Parlament von seinem vielfach kritisierten Besuch in Moskau in der vergangenen Woche. Hans von der Burchard fasst die Bemerkungen Borrells zusammen: "'I wanted to test whether the Russian authorities are interested in a serious attempt to reverse the deterioration of our relations (…). The answer has been clear: No, they are not,' Borrell said. (…) Addressing his critics, Borrell also said that Russian authorities 'seek to divide us,' and added: 'This seemed to be a clear objective during my visit. We should not fall into these traps.'"

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04.02.2021

"Macron: EU shouldn't gang up on China with US"

https://www.politico.eu/article/macron-eu-shouldnt-gang-up-on-china-with-u-s/

Präsident Emmanuel Macron warne die EU davor, sich mit den USA gegen China zu verbünden, fasst Rym Momtaz die Äußerungen des französischen Präsidenten während einer Veranstaltung des Atlantic Councils zusammen. "'A situation to join all together against China, this is a scenario of the highest possible conflictuality. This one, for me, is counterproductive,' Macron said (…). This kind of common front against China (…) risks pushing Beijing to lower its cooperation on issues like combatting climate change, and exacerbating its aggressive behavior in Asia, including in the South China Sea, according to the French president."

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29.01.2021

"Why Biden must pursue space diplomacy with Russia and China"

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/29/biden-space-diplomacy-russia-china-455963

Elya Taichman plädiert für die Beibehaltung der sogenannten "Artemis Accords" - ein unter der Trump-Administration initiiertes Abkommen über die Zusammenarbeit von Staaten bei der zivilen Erforschung sowie Nutzung des Mondes und anderer Himmelskörper. Weder Russland noch China unterzeichneten das Dokument, sinnvoll sei es dennoch. "The Artemis Accords represent a rare opportunity for diplomacy with two of America's archrivals. (…) Diplomacy may fail. But not trying accomplishes nothing. The Biden Administration should engage both Russia and China in space diplomacy while continuing to assemble a strong and durable Artemis Accords coalition that is prepared to counter America's outer space adversaries should diplomacy fail or the need arise."

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29.01.2021

"Europe gives Biden a one-finger salute"

https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-gives-us-president-joe-biden-a-one-finger-salute/

Matthew Karnitschnig beklagt, dass die EU dem neuen US-Präsidenten bisher keine konkreten Angebote für das von den USA gewünschte "robuste" Auftreten gegenüber China und Russland unterbreitet habe. "Whether Europe’s decision to effectively de-couple from the U.S. foreign policy agenda before Biden’s administration has really even begun is born out of a desire to achieve the dream of 'strategic autonomy,' concern that Donald Trump could return in four years, or some combination thereof may not matter in the end. As the strategic rivalry between the U.S. and China comes into focus, most Europeans profess a desire to stay on the sidelines and remain neutral. But if they believe Europe can become Switzerland, they’re mistaken. A more apt analogy is the 'neutral zone,' the lawless territory that served as a buffer between the major powers in Philip K. Dick’s 'The Man in the High Castle,' a dystopian novel about a world in which the Germans and Japanese had won World War II."

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28.01.2021

"White House shifts from Middle East quagmires to a showdown with China"

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/28/biden-china-foreign-policy-463674

US-Präsident Biden sei hinter den Kulissen bereits dabei, einen außenpolitischen Schwenk vom Nahen Osten nach Asien vorzubereiten, berichten Tyler Pager und Natasha Bertrand. "Joe Biden is pivoting to Asia. Just don’t expect him to say so explicitly. National security adviser Jake Sullivan has restructured the National Security staff in the Middle East and Asia directorates — downsizing the team devoted to the Middle East and bulking up the unit that coordinates U.S. policy toward the vast region of the world stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. The move, which has not been previously reported, is the latest sign that the new administration will prioritize Asia in its foreign policy initiatives. It reflects China’s rapid rise over the last two decades, and the growing concerns among officials and lawmakers across parties about how Beijing’s authoritarian leaders are wielding their newfound muscle."

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27.01.2021

"Fight over Biden Mideast adviser becomes proxy war over Iran policy"

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/27/biden-malley-iran-policy-462953

Die Ernennung des neuen Iran-Beauftragten der US-amerikanischen Regierung, Robert Malley, habe eine innenpolitische Kontroverse über den richtigen Umgang der USA mit dem Iran entfacht, erläutert Natasha Bertrand. Robert Malley "has already been thrust into the center of a political fight over the new administration's policy toward Iran - the first of what are likely to be many battles over Biden's dealings in the Middle East. Republicans have accused Malley of being too soft on the Iranian regime and too critical of Israel. And while progressives and current and former colleagues have rallied to his defense, some Democrats have expressed private worries about some of Malley's public comments."

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02.01.2021

"Why an Iran Attack Could Be Biden’s 'Hour One' Crisis"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/01/02/why-an-iran-attack-could-be-bidens-hour-one-crisis-4534
77

Michael Knights schreibt, dass eine offene Konfrontation der USA mit dem Iran auch durch einen iranischen Racheakt für das Attentat auf General Soleimani ausgelöst werden könnte. "The evidence for a post-Jan. 20 confrontation has been accumulating for some weeks. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei cautioned on December 16 that Iran’s revenge would come 'at its own time and place,' and thus not necessarily under Trump, who has pledged to strike back hard if Americans are harmed. Inside Iraq, the key Iranian-backed militia, Kataib Hezbollah, has warned against revenge attacks until Trump is gone, and even Mohammed al-Hashemi, an Iraqi government envoy sent to Iran, was quoted in Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper as beseeching Tehran to maintain calm 'until the Biden administration takes over the presidency from Trump.' Iran might restrain its militia partners until the end of the Trump administration but maybe not much beyond."

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19.11.2020

"Biden Must Craft a Foreign Policy for a World the U.S. Doesn’t Rule"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/11/19/joe-biden-foreign-policy-iran-china-438276

Aaron David Miller und Richard Sokolsky analysieren mögliche Strategien der neuen US-Außenpolitik unter Präsident Biden. "Tackling China will require time. But fixing things at home and doing some quick alliance repair demand attention now. Call it 'America First' … with a smile."

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13.09.2020

"Officials: Iran weighs plot to kill U.S. ambassador to South Africa"

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/13/iran-south-africa-ambassador-assassination-plot-413831

US-Geheimdienste vermuten, dass die iranische Führung ein Attentat auf den US-Botschafter in Südafrika erwägt, um sich für den amerikanische Anschlag auf General Soleimani im Januar zu rächen. "If carried out, it could dramatically ratchet up already serious tensions between the U.S. and Iran and create enormous pressure on Trump to strike back — possibly in the middle of a tense election season. U.S. officials have been aware of a general threat against the ambassador, Lana Marks, since the spring, the officials said. But the intelligence about the threat to the ambassador has become more specific in recent weeks. The Iranian embassy in Pretoria is involved in the plot, the U.S. government official said."

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01.09.2020

"Macron on Lebanon: 'It’s a risky bet I’m making'"

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/01/emmanuel-macron-france-lebanon-406793

Frankreichs Präsident Macron hat in einem Interview mit Politico bekräftigt, dass die internationale Hilfe für den Wiederaufbau Beiruts von echten politischen Reformen im Libanon abhängig sei. "Emmanuel Macron says he’s making a 'risky bet' by working to avoid a political collapse in Lebanon, but is limited in what he can achieve. 'It's the last chance for this system,' the French president told POLITICO in an interview while en route from Paris to Beirut Monday evening. 'It’s a risky bet I’m making, I am aware of it … I am putting the only thing I have on the table: my political capital.'"

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31.08.2020

"What Happens If China Gets the Covid-19 Vaccine First?"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/31/china-covid-19-vaccine-first-401636

Ein Sieg Chinas im internationalen Wettrennen um die Entwicklung eines effektiven Coronavirus-Impfstoffes hätte nach Ansicht einiger Experten handfeste politische Folgen, berichtet Elizabeth Ralph. "David Fidler [, an expert on global health and national security who has consulted for the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,] has a nightmare scenario: In three months, China announces one of its Covid-19 vaccines has successfully completed Phase III trials. The World Health Organization is enthusiastic. Beijing doles out doses to countries in Latin America and Africa and those with claims to the South China Sea. The United States is nowhere to be found. 'If China wins the race, exploits that advantage and we don’t have anything equivalent yet, what do we do?' he asks. 'That to me is what concerns me the most.' (…) Health and national security experts envision, in that case, the future unfolding like a kind of 'choose your own nightmare' narrative, each potential pathway leading to geopolitical quagmires and thorny scientific traps. What if China refuses to give a safe vaccine to the United States, instead using it as a bargaining chip to combat U.S. power? What if the Trump administration, or a Biden administration, refuses to accept it? What if a Chinese 'victory' pressures the U.S. or Europe to cut corners in their vaccine development or approval process — a worry only increased by President Donald Trump’s recent comments drawing the Food and Drug Administration into his political fights?"

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12.08.2020

"The old transatlantic relationship ain’t coming back"

https://www.politico.eu/article/the-old-transatlantic-us-eu-relationship-aint-coming-back-joe-biden-donal
d-trump/

Das transatlantische Verhältnis wird auch unter einem US-Präsidenten Biden nicht in die gewohnten Bahnen zurückkehren, ist Paul Taylor überzeugt. "With or without a reliable partner in the White House, the European Union and Europe’s leading powers will have to learn to live in a world in which Washington may still be the ultimate guarantor of the Continent’s security, but won’t have the bandwidth to fix all the region’s many problems. And in which they will be required to do more to prove the utility of the transatlantic partnership. (…) while a Democratic administration in Washington can be expected to consult allies more, be more active diplomatically and be more supportive of international institutions, a Biden presidency will not mark a return to the post-World War II era in which Europe could afford to live comfortably under the American umbrella."

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11.08.2020

"No, Now Is Not the Time for Another Russia Reset"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/11/russia-reset-response-open-letter-393176

33 US-Sicherheitsexperten haben in einem Offenen Brief einer anderen Gruppe von Ex-Diplomaten und Sicherheitsexperten, die eine neue diplomatische Strategie der USA gegenüber Russland gefordert haben, widersprochen. Diplomatischer Dialog sei "zwecklos", solange Moskau nicht die Verantwortung für die eigene "Aggression" übernehme. "It’s hard to negotiate with the other side when Moscow refuses to admit that its forces invaded Crimea and Donbas and still are present there; is complicit in shooting down a civilian airliner resulting in the deaths of 298 passengers and crew; lies about interfering in America’s 2016 elections; commits human rights abuses in Syria and props up the murderous Assad regime there; and kills Russian critics in Western countries with highly dangerous radioactive and chemical agents. Until Putin is ready to address his complicity in these actions, further dialogue won’t go very far. Meanwhile, it’s difficult to do 'normal' diplomacy when the Russians use their diplomatic posts for troublemaking, not for clearing up misperceptions."

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11.08.2020

"Germany blames Trump in pursuit of Nord Stream 2 pipeline"

https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-plays-trump-card-in-pursuit-of-russian-nord-stream-2-pipeline-dre
am/

Matthew Karnitschnig meint, dass die Bundesregierung den Streit um die Ostseepipeline Nord Stream 2 als Konflikt Deutschlands mit US-Präsident Trump betrachte und den tatsächlichen Problemen in dieser Frage damit aus dem Weg gehe. "The episode proved yet again that if there’s one thing that unites Germans, it’s their hatred for the American president. Trouble is, they’ve become blinded by it. Though Trump’s antics, strange relationship with his German heritage and generally outrageous behavior might make it tempting to dismiss anything he says or does, he’s hardly alone in opposing Germany’s pipeline deal with Russia, which would allow Moscow to circumvent Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe and deliver gas directly to Germany under the Baltic. (…) the real question is why Germany’s political class is expressing shock and horror over sanction threats they had to have known were coming. The reaction is typical of how Berlin has responded to criticism of the project from the beginning. Put simply, Germany’s tactic has been to focus on form instead of substance. For years, Merkel refused to even engage with critics of the project, repeating time and again that it was a 'business project,' suggesting that political intervention would be inappropriate. Despite U.S. objections, the chancellor’s tactic worked ­— at least until Trump arrived on the scene."

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05.08.2020

"It’s Time to Rethink Our Russia Policy"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/05/open-letter-russia-policy-391434

Eine Gruppe von 103 Sicherheitsexperten und Ex-Diplomaten hat einen Offenen Brief unterschrieben, in dem der US-Regierung ein Kurswechsel in der Russland-Politik empfohlen wird. In den sechs Eckpfeilern der neuen Strategie wird immer wieder die Notwendigkeit eines diplomatischen Dialogs betont. "Ultimately, the reality is that Russia, under Vladimir Putin, operates within a strategic framework deeply rooted in nationalist traditions that resonate with elites and the public alike. An eventual successor, even one more democratically inclined, will likely operate within this same framework. Premising U.S. policy on the assumption that we can and must change that framework is misguided. Likewise, we would be unwise to think that we have no choice but to stick with current policy. We must deal with Russia as it is, not as we wish it to be, fully utilizing our strengths but open to diplomacy. So focused, we can both cope with the challenge that Russia poses and strive to put the relationship on a more constructive path. Failure to do so carries too high a price."

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07.07.2020

"Merkel looks east as ties fray between Germany and U.S."

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/07/germany-china-trade-coronavirus-us-351922

Angesichts der Spannungen zwischen Deutschland und den USA bemühe sich die Bundesregierung um bessere wirtschaftliche Beziehungen zu China, berichtet Matthew Karnitschnig. "While China has come under criticism across much of the Western world, in particular in the U.S. and U.K., for not being more transparent about the origins of the coronavirus outbreak and, more recently, for its suspension of democratic norms in Hong Kong, the German government has been more cautious in its response. Asked during a press conference last week whether she would support the kind of sanctions against China under consideration in the U.S., Merkel evaded the question. 'The ties to China are important,' Merkel stressed, adding 'they are of strategic importance.' In fact, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of China as an export market for German goods, especially cars and machinery. Since Merkel took over as chancellor in 2005, German exports to China have risen fivefold to just under €100 billion last year. While some economists argue that Chinese demand for German capital goods is waning as its economy matures, the country remains a pillar of Berlin’s economic strategy and a key driver of growth."

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06.07.2020

"Putin, the Potemkin president"

https://www.politico.eu/article/putin-the-potemkin-president/

Zur Durchsetzung seiner Verfassungsreform habe Präsident Putin zu "verzweifelten" Maßnahmen gegriffen, schreibt Leonid Ragozin. Putins politische Legitimität sei dabei untergraben worden. "For the past 20 years, Putin has successfully maintained the appearance of a genuinely popular, majoritarian leader. Yes, the Kremlin subdued all major television channels, clamped down on protest movements and rigged elections to be able to show more convincing levels of support. But all of that happened with the apparent, tacit consent of a majority of Russians, as reflected in regular surveys by fairly trustworthy pollsters. This time, things are different. It's far from clear today whether a majority of Russians truly supported Putin's amendments. And more importantly, most Russians genuinely don't know where the majority stands. Even by Russia's own very lax standards, the vote didn't remotely resemble a procedure that reflected the will of the people. (…) These flagrant breaches did not go unnoticed, and highlighted a new reality to many of his supporters: that of his increasingly questionable legitimacy. For many Russians, this vote may be the point they started to question whether Putin is really as popular, and as inevitable, as he claims to be. (…) if Putin chooses to run again, it looks increasingly likely he will come across as a usurper — not only among the sizeable and vocal anti-Putin minority, but also among those who currently make up his core base."

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30.06.2020

"Russians squeeze U.S. troops in Syria amid uproar over Trump’s dealings with Moscow"

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/30/russians-us-troops-syria-uproar-trump-345584

Die Debatte über angebliche russische Kopfgeldzahlungen für getötete US-Soldaten in Afghanistan habe erhebliche Meinungsunterschiede in der US-Regierung über den Umgang mit Russland offengelegt, berichten Lara Seligman und Betsy Woodruff Swan. Dies betreffe auch den Osten Syriens, wo russische und US-Soldaten zuletzt des Öfteren aufeinandergetroffen seien. "Clashes between Russian and U.S. forces in Syria have rarely turned violent, with one notable exception. In a bloody four-hour battle in 2018, American commandos killed 200-300 pro-Syrian government forces, including Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group. Recently, however, American military leaders in Syria are facing increasingly frequent brushes with Russian troops, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official. Russia is deploying its forces closer and closer to U.S. positions in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria, and the two militaries interact multiple times a week, if not daily, compared to roughly monthly last year, the people said. So far, the two sides have been able to defuse these incidents without violence, said one U.S. military officer. But one of the U.S. officials said Russia and its Syrian and Iranian partners are trying to pressure the U.S. out of Syria altogether. (…) The encroachments in Syria fit into a broader pattern of Russian attempts to test the U.S. commitment to remaining in the broader Middle East. National security experts say the Russian bounty program in Afghanistan is part of that effort."

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26.06.2020

"Pompeo says US ready to team up on China, but EU eyes a post-Trump world"

https://www.politico.eu/article/pompeo-says-us-ready-to-team-up-on-china-but-eu-eyes-a-post-trump-world/

Trotz der neuen China-Skepsis in den europäischen Hauptstädten sollte die US-Regierung in dieser Frage vor den Präsidentschaftswahlen im November keine engere Kooperation mit der EU erwarten, schreibt David M. Herszenhorn. "At the start of Trump's presidency, EU leaders harbored hopes that the combative president would team up with them to address an array of issues with China, particularly related to trade disputes, on which Beijing had long refused to give any ground. Instead, Trump lumped the EU, and especially Germany, together with China as trade rivals who had taken advantage of the U.S., and even slapped punitive tariffs on EU steel and aluminum products that prompted swift retaliation from Brussels. (…) Given the deep lack of trust, it seems unlikely that much progress will be made discussing China or anything else between now and the November election in the U.S. EU leaders at the moment are intensely focused on debating their new long-term budget and a European Commission proposal for an ambitious economic recovery fund."

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