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21.01.2020

"Why Communist Romania’s Endgame Has Lessons for Iran"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/01/21/iran-crisis-romania-lessons-101513

Christian Oliver erkennt Parallelen zwischen der Revolution in Rumänien und einer möglichen Zukunft des Regimes im Iran. Auch in Teheran könnte sich demnach ein mafiöser Sicherheitsapparat im Fall einer Krise entschließen, die politische Führungsriege als "Sündenbock" fallen zu lassen, um die eigenen Pfründe zu sichern. "Just like Romania during the 1980s, Iran has fallen hostage to a sprawling, mafialike security apparatus, which has found ways to get rich while the rest of the economy cracks. That makes it uncomfortable to be the face of the regime, particularly when you are 80 years old and there is already talk of succession. The leader is the obvious fall guy for security apparatchiks and oligarchs who want to hang on to their illicit cash cows. (…) Like the Securitate in 1989, the Guard will now have seen the writing on the wall. Street protests are spreading across broad social and ethnic groups in Iran and the economic damage of sanctions is so intense that even the paramilitary force must be feeling the pinch. The nightmare for the Revolutionary Guard is that the whole edifice crumbles and it is robbed of its revenue streams."

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18.01.2020

"Borrell suggests EU military mission to protect cease-fire in Libya"

https://www.politico.eu/article/josep-borrell-suggests-eu-military-mission-to-protect-cease-fire-in-libya
/

Der neue EU-Außenbeauftragte Josep Borrell hält einen europäischen Militäreinsatz zur Aufrechterhaltung eines vereinbarten Waffenstillstands in Libyen für denkbar. "The EU should consider sending troops to Libya to enforce a cease-fire in the North African country, the blocs's foreign policy chief said. 'If there is a cease-fire in Libya, then the EU must be prepared to help implement and monitor this cease-fire — possibly also with soldiers, for example as part of an EU mission,' Josep Borrell told German weekly Spiegel in an interview published Friday. 'Or take the arms embargo,' he added. 'We Europeans have been entrusted by the United Nations to enforce it. In reality, the arms embargo is ineffective. Nobody controls anything there.'"

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12.01.2020

"The Middle Eastern Problem Soleimani Figured Out"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/01/12/iran-middle-eastern-problem-soleimani-figured-out-09735
0

Hassan Hassan meint, dass der politische Stellenwert des durch einen US-Drohnenangriff getöteten Generals Soleimani nur im Kontext der großen Bedeutung nichtstaatlicher Milizen im Nahen Osten verstanden werden kann. "Since his killing in a U.S. drone strike last week, experts have been rushing to explain just why Soleimani mattered so much to Iran’s ambitions — and what consequences his death really holds for the region. One simple way to think about it: He was the one man who had mastered the new landscape of the Middle East. (…) The growth in these new difficult-to-control forces has been staggering: Today, the total number of Sunni Islamist militants is estimated to be nearly four times what it was on September 11, 2001; there are 50,000 to 85,000 militants in Syria and Iraq alone. And that figure doesn’t count the significant number of Shia, Kurdish and other groups that dominate sectors of Iraq and Syria. As a result, the modern Middle East is a constantly shifting balance between the formal regimes in capitals like Tehran, Damascus and Riyadh, and the militia groups and local forces that actually control much of the land."

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09.01.2020

"Charles Michel admits: EU’s not in the Middle East ‘game’"

https://www.politico.eu/article/charles-michel-admits-eus-not-in-the-middle-east-game-iran/

Der aktuelle Präsident des Europäischen Rates, Charles Michel, hat mit seinen jüngsten Äußerungen zum Nahen Osten nach Ansicht von Jacopo Barigazzi implizit eingestanden, dass die EU bei der Lösung der aktuellen Krisen in der Region praktisch keine Rolle spiele. "The EU is out of the game. European Council President Charles Michel appeared to admit as much anyway, in a series of comments on Thursday about the recent crisis in the Middle East in which he insisted the EU would seize a bigger role on the world stage. He just didn't say how. (…) despite Michel's proactive instincts, the EU has seemed flatfooted in recent days, as on Wednesday when the presidents of Russia and Turkey declared a cease-fire in Libya, even as EU leaders were engaged in a series of meetings with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Brussels that yielded no concrete results. The civil war in Libya is especially dangerous for the EU. Libya has Africa's largest oil reserves, and it is the point of origin for many migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe."

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08.01.2020

"After ripping up Obama’s Iran playbook, Trump quickly pieces it back together"

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/08/trump-obama-iran-war-096359

Politico stellt nach der Iran-Rede des US-Präsidenten vom Mittwoch fest, dass Donald Trump mit seinem neuen Verhandlungsangebot an den Iran fast wie Amtsvorgänger Obama geklungen habe. "In a span of just 24 hours, Trump went from threatening to devastate Iran and bomb its cultural sites — a move widely considered a war crime and condemned by Republicans — to calmly delivering a measured address about slapping economic sanctions on the country, striking a new nuclear deal and urging an international institution — NATO — to become more involved in the Middle East. (…) The about-face was classic Trump: ratcheting up the tough talk and then retreating with a conciliatory tone. It’s a playbook the president rolled out for China, North Korea, Iran and a long list of domestic policy concerns. And it’s dizzied some of his allies and adversaries who are still trying to make sense of a president who is wrapping up his third year in office. Iran was just the latest example of a pattern of behavior in which the Trump administration acted boldly, ratcheted up a situation and then sought credit for extinguishing the crisis."

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03.01.2020

"Crisis in Iran will drive wedge between Europe and Washington"

https://www.politico.eu/article/crisis-in-iran-will-drive-wedge-between-europe-and-washington/

Aus europäischer Sicht haben sich die vielen Warnungen nach dem amerikanischen Ausstieg aus dem Atomabkommen mit dem Iran nach dem Attentat auf General Soleimaini bewahrheitet, schreibt Ellie Geranmayeh vom European Council on Foreign Relations. Nun drohe das endgültige Scheitern der europäischen Bemühungen zur Rettung des Abkommens. "The nuclear deal remains at the heart of Europe's policy toward Iran. Before Soleimani’s death, France, the United Kingdom and Germany had already signaled they were close to triggering the dispute resolution mechanism under the nuclear agreement in response to Iranian non-compliance. If Tehran takes drastic steps on the nuclear file, it could mark the total collapse of the agreement. Europe, which has so far resisted calls to join Washington's 'maximum pressure' policy against Tehran, will need to prepare for a worse security dynamic across the Middle East and undertake intense diplomatic efforts to protect its own forces on the ground, which are now at increased risk. Ironically, despite the rivalry with Iran, Arab Gulf countries can be useful partners for Europe in finding an off-ramp through diplomacy. Iran’s Arab neighbours have become increasingly worried that they are exposed to heavy costs for any military escalation between the U.S. and Iran. Europe should step up cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Iraq to jointly prevent escalation."

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03.01.2020

"Why the Death of an Iranian Commander Won’t Mean World War III"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/01/03/iran-loses-its-imperial-strategist-093175

In Sozialen Netzwerken hat das Attentat auf General Soleimani kurzzeitig Ängste vor einem Dritten Weltkrieg ausgelöst. Ray Takeyh hält eine derartige Eskalation des Konflikts allerdings für unwahrscheinlich. "(…) for all the fears already circulating that the United States just started World War III, Iran’s reaction is likely to be a calibrated one. Ali Khamenei is a cagey leader who did not become one of the longest serving rulers in the Middle East by impetuously going to war with America. The clerical oligarchs respect American determination and understand the imbalance between a superpower and a struggling regional actor. They have never figured out Donald Trump, a U.S. president who offers unconditional talks while working to crater the Iranian economy. We should not expect Iran to take on a president who just ordered the killing of one of their famed commanders. (…) An uneasy path lies ahead for the clerical oligarchs. The last thing they need is a costly confrontation with a president willing to do things they once considered unimaginable."

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31.12.2019

"Is Trump's 'maximum pressure' campaign blowing up in Iraq?"

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/31/trump-maximum-pressure-iraq-091773

Die Umsetzung der amerikanischen Iran-Strategie des "maximalen Drucks" werde mittlerweile selbst von einigen Anhängern kritisiert, berichtet Nahal Toosi. "The 'maximum pressure' initiative is backfiring, former U.S. officials and other Iran watchers argued. They said it was far too heavy on economic sanctions and military deterrence, far too light on serious diplomatic outreach, and not focused enough on the other countries caught in the middle. Trump and many of his aides often send mixed messages on what they seek from Iran, the critics said — ranging from regime change to narrow nuclear talks. 'It’s not working because the administration has no idea why it’s applying pressure or what it wants,' said Ilan Goldenberg, a former Pentagon and State Department official in the Obama administration. 'It’s not even a maximum pressure strategy. It’s a maximum pressure policy.' Even some supporters of 'maximum pressure' quibble with the administration’s execution. Lebanon and Iraq, for instance, have seen major anti-corruption protests in recent months, with many demonstrators chanting against Iranian interference in their countries. But the U.S. has done little beyond offer verbal support, squandering a chance to lure those countries out of Iran’s orbit. 'There’s a huge opening that we’re not exploiting,' said Ilan Berman, senior vice president of the conservative American Foreign Policy Council."

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18.12.2019

"Trump impeached in historic rebuke"

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/18/trump-impeachment-wednesday-house-vote-086512

Nach der offiziellen Eröffnung des Amtsenthebungsverfahrens gegen US-Präsident Trump im Repräsentantenhaus fasst Politico die wichtigsten Informationen zum politischen und historischen Hintergrund und zum weiteren Verlauf der Prozedur zusammen. "The nearly party-line vote to recommend Trump’s removal from office and label him a national security threat was met by a defiant president who vowed to prevail in a Senate trial overseen by his Republican allies — but whose presidency will be forever blemished by an impeachment. Trump became just the third president to be impeached — after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 — and he is the first who will campaign for re-election after facing the House’s ultimate punishment. Trump is also the first president impeached for abuse of power; a similar charge against Clinton was rejected. (…) Democratic leaders cited Trump’s lack of remorse — and, indeed, his alleged ongoing pursuit of a scheme to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election — as evidence that he poses a continuing and unprecedented threat to U.S. national security if permitted to remain in office. That charge far exceeds the gravity of any previous presidential impeachment."

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04.12.2019

"Trump threatens to punish Germany over military spending"

http://https://www.politico.eu/article/donald-trump-threatens-germany-military-spending/

US-Präsident Trump hat David M. Herszenhorn zufolge während des Nato-Treffens in London gedroht, eine ausbleibende Erhöhung der deutschen Militärausgaben möglicherweise mit Handelssanktionen zu beantworten. "He said he expected Germany to ramp up its military spending. 'They have to,' Trump said. 'Otherwise, if they don’t want to, I’ll have to do something with respect to trade.' It was a connection of two of Trump's major gripes against Berlin and Brussels: that European military allies don't spend enough on defense, and that the U.S. is unfairly disadvantaged in its trade relations with the EU. But tying the two together was a strange move even for the unpredictable U.S. president, who still doesn't seem to quite grasp — or pretends not to — that allies do not pay money into NATO, but that contributions are measured by each country's own national military spending. Given the EU conducts trade policy collectively, it was also not clear how Trump might try to specifically target Germany for some sort of trade sanctions."

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03.12.2019

"Allies unite to defend NATO — against Macron"

https://www.politico.eu/article/allies-unite-to-defend-nato-against-emmanuel-macron-donald-trump-jens-sto
ltenberg-brain-death/

Beim NATO-Treffen in London seien die Äußerungen des französischen Präsidenten zum Zustand des Bündnisses auf allgemeine Kritik gestoßen, berichten David M. Herszenhorn und Rym Momtaz. "It wasn’t an attack on one ally that triggered NATO’s collective defense, but an attack by one: Emmanuel Macron. (…) Some, such as Germany, have also seized the opportunity to get out of Trump’s firing line by declaring their devotion to the transatlantic alliance. The French president’s more recent comments — including his assertion, after a tense meeting with Stoltenberg in Paris, that Russia is not NATO’s enemy — have only reinforced a sense among allies that Macron is conducting himself more like the hyperactive professor of a graduate school seminar in international relations than as a responsible leader of a nuclear power with a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council."

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02.12.2019

"NATO Is Agreeing Not to Agree in the Age of Trump"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2019/12/02/nato-is-agreeing-not-to-agree-in-the-age-of-trump-07475
4

Das vergleichsweise kurze Treffen der NATO-Regierungschefs in London wird kaum etwas zur Überbrückung der bestehenden Gegensätze zwischen den Bündnispartnern beitragen, erwartet Frida Ghitis. "Not calling a meeting a 'summit' might seem like a meaningless designation, but the low-key London meeting is a sign of the concern with which NATO members view the U.S. president — they seemingly are trying to keep Trump’s disruptions to a minimum. At this point, member states likely see the diminished gatherings as the only way to ride out the Trump presidency in hopes that America will one day recommit itself unequivocally to the alliance. But straining to avoid controversies that might rile the U.S. leader also prevents the alliance from tackling other serious challenges. (…) Whatever comes of this week’s meeting, the most powerful signal might just be that NATO cannot reach a consensus on anything important."

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27.11.2019

"France is back, but where is Germany?"

https://www.politico.eu/article/france-germany-foreign-relations-emmanuel-macron-angela-merkel-power-imba
lance-eu/

Frankreich habe damit begonnen, eine grundsätzlich neue EU-Strategie zu entwickeln, stellt Mujtaba Rahman vom Beratungsunternehmen Eurasia Group fest. Dass Deutschland sich daran nicht beteiligen wolle, liege neben unterschiedlichen Ideen auch am mangelnden strategischen Denken in Berlin. "Put bluntly: Macron believes the European Union must abandon its obsession with the free market and become a political and strategic player with one voice and one purpose — first in its own neighborhood and then in the world. Creating a proper EU defense policy is the key to all. These ideas have exacerbated tensions with Germany. First, because there isn’t much strategic thinking in Berlin. As one senior member of the German government recently told me, 'the last time we had a German idea for Europe was under the chancellorship of Helmut Kohl.' Second, because in the pockets of the chancellery, foreign ministry and Bundestag where such thinking does exist, the ideas differ markedly to those in Paris. (…) The dynamic between Paris and Berlin seems unlikely to improve anytime soon. Rather than bringing France and German together, plans for a two-year 'Conference on the Future of Europe' will only serve to highlight their differences."

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24.11.2019

"Hong Kong elections: Tsunami of disaffection washes over city"

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/24/hong-kong-elections-china-disaffection-073456

Bei den Kommunalwahlen in Hongkong haben die prochinesischen Kräfte bei hoher Wahlbeteiligung eine empfindliche Niederlage einstecken müssen. "The tsunami of disaffection among voters was clear across the board, as pan-democrats rode the wave to win big in poor and rich neighborhoods, in both protest-prone and non protest-afflicted districts and, in downtown areas as well as the suburbs. Less immediately obvious was whether there was a generational divide in the way the people voted, but ousted pro-establishment district councilors suggested that young, first-time voters had been instrumental in dislodging them from their perch. By 7 a.m., the pro-democracy camp had gained a majority in at least 12 of the 18 district councils, taking 278 seats. All councils were previously under pro-establishment control from the 2015 elections."

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19.11.2019

"Why Iranians Are Setting Their Own Banks on Fire"

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2019/11/19/iran-protest-takeyh-071432

Ray Takeyh vom Council on Foreign Relations betrachtet die Proteste gegen erhöhte Benzinpreise im Iran als Zeichen eines innenpolitischen Legitimitätsverlusts des Regimes in Teheran. Die aktuelle Krise sei keine direkte Folge der US-Sanktionen, sondern vor allem auf eine strategische Neuausrichtung Teherans zurückzuführen. "For the past several years, there has been a subtle debate inside the Islamic Republic’s corridors of power over competing economic visions. President Hassan Rouhani has stressed the need for access to the global economy, while Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has pressed his notion of the 'economy of resistance' — relying on internal economic resources and eschewing foreign commerce. It now appears the hard-liners have won the debate and are implementing their vision: As part of his 'economy of resistance,' Khamenei has pushed to cut government expenditures, which the regime did last week by slashing gasoline subsidies, prompting the price spike and the protests. (…) the latest demonstrations reveal an uncomfortable truth for the regime: that the Islamic Republic is increasingly a government without supporters. While the demonstrations have not become as big or sustained as the 2009 'Green Revolution,' (…) this current revolt still represents a significant uprising by Iran’s working class, which had long been viewed as supportive of the ruling regime. (…) The challenge for America is to deepen the theocracy’s self-inflicted wounds. The sanctions regime must be sustained. If Khamenei and his cohort are determined to walk the plank, they should be subtly pushed along that path by the United States."

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13.11.2019

"Taylor's bombshell and 12 more big impeachment hearing moments"

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/13/public-impeachment-hearings-live-highlights-and-updates-070279

Politico nennt zwölf bemerkenswerte Momente der ersten öffentlichen Impeachment-Anhörung gegen US-Präsident Trump und verweist dabei vor allem auf die Aussage des Diplomaten William Taylor. "U.S. diplomat William Taylor’s opening statement contained some startling new information he said he’d learned just last Friday from a member of his staff. The staffer was with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, in Kyiv on July 26. That was the day after President Donald Trump held a key call with his Ukrainian counterpart. According to Taylor, the staffer told him that while at a restaurant, Sondland called Trump. 'The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about 'the investigations.'' 'Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward,' Taylor recounted. 'Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden.'"

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10.11.2019

"Germany’s ‘braindead’ defense debate"

https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-berlin-braindead-defense-debate-nato-annegret-kramp-karrenbauer-a
ngela-merkel-foreign-policy-security/

Matthew Karnitschnig schreibt in seinem Kommentar zur aktuellen Debatte über die künftige Ausrichtung der deutschen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, dass immer noch offen sei, welche Art von zusätzlicher "Verantwortung" die Bundesrepublik international übernehmen sollte. "If the tenor and pace of the debate are anything to go by, Germany is nowhere nearer to 'taking on more responsibility' than it was when former President Joachim Gauck first issued the call at the Munich Security Conference in 2014. (…) So where does that leave Germany’s security debate? Rudderless, muddled and lost in contradiction. In other words, same as it ever was."

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06.11.2019

"A stronger Europe to face down Trump? Don’t count on it"

https://www.politico.eu/article/stronger-europe-to-tackle-donald-trump-dont-count-on-it/

Eine Wiederwahl des US-Präsidenten im nächsten Jahr würde die EU nicht in gestärkter Opposition zu Donald Trump zusammenführen, sondern bestehende Differenzen eher vertiefen, erwartet Marcel Dirsus. "Historically, American support has played an integral role in bringing Europe together. Diplomatic support aside, U.S. security guarantees provided the conditions necessary for the emergence of the European Union in the first place. As the American security umbrella becomes less trustworthy under Trump, old fault lines will become more visible and new divisions will emerge. As NATO weakens, some European countries will attempt to strike bilateral deals with the U.S. to guarantee their security. Others will argue in favor of pushing full steam ahead for some sort of European solution. At the same time, the EU will be losing one of its most powerful militaries to Brexit. (…) Europe is still in denial about how bad things could get. It’s increasingly popular among European politicians to call for the EU to get rid of the need for unanimity on foreign and security policy decisions. The difficulty of finding consensus, they argue, is holding Europe back. But far from a necessary answer to Trump’s America First approach, this risks only making things worse."

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30.10.2019

"Time for a Balkan reboot"

https://www.politico.eu/article/balkan-reboot-eu-accession-talks/

Die französische Ablehnung von Beitrittsgesprächen der EU mit Albanien und Nord-Mazedonien habe die bisherige Balkan-Strategie der Europäischen Union praktisch beendet, stellt der österreichische Politologe Florian Bieber fest. "That doesn’t mean the EU, unable to move forward until everyone is on board, should give up on the Balkans. It means it should look at the impasse as an opportunity to rethink its relationship with the region. For the EU, this could be the moment to finally focus on developing better tools to deal with autocrats in the region who have few incentives to let go of their informal control of national institutions. The Commission identified this as a problem last year, but has been too timid in its attempt to deal with it, choosing instead to make the enlargement process more complex and cumbersome, and kick the can down the road. France has claimed to want to revamp the way the EU approaches accession talks. This rings hollow, given Paris has not taken the initiative in proposing how to do so. This is the EU’s moment to take them up on it."

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07.10.2019

"We’re More at Risk of Nuclear War With Russia Than We Think"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/07/were-more-at-risk-of-nuclear-war-with-russia-than-we-t
hink-229436

George Beebe, ehemaliger Direktor der Russland-Abteilung der CIA, warnt vor der von vielen unterschätzten Gefahr eines Atomkriegs zwischen Russland und den USA. In Washington habe sich ein falsches Gefühl der Sicherheit ausgebreitet, das Politiker dazu verleite, gegenüber Russland so hart wie möglich aufzutreten und Gespräche mit Moskau generell als "Appeasement" zu verteufeln. "I’ve seen that three misguided assumptions underlie how the United States got to this point. The first is that American policymakers think that because neither side wants nuclear war, then such a war is very unlikely to occur. (...) A related, second assumption American policymakers make is seeing the Russian threat as primarily a deterrence problem. (...) Lastly, the United States assumes that Russia’s anti-American hostility flows from the internal nature of its regime, and therefore is likely to diminish when a more enlightened leader with more liberal approaches succeeds Putin. (...) Washington’s approach must dispassionately balance firmness with accommodation, military readiness with diplomatic outreach — all without skewing too far toward either concession or confrontation. It’s a difficult balance, but the United States is not even attempting it at the moment."

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30.09.2019

"How U.S. military aid became a lifeline for Ukraine"

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/09/30/ukraine-united-states-military-aid-013792

Im Amtsenthebungsverfahren gegen den US-Präsidenten spielt die amerikanische Militärhilfe für die Ukraine, die von Donald Trump in angeblich erpresserischer Absicht zurückgehalten worden ist, eine zentrale Rolle. Bryan Bender und Wesley Morgan berichten, dass seit 2014 militärische Hilfsgelder in Höhe von über 1,5 Milliarden US-Dollar in die Ukraine geflossen seien. Die Abhängigkeit des Landes von den Zahlungen sei entsprechend hoch. "'Ukraine would never be where it is without that support from the United States,' said Ash Carter, who served as President Barack Obama’s defense secretary from 2015 to 2017. 'Everything we were doing there to train their military forces, their National Guard, to improve the professionalism and reduce corruption in the defense ministry … all that was critical.' Before the aid influx, 'the Ukrainian military was in woeful shape,' said Mariya Omelicheva, a professor of national security strategy at the Pentagon’s National Defense University who specializes in the region. (...) The vast majority of the funds, approved with bipartisan support in Congress, has financed items such as sniper rifles; rocket-propelled grenade launchers; counter-artillery radars; command and control and communications systems; night vision goggles; medical equipment; as well training and logistical support."

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27.09.2019

"Trump Killed the Seriousness of Impeachment"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/27/trump-impeachment-analysis-228580

John F. Harris meint in der Debatte über eine mögliche Amtsenthebung des US-Präsidenten, dass die ursprüngliche Seriosität des Verfahrens stark gelitten habe. "The deeper change is that most Americans no longer respect the institutions of Washington, and many believe at some fundamental level they are not on the level. The Gallup polling organization has been measuring this trend for decades. Back in the 1970s, when my mother and most Americans no matter their partisan affiliation were shocked by Nixon’s lawbreaking, the presidency, Congress and the media all commanded majority or near-majority support when people were asked whether they had high 'confidence' in the institutions. These days, none of these institutions is even close to majority support, and only 11 percent of people say they have 'a great deal' or 'quite a lot' of confidence in Congress. This trend may be a solemn development — but don’t expect it to receive a lot of solemnity."

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26.09.2019

"The end of the German-American affair"

https://www.politico.eu/article/the-end-of-the-german-american-affair-angela-merkel-donald-trump/

Matthew Karnitschnig analysiert die Ursachen des seiner Ansicht nach deutlich sichtbaren Auseinanderdriftens der Bündnispartner USA und Deutschland. "Nearly 75 years after the end of World War II, the U.S.-German relationship isn’t just moribund, it’s on life support. At both the official and unofficial level, the foundation that has supported the transatlantic alliance since the 1950s is crumbling. About 85 percent of Germans consider their country’s relationship with the U.S. to be 'bad' or 'very bad,' according to a recent study, while a clear majority want Germany to distance itself from the U.S. (...) The fraying of ties — which began long before Trump came to power but has accelerated since — carries implications that stretch far beyond the two countries’ bilateral relationship. With China seeking to expand its influence in Europe, and Russia eager to exploit the transatlantic rift, the disintegration of German-American unity would have profound implications for the future of NATO and the broader global order. That might be why both sides are trying to pretend everything is OK."

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23.09.2019

"Why Trump Will Survive Even This"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/23/donald-trump-ukraine-whistleblower-survive-228153

Jack Shafer hält es praktisch für ausgeschlossen, dass US-Präsident Trump aufgrund der Kontroverse um sein Telefongespräch mit dem ukrainischen Präsidenten tatsächlich eine Amtsenthebung fürchten muss. "(...) Trump has got to be hoping House Democrats toss him in the impeachment patch. No matter how the House votes, we can’t expect the Republican Senate to convict. Such an acquittal, following his 'victory' over Mueller, would only magnify Trump’s martyrdom in the eyes of his followers. (...) If Democrats hope to evict Trump from the White House, they’ll have to do better than bang their impeachment pots and pans outside his bedroom window. They’ll have go after his positives and his 2016 campaign promises. Has he made the economy stronger, as he claims? Maybe not. The Federal Reserve Bank just dropped rates to goose an economy feared to be entering a recession. Has he made America safer? More respected? Has he brought China to heel? Built the wall? Locked up Hillary Clinton? Stop thinking you can thwart Trump. You can’t shame a man who won’t be shamed. You can only vote him out."

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21.09.2019

"Why Trump’s Ukraine scandal could backfire on Biden"

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/21/trump-ukraine-biden-1507051

Trump-Gegner in den USA wollen die Enthüllungen über ein Telefongespräch zwischen dem US-Präsidenten und dem ukrainischen Präsidenten Zelenskiy nutzen, um eine Amtsenthebung Trumps voranzutreiben. Die Wahlkampfchancen des vom Skandal ebenfalls betroffenen demokratischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten Joe Biden könnten allerdings darunter leiden, schreibt Politico. "Despite the outrage that greeted reports of the president’s actions, Biden’s immediate response was no simple matter. His son Hunter Biden’s lucrative contracts with Ukraine — at the same time the vice president was in charge of U.S. policy toward the country raised — raised the prospect of fueling a narrative with downside political risk for Biden. 'This puts him on the ropes over having to talk about this,' said Patrick Murray, a pollster with Monmouth University. 'He certainly doesn’t want to talk about this, his family.' (...) For months, Biden has sidestepped questions about his son’s business dealings, which were criticized when they were reported in 2015 by both The New York Times as well as Russia’s state-run Izvestia news service. The controversy can be traced back to March 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in Eastern Ukraine, setting off an international crisis. As the administration’s point-man on Ukraine, Biden led the U.S. response."

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18.09.2019

"Trump's new national security adviser is the anti-Bolton in style only"

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/18/trump-to-nominate-us-hostage-negotiator-robert-obrien-as-nation
al-security-adviser-1501811

Auch Politico stellt fest, dass sich der neue Sicherheitsberater des US-Präsidenten von seinem Vorgänger vor allem im Auftreten unterscheide. "People who have worked with and are close to O’Brien describe him as similarly aggressive as his predecessor on issues like Iran, but more of a congenial colleague than Bolton, who was known as a sharp bureaucratic infighter. And unlike Bolton, O’Brien, a career lawyer before working in government, is not a big name in the intelligence and national security world, indicating he will likely bring a much lower profile to the job. 'He worked for John Bolton at the United Nations and might be as hawkish,' said Andrew Exum, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy from 2015-2016 who knows O’Brien and has traveled with him. 'But he’s certainly not as pugilistic.'"

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17.09.2019

"Trump leans against striking Iran"

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/17/trump-iran-strike-1500742

In der internen Debatte des Weißen Hauses nach dem Angriff auf Ölanlagen in Saudi-Arabien neige Präsident Trump bisher dazu, auf einen Militärschlag gegen den Iran zu verzichten, berichtet Politico. "Trump is reluctant to take military action in the Middle East because he wants to live up to his campaign vows to reduce foreign entanglements, according to multiple people who speak with him regularly. He’s also worried about the economic and political ramifications of embroiling the United States in a war with Iran, which stands accused of the recent attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. (...) The White House declined to comment on the president’s internal deliberations. But when it comes to Iran, Trump is consulting a wide range of inputs. Over the past 10 days, about a dozen outside advisers have weighed in with him on Iran, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has tried to mediate between the U.S. and Tehran; Ric Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany; anti-interventionist Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.); and Freedom Caucus stalwart Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), according to a Washington Republican familiar with the president’s conversations. Many — but not all — of those voices are urging Trump to show restraint, this person said."

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16.09.2019

"Trump's deference to Saudi Arabia infuriates much of D.C."

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/16/saudi-trump-oil-iran-1498147

Im US-Kongress stoßen die überschwänglichen Solidaritätsbekundungen Donald Trumps gegenüber Saudi-Arabien auf zum Teil deutliche Ablehnung, berichtet Nahal Toosi. "In a series of tweets this weekend, Trump indicated that Iran is behind the recent attack on Saudi oil facilities and that the United States will respond after hearing from the Saudi government 'under what terms we would proceed.' His implication — that the royal family in Riyadh will dictate U.S. actions — prompted fury in Washington, where the Saudis have faced an increasingly hostile climate in recent years, especially in Congress and even among some of Trump’s fellow Republicans. (...) Saudi Arabia’s reputation in Washington is arguably worse now than it has been in nearly two decades — almost as politically charged as in the years immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when it was revealed that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis."

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12.09.2019

"Israel accused of planting mysterious spy devices near the White House"

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/12/israel-white-house-spying-devices-1491351

Hat der israelische Geheimdienst die US-Regierung ausspioniert? Daniel Lippman berichtet, dass die Entdeckung von mutmaßlich israelischen Abhörgeräten in Washington vom Weißen Haus heruntergespielt worden sei. "The U.S. government concluded within the past two years that Israel was most likely behind the placement of cellphone surveillance devices that were found near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, according to three former senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter. But unlike most other occasions when flagrant incidents of foreign spying have been discovered on American soil, the Trump administration did not rebuke the Israeli government, and there were no consequences for Israel’s behavior, one of the former officials said. (...) The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates — though it’s not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful."

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08.09.2019

"The Shocking Paper Predicting the End of Democracy"

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/08/shawn-rosenberg-democracy-228045

Rick Shenkman stellt eine neue Studie des Politikwissenschaftlers Shawn Rosenberg von der University of California vor, der ein baldiges Ende der demokratischen Ordnung voraussagt und sich dabei vor allem auf psychologische Ursachen beruft. "As much as President Donald Trump’s liberal critics might want to lay America’s ills at his door, Rosenberg says the president is not the cause of democracy’s fall — even if Trump’s successful anti-immigrant populist campaign may have been a symptom of democracy’s decline. We’re to blame, said Rosenberg. As in 'we the people.' Democracy is hard work. And as society’s 'elites' — experts and public figures who help those around them navigate the heavy responsibilities that come with self-rule — have increasingly been sidelined, citizens have proved ill equipped cognitively and emotionally to run a well-functioning democracy. As a consequence, the center has collapsed and millions of frustrated and angst-filled voters have turned in desperation to right-wing populists. His prediction? 'In well-established democracies like the United States, democratic governance will continue its inexorable decline and will eventually fail.'"

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