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


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


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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"The Shocking Paper Predicting the End of Democracy"


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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"Trump administration wants to 'reset' relations with EU"


Die US-Regierung strebe einen Neustart in den Beziehungen zur EU an, berichtet David M. Herszenhorn anlässlich des Besuchs von Außenminister Pompeo in Brüssel. "Pompeo, Trump's chief diplomat, arrives in Brussels Monday for a quick two-day visit, in which he will meet European Parliament President David Sassoli and the EU's incoming leadership team: Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, Council President-elect Charles Michel, and the nominee for foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell. But in a sign of how strained relations have become between Washington and Brussels over an array of issues, including Iran, trade and climate change, Pompeo will not see any of the EU leaders currently in office."

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"'Sorry, it’s the way I negotiate': Trump confounds the world at wild G-7"


Gabby Orr berichtet, dass US-Präsident Trump beim G7-Gipfel in Biarritz mit seiner eigenwilligen Verhandlungstaktik für Verwirrung gesorgt habe. "It was typical Trump on display on the world stage, refusing to be boxed in by anyone on anything. The president’s meandering statements and conflicting remarks left aides and allies alike guessing at his intended course of action — and his critics reviving questions about his fitness for office. 'Sorry, it’s the way I negotiate,' Trump shot back at a reporter during Monday’s press conference when questioned about whether there’s an actual strategy behind his constant back-and-forth on his positions regarding trade with China. 'It has done very well for me over the years,' Trump said. 'It’s doing even better for the country.'"

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"Trump’s Greenland Gambit Might Be Crazy — But It Could Also Be the Future"


Joshua Keating betrachtet das Interesse des US-Präsidenten an einem Erwerb Grönlands als wahrscheinlich unbeabsichtigte Reaktion auf den Klimawandel. Andere Regierungen könnten sich bald gezwungen sehen, ebenfalls nach neuen Landmassen Ausschau zu halten. "Trump probably doesn’t realize it, but he’s not the first president in recent years to look at the coming impact of climate change and decide to buy land. And with dislocated populations and scarcer resources looming on the horizon, he might not be the last. (...) just because Trump’s Greenland purchase is a nonstarter, doesn’t mean our notions of territorial control won’t get a little more fluid in the future, particularly as climate change physically reshapes the planet. Perhaps some countries will be forced to pick up and move."

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"'People don’t want to be stupid twice': Foreign diplomats brace for Trump 2020 win"


Ausländische Diplomaten in den USA bereiten sich Nahal Toosi zufolge auf eine Wiederwahl von US-Präsident Trump im nächsten Jahr vor. "Foreign diplomats are still feeling burned after assuming Donald Trump would lose in 2016 — and they don’t want to be fooled again. So many of them are quietly preparing for and predicting a Trump victory in 2020. Some are even trying to game out who will be on the president’s team in a second term. The belief that Trump will win reelection — gleaned from conversations with around 20 foreign diplomats, international officials and analysts who deal with them — appears widespread. (...) There’s no known scientific survey on the topic — few foreign officials would participate in one given diplomatic norms that preclude them from commenting on another country's internal politics. But none who talked to POLITICO was willing to say Trump will lose. Instead, they pointed to three key advantages for Trump: He’s the incumbent, the U.S. economy is strong and the Democrats have no definitive front-runner to challenge him."

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"Trump aside, Washington grows alarmed over Hong Kong unrest"


In Washington mehren sich Politico zufolge die Stimmen, die China wegen des harten Vorgehens gegen Protestierende in Hong Kong offen verurteilen. US-Präsident Trump verfolge die Entwicklung in Hong Kong dagegen mit ungewohnter Zurückhaltung. "Top American lawmakers (...) are increasingly speaking out against Beijing, underscoring the growing — and bipartisan — anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S. capital. On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy signaled his support for the protesters. (...) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week promised to push forward legislation that would penalize Chinese officials who infringe on Hong Kong’s autonomy. In her statement, the California Democrat praised the 'courage' of the protesters standing up to 'a cowardly government that refuses to respect the rule of law.' (...) To date, Trump has said relatively little on the Hong Kong crisis, sparking criticism that he is more worried about getting a trade deal with China than supporting movements for democracy. Still, his laconic approach hasn’t stopped China from linking the U.S. to the chaos. China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday once again leveled accusations that American officials are encouraging the 'rabble-rousers in Hong Kong.' Beijing had earlier claimed that the 'black hand' of the CIA was involved."

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"The U.S. or China? Europe Needs to Pick a Side"


Andrea Kendall-Taylor und Rachel Rizzo vom Center for a New American Security werfen Europa in der aktuellen Debatte über die Hong-Kong-Proteste vor, erneut eine klare Stellungnahme gegenüber China zu verweigern. In Europa gebe es bisher keinen Konsens über die Frage, ob bzw. welche Bedrohung Peking für die westlichen Demokratien darstellt. "Europe’s reluctance to side with the United States puts liberal democracy in danger. The closer Europe gets to China, the less opposition China will face in its efforts to re-shape norms — on issues like data and privacy, Internet freedom, AI and governance. To uphold their shared values, both the United States and Europe need to collectively push back against China’s unfair trade and investment practices, its blatant human rights abuses, and the anti-democratic norms and practices it seeks to spread. A Europe that refuses to pick sides is exactly what Beijing seeks to achieve. (...) What would it look like for Europe to get off the fence? 5G is at the forefront of the debate. Europe should follow Japan, Australia and New Zealand’s example and ban high-risk vendors like Huawei from building its 5G infrastructure. (...) Europe could also work with the United States to develop a joint response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which serves as a conduit for China’s influence and tactics. (...) the message coming from Europe continues to convey an aversion to choosing between the United States and China. Europe must realize where its long-term interests lie, and not let this administration or the allure of economic gains prevent the right choice. The health of liberal democracy will depend on it."

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"What Both Sides Don't Get About American Gun Culture"


Die beiden Politikwissenschaftler Austin Sarat und Jonathan Obert werfen sowohl Demokraten als auch Republikanern ein grundsätzliches Missverständnis der Waffenkultur in den USA vor. Die Pattsituation in der Waffendebatte könne nur überwunden werden, wenn Gewehre nicht nur als neutrale "Werkzeuge", sondern auch als Ausdruck einer politischen Identität betrachtet werden. "Gun owners' politics don't generally fall into lockstep with the NRA — but guns themselves are woven into people's lives in ways that go far beyond a tool. This suggests that the path to gun law reform won’t be as simple as liberals might hope or conservatives might fear. (...) As we mourn the victims in El Paso and Dayton and demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice, America’s political leaders, especially those who seek more stringent regulation, must recognize that guns are, for many of those who own them, something more than mere instruments of deadly force. They express and change the way people understand their own political identities and the powers they have as citizens. (...) gun owners need assurance that liberal gun reform advocates will not march down a slippery slope from red-flag laws, regulating semi-automatic weapons and large capacity magazines and closing the gun-show loophole to intrusive regulations that start to break down a culture that millions of people value greatly".

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"Germany wary of Macron’s space force"


In Deutschland werden die französischen Pläne zur Bildung eines militärischen Weltraum-Kommandos Josh Posaner zufolge mit Nervosität beobachtet. "(...) the French president's agenda, unveiled in the midst of France's biggest national celebration, sits uneasily with Germany's preference for a multilateral approach to military and defense issues. 'We need a robust answer to the challenges in space but I see this as a job for the European Space Agency and the EU,' Thomas Jarzombek, the German government’s coordinator on aerospace and a lawmaker in the Bundestag, told POLITICO. (...) For decades, France has been more interested in a high level of military autonomy than Germany. (...) Germany, due to its history, has been much more wary of foreign military missions and prefers to operate within established organizations such as NATO. In the EU's nascent defense cooperation projects, Berlin has pushed to have as many member countries take part as possible while France has favored moving more quickly, with a smaller number of countries participating if necessary. The contrasting approaches are now surfacing in space policy, as NATO prepares to formally designate space as a new domain of warfare at a summit in December."

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"Democrats want to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. It’s not that simple."


Die demokratischen Präsidentschaftskandidaten haben angekündigt, den Austritt der USA aus dem internationalen Atomabkommen mit dem Iran im Falle eines Wahlsiegs im nächsten Jahr rückgängig zu machen. Nahal Toosi macht darauf aufmerksam, dass dies aufgrund politischer und logistischer Hürden keineswegs einfach wäre. "By the time Inauguration Day rolls around in 2021, there might not even be a deal left — it has been hanging on by a thread since President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out last year. Even if it still exists, sections of the 2015 agreement are set to expire in the coming years, Trump’s punishing sanctions on Iran will be hard to fully unwind, Iran has elections that could put more anti-deal hard-liners in power and Tehran has already threatened to unwind itself from the deal in the months ahead. Then, there’s the possibility that Iran and the U.S. could be in a full-blown military conflict. (...) For now, as they compete against each other for their party's nomination, promising a return to the deal is a politically safe space for Democrats in part because of Obama’s continued popularity, one Democratic operative said. 'The Iran deal is popular with Democrats for the very reason that Donald Trump left it,' the operative said. 'It was negotiated by Barack Obama.'"

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"Trump’s new EU foil: Another ‘strong female German leader’"


Mit der neuen EU-Kommissionspräsidentin Ursula von der Leyen werde sich US-Präsident Trump einer weiteren "starken weiblichen deutschen Führungspersönlichkeit" gegenübersehen, meint Nahal Toosi. Einige Experten erwarten allerdings, dass von der Leyen sich mit Trump gut verstehen wird: "Von der Leyen has many fans in the defense establishment on both sides of the Atlantic, some of whom say she was always frank about what could be accomplished. Several noted that von der Leyen has lived in the U.S. before and is fluent in English — one of several languages she speaks — which has helped her navigate Washington. 'She’s pragmatic, she’s realistic, she’s a hard worker and she’s tough,' said Rachel Ellehuus, who served as a top aide to former Trump administration Defense Secretary James Mattis. 'She never over-promised and under-delivered.' A NATO official, singing similar praises, also downplayed concerns about von der Leyen’s ability to deal with Trump, saying her 'panache' will win him over. (...) Von der Leyen’s defenders note that the next top EU leader does have some nuanced positions that might align her with Trump in key areas. For instance, even as she is open to more internal European defense cooperation, she has pushed back on the French call for an 'EU army,' a concept Trump loathes. She has also said greater European defense cooperation should not compete with NATO — a nod to the ongoing American role in supporting European defense. (...) Von der Leyen has also sounded tough notes on China, which Trump would appreciate, but also on Russia, a loaded subject for Trump."

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"How Fake News Could Lead to Real War"


Daniel Benjamin und Steven Simon, die beide für frühere US-Regierungen als Antiterror-Experten tätig waren, weisen auf die möglichen Konsequenzen von Falschmeldungen in internationalen Konflikten hin. Die "Fake-News-Epidemie" könne nicht nur Kriege auslösen, sondern auch notwendige Reaktionen auf tatsächliche Vorfälle gefährlich verzögern. "Sure, fake news has been a feature of international relations for a long time, but it’s different now: Advancing technology that can fabricate convincing images and videos combined with the chronic, exuberant dishonesty of the commander in chief and his minions have meant that no one can feel confident in assessing life-or-death choices in foreign policy crisis. (...) The scope for manipulation is enormous. One can easily imagine the havoc caused by falsified video that depicts foreign Iranian officials collaborating with terrorists to target the U.S. Or by something as simple as invented news reports about Iranian or North Korean military plans for preemptive strikes on any number of targets. (...) The strategic order is in serious danger as well. Trump’s deliberate, programmatic subversion of the public trust in national security institutions, especially the intelligence community, has undermined confidence in the accessibility of truth itself and has crucial implications for our security. The more our leaders in the White House and Congress dedicate themselves to dismantling this trust, the more we will be hostage to technologies that no one knows how to control."

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"How Trump’s 'weaponized' use of foreign aid is backfiring"


In der Venezuela-Krise habe die US-Regierung die humanitäre Unterstützung der Bevölkerung durch US-Hilfsorganisationen gezielt eingesetzt, um den Druck auf die Regierung in Caracas zu erhöhen, schreibt Nahal Toosi. Einige Hilfsorganisationen hätten nun darum gebeten, die vorgeschriebene US-Markierung ihrer Lieferungen zu entfernen. "President Donald Trump has so closely linked U.S. humanitarian assistance to his attempt to oust Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro — even placing goods along the country’s border as an incentive for Venezuelans to revolt — that some groups are citing security concerns and asking U.S. officials if they can strip legally required U.S. branding from aid sent to Venezuela, three aid officials told POLITICO. Some organizations are looking at other options, such as seeing if the U.S. funding can be masked by routing it through the United Nations, or at ways to diversify their funding sources so that they can use more non-American aid to help Venezuelans, various aid experts said. The situation reflects broader fears that Trump’s unusually politicized approach to handing out U.S. aid worldwide is backfiring, tarnishing America’s brand and possibly risking the lives of people from Latin America to the Palestinian territories."

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"Russia beating U.S. in race for global influence, Pentagon study says"


Einer neuen Pentagon-Studie zufolge ist Russland derzeit dabei, die USA im "Wettrennen" um globalen Einfluss zu schlagen. "The U.S. is ill-equipped to counter the increasingly brazen political warfare Russia is waging to undermine democracies, the Pentagon and independent strategists warn in a detailed assessment that happens to echo much bipartisan criticism of President Donald Trump's approach to Moscow. The more than 150-page white paper, prepared for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and shared with POLITICO, says the U.S. is still underestimating the scope of Russia's aggression, which includes the use of propaganda and disinformation to sway public opinion across Europe, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. The study also points to the dangers of a growing alignment between Russia and China, which share a fear of the United States' international alliances and an affinity for 'authoritarian stability.'"

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"AI experts call to curb mass surveillance"


Ein hochrangiges Expertengremium der EU hat vor dem Einsatz neuer KI-Technologien zur Massenüberwachung gewarnt und eine strenge Regulierung entsprechender Anwendungen gefordert. "An expert panel is set to present to the bloc’s leaders a list of 33 recommendations on how to move forward on AI governance Wednesday, including a stark warning against the use of AI to control and monitor citizens. In a 48-page final draft of the document, obtained by POLITICO, the experts urge policymakers to define “red lines” for high-risk AI applications — such as systems to mass monitor individuals or rank them according to their behavior — and discuss outlawing some controversial technology. 'Ban AI-enabled mass-scale scoring of individuals,' the expert group demands, adding that there needs to be 'very clear and strict rules for surveillance for national security purposes and other purposes claimed to be in the public or national interest.'"

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"The Real Reason Iran Has Been Provoking Trump"


Ray Takeyh vom Council on Foreign Relations ist davon überzeugt, dass der Iran grundsätzlich an neuen Verhandlungen mit den USA interessiert sei. Teheran wolle allerdings nicht aus einer Position der Schwäche verhandeln. "Before negotiating with the United States, Iran needs a narrative of success. And the events of the past few days, in which the Trump administration threatened and then backed off a military confrontation, have finally provided Tehran with a justification to enter talks with, in Iran’s telling, a chastened Washington. (...) It’s clear to me that the talks between United States and Iran are coming. And the challenge for the Trump administration is to hold fast to the Pompeo parameters. Ultimately, the legacy of Trump’s Iran policy will be whether the administration can sustain its hawkish policy and move forward with successful negotiations or whether it will join its predecessor in abandoning its own sensible red lines for sake of an agreement at any cost."

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"The EU’s big Balkan botch-up"


Entgegen ursprünglicher Zusagen der EU werden Nord-Mazedonien und Albanien vorerst kein Angebot für den Beginn der Beitrittsverhandlungen bekommen. Andrew Gray und Jacopo Barigazzi führen dies auf eine grundsätzliche französische Skepsis und die bisher fehlende Zustimmung des deutschen Bundestages zurück. "Paris is the leading skeptic when it comes to enlarging the EU while Berlin can't make a decision because the German parliament has yet to take a view. The failure to reach agreement on inviting the two countries to begin talks has infuriated some other EU members and European Commission officials. They argue that delaying a decision undermines the bloc's credibility, puts the pro-EU governments of both countries in peril and risks boosting strategic rivals in the region such as Russia, China and Turkey. Opponents of starting talks cite the western Balkans' deep-seated problems with corruption, organized crime and poverty and its recent history of conflict. Some officials also say that populist parties in Western Europe would seize on any move to bring the two Balkan countries closer to the bloc to whip up anti-EU feeling."

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"Germany’s military maneuvers"


In der Bundesregierung gibt es John Vinocur zufolge die ernsthafte Erwägung, sich den USA und Frankreich anzuschließen und ein Kriegsschiff in die Meerenge zwischen China und Taiwan zu schicken, um sich dortigen chinesischen Gebietsansprüchen entgegenzustellen. "If Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government actually goes ahead, it will be a remarkable revision of its we-keep-out-of-conflict reflexes. Germany will be openly backing its allies in a strategy certain to be found provocative by the country’s enforcers of non-combatant passivity. (...) A German official informed me of the Taiwan Strait plan last month. Last week, a second German official, at my request, confirmed its discussion by the defense ministry. No firm decision was expected before the end of the summer. (...) Why would Germany get involved? Some elements in Merkel’s government see a double opportunity, given Berlin’s lousy relations with U.S. President Donald Trump and wide disrespect elsewhere for its hide-under-the-bed routine. (...) launching a naval in-your-face operation off the coast of Taiwan would constitute a groundbreaking but unfamiliar act of valor. Admirably, there are German officials who want to combat the notion that the country is an irresponsible and non-committal ally. More power to them. The place to do that is the international waters of the Taiwan Strait. Now, the German navy needs to get that far."

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"Even some Trump allies want Kushner to ice his peace plan"


Der seit langem erwartete Nahost-Friedensplan von Donald Trumps Schwiegersohn Jared Kushner stoße mittlerweile auch bei Trump-Verbündeten auf zunehmende Skepsis, berichtet Nahal Toosi. "Prominent conservative and pro-Israel voices close to the White House are increasingly sharing their fears, which range from the possibility that the peace proposal could trigger violence to worries that its offerings could forever kill efforts to craft a two-state solution. Many hoped the plan would get shelved even before the latest political turmoil in Israel prompted the scheduling of new elections in the fall. Now, some are going on the record to urge the Trump administration to set aside the plan indefinitely, even though few people have seen the closely held proposal. (...) Among the most prominent Middle East observers urging Kushner to kill the proposal is Rob Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank that views the U.S.-Israel relationship as a strategic asset to American interests in the Middle East. In op-eds, Satloff, who describes himself as a nonpartisan independent, has warned of a negative chain reaction that could follow the plan’s release. For instance, if Palestinians reject the plan, Israelis on the right could pressure their government to go ahead and annex parts of the West Bank. Such a move, he said, would further isolate Israel on the world stage and effectively weaken its ability to counter Iran."

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"Assange won’t face charges over role in devastating CIA leak"


Das US-Justizministerium will offenbar darauf verzichten, WikiLeaks-Gründer Julian Assange auch wegen der Veröffentlichung einer geheimen CIA-Spionagesoftware anzuklagen. "It’s a move that has surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to aggressively go after the WikiLeaks founder on more controversial Espionage Act charges that some legal experts said would not hold up in court. The decision also means that Assange will not face punishment for publishing one of the CIA’s most potent arsenals of digital code used to hack devices, dubbed Vault 7. The leak — one of the most devastating in CIA history — not only essentially rendered those tools useless for the CIA, it gave foreign spies and rogue hackers access to them. (...) 'There is no question that there are leak cases that can’t be prosecuted against the leaker or the leakee because the information is so sensitive that, for your proof at trial, you would have to confirm it is authentic,' said Mary McCord, who was acting assistant attorney general for national security at the Justice Department until 2017. 'So the irony, often, is that the higher the classification of the leaked material, the harder it is to prosecute.'"

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"Pompeo is dead to Berlin"


US-Außenminister Pompeos kurzfristige Absage seines Deutschland-Besuchs sei in Berlin offiziell mit Gleichmut und hinter den Kulissen mit Wut aufgenommen worden, schreibt Matthew Karnitschnig. Die deutsche Politik lege hohen Wert auf diplomatische Rituale und fühle sich durch Pompeos Absage missachtet. "The more troubled Germany's relationship with another country becomes, the more it clings to the rituals of international diplomacy. In the German view, dialogue, no matter how devoid of substance, is preferable to silence. Consider Merkel's continued engagement with Vladimir Putin in the wake of Russia's incursions into Ukraine. The German leader spoke to him dozens of times after Russia's annexation of Crimea. While her efforts failed to convince Putin to change course, her home audience gave her an A for effort. So even if Pompeo's visit promised to yield little beyond a photo-op and some polite small talk, the Germans expected him to go through the motions. Never mind that Pompeo made it clear the he plans to reschedule the Berlin trip and visit in the near future, the secretary's no-show was nothing short of an affront. So just how mad are they? 'The German-American relationship is in tatters,' the Süddeutsche concluded."

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"Pompeo aims to counter China’s ambitions in the Arctic"


Die US-Regierung habe die Arktis als nächste Front im geopolitischen Wettbewerb mit Russland und China ausgemacht, berichtet Blake Hounshell. US-Außenminister Pompeo habe China in einer Rede in Helsinki vorgeworfen, mit seinen Gebietsansprüchen in der Region neue Konflikte heraufzubeschwören. "Pompeo’s address, which comes ahead of meetings with officials from the seven other countries with Arctic territory, will take aim at America’s two main strategic rivals, Russia and China. Pompeo will put special emphasis on Chinese behavior, suggesting that Beijing is using the region as the latest venue for its territorial aggression. 'Do we want the Arctic Ocean to transform into a new South China Sea, fraught with militarization and competing territorial claims?' Pompeo will ask. (...) China (...) has styled itself a 'near-Arctic' country — a self-appellation U.S. officials find absurd: One senior State Department official called it 'a made-up, fantasy definition' worthy of George Orwell; another rattled off the precise distance between Beijing and the Arctic Circle (1,844 miles). In the past few years, China has invested in Iceland; built scientific research centers in Norway; and sought to build airports, snap up mines and buy naval facilities in Greenland — all part of Beijing’s strategy to develop a 'Polar Silk Road' to crack open shipping routes made newly accessible by climate change."

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"6 takeaways from Ukraine’s presidential vote"


Aus den ukrainischen Präsidentschaftswahlen können nach Ansicht von David Stern sechs Schlussfolgerungen gezogen werden: "1. Language differences matter less and less (...) The electoral map shows green representing support for Zelenskiy — a Russian speaker — stretching across regional and linguistic boundaries. While some voters in the east may have voted for Zelenskiy because he’s a Russian speaker, what seems clear is that for a large number of Ukrainians, there are now more important matters to unite them. 2. Moscow’s claims of rampant anti-Semitism and fascism debunked (...) while the far right is a fringe movement, it wields influence far beyond its numbers. Ukraine’s media and public intellectuals also often appear afraid to admit that the ultra-nationalists even exist, for fear of this being used for Russian propaganda. At the very least, Zelenskiy’s victory demonstrates that a Jewish background today presents no barrier to the country’s highest office. And this is no small thing. 3. Ukrainians want a Superman — but can easily turn against him (...) 4. Being pro-Russian won't win elections. Before the 2014 revolution, candidates who advocated closer ties to Moscow were an electoral force to be reckoned with. Those days are past, and may be gone forever. (...) 5. Parliamentary election will be rough, (...) 6. Things are about to get even more interesting. To sum it up, Ukraine has elected a 41-year-old comedian with no political experience whose concrete policy positions are still largely unknown. (...) Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely waiting for the first opportunity to test his new counterpart. Fasten your seatbelts."

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"How Europe learned to fear China"


Lange Zeit habe die EU den globalen Aufstieg Chinas überwiegend gleichgültig verfolgt, schreibt Bruno Maçães. Seit einiger Zeit werde Peking in Brüssel allerdings als "systemischer Rivale" betrachtet und gefürchtet. "Overnight, it seems, their world changed. So, why did the tide turn? And how did we get here? First, there was the story of the solar panels. European producers once enjoyed a clear first-mover advantage, and yet the industry has been all but wiped out in Europe. Look at the list of the world’s 10 largest solar-panel manufacturers. In 2001, five were European. In 2018, eight were Chinese; the other two were Canadian and South Korean. Then there was Kuka, the crown jewel of German robotics, which was taken over by Chinese home-appliance maker Midea in 2016. What happened next has become part of a now recognizable pattern: Once a firm is acquired by a Chinese company, its European suppliers are abandoned for Chinese value chains. The latest threat comes from China’s commercial aviation industry. U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing estimates that over the next two decades China will need 7,690 new planes, valued at $1.2 trillion. (...) Recently I had lunch with a British diplomat in Beijing. As I described what a Chinese-led world order might look like, he sat back in his chair and commented with a wry smile: 'Looks like the British empire to me.' (...) As in the famous play by Pirandello, European nations can be seen as a series of characters in search of an author. That search may be over. In China, they have found the external force that can bring them together."

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"For NATO, China is the new Russia"


In NATO-Kreisen bereite man sich bereits jetzt darauf vor, dass China Russland in den kommenden Jahrzehnten als größten Widersacher des Westens ablösen wird, schreibt Matthew Karnitschnig. "What role NATO, with its geographic limitations, should play in the West’s effort to protect against China isn’t clear. Nonetheless, there’s a growing conviction among security officials on both sides of the Atlantic that at a time of increased tension in the alliance over burden-sharing, China policy is an area of common interest between the U.S. and its European partners. (...) For all the talk about Moscow’s meddling in elections and incursions into its neighbors’ territory, there’s a growing consensus in the alliance that despite its considerable nuclear arsenal, Russia can be managed. Europe’s NATO members dwarf Russia in terms of military spending and economic might. Russia’s energy-dependent economy is stagnating and is smaller than Canada’s, for example. If Europe were to focus on Russia, it would free the U.S. to concentrate more on Asia (where European NATO allies have virtually no presence), a division of labor that would likely make NATO an easier sell in Washington in the long run."

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"Mike Pompeo Is Not Making Diplomacy Great Again"


Aaron David Miller und Richard Sokolsky ziehen ein kritisches Zwischenfazit der Amtszeit von US-Außenminister Pompeo. "Unlike Tillerson, who was all but invisible, Pompeo has raised the public profile of U.S. diplomacy, even if he has not, as he promised, restored the 'swagger' of a State Department where morale is still low and many senior appointments and positions have yet to be filled. Also unlike Tillerson, Pompeo is at the helm on some important issues, from Iran to North Korea. But his unrealistic approach to these problems — hard line and ideological — hasn’t brought them any closer to resolution. In contrast with his predecessor, he hasn’t managed to alienate his boss and has emerged as a cautious and savvy Trump whisperer. The problem is that what he’s whispering neither advances American interests and values nor the nation’s foreign policy."

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"Trump’s Bad Deal with the Taliban"


Thomas Joscelyn und Bill Roggio kritisieren die laufenden Verhandlungen des US-Sondergesandten für Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, mit den Taliban. Die US-Regierung sei offenbar bereit, alle im Laufe des Militäreinsatzes erreichten Fortschritte aufs Spiel zu setzen. "Everyone knows that President Donald Trump wants out of Afghanistan, and the Afghans know that the State Department’s dealings with the Taliban will not deliver 'peace.' Instead, Khalilzad’s talks have further empowered the same jihadists America has been fighting for nearly two decades. (...) The State Department long maintained that the talks must be 'Afghan-led' and 'Afghan-owned,' but nobody seems to have told Khalilzad. He caved to the Taliban’s demand for unilateral negotiations with the U.S. early on, holding extensive two-party talks without any preconditions. Incredibly, though the Afghan government has never been invited to the negotiating table, Khalilzad has already announced that a 'draft' agreement is in place. (...) While Afghan officials like Mohib have their own reasons to distrust Khalilzad, Americans should also be concerned. The U.S. military would have you believe that the Taliban was driven, through force, to the negotiating table. That’s not true. The Taliban contests or controls more than half of Afghanistan’s territory. (...) there is no reason to think the Taliban wants to hold al-Qaida’s global agenda in check. And this is where Khalilzad’s credulity becomes especially problematic. He has already declared the Taliban to be a de facto counterterrorism partner. This is an absurd proposition."

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"Cheney grills Pence on Trump's foreign policy"


Der frühere US-Vizepräsident Dick Cheney hat seinem aktuellen Amtsnachfolger Mike Pence in einem Gespräch vorgeworfen, dass die Außenpolitik Donald Trumps zu sehr der Barack Obamas gleiche. "Cheney pressed Pence about Trump’s proclivity for making major policy announcements on Twitter and his off-and-on commitment to NATO, according to four meeting attendees and a source briefed on their remarks. The former vice president, who has kept a low public profile in recent years, questioned whether Trump places enough value on the findings of the intelligence community, which he has repeatedly and publicly dismissed. He suggested that Trump foreign policy has at times looked more like President Barack Obama’s — which Cheney has repeatedly lambasted — than that of a Republican standard-bearer. (...) The civil but tense standoff put a spotlight on enduring fissures in the Republican Party over its foreign policy. Trump has rejected the interventionism and democracy-promotion espoused by George W. Bush, who talked during his second term of 'ending tyranny in our time.' But while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have dampened Republican support for the sort of pro-democracy hawkishness embraced by Cheney, many Republicans still believe Trump has gone too far in undermining America’s traditional alliances worldwide."

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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Zahlen und Fakten


Kaum ein Thema wird so intensiv und kontrovers diskutiert wie die Globalisierung. "Zahlen und Fakten" liefert Grafiken, Texte und Tabellen zu einem der wichtigsten und vielschichtigsten Prozesse der Gegenwart.

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