US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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"Building global climate security"

Thammy Evans und Patrick Schröder zufolge sollten Politikerinnen und Politiker weltweit das Sicherheitsrisiko, das der Klimawandel darstellt, als Hebel nutzen, um die finanziellen Aufwendungen für den Klimaschutz zu erhöhen. "Systemic finance solutions that address climate threats will require climatizing defence spending. (…) Furthermore, substantial parts of military expenditure and expertise should be aligned with support for renewable energy programmes, climate regeneration mitigation and adaptation projects. (…) Along with all other sectors, the security community needs to support efforts to fully decarbonizing energy, construction, agriculture and transport systems, as well as supporting natural carbon sinks, and systemically linking responses to, and bridging the gap between, the biodiversity crisis with responses to the climate crisis."

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"What deters Russia"

Russland setze noch immer eine Vielzahl von staatlichen und nicht-staatlichen Mitteln ein, um westlichen Gesellschaften zu schaden, konstatiert Keir Giles. "The best remaining option is to deter Moscow from intervention against members of NATO or the EU by causing it to believe that the costs will be too high because other members of the organizations will respond appropriately, as opposed to seeking a diplomatic solution or a back-door deal to evade their responsibilities and treaty obligations. This requires continuing demonstrations both of resolve and of global military capability that outweighs Russia's and can be brought to bear swiftly to inflict deterrence by punishment if deterrence by denial has failed."

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"Advanced military technology in Russia"

Samuel Bendett, Mathieu Boulègue, Richard Connolly, Margarita Konaev, Pavel Podvig und Katarzyna Zysk geben einen Überblick über moderne russische Militärtechnologie: "Russia has been incrementally integrating novel force-multiplier technologies into established weapons systems, including nuclear and non-nuclear strategic weapons and general-purpose forces, as well as asymmetric non-military methods and means. These new systems have the potential to provide an advantage in time and space. Uncertainties remain, nonetheless, about Russia's ability to keep up with the competition."

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"Steps to enable a Middle East regional security process"

Neil Quilliam und Sanam Vakil beschreiben notwendige Schritte, um regionale Spannungen im Mittleren Osten abzubauen: "Addressing Iran's interventionist role in conflicts and countries beyond its borders is key to this process. But if there is to be any prospect of improvement in regional dynamics, not only does Iran need to recognize the counterproductive impact of its financial and military support for proxy groups across the region: Arab states also have to acknowledge that they too bear responsibility in driving conflict. Regionalizing solutions brings a greater chance of success."

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"Nigeria's New Military Chiefs Face Uphill Battle"

Das nigerianische Militär habe in der Vergangenheit sowohl strategische wie auch operative Fehler begangen, kommentiert Matthew Page. Der vor kurzem erfolgte Austausch der Führungsspitze der Streitkräfte sei daher dringend notwendig gewesen. Inwieweit die neue Leitung jedoch über die Fähigkeiten, Ressourcen und Vision verfüge, Veränderungen voranzutreiben, bleibe fraglich. "Nigeria's newly appointed service chiefs have a brief window of opportunity to change their strategic approach, embrace reform and move beyond past failures before old habits set in."

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"Gulf Economies Need a Transformed Role for the State"

Stabile politische Verhältnisse und eine Reduzierung geopolitischer Risiken, wie etwa Saudi-Arabiens Wiederaufnahme diplomatischer Beziehungen zu Katar Anfang 2021, schafften ein attraktives Umfeld für Investoren, schreiben Adel Hamaizia und Tim Callen. Wirtschaftliche Reformen seien in den Golfstaaten dennoch notwendig: "(T)he importance of a more diversified economy remains undimmed, so the reforms underway since the oil price crash in 2014 - many under the banner of various 'vision' programs - need to continue to be driven forward as the pandemic subsides. The pace, sequence, and timing will be paramount to their success."

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"The Arab Spring 10 Years On"

Zehn Jahre nach seinem Ausbruch sei der Arabische Frühling im Nahen Osten alles andere als vorbei, schreibt Georges Fahmi. Die politische Bewegung von 2011 gehöre allerdings der Vergangenheit an. "While the Arab Spring is not over, the moment of 2011 is. As beautiful as it might have been, it would be a mistake for political actors in the region to remain stuck in that moment. The political landscape and determinants of popular mobilization have radically changed since then, changes that must be thoroughly analyzed and addressed in both discourse and action. Failing to do so will only hold back the Arab Spring from finishing what was started 10 years ago."

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"Turkey does its own thing"

Hugh Pope und Nigar Göksel von der International Crisis Group glauben, dass die EU ihre Erwartungen an die Türkei neu überdenken sollte. Sie sprechen sich gegen eine Abkehr vom EU-Beitrittsprozess und gegen Sanktionen aus. "Those in Europe who would throw away Turkey’s accession process should think about what they would replace it with. Nobody has ever put a viable alternative on the table. The two sides would need to build up a great deal more trust and common understanding if they wish – rather like Britain and the EU after Brexit – to negotiate a new arrangement to regulate an EU-wide framework for trade and cooperation built up over decades. Sanctions, by contrast, would barely dent Erdogan’s power, but rather strengthen hardliners, feed his populist rhetoric and reduce Turkey’s room for any pivot towards the West. A better idea could be to do more deal-making that treats each issue separately, even if the EU will never be able to be as transactional as Erdogan and Putin, who can cooperate on arms sales even while taking different sides in both Syria and Libya."

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"Russia’s Peace Imposed on Armenia-Azerbaijan Bloodshed"

Laurence Broers bezweifelt, dass das neue Waffenstillstandsabkommen den Konflikt in Bergkarabach dauerhaft befrieden wird. "Robust agreements depend ultimately not on the scale, or longevity, of a peacekeeping mission but the political authority underpinning them. This can only come from a process addressing root causes of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, as well as the many new divisive issues proceeding from the recent war, from new forced displacements to possible war crimes and the fate of cultural heritage in transferred territories. Failure to do this only hardens grievances and 'what about' arguments poisoning future Armenian-Azerbaijani dialogue, and risks the internalisation of victor and victim identities, but in reverse roles compared to the 1990s — continuing the cycle of conflict into another generation. Russia’s regionalization of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict does save lives right now, and also assures its own interests in the South Caucasus in the short-term. But this extremely thin agreement does not provide for peace in the long-term."

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"Seven Ways the West Can Help Belarus"

Ryhor Astapenia von der Robert Bosch Stiftung erläutert sieben Maßnahmen, mit denen der Westen die Protestbewegung in Weißrussland unterstützen könnte. Unter anderem empfiehlt er härtere Sanktionen: "The Lukashenka regime deserves tough sanctions internationally, but so far only selective visa restrictions or account freezes have been imposed, which have little to no effect on what is actually happening on the ground. Visa sanction lists need to be expanded but, more importantly, there should be increased economic pressure on the regime. Companies which are the most important to Lukashenka's business interests should be identified and targeted with sanctions, all their trading activity halted, and all their accounts abroad frozen."

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"US Electorate Shows Distrust of the Realities of Foreign Policy"

Bruce Stokes hat sich mit der außenpolitischen Stimmung in der amerikanischen Bevölkerung beschäftigt, mit der sich auch der kommende US-Präsident auseinandersetzen müsse. "Whoever occupies the White House after the election, it is evident the emphasis will be on 'America First', and that only characteristics and approaches will differ. If Donald Trump is re-elected, his electoral base will support a continuation of isolationist, protectionist policies. If Joe Biden becomes president, he will enjoy some limited popular backing for international re-engagement, but his voters still clearly want him to prioritize domestic issues. Implications for the foreign policy of the next US administration are evident. America may have a long history of isolationism, but that should not be confused with ignorance of the growing interconnectedness of today’s world. However, Americans are struggling to find a new equilibrium for their country’s role in the world."

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"Russia’s Behaviour Risks Weaponizing Outer Space"

Nach Ansicht von Beyza Unal und Mathieu Boulègue könnten die neuen russischen Antisatellitenwaffen zu einer Militarisierung des Weltalls führen. "While it is possible that Russia’s matryoshka satellites have indeed been developed to carry out routine repairs of Russia’s space fleet, they also have the potential to interfere with, and destroy, other satellites with such action needing to be considered a threat until Russia demonstrates otherwise. Russia is not the only state investigating anti-satellite weaponry capabilities. There is a wider trend (e.g. China, India, US) to demonstrate advanced space capabilities with nefarious, if not directly offensive, intent. But, for the past few years, Russia in particular, has been provocative in testing its space weapon capabilities. (…) Space is for all but there is a risk that it is being hijacked by a few. It is time to re-assert and reinforce the rules, principles and norms of responsible state behaviour in outer space enshrined in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and its associated international agreements."

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"COVID-19 Will Reshape Our Relationship with the State"

Matthew Goodwin erwartet, dass die Coronakrise die Beziehungen der Bürger zum Staat auf fundamentale Weise verändern wird. "Those who believe in cyclical theories of history argue the infamous stock market crash of 1929 signalled the failure of markets and paved the way for a bigger state, which then led to the New Deal in America and welfare states in Europe. Fast forward to the 1970s and it was the turn of the state to overreach as big government proved unable to resolve intractable economic and social problems. This paved the way for the return of the markets via Reaganism and Thatcherism and an economic consensus that even centre-left social democrats ended up accepting. Now fast forward again to where we are today. Some contend that in years to come we will look back at the coronavirus crisis as a major corrective, because the Great Recession of 2008-2012 arrived after the markets had once again overreached and - together with the Great Lockdown - these two crises are paving the way for a much bigger and more interventionist state."

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"Weekly COVID-19 Pandemic Briefing – The Geopolitics of the Coronavirus"

Die britische Denkfabrik Chatham House führt wöchentlich interaktive Webinare durch, bei denen Experten die jüngsten Entwicklungen und politischen Folgen der globalen Coronakrise erklären. "What will the geopolitics of the pandemic mean for multilateralism? As the US retreats, what dynamics are emerging around other actors and what are the implications for the World Health Organization? Is the EU stepping up to play a bigger role in global health? Will the pandemic galvanize the global cooperation long called for? Professor Heymann is a world-leading authority on infectious disease outbreaks. He led the World Health Organization’s response to SARS and has been advising the organization on its response to the coronavirus. Professor Kickbusch is one of the world’s leading experts in global health diplomacy and governance. She advises international organizations, national governments, NGOs and the private sector on new directions and innovations in global health, governance for health and health promotion."

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"USA vs Everybody? Why Foreign Policy Will Be a Backdrop to Domestic Policy in 2020"

Bruce Stokes bezweifelt, dass die Außenpolitik im US-Präsidentschaftswahlkampf dieses Jahres eine entscheidende Rolle spielen wird. "In the end, the November US presidential election will not turn on foreign policy issues. Public opinion surveys consistently show that international concerns are among Americans’ least worries. The outcome will hinge on the depth of the recession and voters’ perception of Trump’s handling of the pandemic. But both of those issues only fuel the public’s sense of victimhood. So expect the Trump campaign to fan those flames with a steady drumbeat of attacks on other countries and international institutions to reinforce the president’s supporters' sense of solidarity in an election that will be framed as ‘us against them’, be it a virus, or an economic downturn, or perfidious foreigners. Victimhood is a powerful political rallying cry."

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"The Geopolitical Implications of Future Oil Demand"

Paul Stevens von der britischen Denkfabrik Chatham House erwartet, dass die zunehmende Bedeutung erneuerbarer Energieressourcen die geopolitische Rolle des Erdöls, im 20. Jahrhundert Auslöser vieler Konflikte, bald in den Hintergrund rücken lassen könnte. Die Transformation könnte allerdings ihrerseits zu neuen Konflikten führen, so Stevens. "The global energy economy is undergoing a rapid transition from ‘hydrocarbon molecules to electrons’: in other words, from fossil fuels to renewables and low-carbon electricity. Leading energy industry players and analysts – the energy-forecasting ‘establishment’ – are seriously underestimating the speed and depth of this transition. (...) If the transition to renewables and low-carbon electricity happens faster than the energy establishment anticipates, the implications for exporters of oil and for the geopolitics of oil will be very serious. (...). The countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will be particularly exposed, with the possible consequences including an increase in the incidence of state failure in a region already suffering the fallout from having signally failed to address the causes of the Arab uprisings since 2011. Increased political and economic turbulence in the MENA region would also have the potential to create serious migration problems for Europe."

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"The Destabilizing Danger of Cyberattacks on Missile Systems"

Vor dem kurzfristig abgesagten Militärschlag gegen den Iran hat das US-Militär offenbar Cyberangriffe gegen iranische Raketenstellungen durchgeführt, um potentielle Gegenschläge gegen amerikanische Ziele in der Region zu verhindern. Patricia Lewis und Beyza Unal warnen vor dem Eskalationspotential dieser Strategie, da Gegner der USA ihre Raketen aus Furcht vor Cyberangriffen vorschnell einsetzen könnten. "In other words, the adversary may be left with no option but to take the chance to use these missiles or to lose them in a conflict setting. 'Left of launch' is a dangerous game. If it is based on a bluff, it could be called upon and lead to deterrence failure. If it is based on real action, then it could create an asymmetrical power struggle. If the attacker establishes false confidence in the power of a cyber weapon, then it might lead to false signalling and messaging. This is the new normal. The cat-and-mouse game has to be taken seriously, not least because missile systems are so vulnerable. (...) States with these capabilities must exercise caution: cyber offence manoeuvres may prevent the launch of missile attacks against US assets in the Middle East or in the Pacific regions, but they may also interfere with US missile launches in the future. Even, as has recently been revealed, US cyber weapons targeting an adversary may blow back and inadvertently infect US systems. Nobody is invulnerable."

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"The Struggle of Managing Trump"

Robin Niblett, Direktor des Thinktanks Chatham House, vergleicht das politische Umfeld des aktuellen Besuchs des US-Präsidenten in Großbritannien mit der Lage während der London-Visite Donald Trumps vor einem Jahr. Während Trump die US-Regierung mittlerweile weitgehend mit Gefolgsleuten besetzt und gute Aussichten auf eine Wiederwahl habe, wirke Europa zunehmend geschwächt. "Today, Europeans hold no sway and have no say over U.S. foreign policy decisions that many believe run counter to their interests. Yet they and their companies are being forced to serve as agents of these policies. They are being bullied, and it is working. President Trump has exposed pitilessly the fact that, while might may not be right, might generally wins. Europeans cannot play hardball in return unless they have the resources and credibility to follow through. On security, they currently lack both the resources and the combined political willpower to demonstrate strategic autonomy. On the economic front, however, the situation is more nuanced."

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"Are We Seeing a Second Wave of the Arab Spring?"

Georges Fahmi erkennt in den aktuellen Protestbewegungen in Algerien und Sudan Parallelen zu den Revolten des Arabischen Frühlings 2011. "In Sudan, the protest movement started as a reaction to an increase in the price of bread in December, eventually escalating into demands for regime change. Although the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has promised economic and political reforms, protestors have continued calling for him to step down. In Algeria, the protests started in February in objection to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fifth term. Under pressure from the protests, Bouteflika has decided to drop his plan to run again and has proposed postponing the elections while political reforms are implemented. Nevertheless, protesters have continued demanding for his resignation. The widespread protests in both countries have brought back memories of the Arab uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa region in 2011, leading many people to ask whether we are witnessing a second wave of the Arab Spring. The straightforward answer is: we are but the outcome of these protests is yet to be known."

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"US Foreign Policy Will Continue to Divide Americans Beyond 2020"

Die kontroverse amerikanische Debatte über die globale Stellung der USA wird auch nach einem Abtritt Donald Trumps anhalten, ist Bruce Stokes sicher. Eine Rückkehr zum Status Quo vor der Trump-Präsidentschaft hält er für unwahrscheinlich. "Unfortunately, any assumption that America’s commitment to global engagement will revert to the status quo ante in 2021 if President Donald Trump is not re-elected belies the growing polarization in US public opinion about America’s role in the world. This partisan divide in Americans’ sentiment pre-dated Trump’s election and is likely to continue whatever the outcome of the next US presidential election. (...) three generations after the searing experiences of both the Great Depression and the Second World War thrust upon the US the mantel of global leadership, a significant portion of the American public is both weary and wary of continuing to bear that burden. These are sentiments that candidate Trump shared and amplified, but he did not create."

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"Israeli–Palestinian Peacemaking: The Role of the Arab States"

Yossi Mekelberg und Greg Shapland erläutern in dieser Studie für die britische Denkfabrik Chatham House, auf welche Weise die arabischen Staaten Saudi-Arabien, Ägypten, die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate und Jordanien positiven Einfluss auf den Konflikt zwischen Israelis und Palästinensern nehmen könnten. "So far, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Jordan have chosen not to test what this influence could achieve. One reason for the inactivity to date may be disenchantment with the Palestinians and their cause, including the inability of Palestinian leaders to unite to promote it. However, ignoring Palestinian concerns will not bring about a resolution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, which will continue to add to instability in the region. If Arab leaders see regional stability as being in their countries’ interests, they should be trying to shape any eventual peace plan advanced by the administration of US President Donald Trump in such a way that it forms a framework for negotiations that both Israeli and Palestinian leaderships can accept."

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"Back in Control, Syria’s Regime Tries to Build Its Legitimacy"

Zaki Mehchy bezweifelt, dass es der syrischen Regierung ohne politische Reformen gelingen wird, ihre Legitimität nach dem Sieg im Bürgerkrieg wiederherzustellen. "The regime in Syria is aware that its legitimacy, which was controversial even before 2011, has been deteriorating due to the drastic socioeconomic consequences of the conflict and the loss of political sovereignty. Thus, it is eagerly trying to prove its legitimacy to both the people and the international community by claiming its capability to conserve and protect the state’s main foundations of territory, population, and the state apparatus. But in all three, its claims are brittle. (...) The regime cannot continue as that authority, unless structural changes are made to break the dominance of the regime over the state institutions and then transform the role of these institutions from one of tyranny and oppression to one of inclusion and participation. Without such steps, the regime will fail to gain real legitimacy, and the country will continue to face conflicts and future uncertainty."

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"Better Israeli-Palestinian Relations Are Possible"

Angesichts des schlechten Zustands der Beziehungen zwischen Israelis und Palästinensern verweist Greg Shapland auf einige Faktoren, die im Nahostkonflikt wieder einer positive Dynamik in Gang bringen könnten. "(...) a look behind the headlines suggests that there are more opportunities here than might appear immediately to be the case. For one thing, majorities on both sides still support a two-state solution in principle. They are slim majorities, admittedly. But the very fact that there remain majorities in favour of the two-state solution suggests that the proposal has enduring appeal (...) Meanwhile, there could be changes to the Israeli political landscape that might open up new possibilities. While no movement towards better Israeli-Palestinian relations can be expected while Benjamin Netanyahu remains prime minister, the end of the Netanyahu era might now be approaching. (...) Beyond national-level politics, there is a greater readiness on the part of Israelis and Palestinians to talk to one another than might seem to be the case. (...) a Chatham House workshop in East Jerusalem last November demonstrated that there are Palestinians who are prepared to take part in exchanges with Israeli counterparts. (...) However improbable it might seem right now, the coincidence of some or all of these factors could create a more positive dynamic between Israelis and Palestinians, at several levels. That in turn could re-energize an international community grown weary of the apparent intractability of the conflict and pre-occupied with other matters."

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"How Influential Is China in Zimbabwe?"

Auch Alex Vines vom britischen Thinktank Chatham House beschäftigt sich mit dem vor allem wirtschaftlich begründeten Einfluss Chinas auf die politischen Geschicke in Simbabwe. "China's relations with Zimbabwe are deep, starting during the Rhodesian Bush War. Robert Mugabe failed in 1979 to get Soviet backing, so turned to China, which provided his guerrilla fighters with weapons and training. Both countries formally established diplomatic relations at Zimbabwean independence in 1980 and Mugabe visited Beijing as prime minister the following year. He has been a regular visitor since. (...) President Xi Jinping visited Zimbabwe in 2015 and President Mugabe visited Beijing in January 2017. In public, the Chinese leader said his country is willing to encourage capable companies to invest in Zimbabwe. But in private, the message was that there would be no more loans until Zimbabwe stabilized its economy. (...) So, Beijing's interest is in a better investment climate in Zimbabwe. A clear transitional arrangement resulting in elections for a legitimate government in Harare is as much in Beijing's interest as London's."

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"Mohammed bin Salman’s Shakeup Is More Than a Power Play"

Jane Kinninmont bezeichnet die Strategie des saudi-arabischen Kronprinzen als "autoritären Populismus". Mohammed bin Salman konzentriere die Macht zunehmend in seinen Händen, um das Land mit der erhofften Unterstützung vieler junger Saudis in die "Post-Öl-Ära" zu führen. "(...) he appears to be betting that a large constituency of young Saudis wants to see radical change in the way the country is governed. He seems to want to harness that sentiment in support of change that is driven from the top down, by him, rather than the bottom up, be that by protests, activists or more radical challengers. (...) It is an attempt to a transition to a new model of government while preserving the continuity of Al Saud rule. And it represents an authoritarian populist approach which has an anti-establishment flavour despite coming from the heart of the ruling family. Overall, the move against senior princes is likely to bolster both MBS’s popular support base and his autocratic tendencies. Questions will remain about dissent within the family, but it is likely that princes will be too wary about their own positions to mobilize against the current leadership."

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"Explainer: How the UN Plans to Unite Libya"

Tim Eaton erklärt in diesem Video des britischen Thinktanks Chatham House, auf welche Weise die UNO versucht, die rivalisierenden Fraktionen in Libyen politisch zusammenzubringen.

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"Syria Is Not Lost Yet"

Trotz mancher Rückschläge in den vergangenen Jahren glaubt Neil Quilliam, dass der Westen immer noch einen positiven Einfluss auf die Nachkriegsordnung in Syrien nehmen könnte. Der größte Hebel sei die wirtschaftliche Stärke westlicher Länder, der weder Russland noch Iran etwas entgegen setzen könnten. "The World Bank estimates it will require $180 billion in investment just to return Syrian GDP to its pre-conflict level. This gives an opportunity to offer support for reconstruction with conditionality (for instance, regarding the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their areas or origin). This leverage can also prove significant in determining Syria’s post-settlement future, which must take into consideration the dynamics of the changing landscape and avoid the assumption that state institutions can be automatically restored to their pre-2011 status. (...) Since 2011, Western policymakers have not only failed to bring an end to a brutal conflict but also shied away from confronting the biggest refugee crisis ever experienced, Despite this, there is still an opportunity to re-shape Syria for the good, drawing on painful lessons learned from the past six years and using the leverage that post-settlement reconstruction offers. This may be their last chance."

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"North Africa’s Islamist Parties Provide Important Lessons in Secularization"

In Marokko und Tunesien habe die politische Akzeptanz islamistischer Parteien dazu geführt, dass das Prinzip der Trennung von Politik und Religion zunehmend anerkannt werde, stellt Mohammed Masbah vom britischen Thinktank Chatham House fest. In beiden Ländern hätten sich die führenden islamistischen Parteien und religiösen Bewegungen zunächst aus taktischen Gründen getrennt, dies habe später aber auch zu einem ideologischen Wandel geführt. "Once separated, political Islamists in both parties shifted their whole ideological platforms to become more moderate and mainstream in order to respond to societal changes (economic liberalization, economic growth, electoral loss and changing voter preferences) and consequently to gain greater popular support. The PJD and Ennahda’s participation in government since 2012 has further catalysed the push towards secularization – needing the support of secular allies to stay in government, they gradually distanced themselves from their Islamist roots. Both parties have now called explicitly for the separation between religion and politics."

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"Religious violence has a long history"

Religiös motivierte Gewalt habe eine lange Geschichte und sei heute nicht nur auf den Islam beschränkt, stellt Oliver McTernan fest. Als Beispiel nennt er buddhistische Mönche in Myanmar, die zu Gewaltakten gegen Muslime aufgerufen haben. "The fact that all major world faiths have at times sanctioned the use of violence to protect or to promote their own sectarian interests allows religious terrorists today to claim moral justification for their actions. The faith-inspired terrorist can find in his or her religious tradition role models that give legitimacy to their own use of violence. It is not enough, therefore, for religious leaders to disown the murderous actions of their co-religionists and to denounce these terrorists as misguided fringe groups. To justify the taking of human life – whatever the circumstances – seriously questions religion’s claim that human life is a sacred gift."

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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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