US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

Weekly Standard



"Dagger and Swagger"

Gary Saul Morson blickt zurück auf die Ära des russischen Terrorismus im Zarenreich des späten 19. Jahrhunderts, die auch in der russischen Literatur ihre Spuren hinterlassen hat. "Russia was also the first country where young men and women, asked to name their intended careers, might well say 'terrorist.' Beginning in the 1870s, terrorism became an honored, if dangerous, profession. It was often a family business employing brothers and sisters generation after generation. Historians sometimes trace modern terrorism to the Carbonari of early-19th-century Italy, but it was Russia that gave it unprecedented importance. You cannot relate the history of czarist Russia in its last half-century without the history of terrorism. As we now associate terrorism with radical Islam, Europeans then associated it with 'Russian nihilism.'"

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"Why the Caravan Matters"

Ethan Epstein bezeichnet die in den Vereinigten Staaten derzeit kontrovers diskutierte Karawane von tausenden Migranten, die von Mittelamerika in die USA gelangen wollen, als dramatische "Synekdoche" für das derzeit größte Thema der internationalen Politik. "President Donald Trump, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, Japanese prime minster Shinzo Abe, Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, South Korean president Moon Jae-in, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu differ on many, many issues. They wouldn't all be classified as conservatives. But they all adhere to one fundamental principle: That the nation state and its citizens determine who enters it — not the would-be migrants themselves. And this position seems to be, across very different societies, ascendant. The migrant caravan provides a dramatic example illustrating this fundamental conflict. (...) Those on one side of the debate will argue that these migrants have a right to enter the United States, irrespective of the laws, customs, or wishes of America. Those on the other side — including the president — will argue the opposite. The reason that so many people in the media — and Democrats — want the caravan to go away is because this is an issue on which they would rather not reveal which side they're on."

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"The Afghanistan War Is Over. We Lost."

Angesichts der Entwicklung in Afghanistan kann nach Ansicht von Thomas Joscelyn kein Zweifel mehr daran bestehen, dass der Krieg gegen die Taliban mit Bezug auf die erklärten Ziele von 2001 für die USA verloren ist. Es sei nicht auszuschließen, dass Präsident Trump in den kommenden Monaten einen Zeitplan für die schrittweise Verringerung der Zahl der dort kämpfenden US-Truppen ankündigen wird. "America has lost the war in Afghanistan. Washington may not want to admit it, and the U.S. military insists the conflict is a 'stalemate.' But make no mistake: The original 9/11 war has been lost. (...) while Trump preached patience, it was always in short supply. The president has not yet announced a timetable for withdrawal, but that could soon change. Senior U.S. officials tell THE WEEKLY STANDARD that President Trump could announce a drawdown within months. The mercurial president could always change his mind, but administration officials are acting as if time has already run out. (...) The United States is no longer trying to defeat the Taliban. Instead, the Trump administration, like the Obama administration before it, wants out. The Taliban knows this and is more than happy to dictate the terms of America’s withdrawal. That’s what is now being negotiated. The jihadists also know that wars end in victory or defeat — and their victory is at hand."

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"Al Qaeda is very much alive, and widely misunderstood"

In diesem Beitrag zum 17. Jahrestag der Anschläge vom 11. September erläutert Thomas Joscelyn, warum die Al-Qaida und ihr globaler Dschihad immer noch als ernste Bedrohung betrachtet werden sollten. "(...) al Qaeda is very much alive — albeit widely misunderstood. Consider this shocking fact: The counterterrorism community still has not formulated a common definition or understanding of the organization. Basic facts remain in dispute or are actively denied. With that in mind, let us briefly review the state of al Qaeda. When we look at the organization as a whole, it quickly becomes apparent that al Qaeda has many thousands of men around the globe. Indeed, al Qaeda is waging jihad in far more countries today than it was on 9/11, with loyalists fighting everywhere from West Africa, through North and East Africa, into the heart of the Middle East and into South Asia. Some labor to disconnect the dots on al Qaeda’s global network, so let us reconnect them. Al Qaeda honors Osama bin Laden as the 'reviving imam' - an honorific that is intended to emphasize his revolutionary role in spreading the jihadist ideology. Look around the world today, and you see they unfortunately have a point."

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"Deepfakes Are Coming. And They're Dangerous."

Unter Experten wächst Jenna Lifhits zufolge die Sorge, dass sogenannte Deepfakes, bei denen Videos und Audioaufnahmen täuschend echt manipuliert werden, schwerwiegende sicherheitspolitische Folgen haben könnten. "'It’s true that we can, generally speaking, eventually debunk' deepfake videos,' said Bobby Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas. 'But the truth doesn’t ever quite catch up with the initial lie if the initial lie is emotional and juicy enough.' (...) Chesney and Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland (...) list a number of other destructive options for potential deepfakes: a politician 'taking bribes' or 'engaging in adultery;' soldiers 'shown murdering innocent civilians in a war zone;' 'emergency officials 'announcing' an impending missile strike on Los Angeles or an emergent pandemic in New York City, provoking panic and worse.' Political deepfakes in particular pose a national security risk. They can strain already tense relationships between nations and intensify a lack of trust in public discourse and institutions. 'One of the prerequisites for democratic discourse is a shared universe of facts and truths supported by empirical evidence,' write Chesney and Citron. 'Effective deep fakes will allow individuals to live in their own subjective realities, where beliefs can be supported by manufactured 'facts'.'"

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"Why the North Korea Talks Are In Trouble"

Ethan Epstein sieht die Gespräche zwischen den USA und Nordkorea dagegen in einer tiefen Krise, da sich nun der von vielen Beobachtern vorhergesagte Graben bei der Definition des Begriffs der "Denuklearisierung" aufgetan habe. "When the U.S. administration envisages a denuclearized North Korea, it doesn't foresee restricting its own security system in East Asia. North Korea would give up its weapons, yes, but at least some American troops would remain in Japan, and, crucially, South Korea, too. Those two allies would remain under America’s nuclear umbrella—they wouldn’t need to arm themselves for protection, but rather could rely on the U.S. presence in the region to guard against Chinese and North Korean (non-nuclear) aggression. Pyongyang, on other hand, sees 'complete denuclearization' as including the withdrawal of the U.S. security umbrella from the South. That’s why the word 'unilateral' in North Korea’s temper tantrum is key. The U.S. does not have nuclear weapons deployed in South Korea, but North Korea regards as the U.S. presence there — and the implied security umbrella — as not much different. North Korea, if it does in fact agree to denuclearize, will only do so if the U.S. steps back to its long-time ally south of the DMZ. It can't be unilateral. In other words, 'complete denuclearization' means different things to each party. What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

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"It's Over"

Auch Ethan Epstein meint, dass Nordkorea endgültig als Atommacht mit einem hochentwickelten Raketenprogramm anerkannt werden sollte. Die internationalen Sanktionen sollten nun vor allem darauf abzielen, die interne Legitimität des Regimes zu untergraben, so Epsteins Empfehlung. "Sanctions are never going to denuclearize North Korea. That issue is settled. But if used strategically, perhaps they can help precipitate the downfall of the regime. Kim Jong-un’s leadership strategy is based on two prongs: fear and generosity. On taking the throne, he initiated a reign of terror that saw scores of formerly top-ranking North Korean officials purged and even executed. That’s the fear component. At the same time, he’s been liberal in bestowing gifts to buy the loyalty of the elites whose support he needs to maintain his rule. We’re talking about literal 'gifts' — watches, foreign cars, expensive liquors. Wielded cleverly, a sanctions regime could hamper Kim’s ability to give those gifts. A good start would be freezing the dictator’s overseas assets, a plan that has already been discussed by the United Nations Security Council."

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"Sending More Troops To Afghanistan Is a Good Start"

US-Präsident Trump ist von seinem Wahlversprechen abgerückt und hat eine Verschärfung des amerikanischen Krieges in Afghanistan angekündigt. Thomas Joscelyn und Bill Roggio begrüßen die geplante Entsendung neuer US-Truppen als wichtigen Schritt, der möglicherweise nicht ausreiche, der aber dennoch besser sei als alle Alternativen. "The premature withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 paved the way for the rise of the Islamic State, which evolved into an international menace after overrunning much of Iraq and Syria. A similar scenario could have unfolded in Central and South Asia. The Taliban-led insurgency currently contests or controls more territory today than in years. And a withdrawal would have cleared the jihadists’ path to take even more ground, possibly leading to dire ramifications throughout the region. Therefore, President Trump deserves credit for making a decision that went against his gut instinct, which told him to get out. In the process, America and its Afghan allies avoided the near-certain catastrophe that would have followed."

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"It's Time for NATO to Call Turkey's Bluff"

Nach Ansicht von Eric Edelman und Merve Tahiroglu ist es an der Zeit, dass die NATO gegenüber dem Bündnispartner Türkei klare Worte findet. "Under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's destabilizing policies in Europe and the Middle East have made it appear less an ally and more a Russian Trojan horse. To keep Turkey on track, NATO has been appeasing Erdogan, to no avail. Turkey's recent 'Eurasianist turn' and Erdogan's now-constitutionalized one-man rule have only complicated the relationship. It is time for NATO to remind Erdogan that he needs the alliance just as much as NATO needs Turkey."

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"The Strike At Syria"

Elliott Abrams begrüßt den Militärschlag gegen Syrien im neokonservativen Weekly Standard als Bestätigung der amerikanischen Weltführerschaft. Präsident Trump habe seine Rolle als Anführer der freien Welt endlich angenommen und möglicherweise den Weg für neue Verhandlungen zur Beendigung des Krieges geöffnet. "Henceforth when he speaks of American conditions and demands, interests and desires, more attention will be paid. Every official in every foreign government has been trying to figure him out since November 8. This week he gave them a lot to think about. He took command, and issued orders. He didn't draw a red line and then withdraw it, but instead called Assad's action intolerable — that overused word — and then proceeded to show that when he said intolerable, he meant it. Trump's decision may create an opportunity for negotiations over Syria. The talks have never been serious because one can never achieve at a conference table what he has failed to achieve on the battlefield. But the battlefield may look a bit different now; it may be worth a try."

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"Obama Demands Tribute From Germany"

Christopher Caldwell interpretiert die drohende Verhängung eines hohen Bußgeldes gegen die Deutsche Bank in den USA als amerikanische "Tributforderung" an Deutschland. "The former chief economist of Deutsche Bank, Thomas Mayer, called the fine 'a hostile act against the German taxpayer, who would pick up the tab if Deutsche Bank had to be bailed out.' Stripped of the bureaucratese, what the Obama administration is asking for is a tribute. Mayer is right. He may overestimate the international stakes at the expense of the domestic. One wonders whether European public opinion even crosses the mind of administration officials."

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"The NSA and Americans Caught Up in the Data Sweep"

Im neokonservativen Weekly Standard verteidigt Gary Schmitt nach der neuen NSA-Enthüllung der Washington Post die umfassende Sammlung von Nutzerdaten durch den US-Geheimdienst. "(...) isn’t the fact that the proportion of useable versus unusable intelligence is precisely what one would expect from the effort to find the proverbial 'needle in the haystack?' An effort, I might add, that we demanded from the intelligence community in the wake of the attacks on 9/11 in order to help to preempt similar attacks? And, indeed, as the Post story reports, in the cache of materials they reviewed, there were considerable intelligence finds, including intelligence leading to the capture of a terrorist bomb builder and the discovery of a covert nuclear project abroad."

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