US-Soldaten in Afghanistan



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"Getting a new mobile number in China will involve a facial-recognition test"

In China soll Berichten zufolge ab dem 1. Dezember ein Gesichtsscan notwendig sein, um eine neue Mobilfunknummer zu erhalten. "Most countries require some form of ID to sign up for mobile phone contracts — versus for prepaid services — but the facial-recognition requirement seems to be a first. In China, it’s only the latest example of the technology’s embrace by a government that is using it for everything from catching jaywalkers to nabbing criminals at concerts to social profiling, even as other countries go slow due to concerns over privacy and human rights. The new decree is an upgrade of China’s real-name registration system for mobile phone users launched in 2013, which requires people to have their national IDs checked and photos taken by carriers to get a new number. The facial-recognition step will match the image against the person’s stored ID."

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"Two-thirds of veterans say the Iraq war wasn’t worth fighting"

Einer neuen Umfrage des Pew Research Center zufolge halten zwei Drittel aller US-Veteranen den Irak-Krieg im Nachhinein für zwecklos. Tim Fernholz schreibt, dass in der Umfrage auch aktuelle Konflikte kritisch beurteilt werden. "Majorities of veterans and the general public agree that the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t worth fighting, and hold similar views about the ongoing US military campaign in Syria. The findings come from a new survey of American adults produced by the Pew Research Center. The Iraq war in particular was seen as futile, suggesting that public sentiment is in line with the conclusion of US military strategists who say the biggest beneficiary of the 2003 invasion was Iran. (...) This survey, at least, provides evidence that many Americans are likely to agree with a pessimistic take on US conflicts abroad. Still, there is a significant partisan divide. Republicans are more likely to see the wars as worth US sacrifices, though a majority of Republicans still see both wars as futile."

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"South Korea’s tactic for manipulating Trump: Flatter the hell out of him"

Der südkoreanische Präsident Moon Jae-in habe im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen Regierungschefs verstanden, dass US-Präsident Trump vor allem mit Schmeicheleien überzeugt werden könne, meint Max de Haldevang. "Moon set standards high last month, declaring that Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize for agreeing to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. In a White House visit today (May 22), Moon kept up the act with an excruciating level of public self-debasement. (...) The tactic does seem to be working for Moon, says Koreas expert Robert E Kelly. Kelly explains that Trump’s threats of war with North Korea last year 'scared the daylights out of South Koreans,' who became desperate to push him into peace negotiations. Trump has certainly come a long way toward peace since then."

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"Drone technology is now dangerous enough to kill for"

Das Attentat auf einen palästinensischen Ingenieur in Malaysia könnte nach Ansicht von Tim Fernholz damit zusammenhängen, dass der getötete Fadi al-Batsh als Ingenieur und Drohnenexperte der Hamas gegolten habe. Israel sei bereits 2016 mit einem Attentat auf ein Hamas-Mitglied mit Drohnenerfahrung in Verbindung gebracht worden. "There are certain classes of technology that, by their nature, put those who possess their secrets in danger: Nuclear weapons. Ballistic missiles. Advanced encryption software. Now, add unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — to that list. (...) advances in consumer electronics are making drones available to armed forces without the resources to hire billion-dollar defense contractors. (...) That makes anyone with the know-how to construct or weaponize drones an unusual threat — unusual enough for Israel’s intelligence service to allegedly take the aggressive step of killing in a foreign country. Less violently but for with similar motivation, the US Army banned the use of drones built by the Chinese company DJI in 2017, fearing they could be used to spy on American activities."

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"Chinese police are wearing sunglasses that can recognize faces"

In China sind Polizisten zum ersten Mal mit Brillen ausgestattet worden, die eine Gesichtserkennung von Passanten ermöglichen sollen. "Railway police in Zhengzhou, a central Chinese city, are the first in the country to use facial-recognition eyewear to screen passengers during the Lunar New Year travel rush, Chinese state media reported (link in Chinese) this week. The devices have already helped nab seven fugitives related to major criminal cases such as human trafficking and hit-and-runs, and 26 others who were traveling with fake identities. The glasses are connected to tablets that contain an offline database that can match passengers with suspected criminals. Unlike fixed cameras with facial-recognition capability, the wearable allows police to act more swiftly before their targets disappear into the crowd."

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"What is a coup? These 40 African countries could help explain"

Im Licht der Ereignisse in Simbabwe wirft Yomi Kazeem einen Blick zurück auf die lange Geschichte der Putschversuche in Afrika. "Since the 1960s, Africa has seen at least 200 successful and failed coups. (...) Unlike in other parts of Africa, military coups have been extremely rare in southern Africa’s post-independence history. In fact, only Lesotho has had two. Coups have generally become rarity across Africa as democracy has taken hold. (...) Of the 40 African countries that have seen coups, Morocco, Kenya, Cameroon are the three countries where none have been successful. In 12 of those 40 countries, coups occurred within five years of gaining independence. In total, 23 African countries have seen at least three coups. Indeed, only 14 — around a quarter — of Africa’s 54 countries are yet to experience a military coup."

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"The Burkina Faso-Mali attacks show the limits of the France-backed Sahel security strategy"

Joe Penney stellt nach dem jüngsten Terroranschlag in Burkina Faso die von Frankreich unterstützte Sicherheitsstrategie für die Länder der Sahelzone in Frage. Eine bloße Verstärkung der militärischen Präsenz internationaler Truppen vor Ort reiche offensichtlich nicht aus, um die Dschihadisten langfristig zurückzudrängen. "(...) year after year, Western and West African nations pour resources into military response to the growing insecurity in the region, with little results. In the Sahel region, there are multiple French bases, the $800 million a year UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA, multiple trainings for security forces carried out by American and European soldiers, and more, but each year security deteriorates. Four and a half years after French, Chadian, and Malian soldiers took northern Mali back from jihadist groups, the jihadist attacks have moved south in Mali, struck Burkina Faso twice, Ivory Coast, western Niger, and continue to rampage in northern Mali. It is time to rethink the long-term strategy for providing safety and security in Burkina Faso and the rest of the Sahel region."

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"Syria and North Korea aside, Trump is still more 'America First' than interventionist"

Daniel DePetris glaubt dagegen nicht, dass sich US-Präsident Trump tatsächlich zu einem außenpolitischen "Interventionisten" gewandelt habe. Der Militärschlag gegen Syrien sei limitiert gewesen und habe das eingeschränkte Ziel verfolgt, Präsident Assad von einem weiteren Chemiewaffeneinsatz abzuhalten. "(...) after the hype and euphoria lifts, it’s quite clear that the Trump administration as a whole remains incredibly nervous about pursuing a policy of regime change at the point of gun. (...) For better or worse, president Trump is still a commander-in-chief who wants European nations to start taking their defense spending seriously. He would still like to explore whether relations with Russia can improve (although that goal has been complicated by last week’s strike). And he’s still a man who has three decades of history believing that the American people have gotten ripped off — and continue to be shortchanged — by so many countries that it’s a wonder how America’s is still a superpower. If neoconservatives and liberal internationalists are hoping for another military campaign the size of Libya circa 2011, they will be sadly disappointed."

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"Killing free trade will rob the world of a highly effective deterrent to war"

Kopf beklagt, dass mit dem Niedergang internationaler Handelsverträge auch ein diplomatisches Werkzeug zur Stärkung sicherheitspolitischer Allianzen verloren gehe. "There is strong evidence that free trade keeps the peace. Stanford economists Matthew O. Jackson and Stephen Nei examined why international conflict fell precipitously from the period 1820-1949 to 1950-2000, and concluded that international trade was likely a major contributor. (...) The traditional analysis of free trade deals concludes that they have small beneficial effects on the aggregate economic welfare of large developed countries. The average consumer tends to be better off, while some workers in the industries facing new competition are worse off. However, these calculations tend not to reflect whether trade deals solidify diplomatic relations or reduce the chances of future conflict. And, really, that’s the whole point."

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"Why right-wing populist parties have failed to flourish in Spain"

Im Gegensatz zu anderen europäischen Ländern hätten rechtspopulistische Bewegungen in Spanien bislang nicht von der Flüchtlingskrise profitieren können, stellt Aamna Mohdin fest. Carmen González-Enríquez vom Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid hat die Ursachen für die "spanische Ausnahme" in einer neuen Studie des britischen Think-Tanks Demos analysiert. "González-Enríquez notes that Spain has the conditions that so many right-wing populist parties have successfully exploited across Europe: a massive influx of migrants, economic crisis, and growing dissatisfaction with political elites. (...) Using public data (including statistics and opinion polls), interviews with experts and original polling, González-Enríquez gives three explanations for the absence of an enduring right-wing populist response to the crisis. First, a lack of strong leadership by the far right, then the Spanish electoral system, which tends to favor big parties that have an established presence in electoral districts of differing sizes. Lastly, González-Enríquez cites the dark legacy of Francisco Franco’s 1939 to 1975 dictatorship, which weakened national identity and introduced a strong sense of cynicism in the authoritarian right."

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"President Obama is quietly expanding the war on terror in Africa while the world is distracted by Trump"

Daniel R. DePetris, Nahost-Experte von Wikistrat, berichtet, dass US-Präsident Obama den "Krieg gegen den Terror" in Somalia von der Öffentlichkeit kaum beachtet entscheidend ausgeweitet habe. Die radikalislamische Terrorgruppe Al-Shabaab sei zum Verbündeten der Al-Qaida und damit zu einem offiziellen Ziel von US-Militäroperationen erklärt worden. "In essence, the White House is once again redefining the limits of what the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force actually authorizes. Passed three days after the 9/11 attacks and signed by president George W. Bush four days later, the 2001 AUMF provided the Bush administration with the statutory power to use the US military to pursue and destroy Osama bin-Laden’s Al-Qaeda network. (...) This past track record means the new legal position regarding Al-Shabaab, while problematic, isn’t exactly a surprise. The fact that the group didn’t even exist on 9/11 is immaterial in the government’s interpretation."

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"Inside the Global Times, China’s hawkish, belligerent state tabloid"

Zheping Huang hat der Redaktion der chinesischen Zeitung Global Times, die als Sprachrohr der Regierung gilt, in Peking einen Besuch abgestattet. "China’s most belligerent tabloid, the Global Times, is certainly a one-of-a-kind publication. The Chinese- and English-language news outlet is published by the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) paramount mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, but it goes much further than China’s typically stodgy state news. The Global Times is best known for its hawkish, insulting editorials — aggressive attacks that get it noticed, and quoted, by foreign media around the world as the 'voice' of Beijing, even as the party’s official statements are more circumspect. (...) The Global Times’ popularity in China has risen as Beijing has adopted a more outward-looking, aggressive foreign policy. Loyal readers in China are mostly male, college-educated and with white-collar jobs, the paper says. They appear to appreciate the confident, China-first, mostly pro-government stance. (...) Critics inside China, though, say the news outlet is overly simplistic and potentially dangerous."

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"South Sudan is on the verge of another civil war"

Der erst vor fünf Jahren gegründete Südsudan stehe heute offenbar erneut vor einem offenen Bürgerkrieg, berichtet Lily Kuo. "Since South Sudan’s civil war in late 2013, the country has been engulfed in fighting, caught between forces loyal to president Salva Kiir and Machar, Kiir’s former vice president. Last year, Kiir and Machar signed a peace deal to form a new coalition government led by Kir, with Machar as vice president. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said the recent fighting 'has the potential of reversing the progress made so far in the peace process.' It has seemed like the new government would fail before it had a chance to begin and the latest clashes are more proof that neither leader has full control over their supporters."

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"With Brexit, Vladimir Putin is rid of his strongest EU opponent"

Der britische EU-Austritt wird von Steve LeVine auch als Erfolg Russlands interpretiert. Ohne die scharfe Opposition Londons innerhalb der EU werde es Moskau leichter fallen, die verbleibenden Mitgliedstaaten u.a. zu einer Aufhebung der Sanktionen zu bewegen. "(...) the EU will be absent its main Russia skeptic. 'Putin’s modus operandi is always to exploit openings and situations and press Russia’s interest,' said Fiona Hill, a Russia expert at the Brookings Institution and co-author of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin. 'So there might be more opportunities there for Russia to block things it doesn’t like, and push agendas, like preserving its dominance of European energy markets.' Added Eurasia Group’s Charles Lichfield, 'The UK was among the most hawkish in the EU on the maintenance of the sanctions. Absent the UK, it will be a lot harder for east and central Europe to hold the line.'"

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"Neuroscience proves torturing terrorists won’t keep us safe"

Präsidentschaftskandidat Donald Trump hat angekündigt, die Folter von Terrorverdächtigen nach einem Wahlsieg im November wieder zu erlauben. Der Neurowissenschaftler Shane O’Mara erläutert in seinem neuen Buch "Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation", warum Folter auch aus wissenschaftlichen Gründen die denkbar schlechteste Methode sei, verlässliche Informationen zu erhalten. "'The effect of chronic stress on the hippocampus [the portion of the brain responsible for memory, learning, and emotions] is hypotrophy — it causes the hippocampus to shrink, along with deficits in the function it supports (namely, memory),' O’Mara writes in his book. This means techniques that involve repeated stress shut the brain down as the victim’s focus narrows to survival — how can he or she stop the experience as quickly as possible."

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"The perfect recipe for making jihadis was developed in this small Iraqi town"

Die vor zwei Jahren vom "Islamischen Staat" eroberte nordirakische Stadt Tal Afar gelte bis heute als wichtige Quelle für immer neue Rekruten und Anhänger der Terrormiliz, schreibt Peter Schwartzstein. "How did an otherwise undistinguished town, previously best known for its opposition to the colonial British, become a notorious jihadi breeding ground? The answer to that is central to understanding ISIL’s rise and its appeal. It’s also a recipe for identifying future potential hotbeds of extremism. (...) So what ought to become of Tal Afar when it is finally captured? Its residents were scarcely tolerated before; now they’re widely reviled. Some rival tribesmen in neighboring Rabia favor razing Tal Afar to the ground. 'They’re beyond redemption. God doesn’t want them,' said Mamdouh Mohammed, the farmer in Rabia, whose Shammar tribe has suffered countless atrocities after refusing to pledge allegiance to ISIL."

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"In Libya, you can buy an anti-aircraft gun on Facebook"

Lily Kuo berichtet, dass sich im Nahen Osten und Nordafrika einer neuen Studie zufolge ein lebhafter Schwarzmarkt für den Waffenhandel etabliert habe. Geschäfte in Libyen können demnach sogar über Facebook abgewickelt werden. "The Small Arms Survey, an independent research project that monitors arms sales, believes this trade via social media started in 2013 and is still growing. Sellers posted photos of their wares in groups like the 'Libyan Firearms Market' (now taken down). Heavy machine guns went for an average of 8,125 Libyan dinar ($5,900), rocket launchers for 9,000 Libyan dinar, and an anti-aircraft system, the Russian-made ZPU-2, got offers for 85,000 Libyan dinar, or $62,000. (...) The research group recorded 1,346 sales over the course of the last 18 months and found between 250 and 300 sales posts went up each month. The researchers believes this figure is just a fraction of the total arms trade taking place on social media in the region."

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"A former CIA analyst explains how tech companies can help fight terrorism"

Der frühere CIA-Mitarbeiter Yaya J. Fanusie meint, dass sich die US-Regierung und amerikanische IT-Unternehmen bei ihrer Kooperation in der Terrorbekämpfung auf das Gebiet der Datenanalyse konzentrieren sollten. "Data analysis innovation is an area currently in high demand for companies seeking inroads into the national security sector. Three market opportunities stand out which could bring Silicon Valley and the U.S. government to more common ground: Digital forensics (...) Advanced data analysis (...) Blockchain for business registries (...) Critics of Silicon Valley from the national-security community charge that technology is enabling terrorists to operate undetected. This same technological knowhow, however, could help the intelligence community thwart those plotting against us and our allies. Silicon Valley has become renowned for innovation, but it could one day become a byword for something even more important: keeping America and the world safe."

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"It’s good to be German: The world’s most powerful passports"

Einem neuen Gutachten zufolge genießen die Deutschen weltweit die größte Reisefreiheit. "If you want to travel the world, it pays to be German. This comes courtesy of a new survey that ranks countries around the world on the amount of 'travel freedom' accorded to their citizens. Travel freedom is defined as the number of countries where citizens can travel without needing a visa, or where they will receive a visa upon arrival. Germans have the most powerful passports in the world, offering visa-free access to 177 countries and territories out of a total of 218, according to the 2016 Visa Restrictions Index compiled by the London-based citizenship and immigration firm Henley & Partners. Germans have held this distinction since 2014. Swedes were close behind, with visa-free access to 176 countries."

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"Ignoring the lessons of history, the US is considering a partition of Syria"

Die US-Regierung fasse zur Lösung des Syrienkonflikts eine ethnische Teilung des Staates ins Auge, schreibt Aamna Mohdin. Als Vorbild diene das relativ erfolgreiche Dayton-Abkommen, das 1995 den Krieg in Bosnien-Herzegowina beendete. Es gebe allerdings auch Beispiele für die negativen Folgen eines solchen Teilung. "Critics warn that a partition of Syria could require the mass displacement of different ethnicities, which could to the kind of horrors during the India-Pakistan partition. (...) The lessons of past partitions suggest those who have the most to lose are minority groups who don’t wield significant political power. While finding peace in Syria is proving to be very hard, dividing people by ethnicity or sectarian affiliation is no quick fix in the long run, either."

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"Drone strikes are creating hatred towards America that will last for generations"

Einige US-Militärexperten, darunter der frühere Chef der Nato-Truppen in Afghanistan Stanley McChrystal, sind Sally Kohn zufolge zu der Überzeugung gelangt, dass die USA den "Krieg gegen den Terror" nur nach der Einstellung ihres Drohnenkriegs gewinnen können. Viele Amerikaner können sich McChrystal zufolge nur schwer vorstellen, welchen Hass die Drohnenschläge in der betroffenen Zivilbevölkerung generierten. "'The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes … is much greater than the average American appreciates,' Gen. McChrystal, who led the US counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan, said in 2013. 'They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one.' (...) Continuing let alone expanding American drone strikes in the Middle East will continue to create more terrorists than we kill. Unmanned drone strikes are inhumane. They are also stupid and self-defeating."

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"In the South China Sea, US and Chinese navies chatted about pizza and chicken wings"

Seit Beginn der Patrouillen der US-Marine im Südchinesischen Meer kommt es zum regelmäßigen Aufeinandertreffen amerikanischer und chinesischer Kriegsschiffe. Svati Kirsten Narula berichtet über den professionell wirkenden Umgang der Besatzungen mit dieser neuen Situation. "Before the Lassen crossed into the disputed zone around the Chinese-built islands, said Francis, he and his officers had spoken to the Chinese warship about dinner plans and Halloween: 'We picked up the phone and just talked to him about 'What are you guys doing this Saturday? We got pizza and wings. What are you guys eating? We’re planning for Halloween'.' It could hardly be characterized as a tense showdown, he said, noting that when the patrol was over and the Chinese ship peeled away, the officers cordially bid farewell to each other: 'When they left us they said, 'Hey, we’re not going to be with you anymore. Wish you a pleasant voyage. Hope to see you again'.'"

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"A nuclear war between India and Pakistan is a very real possibility"

David Barno und Nora Bensahel halten die Rivalität der beiden Atommächte Indien und Pakistan nach wie vor für den international gefährlichsten Konflikt. Seit 1947 hätten beide Länder drei Kriege ausgefochten, eine erneute Eskalation könnte zu einem Atomwaffeneinsatz führen. "Perhaps the most dangerous scenario that could lead to catastrophe is a replay of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. In November 2008, 10 terrorists launched attacks that left 166 people dead before the last of attackers were finally killed by Indian security forces almost 60 hours after the attacks began. By that time, there was strong evidence that the attackers were Pakistani and belonged to a Pakistan-supported militant group. Indian public outrage and humiliation were overwhelming. Only through the combination of diplomatic pressure from the US and immense restraint exerted by then-Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh was an Indian retaliatory strike averted. The chances of such Indian government restraint in a similarly deadly future scenario are unlikely."

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"Mecca belongs to all Muslims, and Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be allowed to run it"

Haroon Moghul wirft Saudi-Arabien vor, die Pilgerstätten in Mekka und Medina nach den Maßgaben des streng konservativen Wahhabismus zu betreiben, obwohl beide heiligen Orte allen Muslimen in der Welt gehörten. "Mecca and Medina are ruled by Saudi Arabia, but they belong to the Muslim world. They are our collective sacredness. They shouldn’t be an individual possession. Islam is a very egalitarian religion. (As some Muslims joke, people who dislike organized religion should join Islam, because we’ve mastered disorganization.) Islam has few hierarchies, and those that exist are not widely shared. Why then does a regime which represents a sliver of Muslims, exports and enforces an ideology that is historically antithetical to Islam’s rich traditions of pluralism, spirituality and cosmopolitanism, allowed to control our holy cities? Why don’t everyday Muslims get a say?"

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"Ghana’s frustrated youth are vulnerable to the radical call of ISIS"

Der Einfluss des "Islamischen Staates" habe sich auch in dem eigentlich als stabil geltenden Ghana in Westafrika ausgebreitet, berichtet Amba Mpoke-Bigg. "(...) concerns were heightened when an investigative report by popular local radio station Starr FM reported that ISIS agents in Ghana are enticing unemployed youths with promises of cash and a gateway to heaven. 'They are promised initial spending fee and luxurious life before they travel to Syria and Iraq. Again their immediate families are assured quality life after they have left, so many of the young guys are considering it, especially in the Zongos (a slang term for neighborhoods populated by majority northern Ghanaian Muslims),' it quoted an interviewee as saying."

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"A message for the US Congress from Switzerland: The Iran deal is done"

Die Schweiz ist Bobby Ghosh zufolge das erste westliche Land, das mit der Aufhebung der Sanktionen gegen den Iran begonnen hat. Damit sei eine deutliche Botschaft an die USA verbunden: "The message: Move on. (...) To be clear, I have argued that the deal is a bad one, mainly because it unshackles both the Islamic Republic’s hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East and its ability to export terror. But now that the United Nations Security Council has unanimously endorsed it, and America’s allies are beginning to make bilateral deals with Iran, there seems little point in Congress going through the motions and voting against it. Rather than grandstanding for its own sake, American lawmakers should channel their energies to ensuring that Obama works with European and Middle Eastern allies to stymie Iran’s efforts to foment mischief and mayhem beyond its borders."

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"Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and hundreds of scientists want to keep AI out of our weapons"

Hunderte Wissenschaftler, Ingenieure und Geschäftsleute haben in einem offenen Brief des Future of Life Institute vor der Entwicklung von autonomen Waffensystemen mit künstlicher Intelligenz gewarnt. "While current autonomous technologies are struggling to stand on their own two feet and learn defensive driving techniques, the institute says military technology that could lead to robots killing humans could be 'feasible within years, not decades.'"

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"China is building the most extensive global commercial-military empire in history"

Steve LeVine schreibt, dass China mit seinen Handelsverträgen und Investitionsprogrammen in Asien, Afrika, Südamerika, Europa, Russland usw. langsam aber sicher ein globales "Wirtschaftsimperium" errichte, das zumindest im Südchinesischen Meer auch militärisch abgesichert werden soll. "Some of the infrastructure China is creating around the world will align with Western economic interests. But to the extent that it does, that will be inadvertent. Some of the most modern transportation infrastructure going up not only in China, but around the developing world, is deliberately linked to China. It is meant to make the global economy a friendly place for Chinese commerce. That does not make China’s ambitions necessarily menacing or pernicious. But it does make them China-centric. It’s worth remembering that this way of doing economic development is not a Chinese invention. As Michael Pillsbury, author of 'The Hundred Year Marathon,' tells Quartz, China’s ambitions are rooted in 'a fierce sense of competitiveness which they claim they learned from the America of the 1800s.'"

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"An Arab force to solve Arab problems? Don’t believe a word of it"

Arabische Generalstabchefs haben in Kairo einen weiteren Schritt zur Bildung gemeinsamer Streitkräfte für die Intervention in regionalen Krisen beschlossen. Bobby Ghosh erläutert, warum dieser Plan trotz der offiziellen Willensbekundungen zum Scheitern verurteilt sei. "For one thing, there’s no need for a new force. One already exists: the 40,000-strong Gulf Cooperation Council’s 'Peninsula Shield,' armed with the best weapons petrodollars can buy. It has never been deployed in any frontline military operation (a small police action in Bahrain in 2011 doesn’t count), and it’s instructive that the GCC states have not dispatched Shield units to the peninsula’s current conflict, in Yemen. If the Arab states were serious about a combined force, it would simply be a matter of adding some non-Gulf elements — Egypt’s, for instance — to the Shield. It’s hard to see why they would go through the complicated and time-consuming process of creating an entirely new force, unless the proposal is merely a PR exercise. For another, as I’ve written before, Arab militaries are designed to protect regimes from mostly unarmed pro-democracy activists, not to fight actual wars."

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"Iraq enlisted 100,000 militiamen to fight ISIL and now it can barely control them"

Im Irak wird der Kampf gegen den Islamischen Staat vor allem durch schiitische Milizen geführt. Peter Schwartzstein berichtet, dass es sich um bis zu 35 Gruppen handele, die von der Regierung in Bagdad kaum kontrolliert würden. "'They’re not just going to melt away. They are here to stay,' said Sajad Jiyad, an Iraq analyst and researcher based between Baghdad and London. 'There will be some kind of reward for their service to the state.' (...) Militiamen themselves are somewhat divided as to what their post-ISIL role ought to be. 'The Iraqi army will be in charge of the borders, we and police will keep the peace in the cities,' said Bilal Ahmed. Higher-ranking officials are often more circumspect. 'We are a political organization. We will go back to building people in Iraq,' Badr’s Sheikh al-Mayahi said. But he too hinted that his group retains a strong strand of independence. 'You have to remember,' he went on, 'ultimately when we work, we don’t work for government. We work for God.'"

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Wo gibt es Kriege und Gewaltkonflikte? Und wo herrscht am längsten Frieden? Welches Land gibt am meisten für Rüstung aus? liefert wichtige Daten und Fakten zu Krieg und Frieden.

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

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