US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

World Politics Review



"Is the EU’s COVID-19 Response Losing Central and Eastern Europe to China?"

Die EU-Führung hat Aryaman Bhatnagar zufolge erkannt, dass China die Coronakrise nutzen wolle, um seinen Einfluss in Ost- und Mitteleuropa auszubauen. Es bleibe abzuwarten, ob die von Brüssel versprochenen Corona-Hilfsmaßnahmen ausreichen werden, um die oft ohnehin euroskeptischen Regierungen in der Region von der Hilfsbereitschaft der EU zu überzeugen. "At the same time, it is not inevitable that China’s influence among poorer European countries, like those in the 17+1 grouping, will continue to increase. Many of these countries have already complained that some of China’s past promises have gone unfulfilled. In reality, Chinese flows of foreign direct investment into Europe have fallen over the past three years. Beijing’s long-term prospects in Europe consequently depend both on how its own economy bounces back from the pandemic, and EU leaders’ ability to maintain cohesion in the post-coronavirus era."

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"The Coronavirus Outbreak Is the Shape of Things to Come"

Stewart M. Patrick betrachtet den Ausbruch des Coronavirus nicht als Anomalie, sondern als durch die Globalisierung begünstigten Beginn eines neuen Zeitalters weltweiter Infektionskrankheiten. "Humanity is currently experiencing its fourth great wave of infectious disease. The first coincided with the agricultural revolution some 10 millennia ago. (…) A second great wave began during classical antiquity and lasted through the Middle Ages, as commercial and military contact among major centers of civilization exposed formerly isolated societies to new diseases and created new vectors — rats, fleas — that spread pestilence across the Mediterranean and Asia. (…) The third phase occurred after 1500, as explorers, conquerors and colonists from Europe brought new pathogens to the Americas, Africa and Australasia, and sometimes back again, with devastating results. Today, development and globalization are driving a new era of infectious disease. (…) Surging human mobility, as well as the global economy’s dependence on complex supply chains, puts public officials in a terrible bind, complicating the 'drawbridge' strategy that societies have historically used to control epidemics. (…) Today, the World Health Organization advises U.N. member states against strict trade and travel restrictions, judging them both costly and counterproductive in preventing transmission of infectious disease. Few governments seem to be listening."

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"Restraint Could Turn the U.S. Into the European Union, for Better or Worse"

Judah Grunstein hält es angesichts aktueller Debatten in Washington für möglich, dass die US-Außenpolitik bald unter dem neuen Primat der "Zurückhaltung" stehen könnte. Er bezweifelt allerdings, dass die USA ihre internationalen Interessen auf diese Art und Weise effektiv verfolgen könnten. "In essence, restraint in its most extreme form would transform the U.S. into something resembling the European Union: a global economic power with very limited military leverage. That would be an ironic turn of events, given all the years Washington has chided its European allies for their anemic defense spending, and given the EU’s hand-wringing over its inability to act autonomously when it comes to using hard military power to back up its economic might. Because of its lack of an autonomous military capacity, the EU is at times referred to as a vegetarian among carnivores. That’s not necessarily a death sentence. As Jana Puglierin put it, 'To survive, the EU needs to be the Brachiosaurus — a vegetarian, yes, but a huge one that is hard to eat, in a world of meat-eaters.' That might work for Europeans, who have adopted a less militarized approach to international affairs over the course of several generations of peace in Europe. It’s harder to see it appealing to Americans, at least without a similar acclimation period. And in the current context of global affairs, that seems like a long shot."

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"Can Trump’s Successor Save the Liberal International Order?"

Unter den aktuellen Umständen wäre es nach Ansicht von Stewart M. Patrick vom Council on Foreign Relations eine "verwegene Leistung", US-Präsident Trump im November an den Wahlurnen zu schlagen. Sollte es tatsächlich dazu kommen, würde der Nachfolger Trumps vor der schweren Aufgabe stehen, die liberale Weltordnung und den Westen zu "retten". "If Trump is defeated in November, the cleanup job will be immense. Beyond sweeping out Trump’s trash, his successor will need to remedy underlying weaknesses in the liberal international order that helped pave Trump’s path to power. Reconsolidate the West. The first priority will be to rejuvenate relations between the United States and its closest allies. (…) Give Globalization a Human Face. Second, the next U.S. president must adopt an international economic agenda that benefits labor as much as capital. (…) Defend Freedom Worldwide. Finally, the United States must recommit itself to the advancement of freedom. (…) There is no time to waste. America’s abdication has created a dangerous vacuum that China and Russia are happy to fill. In an effort to make the world safe for autocracy, they are undermining Western democracies with disinformation campaigns and creating their own surveillance societies to crush dissent at home. The United States and its erstwhile Free World allies are the only obstacles in their path."

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"The Alliance for Multilateralism Makes Sense. Can It Make Good?"

Stewart M. Patrick vom Council on Foreign Relations lobt den deutsch-französischen Versuch, die multilaterale Weltordnung mit der neuen "Allianz für den Multilateralismus" zu unterstützen. Die bislang ungeklärte "Mehrdeutigkeit" des Projekts werde einem Erfolg allerdings im Wege stehen, so seine Prognose. "To state the question precisely, does the alliance aspire to consolidate a league of like-minded, democratic states to defend a liberal vision of the international order? Or is its purpose more practical: to bridge differences among countries with divergent regime types and values? China and Russia loom large in this quandary. The participation of both is essential to achieving anything substantive on climate change, cybersecurity and nuclear proliferation. Yet, it is difficult to envision such authoritarian powers playing a constructive role in promoting human rights, a subject at the core of several of the alliance’s other initiatives. The genius of the post-1945 multilateral order, as the scholar John Ruggie writes, was in embedding a sense of shared social purpose within international institutions. The architects of the alliance must decide whether the Multilateralism 2.0 they envision should aspire to such normative solidarity or instead content itself, like the 19th century Concert of Europe, with a shallower form of world order."

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"How Do Warren and Sanders’ Progressive Foreign Policy Visions Stack Up?"

Stewart M. Patrick vergleicht die außenpolitischen Programme der beiden Präsidentschaftskandidaten Bernie Sanders und Elizabeth Warren, die nicht zum Establishment der US-Demokraten gehören und trotz bzw. gerade wegen ihrer progressiven Positionen gute Aussichten auf eine Nominierung haben. "Warren, for all her progressivism, is at heart a nationalist, concerned with helping American workers get ahead, while protecting the United States from perceived threats. Sanders, by contrast, is essentially an internationalist, skeptical of claims of American exceptionalism and inspired by socialist ideals to pursue more cosmopolitan goals, including world peace and justice. Both Warren and Sanders tend to view foreign policy through the lens of economics, as opposed to security. They offer no grand strategy about how to balance geopolitical rivals, limited thoughts about how to deter nuclear proliferation and counter jihadist terrorism, and few insights about the roles that the United Nations, NATO and other multilateral organizations should play in U.S. global engagement. (…) What most sets Warren and Sanders apart is less disagreement over specific policies than divergent assessments of America’s international role and the relationship between U.S. national and global interests. Warren positions herself as both an insider and an outsider, someone prepared to work the system to build consensus. She carries the mantle of reform but reassures the establishment by praising U.S. global leadership and the pursuit of U.S. national interests. She makes it clear that she will place America first. Sanders offers no such guarantee of continuity, because he sees the ills infecting the United States and the rest of the world as connected."

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"Can an 'Alliance for Multilateralism' Succeed in a New Era of Nationalism?"

Stewart M. Patrick bezweifelt die derzeitigen Erfolgsaussichten der von Deutschland und Frankreich ausgerufenen “Alliance for Multilateralism”. "The immediate purpose of their initiative is to demonstrate that a 'silent majority' of U.N. member states remains committed to 'multilateralism and the United Nations.' For too long, Le Drian explained, nations have remained silent, believing that the benefits of international cooperation were self-evident. From now on, 'states committed to multilateralism must make themselves known, and join forces and voices.' (...) The organizers insist the alliance is not directed 'against' any other country — and remains open to all who share its purposes. That said, it is clearly a 'veiled rebuke' to the Trump administration. (...) The alliance’s implicit target may be its undoing, however. Many U.S. allies are leery of antagonizing a superpower that, at least in principle, still has their back. Australia is a case in point. Officials in Canberra are wary of alienating America, which remains central to Australian defense policy. The Alliance for Multilateralism faces other hurdles, too. One is branding. As a slogan, 'multilateralism' sounds technocratic and elitist, packing less emotional punch than nationalist appeals. More importantly, the still-embryonic concept lacks substance. Its champions remain coy about its ultimate functions and institutional form, as well as its relationship to existing international organizations."

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"The World Has Lost the Will to Deal With the Worst Refugee Crisis Since World War II"

Während in Europa erneut eine Debatte über die Seenotrettung von Migranten im Mittelmeer ausgebrochen ist, gibt es in den USA eine Kontroverse über die Unterbringung von Migranten an der Grenze zu Mexiko. Stewart M. Patrick spricht von einer globalen Krise, auf die bisher keine Antwort gefunden worden sei: "The world is in the midst of a global crisis of displacement, one that is testing both established humanitarian principles and the will of wealthy countries to ease the plight of those affected. This calamity shows no signs of abating. The world is utterly failing to assist and protect those most in need."

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"Trump, in His Own Mad Way, Has Forced a Real Debate Over Trans-Atlantic Ties"

Stewart M. Patrick hält es US-Präsident Trump zugute, mit seiner umstrittenen Bündnispolitik eine "echte Debatte" über das transatlantische Verhältnis angestoßen zu haben. "By undermining the credibility of U.S. guarantees, agitating for the dissolution of the European Union, cozying up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and other authoritarians, and generally undermining the values basis for Western solidarity, the president is forcing Europeans to confront long-postponed dilemmas of self-reliance and defense. Whoever succeeds Trump will not be able to return to the time when U.S. leaders offered paeans to America as the world’s 'indispensable power.' Trump has made the United States dispensable, or at least unreliable, and Europeans will not soon forget. But the biggest obstacle to any reassertion of global leadership is domestic. American citizens are not isolationist but — as Trump understood in campaigning for the presidency — they yearn for a more modest, less imperial global role. They want a foreign policy based on prudence and restraint."

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"Why Is No One Talking About UNSC Reform Anymore?"

Stewart M. Patrick ist aufgefallen, dass die Forderungen nach einer Reform des UN-Sicherheitsrates nahezu verstummt sind. "The most obvious explanation for this reticence is that U.N. member states cannot agree on what form Security Council expansion should take. Under the U.N. Charter, changes to the council’s composition require two-thirds approval within the General Assembly, plus ratification of the relevant legislation by two-thirds of member states, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, known as the P5. No surprise, then, that the council has expanded only once, with the addition of four elected members in 1965. (...) Contributing to the gridlock, any reform would require P5 approval. France and Britain, no doubt aware of their diminishing legitimacy as permanent members, have expressed support for G4 aspirations. Russia, in contrast, opposes any form of expansion, which would dilute its global power. China, slightly more pliable, proposes 10 new rotating members, calculating that many of them would be developing countries sympathetic to Chinese positions. Beijing categorically rejects permanent status for Japan and India. The United States remains rhetorically open to enlarging the Security Council but has taken little action."

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"Grading Mogherini’s Five Years as EU Foreign Policy Chief"

Rachel Rizzo zieht ein Fazit der Tätigkeit der EU-Außenbeauftragten Federica Mogherini, deren fünfjährige Amtszeit in diesem Jahr zu Ende gehen wird. "Perhaps more than the Iran deal, Mogherini’s greatest lasting legacy will be the steps she has taken to unify Europe’s foreign policy. She and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have worked together to increase cooperation between the EU and NATO in areas like maritime security, cybersecurity, and partner capacity. In 2016, she launched the EU’s Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy, which aims to bolster the EU as a global actor, by linking internal and external policies, presenting an integrated approach to conflicts, and supporting multilateralism. The creation of such a strategy document was a major step forward for European foreign policy. It also laid the groundwork for the European Defense Fund, designed to promote joint development of defense technology and equipment, and the EU’s initiative to integrate defense efforts among member states, known as the Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO. These are worthy achievements, but there is one key area that will likely define Mogherini’s legacy: She is perennially weak on Russia. (...) So what challenges will Mogherini’s successor face? At the top of the list will be elevating the EU as a global foreign policy player, while simultaneously dealing somehow with the Trump administration."

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"Trump Is Wrong, ISIS Isn’t Defeated. But It Poses a Limited Threat"

Wie viele andere Experten meint auch Steven Metz, dass die Bedrohung durch den "Islamischen Staat" in Syrien trotz der Siegesmeldungen des US-Präsidenten keineswegs beseitigt sei. Allerdings sollte die Bedrohung seiner Ansicht nach auch nicht überschätzt werden. "Local forces in the Middle East, both governments and militias like the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, are unlikely to allow the Islamic State to reconstitute its caliphate. Even if it did, it is unlikely to allow direct attacks on U.S. targets from its territory because it would understand that would lead to devastating American counterattacks. Yet at the same time, the United States cannot engineer its decisive defeat at a reasonable strategic cost. That’s why the United States should conceptualize its conflict with the Islamic State not as a war where the outcome is decisive victory, but as persistent threat management."

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"Trump May Be Isolated on the World Stage, but So Is Macron the Multilateralist"

Frankreichs Präsident Macron habe bei der Gedenkfeier zum 100. Jahrestag des Endes des Ersten Weltkriegs offensichtlich versucht, sich außenpolitisch als Gegenpol zu US-Präsident Trump zu etablieren, schreibt Judah Grunstein. Tatsächlich sei Macron auf der globalen Bühne aber ähnlich isoliert wie Trump. "Perhaps the most alarming aspect of Macron’s performance Sunday was the makeup of the audience gathered directly before him. They included repressive leaders of adversarial countries, like Russian President Vladimir Putin, but also of allied ones, like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And even among liberal democracies, the balance of power seems to favor leaders who are hostile to Macron’s plans in practice, if not his remarks in principle, over those who can offer him any meaningful support. (...) If there is one consolation for Macron, it is that, high-minded principles aside, many of his objectives involve countering Trump’s assault on Europe’s interests. That should make it easier for him to rally support among his divided EU partners. As for the liberal ideals he defended Sunday, he will have his work cut out for him proving what France can achieve when it is, if not isolated, nonetheless essentially alone."

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"NATO Is Focusing on the Wrong Russian Threat in Eastern Europe"

Michael Cecire meint, dass die NATO sich bei der Analyse der russischen "Bedrohung" Osteuropas bisher zu stark auf die offensiven Kapazitäten des russischen Militärs konzentriere. Im Fall einer Cecire zufolge immerhin "extrem unwahrscheinlichen" russischen Invasion osteuropäischer Länder wären es die russischen Luft- und Raketenabwehrsysteme, die die NATO seiner Ansicht nach vor die größten Probleme stellen würden. "Though it fails to evoke the same urgency as the specter of a Russian invasion, it is Russia’s ability to prevent NATO forces from countering such an invasion — as well as coercive campaigns that fall short of war — that effectively gives it escalation dominance over large swaths of Eastern Europe, Eurasia and even the Eastern Mediterranean. (...) In tandem with an array of radar and electronic warfare infrastructure, such capabilities place hard limits on NATO forces’ freedom of action in the region. Legitimate fears and frustrations expressed by front-line NATO states and key non-NATO partners aspiring to accession, such as Georgia and Ukraine, should be seen in this context. Even short of a conflict scenario, NATO’s options and freedom of maneuver are constrained in theaters with high densities of Russian anti-access, area-denial infrastructure."

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"Why Ecuador Finally Wants Assange Out of Its London Embassy"

Frida Ghitis erläutert, warum sich die Regierung Ecuadors offenbar entschlossen hat, das Asyl des WikiLeaks-Gründers Julian Assange in der Londoner Botschaft des Landes aufzuheben. "Why now? The answer shines a light on the astonishing political transformation that has occurred in Ecuador in recent years — and how WikiLeaks, which is a key factor in the special counsel investigation in the U.S. into whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia, has served to put Ecuador’s gripping political drama on the global stage. It is an unlikely story that shows the surprising intersection of several seemingly unrelated developments, combining international intrigue, hacking and spycraft with local politics in a small South American country. (...) Simply put, Moreno’s agenda is incompatible with spending millions to protect the WikiLeaks founder, a man whose presence and whose reluctance to stop interfering with other nations’ internal affairs are undercutting Ecuador’s own international relations. (...) Assange made himself a player in the internal affairs of other countries. In a karmic twist, the affairs of Ecuador, Russia and the United States could now determine Assange’s fate."

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"Blame Corruption and Misrule, Not Geopolitical Rivalry, for Moldova’s Problems"

In vielen westlichen Berichten über die Präsidentschaftswahlen in Moldawien entstehe der falsche Eindruck, dass das Land zum Spielball des geopolitischen Konflikts zwischen Russland und dem Westen geworden sei, schreibt Dan Peleschuk. Die künftigen Beziehungen Moldawiens zur EU spielten ohne Zweifel eine Rolle, wichtiger sei jedoch die verbreitete Korruption und Inkompetenz der von Oligarchen beherrschten Regierung. "Twenty-five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, experts say Europe’s poorest country is still suffering from feeble institutions that have been captured by a self-interested oligarchy. 'The most important problem for Moldova is weak statecraft,' says political analyst Igor Munteanu. (...) Today, more than 80 percent of the population believes the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a recent poll by the International Republican Institute. Just as much distrust exists among political parties, parliament and the president’s office."

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"U.S. and West Should Not Count Russia’s Putin Out Just Yet"

Der in der westlichen Öffentlichkeit verbreitete Eindruck, dass Russlands Präsident Putin international isoliert sei, werde in anderen Ländern der Welt nicht geteilt, schreibt Nikolas Gvosdev. China betrachte die russische Übernahme der Krim zwar als grundsätzlich illegal, aber auch als verständlich und gerechtfertigt. "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has spent much of the past year trying to convince more countries to adopt the Euro-American perspective on Russia, with little success. To the extent that Beijing’s narrative finds a sympathetic ear in many of the world’s capitals, that helps to explain why. Reactions such as those, were they to materialize, would be only the latest indicators of the rising powers’ desire to amend and alter some aspects of the Western-dominated international order. No one wants to completely overturn the global system, which for the past two decades has helped to power the massive economic expansion of countries like China and India, but modification is not off the agenda. And how well Russia the current storm over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis could be a litmus test for just what kind of modifications are in store."

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"Must the European Union be a military power to achieve superpower status?"

Gemma Pipes warnt, dass eine Militarisierung der Europäischen Union den Charakter und die Dynamik der europäischen Kooperation in fundamentaler Weise negativ beeinflussen würde. "The institution occupies a unique role as a normative actor reliant on norms and focusing on economic and political strength or military might. A move towards military attainment could severely damage the EU’s moral basis and the very characteristics it prides itself on. As the international system continues to develop and, according to some scholars, enter the post-Westphalian era, there is a very real possibility that a military power will cease to be a vital component of a superpower and the EU, with its enormous economic, trade, humanitarian and development strength, is in prime position to seize that status."

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"The Realist Prism: Is America Prepared to Sacrifice for Crimea?"

Nikolas Gvosdev empfiehlt der US-Regierung, den aktuellen Konflikt mit Russland aus realpolitischer Perspektive zu analysieren. Sollte die russische Übernahme der Krim tatsächlich als existentielle Bedrohung der internationalen Ordnung angesehen werden, müssten auch die potentiell immensen Kosten einer weiteren Konfrontation akzeptiert werden. "If reversing Russia’s move in Crimea is determined to be the policy objective, what costs is the U.S. prepared to pay? No one is contemplating using military action akin to Desert Storm. But would Washington be prepared to impose serious economic penalties on Moscow (...)? The current direction of U.S. policy — applying a series of weak punitive steps in the form of limited sanctions, visa bans and the like — is not forceful enough to alter Kremlin calculations, yet neither is it viewed by Russian leaders as an invitation to dialogue. As unpleasant as it may be politically, the Obama team will have to make some hard choices — and be prepared to live with the consequences."

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"Diplomatic Fallout: The European Union’s Bait-and-Switch in Ukraine"

Judah Grunstein interpretiert den Konflikt in der Ukraine auch als Folge eines anhaltenden Machtverlustes des liberalen Ordnungssystems. "The outcome of the Ukraine crisis could trace the high-water mark for the expansion of liberal democracy into the post-Soviet space. The irony, of course, is that the EU’s grand bargain with Ukraine, and the other Eastern Partnership countries, is based on a quid pro quo that is to a certain degree a bait-and-switch. In return for, among other things, a commitment to democracy and rule of law reforms, prospective partners are offered entry into what amounts to a nondemocratic free market, albeit one composed of democratic states. (...) Here again, we have another Gramscian interregnum, whereby the global financial crisis and subsequent European debt crisis have revealed the degree to which the liberal democratic order — which after the fall of communism was supposed to represent the end of history — has failed to deliver on its ultimate promise, that of delivering both liberty and prosperity."

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"The Realist Prism: For Iran, Nukes No Longer Key to Deterring U.S."

Die iranische Kompromissbereitschaft in den internationalen Atomverhandlungen sei auch das Resultat einer strategischen Neubewertung von Atomwaffen in Teheran, schreibt Nikolas Gvosdev. "Mastering atomic technology is not an end in itself for Tehran but is directly tied to the larger objective of regime preservation. (...) Ten years ago, the conventional wisdom was that only a credible nuclear program would deter U.S. military action. But the Syrian case suggests that strong conventional air defenses — along with war weariness in the United States — could also restrain Washington. Since weaponization is difficult and could still take years, compromising on the nuclear program to get sanctions rolled back or even lifted could be part of a strategy for Iran to gain access to more conventional weapons systems, particularly as countries like China develop more-robust anti-access capabilities that hold the promise of being able to deter the United States from considering military interventions."

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"The Realist Prism: As Mideast Unravels, Time to Reconsider 'Soft Partitions'"

Nikolas Gvosdev meint, dass die US-Regierung sich bei der Beurteilung der gewaltsamen Konflikte im Nahen Osten an die Lehren der Jugoslawienkrise der 1990er Jahre erinnern sollte. Angesichts der tiefen Spaltungen in Ländern wie Irak, Syrien und Afghanistan sollte die Option einer Aufteilung der betroffenen Staaten erneut ins Auge gefasst werden, so Gvosdev. "Today, the U.S. continues to maintain there are Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan identities that transcend and trump religious, sectarian, tribal and linguistic affiliations in those countries. The prevailing approach is that national elections, as already held in Iraq and Afghanistan, should produce governments perceived as legitimate by all sectors of the population. But as long as democratic majoritarianism is understood locally either as the dominance of the majority ethnic group or an opportunity to create an alliance of minorities, then stability is not possible through voting."

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"Global Insights: Russian Bombings Show Limits of Security Crackdowns"

Die beiden Terroranschläge in Wolgograd seien ein Beleg für die beharrlichen Probleme der russischen Antiterrorkampagne in der Region, schreibt Richard Weitz vom Hudson Institute. Die russische Regierung habe vergeblich versucht, die Strategie zur Stabilisierung Tschetscheniens in die anderen Republiken des Nordkaukasus zu "exportieren". "(...) Moscow’s local allies there were less effective than in Chechnya. The devolution of security responsibilities and economic wealth to certain clans and groups allied to Moscow — and the granting of a free hand to employ brutal tactics against suspect terrorists and other opponents — only helped radicalize Muslim populations in the other republics. For several years, the Russian authorities tried to rely more on economic tools as well as police powers to curtail local violence. The federal government pumped millions of dollars into the region, launching massive infrastructure-building projects and other costly programs. But these tactics have not addressed the problem of endemic corruption, which often leads people to embrace radical, purifying versions of Islam."

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