US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

Business Insider



"The war on drugs in Afghanistan 'has just been a total failure,' the US's top watchdog there says"

John F. Sopko, Generalinspekteur für den Wiederaufbau Afghanistans (SIGAR), habe auf einer Konferenz des Wilson Center in Washington das Scheitern des Kriegs gegen Drogen in Afghanistan eingeräumt, berichtet Christopher Woody. "The US-led war in Afghanistan turned 18 in October, and those two decades of fighting and rebuilding appear to have yielded little progress. The counternarcotics effort there, for example, 'has just been a total failure,' John F. Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, in November. The US Drug Enforcement Administration has 'done a yeoman's task there' and the special Afghan units they've trained have 'made wonderful seizures,' Sopko said. 'The Afghans with the cooperation of the DEA have actually seized more drugs in Afghanistan than I believe we in the United States have seized on the Mexican border.' Nevertheless, 'the amount seized over ... I think it's the last 10 years still is less than 5% of the crop that was grown last year — 10 years of seizures, less than 5%. So you're never going to work your way out of that by just seizures alone,' he said. 'That's an area where we definitely have seen no improvement. If anything, I think we've probably gone back.'"

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"As the US military prepares for a potential showdown with Russia, the Navy's explosive experts are clearing a path north"

Christopher Woody berichtet über die Vorbereitungen der U.S. Navy auf eine mögliche Konfrontation mit Russland im hohen Norden. "After two decades of fighting smaller, less capable enemies in the Middle East, the US military is switching its focus to near-peer adversaries — namely, China and Russia. Concern about Russia has drawn the US's attention to the high north. The US Navy has already revisited places it hasn't been since the Cold War, and this month in Alaska, the service's explosive ordnance disposal personnel helped clear a path into the strategically valuable region. (...) The Navy has made other moves to reassert its presence in the Arctic around Alaska. The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt joined training operations during exercise Northern Edge in the Gulf of Alaska earlier this year — the first time a carrier group has taken part the biennial Arctic exercise in a decade."

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"Trump blasts Pakistan for giving 'safe haven' to terrorists, vows to cut aid"

Präsident Trump hat Pakistan in einem Tweet damit gedroht, die finanzielle Unterstützung durch die USA deutlich zu reduzieren. "'The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,' he wrote. 'They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!' Washington's relationship with Islamabad has deteriorated in recent months over the issue, and the Trump administration has been weighing whether to withhold $255 million in aid that it had already delayed in sending since August, The New York Times reported last Friday. The Trump administration was reportedly particularly frustrated by Pakistani officials' refusal to hand over one of the militants responsible for abducting the former hostage Caitlan Coleman, an American woman held captive for five years with her Canadian husband and children by the Haqqani network."

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"US intelligence agencies are reportedly withholding sensitive information from Trump for fear of leaks"

Einem Bericht des Wall Street Journal zufolge sollen die US-Geheimdienste dem Weißen Haus absichtlich wichtige Informationen vorenthalten, da sie deren Veröffentlichung bzw. die Weitergabe an Russland fürchten. "That is not an unusual departure from protocol, Journal writers Shane Harris and Carol Lee reported. Intelligence officials sometimes withhold details from the president and other high-level government leaders to protect a source, the officials said. But the newspaper cited unnamed current and former US officials who told The Journal their hesitations were due in part to lingering questions over possible links between Trump associates and Russia, which they said could compromise the security of such classified information."

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"Here's the 20-step vetting process refugees must follow to enter the US"

Jacqui Frank hat in diesem Videobeitrag die zahlreichen Sicherheitsüberprüfungen aufgelistet, denen sich Flüchtlinge vor ihrer Einreise in die USA unterziehen müssen. "A report from the New York Times found that even before Trump's executive order, refugees looking to enter the United States must submit to a 20-step process. There are also additional steps in the process for individuals from certain countries."

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"Animated map shows how religion spread around the world"

Business Insider hat eine animierte Karte über die Geschichte der weltweiten Ausbreitung der fünf großen Religionen auf YouTube veröffentlicht. "Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are five of the biggest religions in the world. Over the last few thousand years, these religious groups have shaped the course of history and had a profound influence on the trajectory of the human race. Through countless conflicts, conquests, missions abroad, and simple word of mouth, these religions spread around the globe and forever molded the huge geographic regions in their paths."

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"Russia's Grip On Greece's Gas Has Created A Mess For The New Government In Athens"

Tomas Hirst macht darauf aufmerksam, dass der neue Russland-Kurs Griechenlands auch einen energiewirtschaftlichen Hintergrund habe. "On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Tsipras said Greece had not approved an EU statement which called for Europe to consider 'further restrictive measures' against Russia following renewed violence between government forces and allegedly Russian-backed rebels in the east of Ukraine. Many commentators have viewed this as the new government attempting either to cosy up to Moscow or to use sanctions as a bargaining chip in their efforts to renegotiate the terms of the country's bailout deal with its European partners. Those remain possible. Yet we shouldn't discount the appeal of this leverage being used to secure a new long-term gas deal to provide energy security for the fragile Greek economy and give the left-wing Syriza party an early win (at least in the eyes of the Greek electorate). Doing so, however, could come at a steep political cost."

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"Egypt And The United Arab Emirates Bombed Libya, And Qatar Could Be A Big Part Of The Reason Why"

Die Luftangriffe unbekannter Herkunft auf libyschem Gebiet sind offenbar durch Ägypten und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate durchgeführt worden. Jeremy Bender schreibt, dass die beiden Länder möglicherweise die Einnahme des Flughafens in Tripoli durch islamistische Milizen verhindern wollten. "Egypt and the UAE's involvement revealed how Libya is becoming yet another venue for proxy war in the Middle East, according to officials that spoke with the Times spoke. Qatar has allegedly supported Islamist forces in the country, in a continuation of the country's policy of supporting Islamic movements and the Muslim Brotherhood. Renegade Libyan general Khalifa Hifter, who attempted to disolve Libya's government in response to to its alleged takeover by Islamists, has made this allegation of Qatari support explicitly."

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"Rand Paul Denounces 'Dystopian Nightmare' Of NSA Surveillance"

Der konservative US-Senator und mögliche Präsidentschaftskandidat Rand Paul hat bei seiner Rede vor dem überwiegend liberalen Publikum der University of California in Berkeley die NSA-Überwachung erneut scharf kritisiert. "The junior senator from Kentucky used the unusual platform of a leftwing crucible to renew his recent attacks on the National Security Agency, saying Democrats and Republicans alike faced threats to their privacy. 'I’m here to tell you that the NSA believes equal protection means all Americans should be spied upon equally, including Congress.' His colleagues in Washington quailed before the spooks, he said. 'I perceive fear of an intelligence community drunk with power, unrepentant and uninclined to relinquish power.'"

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"Ford Exec: 'We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law' Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car"

Offenbar sammeln nicht nur Internetunternehmen wie Google und Facebook regelmäßig digitale Daten ihrer Kunden. Jim Edwards zufolge hat der Ford-Manager Jim Farley offen eingestanden, dass die GPS-Daten von Autofahrern von Ford gespeichert werden. Die Äußerungen Farleys seien allerdings kurz darauf wieder zurückgenommen worden. "Farley was trying to describe how much data Ford has on its customers, and illustrate the fact that the company uses very little of it in order to avoid raising privacy concerns: 'We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone,' he told attendees. (...) A Ford spokesperson later told Business Insider that in general, GPS units in Ford cars are not routinely pinging out their whereabouts as customers drive around. (...) Farley himself then walked back the statement, saying 'I absolutely left the wrong impression about how Ford operates. We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or consent.'"

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