US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

War on the Rocks


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"A Healthy Dose of Realism: Stopping COVID-19 Doesn't Start with the WHO"

Der Politikwissenschaftler Frank L. Smith III widerspricht dagegen der Ansicht, dass eine erfolgreiche Bekämpfung der Corona-Pandemie nur unter der Führung der Weltgesundheitsorganisation möglich sei. Wichtiger sei eine effektive Kooperation der Großmächte. Als historischen Beleg für seine These verweist er auf die erfolgreiche Ausrottung der Pocken während des Kalten Kriegs. "Conventional wisdom credits the WHO for eradicating smallpox, and yet, contrary to popular belief, WHO leadership opposed this campaign. The eradication of smallpox started and succeeded thanks to the Soviet Union and United States. This political history provides insight into how to combat COVID-19 during the current era of great-power competition. Eradicating smallpox was the greatest public health victory in history. (…) A great-power concert won’t save the world. It will help nation-states — particularly the United States and China — help themselves in the midst of great-power competition. It will also accomplish more than damning the WHO or expecting miracles from international institutions. As with the eradication of smallpox, the WHO and the rest of the world will follow when the great powers choose to lead."

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"Is Human Rights Training Working with Foreign Militaries? No One Knows and That's O.K."

Das Pentagon und das US-Außenministerium betreiben ein Programm, bei dem Sicherheitskräften verbündeter Staaten beigebracht werden soll, bei ihren Einsätzen Menschenrechte und internationale Normen zu beachten. Emily Knowles und Jahara Matisek zufolge gibt es keine Auswertung, aus der abzulesen sei, wie erfolgreich diese Bemühungen in der Praxis wären. "A recent War on the Rocks article by Melissa Dalton and Tommy Ross identified American assistance to Uganda as an example of the paradox of trying to make a partner force that is effective and abides by international laws and norms. However, Uganda’s military isn’t the only problem child. American security assistance to Afghanistan, Cameroon, Chad, Iraq, Somalia, and many more countries, suffers from various problems and traps ranging from creating Fabergé Egg militaries (expensive to build but easy for insurgents to break) to assisting powerful counter-terrorism partner forces that commit atrocities. (…) Now that the Government Accountability Office has recommended clear timelines and plans for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces, this is a good opportunity to examine what these programs are delivering."

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"COVID-19 and America's Counter-Terrorism Response."

Lydia Khalil stellt enttäuscht fest, dass die "Fixierung auf die Terrorismusbekämpfung" im sicherheitspolitischen Establishment Washingtons auch von der Coronakrise nicht erschüttert worden sei. "Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. foreign policy and national security have been swallowed whole by counter-terrorism considerations, even as a number of counter-terrorism experts have cautioned against overemphasizing the terrorist threat. If anything could ever shake the United States out of its counter-terrorism fixation it would be a crisis of even greater magnitude than 9/11. It seemed like that moment finally came with the COVID-19 pandemic, as the death toll in New York alone has been greater than the 9/11 attacks. Yet what we have seen so far is the opposite. Instead of reorienting toward other paradigms and reexamining its strategic priorities, the United States continues to reflexively overextend its counter-terrorism tools to deal with some of the more problematic aspects of the virus’ spread."

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"Disease and Diplomacy in the 19th Century"

Andrew Ehrhardt vom King’s College London wirft einen Blick in die Geschichte und beschreibt, wie Staaten früher auf diplomatischer Ebene mit Epidemien umgegangen sind. Bis zum 19. Jahrhundert habe dabei die Verhängung von Quarantänen im Mittelpunkt gestanden, seitdem gebe es eine zunehmende internationale Kooperation. "(…) the practice of quarantine defined the relationship between disease and diplomacy for much of modern history. Yet toward the midpoint of the nineteenth century, as the industrial revolution significantly increased manufacturing within nations and the trade between them, both national and international opinions on quarantines found the practice ever more cumbersome and costly. After a particularly deadly outbreak of cholera in 1832, the British government implemented strict quarantine measures which drew the ire of English businessmen, traders, and merchants, leading some to argue that cholera was a 'humbug got up for the destruction of our commerce.' Likewise, on a regional and global level, the impact on trade and commerce was inconsistent and increasingly debilitating. (…) The need to resolve this uncomfortable strain between pandemic on the one hand, and progress and prosperity on the other, was one of the reasons European governments once again advocated for nations to cooperate on matters relating to the spread of disease. (…) The relationships between disease, science, nationalism, and internationalism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have been highlighted by a number of historians in the past; yet these linkages seem to be undervalued by a number of commentators today. On the subject of international order, in particular, the pessimism of some leading thinkers is discouraging."

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"Aftershocks: The Coronavirus Pandemic and the New World Disorder"

Zur Einordnung der Corona-Pandemie werden oft Vergleiche zur globalen Grippewelle von 1918 angestellt. Colin H. Kahl und Ariana Berengaut empfehlen dagegen, den Blick auf die beiden Jahrzehnte zu richten, die jener Pandemie folgten: "This period, often referred to as the interwar years, was characterized by rising nationalism and xenophobia, the grinding halt of globalization in favor of beggar-thy-neighbor policies, and the collapse of the world economy in the Great Depression. Revolution, civil war, and political instability rocked important nations. (…) Even before COVID-19, shadows of the interwar years were beginning to re-emerge. The virus, however, has brought these dynamics into sharper relief. And the pandemic seems likely to greatly amplify them as economic and political upheaval follows, great-power rivalry deepens, institutions meant to encourage international cooperation fail, and American leadership falters. In this respect, as Richard Haas notes, the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftershocks it will produce seem poised to 'accelerate history,' returning the world to a much more dangerous time."

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"Leak Reveals Jihadists' Weakening Grip in Syria's Idlib"

Sam Heller berichtet über eine Audioaufnahme, die darauf hindeute, dass die Vorherrschaft der radikalislamischen Gruppe Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) über die syrische Idlib-Provinz ins Wanken geraten sei. "A newly leaked recording of a pep talk by HTS figure Abu al-Fateh al-Farghali to the group’s rank and file provides a unique insight into what HTS was telling its members as they defended Idlib from a Syrian military offensive earlier this year. (…) as HTS-led rebels have lost more ground to the Syrian army and Turkey has injected more forces into Idlib unilaterally, al-Farghali says the terms the group originally imposed on Turkey from a position of strength are 'void.' Turkey has since made new promises to counter HTS, per the March 5 protocol it agreed with Russia to halt Idlib’s latest bout of violence. And if this leaked recording is to be believed, the modus vivendi that had existed between Turkey and HTS has been destabilized."

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"Germany, Wilsonianism, and the Return of Realpolitik"

Nach Ansicht von Dominik Wullers treffen in der sicherheitspolitischen Debatte in Deutschland Pazifisten und "Wilsonianer" aufeinander. "Pacifism is the strict rejection of any use of force, irrespective of the goal. (…) Wilsonianism, on the other hand, accepts a narrow set of reasons for military intervention. The protection or enforcement of human rights sits chief among them. Both pacifism and Wilsonianism, however, adhere to strictly ethical goals. Neither would accept the realpolitik goals of stability and order as valid and especially not using military means to achieve them. Subsequently, the debate in Germany has not been between pacifists and realists, but between pacifists and Wilsonians. (…) Germany would do well to continue its multilateral path with successful and stabilizing organizations such as NATO or the United Nations because prosperity, stability, and order may depend on it. A stable order is easy to take for granted — the current Corona crisis aptly demonstrates this. At the same time, Germany should and already does realize that the world extends beyond Europe. The toolkit of a nation such as Germany needs more than hopes and dreams for a better world. It needs a good dosage of realism — and it needs to drop the intellectual quotation marks around 'great-power competition'."

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"Al-Qaeda: Threat or Anachronism?"

Nachdem US-Außenminister Pompeo die Al-Qaida als "Schatten ihrer selbst" bezeichnet hat, erläutern die beiden Terrorismus-Experten Bruce Hoffman und Jacob Ware, warum sie derartige Siegesmeldungen für verfrüht halten. "Sixteen years ago, Osama bin Laden explained in his last publicly released videotaped statement that al-Qaeda was waging a 'war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers.' He boasted that the group and its Afghan mujahedeen partners had 'bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat' from Afghanistan in 1989, and predicted that al-Qaeda would do the same to the United States. With the signing of the landmark U.S.-Taliban peace agreement and drawdowns from both the Syrian and African theaters, bin Laden’s prediction is becoming prophecy. To be sure, the defeat of the Islamic State and the dismantling of its caliphate — coupled with al-Qaeda’s prolonged quiescence — have created the impression that the fight against Salafi-Jihadi terrorism is over. However, the then-commander of the U.S. Central Command presciently reminded us of the opposite back in 2013: 'No war is over until the enemy says it’s over. We may think it over, we may declare it over,' General James N. Mattis warned, 'but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.'"

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"Cleaning up Turkey's Mess in Idlib and Ending the War"

Aus humanitärer Sicht wäre es nach Ansicht von Aaron Stein am besten, wenn der Konflikt in der syrischen Idlib-Provinz durch eine von Ankara vermittelte Kapitulation der Rebellen beendet werden würde. Die US-Regierung sollte entsprechenden Druck auf die Türkei ausüben, so Stein. "The United States is Turkey’s ally, but has little interest in the Turkish armed forces being bogged down in an unwinnable war in Syria, taking casualties and being humiliated by Russian bombardment. It is distracting. A ceasefire makes sound strategic sense. It also would be preferable to an outcome in which more Syrians will die fighting for an unwinnable endeavor. Negotiations with Russia will not be easy, nor straightforward. Idlib is a massive humanitarian catastrophe and the Assad regime is almost certain to exact revenge on innocent civilians it accuses of being disloyal. The United States ought to work to prevent this, but the path to doing so is not continuing aid to an insurgency that will not win."

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"Leaving Afghanistan: Pulling Out without Pulling the Rug Out"

Angesichts von Berichten über eine möglicherweise bevorstehende Unterzeichnung eines Friedensabkommens zwischen den USA und den Taliban denkt Joe Felter über eine angemessene Exit-Strategie des US-Militärs nach. Der Abzug der Sowjetarmee aus Afghanistan im Jahr 1989 halte in diesem Zusammenhang wichtige Lehren bereit. "History provides a precedent for cautious optimism by the United States as it engages the Afghan government in charting a path forward in the execution of this conditional agreement. The Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 — the last time a great power departed this conflict-ridden region after years of occupation — offers some important lessons on achieving minimalist objectives in the wake of failure to achieve more ambitious strategic objectives. And Moscow did so with modest expenditure of resources and with some degree of success. (…) Katya Drozdova and I recently explained in the Journal of Cold War Studies the key components of the Soviet exit strategy and how it was implemented. Through a systematic mining of official records and previously classified transcripts of the internal discourse of the Politburo in Moscow, we reconstruct the Soviet strategy’s critical aspects and identify salient lessons that can help inform decisions the United States must make as it plans and executes its withdrawal from the country after nearly two decades of occupation and conflict."

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"Germany's 5G Debate Ought Not Be a Referendum on Donald Trump"

Julianne Smith vom Center for a New American Security empfiehlt Deutschland, die Debatte über eine Beteiligung des chinesischen Unternehmens Huawei am Ausbau der 5G-Netze nicht im Kontext der schwierigen Beziehungen zu Donald Trump zu betreiben. "At its core, this is a debate about German values and German security as Chancellor Merkel decides whether she wants to continue relying on a Chinese telecom company that China could use for espionage or coercive purposes. The great irony here is that while the Trump administration clearly has strong views on the matter, the United States isn’t promoting an alternative vendor. It doesn’t have one. (…) it is critical that Berlin tune out the noise, hear from other voices, and focus on the fundamentals. Given that the European project sits at the heart of German foreign and economic policy, the European Union’s position on this issue should count for a lot. (…) Berlin may want to hear more from democratic allies who have either recently taken their own decision on 5G or are currently grappling with the issue. (…) Finally, when Germans see the Huawei posters claiming that '5G is about values,' I hope they nod in agreement, but not in the way Chinese state-aligned tech executives mean. (…) Ultimately, Berlin must make a 5G decision that respects and protects the values it holds dear."

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"Russian Demographics and Power: Does the Kremlin Have a Long Game?"

Michael Kofman vom Wilson Center widerspricht demografischen Prognosen, die Russland eine unaufhaltsam zurückgehende Bevölkerungszahl und einen damit einhergehenden internationalen Machtverlust vorhersagen. "First, it is not fair to take the worst-case scenarios for any country’s demographic future and advance murky numbers as though they represent the likely outcome. (…) The prospective decline of Russia’s population is not only overstated but is also unlikely to substantially constrain Russian power or make the country less of a problem for the United States. Such notions are not only based on bad information, they have also become an alibi for the absence of U.S. strategy on what to do about Russia. (…) Instead of talking about Russia’s or China’s uncertain demographic future, U.S. policymakers should pay closer attention to the demographic situation of their own allies, like the Baltic states, which is more dire. Latvia’s and Lithuania’s populations have been in constant decline since 1991, and Ukraine’s is particularly problematic. (…) The core Russian problem is not demographics, but the fact that the economy and the political system are unable to tap into the talent and human potential of that country. Russia has the requisite attributes to be far more powerful and influential than it is today, with fewer people."

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The three elephants of European Security

In den vergangenen Jahren hat es viele Absichtserklärungen zur Neuausrichtung der europäischen Sicherheitspolitik gegeben. Von einem Durchbruch könne jedoch keine Rede sein, solange drei grundlegende Probleme immer wieder sorgfältig umgangen werden, meint Johanna Möhring vom Institute for Statecraft in London. "Europeans and Americans need to address three elephants crowding the room of European security — some familiar, some less so. As so often with indoor pachyderms, they irritate, as they confront us with our inability to address them and our tendency to tiptoe around them. The three European security elephants will resonate differently depending on which side of the Atlantic you reside. But they need to be seen, and tackled, together. The First: A Creaking European Security Architecture (…) The Second: European Militaries Under Pressure (…) The Third: The Shackles of Institutions (…) Scrutinizing the three elephants in the room of European security — a security architecture underpinning the sovereignty of European countries that is faltering, a fundamentally challenged military, and defense cooperation at pains to keep up with the pace of geopolitical change — is an uncomfortable exercise. With the trans-Atlantic relationship remaining at the heart of European defense, and cornerstone of the European project, Americans and Europeans have no choice but to think and act together as the three pachyderms relentlessly question the future of European security."

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"The Drone Beats of War: The U.S. Vulnerability to Targeted Killings"

David W. Barno und Nora Bensahel erwarten nach der gezielten Tötung von General Soleimani, dass US-Offizielle bald selbst zum Ziel derartiger Angriffe werden könnten. "As advanced technologies inexorably became cheaper and more widely available, the U.S. monopoly on these capabilities started to erode. By 2016, for example, eight countries other than the United States had conducted armed drone attacks, including Iran, Pakistan, and Nigeria. By 2019, Russia and two other countries joined this exclusive club. (…) The Soleimani strike has given potential U.S. adversaries every reason to accelerate their efforts to develop similar capabilities. Moreover, these same adversaries can now justify their own future targeted killings by invoking this U.S. precedent. Sooner or later — and probably sooner — senior U.S. civilian and military leaders will become vulnerable to the same types of decapitation strikes that the United States has inflicted on others."

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"There Was No 'Secret War on the Truth' in Afghanistan"

Nach Ansicht des Sicherheitsexperten Jon Schroden erwecken die "Afghanistan Papers" der Washington Post den falschen Eindruck, dass es eine geheime Regierungskampagne zur Unterdrückung von Informationen über den tatsächlichen Stand der Dinge in Afghanistan gegeben habe. "The story the Post is telling is neither wholly true, nor supported by the documents it published. Instead, the Post’s reporting puts sensationalist spin on information that was not classified, has already been described in publicly-available reports, only covers a fraction of the 18 years of the war, and falls far short of convincingly demonstrating a campaign of deliberate lies and deceit. (…) My personal observations during the roughly 12 years I have been working on assessments of the Afghanistan war are that U.S. officials have not generally engaged in a deliberate campaign of lies and deceit of the American public when it came to progress in the war. Rather, what I’ve observed is shifting (and often unclear or arguably unachievable) strategic and policy objectives combined with aggressive optimism and an overwhelming 'can do' attitude on the part of U.S. government officials — especially within the military given its rigid hierarchy, and culture of following orders and vertical appeasement".

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"How to Stabilize Ukraine Long Term? Securitize Well-Being"

Nach Ansicht der Sozialwissenschaftler Cynthia Buckley, Ralph Clem und Erik Herron sollte die US-Regierung die Ukraine künftig weniger durch Militärhilfe als durch zivile Programme zur Verbesserung des allgemeinen Lebensstandards und des gesellschaftlichen Engagements unterstützen. "Why? Because when people have confidence that their government is delivering basic services such as health care and education, and also ensuring that elections take place in a free and fair manner, they are more supportive of the state and more resistant to attempts to undermine the government’s legitimacy. These are components of what social scientists refer to as state capacity. In our view, state capacity — the means by which human security issues and challenges are addressed — should properly be seen as part of the state’s overall security architecture; that is, it can and should be securitized. (…) The most recent Gallup World Poll showed that only 9 percent of Ukrainian citizens had confidence in their national government, the lowest of any country globally by far. A large part of that dismal number owes, of course, to the debilitating effects of corruption, misgovernance, and the hybrid and kinetic destabilization efforts of neighboring Russia. The Ukrainian state has failed to provide adequately for its citizens. Absent major enhancements in state capacity, Ukrainians will continue to lack confidence in their government."

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"Are We Entering a New Era of Far-Right Terrorism?"

Bruce Hoffman und Jacob Ware vom Council on Foreign Relations halten die rechtsextremen Terroranschläge der jüngeren Zeit in den USA für den möglichen Beginn einer Ära. Sie verweisen auf drei Faktoren, die zu der neuen Bedrohung beitragen: "Beyond ongoing violence, the rising far right should concern law enforcement and government for three reasons: its relationship with members of the military, employment of cutting-edge technology, and the infiltration of far-right ideologies into other extremist communities. Firstly, far-right groups and militias actively recruit from the U.S. military, particularly among returning servicemembers. (…). Secondly, today’s far-right extremists, like predecessors from previous generations, are employing cutting-edge technologies for terrorist purposes. (…) Finally, far-right ideologies have begun to infiltrate other extremist milieus, turning disparate communities into far-right hubs. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the incel ('involuntary celibate') movement, an online subculture of young, sometimes violent men frustrated at their inability to find sexual partners. (…) Fortunately, several of these issues parallel with law enforcement efforts against the Islamic State. (…) Lessons learned from the increasingly successful efforts to suppress the Islamic State’s online efforts should be applied to the far right; and lessons learned fighting the far right should be tested against the Salafi-jihadists."

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"When Does Terrorism Have a Strategic Effect?"

Terroranschläge wie der vom 11. September 2001 können weitreichende strategische Auswirkungen haben, schreibt der Terrorismus-Experte Daniel Byman. Der folgenreichste Terroranschlag der Post-9/11-Ära, die Zerstörung eines schiitischen Schreins im Irak im Jahr 2006, habe sich z.B. als Auslöser eines jahrelangen Bürgerkriegs herausgestellt, obwohl der Anschlag selbst keine Todesopfer gefordert hatte. "Not all terrorism is created equal. Some attacks are merely blips on the terrorism radar screen, grabbing headlines for a few days before life resumes as before. Other attacks, however, shake the world. The strategic effects of such an attack go far beyond whether it helps a terrorist group win, and they can be divided into two areas. First, terrorism can affect conflict and international politics, shaping foreign policy, sparking international and civil wars, and preventing peace negotiations. Second, terrorism can undermine democracy by decreasing faith in public institutions. The strategic success of terrorism often depends as much on the government response as it does the terrorist attack itself: too little or too much counterterrorism can do the terrorists’ jobs for them."

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"Military Deception: AI's Killer App?"

Der militärische Einsatz Künstlicher Intelligenz könnte auf dem Gebiet der gezielten Täuschung des Gegners nach Ansicht von Edward Geist und Marjory Blumenthal die auffälligsten Folgen haben. "Conventional wisdom has long held that advances in information technology would inevitably advantage 'finders' at the expense of 'hiders.' But that view seems to have been based more on wishful thinking than technical assessment. The immense potential of AI for those who want to thwart would-be 'finders' could offset if not exceed its utility for enabling them. Finders, in turn, will have to contend with both understanding reality and recognizing what is fake, in a world where faking is much easier. (…) Rather than lifting the 'fog of war,' AI and machine learning may enable the creation of 'fog of war machines' — automated deception planners designed to exacerbate knowledge quality problems."

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"Will Displaced Syrians Ever Return? History Says No"

Die Flüchtlingsexpertin Kara Ross Camarena und der Konfliktforscher Nils Hägerdal bezweifeln, dass der Großteil der syrischen Flüchtlinge tatsächlich in die Heimat zurückkehren wird. "Refugees who are displaced outside Syria must eventually decide whether to return to the country at all; inside Syria, all displaced persons must choose whether to return to their original homes or settle elsewhere in the country. So, if the Syrian civil war came to a decisive conclusion in the near future, would displaced Syrians return to their original homes? Judging by historical precedent, we should expect that most of them will not. (...) Millions of Syrians have spent the last several years trying to build a new life outside of Syria and many of them will never return to their country of birth. Those who do return — perhaps because of a particularly compelling emotional connection to home, or because their host country makes their lives miserable — join several million internally displaced persons who also have to decide where and how to rebuild their lives. Historical experience and demographic trends suggest that they will mostly settle in large and growing cities. The most important policy implication of this argument is that as the international community begins to plan for postwar reconstruction in Syria, stakeholders should focus on rebuilding the major cities and expect displaced persons to flock there."

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"Terrorist Groups, Artificial Intelligence, and Killer Drones."

Jacob Ware warnt, dass die zunehmenden Möglichkeiten von Waffensystemen mit Künstlicher Intelligenz auch von Terroristen genutzt werden könnten. "AI will enable terrorist groups to threaten physical security in new ways, making the current terrorism challenge even more difficult to address. According to a February 2018 report, terrorists could benefit from commercially available AI systems in several ways. The report predicts that autonomous vehicles will be used to deliver explosives; low-skill terrorists will be endowed with widely available high-tech products; attacks will cause far more damage; terrorists will create swarms of weapons to 'execute rapid, coordinated attacks'; and, finally, attackers will be farther removed from their targets in both time and location. As AI technology continues to develop and begins to proliferate, 'AI [will] expand the set of actors who are capable of carrying out the attack, the rate at which these actors can carry it out, and the set of plausible targets.'"

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"AI Will Change War, But Not in the Way You Think"

Jonathan Clifford, Regierungsberater und Reserveoffizier der U.S. Navy, erwartet nicht, dass die zunehmende Einführung Künstlicher Intelligenz im Militär den Charakter des Krieges grundlegend verändern wird. "Unlike science fiction movies, which depict the technology itself as an instrument of war, AI will function primarily as an enabler. AI will change how wars are fought, but not the nature of war. War is still, and will forever be, applied violence to achieve a political goal. (...) Nevertheless, AI is sure to permeate every aspect of warfighting — from movement to communication, logistics, intelligence, weapons, and people. (...) The race to acquire AI will be different than the race for the atomic bomb, intercontinental missiles, or precision-guided munitions. Some aspects will be similar — nations will attempt to be the first to develop and acquire AI systems and applications. But rather than a single space race 'Sputnik moment,' there will be continuous milestones in the AI race — algorithm updates, software patches, etc. The near-term difference between AI and previous technological innovations is that AI is iterative, incremental, and, most importantly, an enabler of all parts of warfare."

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"Intermediate-Range Missiles Are the Wrong Weapon for Today's Security Challenges"

Tom Countryman und Kingston Reif von der Arms Control Association bezweifeln, dass die nach dem Ende des INF-Vertrags mögliche Entwicklung neuer US-Mittelstreckenraketen die strategische Sicherheit der USA tatsächlich verbessern würde. Sowohl in Europa als auch in Asien gebe es angesichts innenpolitischer Widerstände und aufgrund der drohenden Reaktionen Russlands bzw. Chinas kaum Interessenten für eine dauerhafte Stationierung dieser Raketen. "Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty is a serious matter. But the U.S. pursuit of new ground-launched intermediate-range missiles is militarily unnecessary, would divide NATO, and would lead Russia to increase the number and type of intermediate-range missiles aimed against NATO targets. Congress would be wise to withhold its support for a new Euromissile race."

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"The Crisis is Coming: Syria and the End of the U.S.-Turkish Alliance"

Aaron Stein betrachtet die angekündigte türkische Militäroffensive gegen die Kurden im Norden Syriens vor dem Hintergrund der seit langem im Niedergang befindlichen Beziehungen der Türkei zu den USA. "In talks with the United States about the northeast, Ankara has pushed a maximalist position and demanded full control over a 32 kilometer-deep stretch of territory, spanning from the Euphrates River to the Syrian-Turkish-Iraqi border. The United States has sought to manage Ankara’s expectations, pushing against the notion of a Turkish-run zone, in favor of a U.S.-administered area, where Ankara would have a small, limited presence and Kurdish militants would be withdrawn from a strip of territory five to 14 kilometers deep. (...) At the core of the U.S.-Turkish divergence is the very real face that each side has fundamentally different conceptions of regional security. The root cause of the problem is that both America and Turkey see the other as a fundamentally destabilizing actor in the Middle East. While both sides remain interested in talking, given that the two sides are NATO members, they are not interested in compromise because each side has decided that its own national security interests in Syria are more important than the interests of the opposing party."

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"Whether it Likes It or Not, Europe is Being Pushed and Pulled into America's Iran Policy"

Michael Stephens hält es für "unausweichlich", dass Europa sich im Zuge der aktuellen Krise im Persischen Golf der Iran-Position der USA annähern wird. "The Gulf is going to become more militarized, and both Europe and the United States will have to rely on each other to keep the peace in an area of global importance that is now highly unstable. And so, deploying European military assets and manpower into the Gulf region will lock the Europeans into a U.S. security architecture out of which they cannot break out. Indeed the more Europe and the United States cooperate on Gulf security, the less likely it will be for the E3 to maintain a wall between their disagreement with Washington over the nuclear deal, and their increasing lock step coordination with Washington on constraining Iranian activities that destabilize the region. (...) The path ahead is difficult. London (not to mention Paris and Berlin) does not want to align itself with American policy on the JCPOA, but the omens all point toward that being the most likely outcome. The European position on the JCPOA weakens by the day, and the current climate of tension between London and Tehran does nothing to help the position of those who believe that diplomacy is the most effective way to solve this current crisis."

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"Blessed Be Thy Nuclear Weapons: The Rise of Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy"

Michael Kofman stellt das Buch "Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy: Religion, Politics, and Strategy" von Dmitry Adamsky vor, der die Verbindungen der russisch-orthodoxen Kirche zum "nuklear-militärisch-industriellen Komplex" in Russland untersucht hat. "Adamsky’s groundbreaking book lays out the largely unstudied history of how a nuclear priesthood emerged in Russia, permeated the units and commands in charge of Russia’s nuclear forces, and became an integral part of the nuclear weapons industry. Starting with the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, through a process Adamsky frames as 'genesis, conversion, and operationalization,' the Russian Orthodox Church positioned itself 'as one of the main guardians of the state’s nuclear potential and, as such, claims the role of one of the main guarantors of Russian nuclear security.' (...) Adamsky’s book covers two distinct but equally fascinating processes that have taken place in post-Soviet Russia: the church’s integration into the nuclear-military complex and the political system’s parallel quest to engineer a national idea, lend itself legitimacy, and rebuild the power of the state that crumbled when the Soviet Union collapsed."

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"Explaining the Poverty of Germany's Strategic Debate"

US-Major Walter Haynes, derzeit Student an der Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr, findet es bedauernswert, dass Stimmen aus Militärkreisen in der sicherheitspolitischen Debatte in Deutschland weitgehend fehlen. Dies habe zum einen historische Gründe, sei aber auch auf ein generelles öffentliches Desinteresse an militär- und sicherheitspolitischen Fragen zurückzuführen. "As Nora Müller noted in a recent article, the Germans would like to behave like a 'big Switzerland,' focused primarily on their economy, and remain blissfully uninterested in interstate competition beyond the economic sort. Germans’ recent mistrust of the United States makes their support for collective security even less likely. The national mood reminds me of Trotsky’s aphorism: 'You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.' (...) What I think is missing is an accepted idea of national agency, or a choice to affect the world in support of Germany’s interests. As an American officer living in Germany, I’m surprised by how closely Germans follow U.S. politics, and I often end up listening to polemics on the follies of American foreign policy. (...) Left unsaid by my interlocutors is how Germany can contribute to improving any of these challenges."

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"Populism, the European Elections, and the Future of EU Foreign Policy"

Die beiden französischen Politikplaner Maya Kandel und Caroline Gondaud haben sich mit dem Einfluss "populistischer" Strömungen auf die europäische Außenpolitik beschäftigt. Das neue EU-Parlament könnte die Kompromissfindung erschweren und die EU-Außenpolitik in den kommenden Jahren paralysieren, so ihre Warnung. "The major risk is probably of stalling E.U. policymaking by blocking the possibility of compromise that is at the heart of any E.U. policy. That would risk further strengthening nationalist governments, and further undermining European citizens’ confidence in European institutions, by proving their major talking point: that the European Union is an inefficient bureaucracy unable to protect them. Thus, the most dangerous outcome of populist influence in the European Parliament is that the European Union will become paralyzed and irrelevant on the international scene, assuming the European populists are not able to develop a coherent project aimed at founding an alternative European Union."

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"Libya's Coming Forever War: Why Backing One Militia Against Another Is Not the Solution"

Frederic Wehrey und Emadeddin Badi bezweifeln, dass der Westen den Bürgerkrieg in Libyen durch die gezielte Unterstützung einer bestimmten Miliz beenden kann. "No single military or political actor has been able to exert a preponderance of control and sovereignty. Libya’s militia bosses and factional elites, including Haftar, have long had a mutual economic and political interest in keeping conflict simmering, eschewing both decisive outcomes on the battlefield and outside attempts to end the fighting. These armed actors have also have adroitly exploited competing and uncoordinated foreign interests in Libya. It is not simply Libyan National Army’s internal contradictions and weaknesses limit Haftar’s effectiveness as a would-be proxy for outside powers hoping to unify Libya. It is the fact that the fractured security landscape of Tripolitania, and its underlying political economy and social demography, have long prohibited any one actor from achieving dominance — especially one coming from the east."

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"Is the Space Force Viable? Personnel Problems on the Final Frontier"

Mark Cancian schreibt, dass die von US-Präsident Trump geforderte "United States Space Force" aller Voraussicht nach nicht die erhoffte "agile" und "innovative" Streitmacht, sondern eine bürokratische, kopflastige und teure Organisation werden dürfte. Er spricht sich deshalb dafür aus, die neue Agentur im Pentagon vorerst nach zivilen Maßstäben zu organisieren. "The proposal envisions the space force operating like the other military services, but it will be too small to be viable. In trying to produce the number of senior military officers needed to staff all the high-level functions expected of an independent military service, it would end up with one general for every 270 servicemembers — five times the rate of the rest of the department — and no enlisted troops. The entire force would be officers, a problem compounded when we consider the reserve components associated with the proposed new service. This raises the broader question: Why does a space force need to be military, anyway? (...) A civilian Defense Department agency would be better suited to the task because it could use the more flexible civilian personnel system and would not have to maintain a military rank pyramid. In the distant future, when manned spaceships cruise the ether and engage in combat, then a military space force might be needed. However, we are many decades from that eventuality."

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Informationsportal Krieg und Frieden

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

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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Zahlen und Fakten


Kaum ein Thema wird so intensiv und kontrovers diskutiert wie die Globalisierung. "Zahlen und Fakten" liefert Grafiken, Texte und Tabellen zu einem der wichtigsten und vielschichtigsten Prozesse der Gegenwart.

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