US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The Interpreter



"Russia-US relations in 2021: Key things to watch out for"

Alexey Muraviev und Nina Markovic Khaze erklären, warum Russland für die USA trotz des neuen Fokus auf China auch 2021 eine wichtige strategische Rolle spielen wird. "Despite the need to address problems at home and the great China game Biden will have to make the Russia vector one of his top priorities. The 2021 Russia agenda includes several pressing matters ranging from the strategic stability dilemma, to threats to the rules-based international order, to unresolved regional conflicts. (…) One of the first pressing items that the Biden administration will encounter as a matter of urgency is to ensure that the strategic dialogue between the two nuclear superpowers is alive. Russia’s Chairmanship of the Artic Council (2021–23) will provide for one such opportunity within the Bering Strait and Sea region."

Mehr lesen


"Coming soon: A neutral South Korea?"

Angesichts der "dramatischen" Veränderungen in Südkorea in den letzten 20 Jahren hält Jeffrey Robertson es nicht mehr für ausgeschlossen, dass das Land sich vom engen Bündnis mit den USA verabschieden und als neutrale Macht auftreten könnte. "(…) the idea that South Korea could step outside of the China–United States rivalry and continue to benefit from relations with both, is a popular one. South Korea could be the Finland, Sweden or Switzerland of Northeast Asia. The idea is often bandied about with misconstrued notions of what it means to be a middle power. In South Korea, the literal interpretation of being a middle power – positioned between the US and China – is just as common as the more nuanced interpretations common in international relations circles outside South Korea. The neutrality of South Korea would transform the regional strategic balance."

Mehr lesen


"The unfinished Chinese civil war"

Beim Konflikt zwischen China und Taiwan gehe es nicht einfach um chinesische Expansionsgelüste, meint John Culver. "The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) war with the Kuomintang (KMT, or Nationalist Party) started in the 1920s, hit pause during the decade of anti-Japanese war and the Second World War, then culminated in an immediate post-war period with the remnants of the KMT fleeing to Formosa/Taiwan in 1949. The Chinese civil war has never ended – it has just shifted means, modes and tempo, and the 'war' has continued to the present day. The US has been enmeshed in this civil war almost since its inception, through acts and decisions not to act. It has played a decisive role at every juncture, even while professing an official position of not taking a position, other than that the two sides work to resolve the issue peacefully. (…) If military conflict comes to the Taiwan Strait in the next few years, the past will not serve as prologue for China’s modes, means and goals. The unfinished Chinese civil war will re-emerge as not only a military contest. And it’s likely that, from the moment the shooting starts, it will cease being the unfinished Chinese civil war and will become the China-US war. (…) The CCP probably could afford to continue to be patient as it executes a series of strategic campaigns. It will be prepared for this war to last for months, perhaps years, and even for a decade if necessary. It will be analogous to other struggles for national unification – those in Vietnam, Korea, Germany and even the US Civil War."

Mehr lesen


"Yes, to balance China, let’s bring Russia in from the cold"

Der westliche Isolationskurs gegenüber Russland hat nach Ansicht von Matthew Dal Santo dazu geführt, dass Russland den aus strategischer Sicht auch für Moskau problematischen geopolitischen Aufstieg Chinas bereitwillig hingenommen habe. "That Western sanctions would drive a Russian rapprochement with China was predictable. Even now that it has happened, however, a certain 'operating fallacy' prevents some analysts from extracting any downside in this for the West. As Ariel Cohen wrote in Forbes last year, 'By anchoring itself to China with Power of Siberia pipeline, Russia closes many doors, and in the long run, endangers its own energy trade – and national sovereignty.' But the mere fact that something is 'bad' for Russia doesn’t make it 'good' for the West. (…) In seeking to bring Russia in from the cold to balance China, Australia should make common cause with Tokyo and Seoul, as it should also with New Delhi. India has long recognised the importance of Russia to the Asian balance, has not imposed sanctions, and is exploring pipelines."

Mehr lesen


"What if the realists are right?"

Angesichts der durch die Corona-Pandemie verschärften Krise der liberalen internationalen Ordnung dürfen sich Anhänger der politikwissenschaftlichen Denkschule der Realisten in vielerlei Hinsicht bestätigt fühlen, meint Mark Beeson. "Rather tellingly, the only IR specialists that policymakers do take seriously are so-called realists. Keynes’s famous observation about 'practical men' being the slaves of some defunct economist applies equally well to policymakers’ conscious or, more often, unconscious adoption of realist ideas. Unfortunately, the realist view of international affairs and human nature is uniformly grim and likely to add to our current problems. Simply put, realists think individual states are in a struggle for survival in which, as Thucydides put it, the strong do as they will and the weak do as they must. Accumulating wealth and power, especially of the military variety, is the name of the game. (…) One of the few examples we have of effective and enduring institutionalised cooperation is the European Union, which looks as if it may succumb to a variety of populist, economic, and pandemic problems that are currently testing political leaders everywhere. Not only will this be a practical calamity, but it will also deal an immense symbolic blow to the very idea of international cooperation. Realists everywhere will see it as confirmation of their dispiriting views."

Mehr lesen


"A US-Taliban deal: What price for peace?"

Farkhondeh Akbari warnt, dass "faule Kompromisse" beim Abschluss des erwarteten Friedensabkommens zwischen den USA und den Taliban die Grundlage für künftige Kriege legen würden. "Peace requires compromise. A political settlement may require a lot of compromise to overcome differences and build common ground to avoid more wars. Peace compromises are often at the cost of justice. However, it is the compromise on humanity and the extension of humiliation that raises a red flag, and needs to be ruled out, even for the sake of peace. Former US diplomat Laurel Miller wrote in a recent article in the New York Times that 'a good enough deal is the one you can actually get'. One can always get an agreement by giving the other party all it demands, but at what cost? Immanuel Kant stated in the first article of his celebrated essay On Perpetual Peace that 'no treaty of peace shall be held valid in which there is tacitly reserved matter for future war.' This ominous warning should not be forgotten."

Mehr lesen


"What Russia wants in a multipolar world"

Elizabeth Buchanan von der Australian National University empfiehlt der australischen Regierung, ihre Beziehungen zu Russland in der neuen multipolaren Weltordnung zu überdenken und neben bestehenden Differenzen auch die strategischen Gemeinsamkeiten zu berücksichtigen. "The international system is transforming into the multipolar world order envisioned by [Russia’s strategic architect and former foreign minister, the late Yevgeny Primakov] decades ago. With an independent foreign policy, Australia could play a defining role in its region. A Russia-Australia dialogue ought to be a component of any independent foreign policy crafted by Canberra. The immediate challenge appears to be how to learn to work with Moscow on mutual interests while also developing our capability to undercut Russia when national interests demand Australia do so. Here, Canberra has plenty to learn from the courtship underway between Beijing and Moscow. This is a pragmatic relationship guided by convergent interests in some places, and yet at the same time, it is a relationship constrained by clashes of national interests elsewhere."

Mehr lesen


"Sparks fly in Lebanon"

Lauren Williams berichtet über die politischen und sozialen Hintergründe der aktuellen Massenproteste gegen die Regierung in Libanon. "The Lebanese people, if not the state, have consistently proved remarkably resilient to the myriad challenges facing the country. With political and military insecurity fanned by the war in next door Syria, groaning under the weight of a refugee population a quarter of the size of its 4 million–strong population, an ongoing garbage crisis, chronic electricity outages, and inadequate health and education services, the Lebanese population have adapted through a system of sectarian patronage networks. Miraculously, the country seems constantly to rise like a phoenix from the ashes to live another day in its charming dysfunction. Now it appears the Lebanese people have had enough. (...) The people of Lebanon have proved they are able to put aside sectarian differences in a unified call for change. Now it is up to the government and its rival backers to do the same."

Mehr lesen


"Russian arms flood Southeast Asia"

Russland hat sich Matt Bartlett zufolge in den letzten Jahren als wichtiger Waffenlieferant in Südostasien etabliert. Damit sei auch der politische Einfluss Russlands in der Region gewachsen. "This growing web of arms deals strengthens Russia’s 'soft' power by helping bring Asian states into Moscow’s sphere of influence. Weapons agreements should be understood as contributors to a broader military relationship, as opposed to discrete transactions (one does not buy S-400 air defence systems at the supermarket). Russia is increasingly taking part in joint military exercises with its Southeast Asian security customers, for instance. The preponderance of Russian arms in Asia has brought its share of unintended consequences. Experts deem Southeast Asia a 'crossroads' for small arms smuggling and weapons trafficking. (...) The Kremlin’s export drive in South and Southeast Asia represents an ongoing expansion of Russian influence. As regional tensions around the South China Sea continue to build, we should well expect more states to join the queue in buying Russian weapons. Each arms deal helps solidify ties between Moscow and its customers (particularly those fearful of an expansionist China).  Leveraging national arms production to build Russian 'soft' power is fast becoming a strategic gold mine for the Kremlin."

Mehr lesen


"Geoeconomics isn’t back – it never went away"

Mark Beeson schreibt, dass die Rivalitäten unter den Großmächten heute vorrangig auf dem Feld der Geoökonomie ausgetragen werden. "Like countries, academic fashions rise and fall. The current interest in geoeconomics – using economic power and leverage to pursue geopolitical goals – is classic example of this possibility. It is no coincidence that the rise of geoeconomics mirrors the rise of China. Rather revealingly, no one paid much attention to geoeconomic influence when it emanated primarily from the United States. (...) Recognising that geoeconomic power can be malign as well as benign is vital. We can no longer simply assume that what’s good for America is good for the world. Geoeconomic blowback may yet cause a rethink about the value, basis and leadership of the international system."

Mehr lesen


"Australia and Germany should work together on China"

Frances Kitt und Lucrezia Poggetti sind der Ansicht, dass Australien und Deutschland verstärkt zusammenarbeiten sollten, um der zunehmenden chinesischen Einflussnahme auf beiden Kontinenten entgegenzutreten. Erste Schritte in diese Richtung gebe es bereits: "While geographically distant, Australia and Germany are well suited to address this challenge jointly, and have started to compare notes through a biannual meeting of their foreign and defence ministers. Germany has been keen on expanding links with like-minded countries in the Asia-Pacific. For Australia, it is a kind of pairing only usually seen with partners in its region, and with the US and UK. (...) Beyond concerns over CCP influence on domestic politics, both Germany and Australia play a distinct role in their regions as important and influential European and Asia-Pacific countries respectively. Collaboration on CCP influence will help Germany and Australia shape regional debates and find partners to work with."

Mehr lesen


"Skripal: the West escalates, but where is the proof?"

Tom Switzer besteht trotz der scharfen westlichen Reaktion auf den Giftangriff in Großbritannien darauf, dass es bisher keine Beweise für die Verantwortlichkeit Russlands gebe. "One can accept that the finger of suspicion reasonably points to a Russian agent and still agree with the scepticism of leading British conservatives Peter Oborne, Peter Hitchens, and Rachel Johnson (Foreign Minister Boris’s sister): that it is better to take our time to get the bottom of this crime so that we can punish the perpetrators, whomever they may be. This is especially true when you realise Putin had no reason to poison the spy and his daughter and good reasons not to do it. (...) To make these arguments is to be immediately denounced as a Putin apologist or a Kremlin stooge. This is, as the leading British columnist Rod Liddle laments, a sure sign that the capacity for rational consideration has deserted Western politicians, policymakers and pundits in the digital media era. Like Liddle, I carry no torch for the Russian leader, a thug who leads a gangster regime. But we need at least some plausible evidence that the Kremlin poisoned Skripal and his daughter before we escalate tensions with a nuclear great power. We should also try to understand the historical background to the tensions between Russia and the West before they spiral out of control."

Mehr lesen


"Trump’s tariffs: not a trade war, yet"

Hat US-Präsident Trump mit seiner Verhängung neuer Importzölle einen Handelskrieg mit China ausgelöst? Nach Ansicht von John Edwards ist es für eine solche Interpretation noch zu früh. "It is not the trade war, yet. But the threat of one has been sufficiently real for China to this week send its top economic negotiator, Liu He, to the White House. On Wednesday, the Office of the US Trade Representative sent its annual report to Congress, and reminded us the Commerce Department has for many months been putting together a case against China’s treatment of corporate intellectual property. Whatever form the result takes, be it a proposal for sanctions against China or a US law making intellectual property transfers by US businesses to Chinese businesses difficult, the intent will be to slow down China’s race up the production chain into market-leading technologies. That will not be easy. If the US hinders technology transfers, competitors such as Japan, Germany, the UK, and France will seize what opportunities they can to profit from US reluctance."

Mehr lesen


"The Monroe Doctrine revival"

US-Außenminister Tillerson hat auf seiner jüngsten Lateinamerika-Reise anklingen lassen, dass er die berühmt-berüchtigte Monroe-Doktrin der USA wiederaufleben lassen wolle. Diego Leiva erläutert, warum die US-Regierung diese erneute Verlagerung ihrer Lateinamerika-Politik in Erwägung ziehen könnte. "As the United States enjoyed its unipolar moment, the 'backyard' of Washington did not need any supervision, and therefore Latin America was no longer a priority. Washington’s lack of attention left a door open for other great powers. Several countries began to engage with the region, China being the most assertive. (...) Beijing has also helped sustain the socialist regimes of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Evo Morales in Bolivia, and the Kirchners in Argentina by directing them 75 percent of the $119 billion in Chinese loans provided to Latin America since 2005. (...) During the prime of the Monroe Doctrine, between 1823 and 2001, such influence would never have grown unchecked. It was a sign of the decreasing capacity of the United States to be an omnipresent hegemon. (...) Then arrived Donald Trump. A tough approach on immigration and constant insults to Mexico and other Latin American and Caribbean countries, such as Haiti and El Salvador, rendered Obama-era efforts to engage the region almost useless. Latin America did not feature within Trump’s inward-looking strategy of 'America First'; the region south of the Rio Grande only arose when talking about the wall, drugs, illegal immigration, or renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, if the visit by Tillerson to the region is any guide, a significant shift in U.S. foreign policy towards Latin American might be underway."

Mehr lesen

Hier finden Sie die Redaktion der Sicherheitspolitischen Presseschau.

Mehr lesen



Europa, Asien, Afrika, Amerika und weltweite Phänomene und Institutionen. Die bpb bietet ein breites Angebot zu internationalen Themen.

Mehr lesen


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.

Mehr lesen auf


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.

Mehr lesen

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.

Mehr lesen