Saturday, April 1, 2017

USA ändern ihre Syrien-Politik: "Assad kann bleiben

USA ändern ihre Syrien-Politik: "Assad kann bleiben"
Die USA haben unter ihrem neuen Präsidenten Donald Trump ihre Syrien-Politik in einem entscheidenden Punkt geändert: Hochrangige US-Diplomaten, darunter auch der US-Außenminister Rex Tillerson, erklärten nun, nicht mehr auf eine Entmachtung des syrischen Staatspräsidenten Baschar al-Assad zu bestehen. Die Obama-Regierung lies stets keinen Zweifel daran, dass man Assad nicht weiter als syrischen Präsidenten dulde.

Live: Putin nimmt an der Plenarsitzung des Internationalen Arktis-Forums teil

Live: Putin nimmt an der Plenarsitzung des Internationalen Arktis-Forums teil
Der russische Präsident Wladimir Putin wird heute in Archangelsk an einer Plenarsitzung des Internationalen Arktis-Forums teilnehmen. Die Präsidenten von Finnland, Sauli Niinisto, und von Island, Gudni Johannesson, werden ebenfalls erwartet. Wir übertragen live und mit englischer Simultan-Übersetzung.
Bei dem Forum unter dem Motto „Gebiet des Dialoges“ werden Investitionsmöglichkeiten sowie wissenschaftliche und kulturelle Themen behandelt. Auf der Webseite heißt es: „Das Forum ist eine Schlüsselplattform für die Erörterung aktueller Fragen im Zusammenhang mit der sozioökonomischen Entwicklung der arktischen Regionen und für die Entwicklung von mehrstufigen, multilateralen Mechanismen zur gemeinsamen Entdeckung und effektiven Nutzung des reichen Ressourcenpotenzials der Arktis.
Das zentrale Thema des kommenden Forums ist „Menschen und die Arktis“. Es wird erwartet, dass Diskussionen darüber geführt werden, wie man Bedingungen für die Verbesserung der Lebensqualität für die lokale Bevölkerung schafft und wie man die Region progressiv und nachhaltig weiterentwickelt.“

Das IV. Internationale Arktis-Forum findet vom 29. bis zum 30. März 2017 statt. Das ernorme Potenzial, das die Arktis bietet, ist nicht nur für angrenzende Länder politisch und wirtschaftlich interessant. Es wird vermutet, dass in der Arktis mehr Ölvorkommen als in Saudi Arabien sind.  Außerdem stehen ganz oben auf der Agenda des Forums: Die internationale Zusammenarbeit und die effektive Verwaltung des Gebiets.

Does the Washington Establishment Seek War with Russia? By ERIC ZUESSE

Does the Washington Establishment Seek War with Russia?

Which Is scary to Washington’s Establishment: a U.S. President who wants to reach new agreements with Russia, or a U.S. President who wants to replace all of Russia’s allies?

 | 31.03.2017 | OPINION

What we’ve been having recently is solely Presidents who want to replace all of Russia’s allies — and they’ve been succeeding at that:
We replaced Saddam Hussein.
We replaced Muammar Gaddafi.
We replaced Viktor Yanukovych.
We’re still trying to replace Bashar al-Assad, and also Iran’s leadership.
There’s question as to whether U.S. President Donald Trump will continue that string, and many in the press consider him to be too favorable toward Russia.
The newsmedia pick up from the Democrats and the other neoconservatives, and therefore Trump is being pressed hard on his being ‘Putin’s stooge’ or even ‘Putin’s Manchurian candidate,’ though the presumption in those statements is that Russia is doomed to be America’s enemy unless America outright conquers it — and this is a war-mongering and arrogant presumption for the U.S. government to be making about Russia, and it’s also very far from being a realistic assumption about Russia. Will Russia tolerate having all of its allies overthrown by the U.S.? How many more U.S. nuclear missiles will Russia accept being placed near and on its borders in formerly allied countries that now are in NATO — the anti-Russia military club?
Trump made clear during his campaign, that he wants to be allied with Putin’s consistent war against “radical Islamic terrorism” — no one can challenge that Putin has always, and consistently, been uncompromisingly determined to oppose that — never to arm nor train jihadists like the U.S. and its Saudi ‘ally’ the Saud family, do (in order to overthrow Russia’s allies).
So: which of the two is scary — the Hillary Clinton and John McCain crowd, the neocons, who want to crush Russia; or, the few people in Washington who (at least until Trump became elected) were that crowd’s enemies?
As soon as Trump became elected, his fear of being dubbed ‘Putin’s stooge’ or ‘Putin’s Manchurian candidate’ caused him to appoint a national-security team who were hell-bent on replacing Russia’s remaining allies, Iran and Syria. But even this hasn’t been enough to satisfy the neocons who run both Parties, and the newsmedia. Trump has been trying to accommodate the people who are doing all they can to bring him down, but it doesn’t seem to be appeasing them. The Washington Establishment has terrified him away from his campaign promise of creating an alliance with Russia to cooperate together in wiping out jihadism — and jihadism is something that didn’t even exist in modern times until the U.S. and its Saud allies introduced it into Afghanistan in 1979 to overthrow the secular, Soviet-allied leader of that country, Nur Muhammed Taraki. This joint effort with the Sauds created jihadism in the modern age. Zbigniew Brzezinski said of his and the CIA’s and the Sauds’ achievement, in a 1998 interview, “Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?” It became the model for what they’re now doing to Syria. 
Trump had said that his top national-security priority would be against jihadism, not against Russia and its allies. But so far, his foreign policy in this regard seems more like what had been widely anticipated in the event of a Hillary Clinton win. (Even Trump’s focus against “radical Islamic terrorism” is directed almost exclusively against seven mainly Shiite nations that America’s Saudi allies — who are fundamentalist Sunnis and hate Shia muslims — despise. And two of those Shiite-run nations, Iran and Syria, are backed by Russia; so, Trump might just be continuing his predecessor’s pro-Saud policy there.) Yet nonetheless, the neoconservatives press on with investigations of whether Trump is a secret Russian agent.
What does the Washington Establishment really want? What is their real demand? Putin’s head on a stake? Or do they really want Trump’s head on a stake, for some entirely different reason? The motivations that they are stating for wanting to replace Trump by his Vice President, Mike Pence — a rabid neoconservative — don’t make sense, and the ‘evidence’ they’re basing this campaign on, is, as of yet, after months of trying, still more smears than authentic evidence. Clearly, there are ulterior motives behind it. And they seem to be winning — whatever their real motivations are.
I sincerely hope Eric Zuesse is mistaken! (Blogger)

7 Chinese Statecraft Tips for the Trump Administration

7 Chinese Statecraft Tips for the Trump Administration
That's the spirit! (Blogger)

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 01.04.2017

The White House needs to develop a strategy for China's rising power before Trump meets with Xi Jinping

If there’s a moment that should give Americans pause, it is Donald Trump, real-estate mogul and international ingénue, meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping, son of Mao Zedong confidante and victim of the Cultural Revolution, who climbed atop the world’s biggest political heap. Xi knows as much about Middle America as the U.S. president, having once spent time with a typical Midwestern family.
President Trump does not appear to be a man who devotes much time to preparing. But much depends on him learning about both China and Xi, particularly what motivates them. Forget Russia for a few days. The most important bilateral relationship in the world is that between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China.
The starting point should be to hire a few people to staff the State Department and other agencies. No secretary of state, no matter how talented and knowledgeable, can manage U.S. foreign policy alone. And the U.S.-China relationship is particularly complex.
Washington needs a strategy to deal with Asia’s rising power. Priorities must be set, trade-offs need to be evaluated and deals should be offered. Chinese responses ought to be predicted and gamed. Appropriate means must be developed to advance serious ends.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson isn’t going to draft the relevant memos. President Trump certainly won’t do so. And no one should want Steve Bannon, who already predicts war with China, to do so. Someone who knows something about China and Asia needs to bridge the gap between the State Department’s permanent employees and the secretary.
If the administration knows that it won’t be ready, then it should postpone the summit. Xi will be prepared. And he will be backed by a bureaucratic phalanx. Beijing will have an agenda and a strategy to advance its interests—so must Trump and company.
First, the administration must recognize that it can’t “win” on every issue. What is most important to the president? Limiting Chinese exports, defenestrating North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, deterring Beijing’s truculent maritime practices, raising Taiwan’s profile, restricting the Xi government’s economic advance in Africa or something else? Treating everything as if it is essential means that nothing is essential. Talking about everything means nothing will be decided.
Second, confrontation and military threats are likely to end badly. The U.S. armed forces are far more powerful than the People’s Liberation Army, but China has far more at stake in its neighborhood and therefore is willing to spend and risk far more to protect its interests. Moreover, Xi and the rest of China’s leadership direct a rising, nationalistic power not inclined to be bullied. President Trump should review the experience of a president he admires, Andrew Jackson. Washington can—and should—communicate its willingness to back vital interests with force, but do so “diplomatically.”
Third, the president needs to learn the art of diplomacy, and quickly. China might moderate how it pursues its territorial claims in the Asia-Pacific region, but will require something in return. Beijing is irritated with Pyongyang’s behavior, but to be convinced to apply greater pressure requires the United States to address the China’s interests and concerns. Demanding, which the administration often does, is different than persuading, which is actually necessary when dealing with a great power like China.
Fourth, President Trump should separate the interests of the United States and its allies, as well as distinguish between essential and peripheral concerns. Allies should be a means to an end, the defense of the United States. Washington shouldn’t protect other nations as an act of charity, especially against a nuclear-armed power. Moreover, America’s principle interest in, say, Japan and the Philippines is preserving their independence, not their control of unimportant and contested islets. Not much should be treated as worth war with the Chinese.
Fifth, the president should adapt U.S. policy in expectation that friendly states will do far more on behalf of their own interests. If the Philippines wants to go ship-to-ship with the Chinese (as it has done in the past and likely will do in the post-Duterte era), then it needs an effective navy, rather than relying on America’s fleet. Japan needs to be willing to employ the navy that it has. Changed circumstances warrant changed policies.
Sixth, the president should recognize that cheap imports are as much a benefit as expensive exports. Average folks, at least those not living on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, benefit from a lower cost of living. Exporters also do better when they purchase intermediate goods for less. And unless the Chinese start burning the dollars they collect for their exports, which actually would be great from an American standpoint, the money will come back to the United States as purchases or investments. There are issues worth bilateral negotiation, such as Chinese barriers to U.S. investment, but attempting to “balance” trade is simultaneously quixotic and harmful.
Seventh, it is vital to develop a generally civil and cooperative U.S.-China relationship. Differences are inevitable but conflict is not. Nevertheless, established, status-quo states usually hate to yield to rising powers. Beijing does not threaten the territory, population, wealth, or liberty of the United States. Rather, China is contesting American dominance along its border. That may be advantageous for the United States, but is hardly a vital concern worth war. And there is no reason to believe the participants would stop at one fight. France and Germany fought three times between 1870 and 1945. It took two horrendous global wars to determine Berlin’s place in the international order. Washington and Beijing should not go down a similar road.
The first meeting of the presidents from the world’s two most important nations is a major diplomatic moment. The leaders may not forestall future disputes, but hopefully they will create a process and relationship which make future solutions possible. To succeed, President Trump needs to become something he’s never been—a knowledgeable statesman. Much depends on his ability to surprise the rest of us with his transformation.