Posted by hkarner - 22. Februar 2017
Source: The New York Times
Emmanuel Macron, a French presidential candidate. The head of his party said Mr. Macron had been targeted by Russian news channels.
BRUSSELS — They scan websites and pore over social media, combing through hundreds of reports a day. But the bogus claims just keep coming.
Germans are fleeing their country, fearful of Muslim refugees. The Swedish government supports the Islamic State. The European Union has drafted rules to regulate the ethnicity of snowmen.
In their open-plan office overlooking a major thoroughfare in Brussels, an 11-person team known as East Stratcom, serves as Europe’s front line against this onslaught of fake news.
Created by the European Union to address “Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns,” the team — composed of diplomats, bureaucrats and former journalists — tracks down reports to determine whether they are fake. Then, it debunks the stories for hapless readers. In the 16 months since the team has been on the job, it has discredited 2,500 stories, many with links to Russia.
In a year when the French, Germans and Dutch will elect leaders, the European authorities are scrambling to counter a rising tide of fake news and anti-European Union propaganda aimed at destabilizing people’s trust in institutions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: East Stratcom, Europe, Fake News, Macron, NYT, Russia | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 17. Februar 2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Decision to withhold information underscores deep mistrust between intelligence community and president
U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter.
The officials’ decision to keep information from Mr. Trump underscores the deep mistrust that has developed between the intelligence community and the president over his team’s contacts with the Russian government, as well as the enmity he has shown toward U.S. spy agencies. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump accused the agencies of leaking information to undermine him.
In some of these cases of withheld information, officials have decided not to show Mr. Trump the sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information, the current and former officials said. Those sources and methods could include, for instance, the means that an agency uses to spy on a foreign government. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: Intelligence, Russia, Spies, Trump, WSJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2017
Anders Åslund is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington. He is the author of Ukraine: What Went Wrong and How to Fix It and, most recently, Europe’s Growth Challenge (with Simeon Djankov).
FEB 7, 2017 Project Syndicate
MOSCOW – After more than two years of economic contraction, Russia seems to have achieved some semblance of stability. Though economic growth is expected to reach only about 1% in 2017, the fear of economic destabilization that has permeated the country since its 2014 invasion of Crimea – which was met with crippling sanctions from the West – has all but evaporated. The combination of foreign-policy optimism, creature comforts, and domestic repression seems to be a potent elixir.
Just as in Leonid Brezhnev’s time, foreign policy is overshadowing Russia’s domestic politics. Unlike then, however, Russia’s prospects are looking up. US President Donald Trump has made clear his desire to improve relations with the Kremlin, and will reportedly meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June.
The French presidential election, set for April, may also go Russia’s way. Both the center-right candidate, François Fillon, and the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, are ardent friends of Putin, though centrist Emmanuel Macron, who is not, also stands a chance. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: Aslund, Project Syndicate, Russia, Trump | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 31. Januar 2017
Source: Foreign Affairs
Subject: Looking to Germany
With U.S. President Donald Trump poised to pull the United States back from global leadership and with the United Kingdom mired in a messy withdrawal from the European Union, Germany has emerged as the central economic and political power in Europe. Since German President Joachim Gauck’s much-lauded speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2014—“Let us thus not turn a blind eye,” he intoned, “not run from threats, but instead stand firm”—the country has shown its commitment to ensuring its own security and the continent’s. It has agreed to gradually increase its defense spending to reach NATO’s target of two percent of GDP and to create a credible European defense system. It made a unilateral decision in early 2015, for example, to send the Bundeswehr on a training mission to the north of Iraq and to join the military campaign against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) after France invoked the mutual defense clause of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty following the terrorist attacks on Paris in November 2015. Berlin has continued to help manage the crisis on Europe’s southern periphery, in Syria and Iraq, becoming a reliable partner to Washington at a time when the United States had significantly retrenched under former President Barack Obama. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: Foreign Affairs, Germany, Russia, USA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 25. Januar 2017
Robert Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University and a fellow of the British Academy in history and economics, is a member of the British House of Lords. The author of a three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes, he began his political career in the Labour party, became the Conservative Party’s spokesman for Treasury affairs in the House of Lords, and was eventually forced out of the Conservative Party for his opposition to NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999.
JAN 24, 2017, Project Syndicate
LONDON – The question of the West’s relationship with Russia has been buried by media stories of hacking, sex scandals, and potential blackmail. The dossier by former British spy Christopher Steele about US President Donald Trump’s activities in Moscow some years ago may turn out to be as credible as the claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction – or it may not. We simply don’t know. What is clear is that such stories have distracted attention from the task of bridging the diplomatic chasm now dividing Russia and the West.
It’s hard for a Westerner, even one of Russian ancestry like me, to warm to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I hate the way his government has used the “foreign agent” law to harass and effectively close down NGOs. I hate its human-rights abuses, assassinations, dirty tricks, and criminal prosecutions to intimidate political opponents.
What seems indisputable is that today’s anti-liberal, authoritarian Russia is as much a product of the souring of relations with the West as it is of Russian history or the threat of disintegration that Russia faced in the 1990s.
This souring is rooted in Russia’s perception, underpinned by a large dose of paranoia and a misreading of post-communist history, that the West – and the United States, in particular – has aggressive designs on it. It is simply not true that Russia willingly gave up its empire to join the democratic West, only to be rebuffed by it. The Soviet Union had become too decrepit to hold on to its post-World War II gains or even its pre-war frontiers. The peoples of Eastern Europe, and those absorbed by the Soviet Union, were delighted to be free of Kremlin control.
Nonetheless, as Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, points out, Robert Gates, who headed the CIA in the early 1990s, later conceded that the West, and particularly the US, “badly underestimated the magnitude of Russian humiliation in losing the Cold War.” The spectacle of “American government officials, academicians, businessmen, and politicians” arrogantly “telling the Russians how to conduct their […] affairs” inevitably “led to deep and long-term resentment and bitterness.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: Project Syndicate, Russia, Skidelsky | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 18. Januar 2017
Nina L. Khrushcheva
Nina L. Khrushcheva, the author of Imagining Nabokov: Russia Between Art and Politics and The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind, is Professor of International Affairs and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at The New School and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute.
JAN 17, 2017 Project Syndicate
NEW YORK – I hate agreeing with Vladimir Putin, even a little. Russia’s president is dragging his country – the country of my birth – backwards, and falsely argues that violating international law is somehow good for Russians. But the hysterical response of Americans to the Kremlin’s alleged efforts to influence the US presidential election has forced me to look at things from Putin’s perspective.
To be sure, the US intelligence agencies’ allegations that Russia purveyed fake news and released hacked emails, in order to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances against Donald Trump, are not baseless. It is certainly in Putin’s character to purloin secrets and create disinformation; he was a KGB operative, after all.
Likewise, the accusations that Putin is holding a dossier of compromising material on Trump, though uncorroborated, also ring true. It would make little sense for Russia to spare Trump, of all people, from its schemes. And, beyond Trump, Republican Party leaders must know that if Russia hacked the Democrats, their own servers must have been hacked, too. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: KHRUSHCHEVA, Project Syndicate, Putin, Russia, USA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 11. Januar 2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Kremlin Dismisses U.S. Intelligence Report on Hacking as ‘Witch Hunt’
Assertions that Russia tried to undermine elections called ‘tiresome
MOSCOW—A Kremlin spokesman dismissed an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community regarding Moscow’s alleged role in the U.S. elections as “amateur,” Russian news agencies said Monday.
“These accusations are quite tiresome,” the spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Russian news outlets. “This is already reminiscent of a full-scale witch hunt.”
U.S. intelligence officials released a report Friday leveling broad accusations against Russia for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and describing what it said were attempts by Moscow to carry out cyberattacks to undermine the November elections.
Russian officials had little initial comment on the report, which was made public at the end of the country’s weeklong New Year holiday. But on Monday, they were ridiculing the Obama administration and U.S. intelligence agencies.
“These absolutely unsubstantiated allegations sound rather amateur and emotional, which is hardly applicable to the highly professional work of truly top-notch security services,” Mr. Peskov said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: Russia, Trump, USA, WSJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 5. Januar 2017
Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, is Vice President of the Toledo International Center for Peace. He is the author Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy.
JAN 4, 2017 Project Syndicate
NEW YORK – Some in the United States have praised President-elect Donald Trump for his supposed realism. He will do what is right for America, they argue, without getting caught up in thorny moral dilemmas, or letting himself be carried away by some grand sense of responsibility for the rest of the world. By acting with the shrewd pragmatism of a businessman, he will make America stronger and more prosperous.
This view is, to be frank, delusional.
It is certainly true that Trump will not be caught up in questions of morality. He is precisely what the Greek historian Thucydides defined as an immoral leader: one of “violent character” who “wins over the people by deceiving them” and by exploiting “their angry feelings and emotions.”
But immorality is neither desirable nor a necessary feature of realism. (Thucydides himself was an ethical realist.) And there is little to suggest that Trump has any of the other realist qualities that his supporters see. How could anyone expect the proudly unpredictable and deeply uninformed Trump to execute grand strategic designs, such as the Realpolitik recommended by Harvard’s Niall Ferguson, Henry Kissinger’s biographer, following the election?
Ferguson, like Kissinger, believes that true Realpolitik under Trump should begin with an alliance among the US, China, and Russia, based on a mutual fear of Islamic extremism and a shared desire to exploit lesser powers to boost their own economies. These countries would agree to prevent Europe from attaining great-power status (by destroying the European Union), and to ensure that populist or authoritarian governments control the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: Ben-Ami, china, Ferguson, Project Syndicate, Russia, Trump, USA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 1. Januar 2017
Jeffrey D. Sachs
Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is also Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, and, most recently, The Age of Sustainable Development.
DEC 29, 2016 Project Syndicate
NEW YORK – American foreign policy is at a crossroads. The United States has been an expanding power since its start in 1789. It battled its way across North America in the nineteenth century and gained global dominance in the second half of the twentieth. But now, facing China’s rise, India’s dynamism, Africa’s soaring populations and economic stirrings, Russia’s refusal to bend to its will, its own inability to control events in the Middle East, and Latin America’s determination to be free of its de facto hegemony, US power has reached its limits.
One path for the US is global cooperation. The other is a burst of militarism in response to frustrated ambitions. The future of the US, and of the world, hangs on this choice. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: china, Multipolar, Project Syndicate, Russia, Sachs, Trump, USA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 31. Dezember 2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Conservative fiscal and monetary policies, plus an autocrat’s ability to impose austerity measures, keep Russia afloat where the Soviet Union sank
“Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart,” Russian President Vladimir Putin famously said in 2010. But he quickly added, “Whoever wants it back has no brain.”
Mr. Putin isn’t usually known as a savvy economic steward. Yet as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s collapse this week, his famed comments sum up the increasingly clear results of an epic historical experiment. To run that experiment, first, take two authoritarian regimes based in Moscow, one rooted in state-run socialism, the other in crony capitalism. Next, expose them both to a series of shocks: low oil prices, costly military adventures abroad, confrontation with the West and a sluggish economy in which political dictates override market forces. Then wait several years to see which regime survives.
When the Soviet Union confronted this array of challenges in the mid-1980s, it promptly collapsed. But facing very similar forces today, Mr. Putin’s government has survived—even thrived. What has made the difference, above all, is Mr. Putin’s devotion to conservative fiscal and monetary policies, coupled with an authoritarian’s ability to implement austerity measures without consulting his population. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: Debt, Economy, Growth, Miller, Putin, Russia, WSJ | Leave a Comment »