Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 14.10.16

Massenbach-Letter. News

· George Friedman: Is the 2016 Presidential Election Unique? * Die Widersprüche der Hillary Clinton


· Control over energy resources is key in regional domestic conflicts * Targeting leadership in the war against ISIS * Iran * Syria.

· Carnegie Moscow Center: Kremlin-Duma Reshuffle Offers False Hope to Russian Reformers

· Papst ernennt Kardinäle. Nuntius in Syrien erhält Purpur

· Russland verspricht Turkish-Stream-Abkommen für Mitte Oktober * Security Risks and Challenges: A View from Bulgaria *

· In Georgia, a Parliamentary Race to Stay the Course

· How the British Government Tries to Stop Youth From Becoming Terrorists

· Nick Butler: The Saudis’ strategic failure


· Bundeswehr zwischen Wollen und Können * Berlin und Paris tun sich militärisch zusammen – in gemeinsamer Lufttransport-Staffel

· The War of Ramadan and Yom Kippur

· „Das Berufsleben einer Frau wäre für jeden Mann eine Katastrophe…“.

Massenbach*The War of Ramadan and Yom Kippur Geopolitical Futures logo

Oct. 7, 2016 The conflict taught all sides indispensable lessons.

By George Friedman

Yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. It was the war that created the modern geopolitical configuration of Israel’s borders and it is worth stopping to consider it. Its outcome led to the Camp David Accords, which ended the state of war between Israel and Egypt, and it cemented the regime of Hafez al-Assad in Syria.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat conceived of the war for three reasons. First, Israel’s defeat of Egypt in 1967 cost it the Sinai Peninsula and created a sense of hopelessness and cynicism among the Egyptian people that threatened the stability of the regime. Second, in the six years since 1967, the Soviets kept a crippled Egypt dependent on them and demonstrated that they were incapable of helping Egypt defeat the Israelis. Third, Sadat realized not only that the simmering hostilities with Israel were pointless, but that only the United States could facilitate a respectable conclusion to a conflict.

Former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (L) shakes hands with former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter looks on Sept. 6,1978 at Camp David, the U.S. presidential retreat in Maryland. Egypt began peace initiatives with Israel in late 1977, when Sadat visited Jerusalem. A year later, with the help of Carter, terms of peace between Egypt and Israel were negotiated at Camp David.

Sadat also knew there could be no negotiation with Israel unless Israel was shocked out of its sense of omnipotence. To do this, Egypt did not have to win a war. But it had to force Israel to look into the abyss, by creating a stunningly unexpected circumstance that would at least appear to be catastrophic. What Egypt needed to do was stun Israel with an attack over the Suez Canal, which would both surprise Israel and appear to threaten its fundamental security.

From the beginning, Sadat knew Egypt could not destroy Israel. Egypt could frighten Israel, but to frighten it Sadat needed the cooperation of the Syrians. This was dictated by geography. Crossing the canal would not threaten Israel proper. But if Syria launched a surprise attack on the Golan Heights, it could very quickly threaten northern Israel. A defeat on the Golan would leave the north undefended long enough to frighten the Israelis with direct occupation of part of Israel by an Arab army. Bringing Syria in raised security issues, since Assad played many hands in every game. Without a Syrian attack, there would be alarm, but not the panic Sadat sought.

Sadat did not trust the Soviets and ordered them to leave prior to the attack. Egypt deployed a force of hundreds of thousands on the western side of the Suez Canal, and Israeli intelligence completely misread what was happening. The Israelis operated under the impression that Egypt would never attack until it could neutralize Israeli air superiority. What they failed to see was that Soviet surface-to-air missiles had neutralized Israeli air security. As with all intelligence organizations, information has no value unless it is properly analyzed. Israel had superb collectors and amateur analysts.

Sadat attacked on Yom Kippur, a day many Israelis were in synagogue. The Israelis had not mobilized during the buildup, prior to the attack. Peacetime forces manned the Suez line and the Golan. The attack started in the afternoon on both fronts. The initial attacks were brilliantly executed. Egypt crossed the canal and seized the fortifications on the east bank. The Syrians deployed multiple armored divisions to attack a handful of defenders. As night fell, Sadat succeeded in panicking the Israelis. Israel went into emergency mobilization. Rumors were flying. While the Egyptians consolidated their position on the east bank of the Suez, the Syrian armor moved toward the escarpment of the Golan. There were only a handful of Israeli defenders to stop them, and if they failed the Galilee was wide open. The Israelis looked into the abyss that Sadat built for them that night.

That handful of Israelis stopped the Syrians. More precisely, an army trained by Soviet doctrine stopped itself. Soviets planned battles meticulously and local initiative disrupted plans. For a battle against an inferior enemy, toward the end of World War II, this planning was rational. Against a well-trained and motivated enemy like the Israelis, excessive planning was suicide. Even though junior officers realized that resistance was light and that a rush, however disorderly, could overwhelm or bypass them and allow the Syrians to pass into the Jordan Valley below, senior command refused to change the plan. The slow methodical advance continued slowly and methodically, crippling itself and allowing it to be stopped by a handful of troops. By the morning, there were reinforcements on the Israeli side and the threat was halted.

It was at this point that the Americans got involved. They wanted the Soviets out of Egypt. They did not want Sadat overthrown because the Soviets might be invited back. The Americans did not want the naval base in Alexandria in Soviet hands. So, they needed to protect Sadat. Sadat was not doing badly. Another Israeli miscalculation was the utility of the AT-3 Sagger, a wire-guided anti-tank missile fired by Egyptian special forces that decimated the first Israeli armored counterattacks. But the Israeli army was simply better than the Egyptian army and in time, it would defeat it. The U.S. knew that, but it didn’t want a defeat too devastating or too quick.

The Israelis asked the U.S. for aircraft to replace those shot down, and above all, 155 mm artillery shells that they were running low on because they did not anticipate the need to go on the offensive against massed forces. They thought they would always have the initiative and that highly mobile forces were enough. The U.S. delayed sending the artillery shells. The sooner the Israelis had those shells, the sooner they would defeat the Egyptians (the Syrians were lost as soon as their plan went off the tracks). The U.S. finally started the airlift that allowed them to prevail and the tide turned in the Sinai as well.

The U.S. saw a huge opportunity. It had defeated the Soviets in a proxy war in Turkey and Greece in the 1940s. The Soviets had responded by cultivating pro-Soviet regimes in Syria, Iraq and Egypt and using the threat of Israel to cement the relationship. The Soviets did not want a settlement between Arabs and Israelis, as it would undermine their utility to these regimes. The Americans did not want Syria and Iraq to threaten Turkey from the south. Turkey blocked a sustained Soviet naval presence in the Mediterranean. Iran tied down Iraq. Israel tied down Syria. The U.S. had supplied almost no weapons to Israel prior to 1967. After France abandoned its relationship with Israel, the U.S. stepped in, not only because it wanted to threaten Syria, but because Israel was vital in maintaining U.S. control of the eastern Mediterranean.

But this moment gave the U.S. the opportunity to keep the Soviets out of Egypt, and the U.S. was not letting the chance pass. The U.S. wanted Sadat to become a hero, but it also wanted to make him reach out to the U.S. to save him. This difficult maneuver took rearming the Israelis, having the Israelis cross the border and cut off the Egyptian army and then having the U.S. intervene and conduct negotiations for an Israeli withdrawal from blocking positions west of the canal. For this, Sadat had to be willing to directly negotiate with Israel for the first time on this matter.

The result of the war was critical. The Soviet position in Egypt collapsed, and its only real asset on the Mediterranean was now the Assad regime, which also depended on the Soviets for its security. Egypt became an American ally and ultimately signed the Camp David Accords. As a result, Israel has not had a conventional threat against it since 1978. Jordan was quietly allied with Israel. Syria was too weak to act. Egypt, the main Arab power, ceased to be a threat. For the first times since its founding, Israel was secure from existential threats.

The war depended on an Israeli intelligence failure, and Sadat properly read Israel as blinded by its victory in 1967. That was a brilliant victory never repeated. Israel has not fought a full-scale existential war in 43 years. But it must be remembered that this was not the result of Israeli prowess, but of Egypt’s insightful read on the situation and the United States taking full advantage of the opportunity. The memory of failure and the sight of the abyss is remembered only by those Israelis older than 60. Israeli military doctrine is that it will not have to fight a conventional existential war, but only much lesser wars.

In 1973, Egypt showed how to take a weak position, and ultimately a defeat, and turn it into political victory. For Israel, the lesson should be that a strategic policy based on the assumption of omniscient intelligence and omnipotent forces is dangerous. For the United States, the lesson was that sending forces into the Middle East is a bad idea, while understanding and managing the players is a good one.

The 1973 war was very important. It taught the need for subtlety and fear. It introduced a generation of precision-guided munitions. It was a lesson for nations who depend on other nations for their weapons. It was a lesson for a generation of soldiers on both sides that survival is in the hands of history and chance, and not in theirs. This is taught by all wars and forgotten as the memory of war turns into nostalgia and recollections of terror fade into heroic works of art. This war leaves much to be considered not only in the Middle East, but to those who believe weapons are superior to subtlety in war.


From our Russian news desk:(attachment)

· Control over energy resources is key in regional domestic conflicts * Targeting leadership in the war against ISIS * Iran * Syria.


· Russland verspricht Turkish-Stream-Abkommen für Mitte Oktober

09.10.2016(aktualisiert 13:07 09.10.2016) Moskau und Ankara wollen im Rahmen der Sitzung der bilateralen Regierungskommission für Handels- und Wirtschaftskooperation vom 10 bis 12. Oktober in Istanbul ein Abkommen zum geplanten Turkish- Stream-Projekt abschließen, wie der russische Energieminister Alexander Nowak am Sonntag mitteilte.„Der Entwurf des Regierungsabkommens ist bereits fertig. Die russische Seite unterhält zurzeit aktive Kontakte mit Ankara, um die restlichen Fragen zu vereinbaren. Es gibt die Chance, das Abkommen zu unterzeichnen“, wird Nowak von der türkischen Zeitung Hurriyet zitiert. Das Projekt war im Dezember 2014 beschlossen worden. Geplant sind vier Stränge mit einer gesamten Durchsatzkapazität von bis zu 63 Milliarden Kubikmeter pro Jahr. 16 Milliarden Kubikmeter davon waren unmittelbar für die Türkei bestimmt, die übrigen 47 Milliarden Kubikmeter sollten einem künftigen Gashub an der türkisch-griechischen Grenze zufließen. Später wurde die geplante Leistung der Pipeline halbiert. Nach dem Abschuss eines russischen Kampfjets durch die türkische Luftwaffe Ende November 2015 wurden die Gespräche eingestellt. Gestoppt wurde auch die Tätigkeit der russisch-türkischen Regierungskommission für Zusammenarbeit in Handel und Wirtschaft, die eigentlich für die Realisierung des Gasprojekts zuständig war. Im Juni hatte sich Erdogan für den Jet-Abschuss entschuldigt. Danach beauftragte der russische Präsident Wladimir Putin das Kabinett, die Verhandlungen mit der Türkei über die Wiederherstellung der bilateralen Zusammenarbeit aufzunehmen.

· Security Risks and Challenges: A View from Bulgaria

24 October, 0900 – 1000
RUSI, 61 Whitehall, SW1A 2ET

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, H.E. Mr Daniel Mitov, will give a speech on the challenges facing the south-eastern flank of NATO and the EU.

Bordering Greece and Turkey, Bulgaria has had a close-up view of the impact of the migration crisis, and the toll it has taken on Western unity, whether that is within NATO or the EU. It has also viewed with caution the turmoil arising from the recent coup attempt in Turkey, which has caused fractures in NATO and called into question Turkey’s accession to the EU. Adding to this, the increasing militarisation of the Black Sea and Russia’s growing confidence across the region has been the subject of much discussion in Sofia.

To discuss these growing issues in greater detail and to also hear how Bulgaria views Britain’s historic decision to leave the EU at this critical juncture, H.E. Mr Daniel Mitov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Bulgaria, will give his thoughts in a wide-ranging speech on the south-eastern flank of NATO and the EU.

This event will be chaired by Dr Jonathan Eyal, Associate Director for Strategic Research Partnerships and International Director of RUSI.

· “I spend a lot of time reading about safety systems and risk management, which is a fascinating and under-reported issue. Companies in high-risk industries ranging from aviation to pipelines and transportation spend an enormous amount of time and money trying to identify and reduce a whole range of catastrophic risks (“Managing the risks of organizational accidents”, Reason, 1997). But it is very hard for any company to eliminate the threats from deliberate and coordinated sabotage. Shutting down a high pressure pipeline was unbelievably stupid and dangerous and relied on pipeline company staff reacting promptly and correctly to pressure-monitoring and material-balance alarms (“Pipeline accident report: Enbridge hazardous liquid pipeline rupture and release at Marshall”, NTSB, 2012). While the protestors no doubt hoped to make a point, what next: attempting to shut down a nuclear power plant to protest against nuclear power? Or targeting critical power lines and transformers in an attempt to shut down the power grid?

· John Kemp – Senior Market Analyst – Reuters

· Papst ernennt Kardinäle. Nuntius in Syrien erhält Purpur.

U.a. erhält der Papstbotschafter in Damaskus, Erzbischof Mario Zenari, das Kardinalspurpur. Die Ernennung eines amtierenden Nuntius ist außergewöhnlich, zudem der Papst eigens betonte, dass Zenari auf dem Posten bleiben wird. Beobachter werten die Ernennung als Ausdruck der hohen Bedeutung, die der Papst dem Syrienkonflikt zuschreibt.


· In Georgia, a Parliamentary Race to Stay the Course


Over the past two decades, parliamentary elections in Georgia have brought their share of excitement and international attention to the country. The 2003 vote, for instance, precipitated the so-called Rose Revolution, which ousted longtime President Eduard Shevardnadze and eventually brought Mikhail Saakashvili and his United National Movement (UNM) to power. In 2012, the country’s parliamentary race again found the spotlight when the newly formed Georgian Dream coalition of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili — then Georgia’s prime minister — wrested control of the legislature from the UNM. On Oct. 8, Georgia will hold its first parliamentary elections since Georgian Dream took Parliament by storm. But this time around, the vote promises more continuity than change.


As with the last parliamentary elections, Georgian Dream and the UNM are the main contenders this year to gain the most seats. Though several small pro-Russia parties formed in the lead-up to the elections, only a few of them were permitted to run candidates, and polls suggest that support for them will be slim. Likewise, former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania’s Free Democrats party, which ran as part of the Georgian Dream coalition in 2012, is expected to receive less than 5 percent of the vote. The ruling party, meanwhile, is polling around 30 percent, about 10 to 15 points higher than the UNM. The two parties disagree nearly across the board when it comes to internal affairs, but they have a major foreign policy goal in common: joining Western military and political alliances.

Despite the economic problems that Georgia has faced for the past four years, Georgian Dream has managed to maintain its popularity, thanks in large part to its rules-based governance. The Georgian Dream government also restored economic ties with Russia, which had suffered during Saakashvili’s tenure when Moscow imposed a ban on Georgian agricultural products — the country’s main exports. In addition, the party’s foreign policy, the second most important issue for Georgian voters (behind the economy), appeals to the electorate. The UNM is considered more radical in its views on remilitarization and integration into international alliances such as NATO and the European Union. Its tough stance on Moscow, moreover, has led to trouble in the past, as in the case of the trade embargo and the short-lived 2008 war with Russia. By contrast, Georgian Dream took a more conciliatory approach to Russia, resuming regular bilateral meetings with the country.


For the international community, as well as for Georgian voters, this puts the party at an advantage over the UNM. Several foreign ambassadors to Georgia, including that of the United States, have openly endorsed Georgian Dream’s domestic and foreign policies. Given the already strained state of their relations with Russia, Europe and the United States are hesitant to support the UNM. After all, amid the standoff with Russia over Ukraine and NATO’s military buildup in Eastern Europe, the last thing they want is for the Georgian government to incite conflict with Moscow. For much the same reason, the Western powers are relieved that Georgian Dream is pursuing NATO and EU membership less aggressively than its main opponent has. Tbilisi is virtually surrounded by Russian forces in South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Gyumri, Armenia — overall about 15,000 troops with modern military equipment. Coming to Georgia’s defense in the event of another conflict with Russia is not an appealing prospect for NATO. For Russia, too, another Georgian Dream-led government would be a boon, since Moscow would rather avoid exacerbating its confrontation with the West. Even so, Russia understands that the party has moved its country closer to the European Union and NATO by signing association, free trade and intergovernmental military agreements and by allowing a NATO training center on its soil.

Their divergences notwithstanding, neither Georgian Dream nor the UNM will veer too far from Georgia’s current foreign policy course, no matter which one wins the most seats in Parliament. Both parties will continue to push Georgia toward accession into NATO and the European Union, however distant that goal may be.


Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* Berufsleben einer Frau wäre für jeden Mann eine Katastrophe, sagt der Karriereberater Martin Wehrle. Er kritisiert eine heuchlerische Arbeitskultur, die „Frauenförderung“ verspricht, aber Männerwirtschaft fördert.

****************************************************************************************************************** Politics: From Vision to Action

Barandat* Bundeswehr zwischen Wollen und Können

von: Michael Wolffsohn* Maximilian Beenisch

Datum: 10.10.2016 14:20 Uhr

Die Bundeswehr steckt in der Krise. Sie muss sich neu ausrichten, um den aktuellen Sicherheitsanforderungen gerecht zu werden. Dabei spielen steigende Kosten und Personalmangel eine zentrale Rolle. Ein Gastbeitrag.

Auch eine Frage der Ausrüstung

Ein Bundeswehrsoldat der Schnellen Eingreiftruppe in Masar-i-Scharif (Afghanistan). Viele Kameraden sind längst nicht so gut ausgerüstet wie die Spezialeinheit.

Plötzlich ist Sicherheit ein deutsches Thema. „Das“ Thema. Sowohl die Sicherheit nach innen als auch die Sicherheit nach außen. Die Gründe kennt jeder: Terror und mögliche Bedrohungen von außen treffen und betreffen Deutschland und Westeuropa mehr als je zuvor in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten.

Sicherheit nach innen ist Aufgabe der Polizei, Sicherheit nach außen Aufgabe des Militärs. Ergo stehen Polizei und Bundeswehr nicht nur im Blickpunkt der Öffentlichkeit. Sie werden – man staune nicht – erstmals seit langem in der allgemeinen Debatte mit Wohlwollen bedacht. Nur noch für Unbelehrbare sind Polizisten „Bullen“ oder Soldaten „Mörder“. Personal und Material von Polizei und Bundeswehr sollen ausgebaut werden. Das ist neudeutscher Konsens. Schauen wir auf einen Aspekt der Bundeswehr: das Personal.

Ursula von der Leyen kippte mit der starren Personalobergrenze im Mai wieder eine Säule der Bundeswehrreform ihrer beiden Vorgänger. Dies war nicht nur politisch richtig und wichtig, sondern auch militärstrategisch zwingend erforderlich. Sie bewies damit, dass sie mutig und entschlossen genug ist, gravierende Fehler der Vergangenheit zu korrigieren.

Bundeswehr: Wo deutsche Soldaten weltweit im Einsatz sind

Ein Rückblick: Vor genau sechs Jahren hielt der damalige Bundesminister der Verteidigung, Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg, an der Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr eine Grundsatzrede, in der er die Zukunftsstrategie der Bundeswehr skizzierte: „Der mittelfristig höchste strategische Parameter, quasi als Conditio sine qua non, unter dem die Zukunft der Bundeswehr gestaltet werden muss, ist die von mir schon apostrophierte Schuldenbremse, ist das globalökonomisch gebotene und im Verfassungsrang verankerte Staatsziel der Haushaltskonsolidierung, ein Ziel, das uns immer mittelbar wie unmittelbar auch trifft.“

Auf gut Deutsch: Die Bundeswehr kann zukünftig nur so viel leisten, wie sie kosten darf. 2010 waren der arabisch-muslimische Weltbürgerkrieg und Putins Expansionismus bereits unaufhaltsam im Entstehen begriffen. Die politische Führung der Bundeswehr antwortete aus finanziellen Gründen darauf mit Personal- und Material-Obergrenzen. Dass diese Strategie scheitern musste, erscheint aus zweierlei Gründen zwangsläufig:

1. Die außen- und sicherheitspolitischen Kontrahenten Deutschlands interessieren sich nicht für diese oder andere von deutschen Politikern markierte Obergrenzen. Die Ankündigung der Nato, je ein rotierendes, zusätzliches Bataillon (rund 750 Soldaten) in den baltischen Staaten stationieren zu wollen, beantwortete unlängst Russland mit der geplanten Aufstellung von drei Divisionen mit je mehr als 30.000 Soldaten entlang seiner Grenzen.

2. Die Einführung der 41-Stundenwoche hat der Bundeswehrführung gezeigt, dass Arbeitszeit endlich ist. Wenn man also mehr Aufgaben erledigen möchte, kann man nicht mehr die Zeit erhöhen, sondern muss mehr Arbeitskraft investieren.

Wehrpflicht wird Streitthema: Nützliche „Heimatschutzbataillone“ oder „abstruser Stuss“?

Die Bundesregierung erwägt in ihrem neuen Zivilschutzkonzept ein Wiederaufleben der Wehrpflicht. Während Unionspolitiker diese Gedankenspiele begrüßen, spricht ein SPD-Politiker von „abstrusem Stuss“.

Ähnlich kurzsichtig war das geplante Dynamische Verfügbarkeitsmanagement der Bundeswehr. Alle Kampf- und Kampfunterstützungsverbände sollten nur noch rund 35 Prozent ihrer gepanzerten Fahrzeuge behalten. Für Übungen und Ausbildungen hätten die Soldaten zwei Jahre im Voraus zusätzliche Panzer oder Leasingautos aus einem Materialpool buchen müssen. Ganz im Sinne der Guttenberg‘schen Spardoktrin war das ein illusorischer und peinlicher Versuch, Geld durch weniger Fahrzeuge einzusparen.
Von der Leyen ließ das Dynamische Verfügbarkeitsmanagement aufgrund der veränderten Sicherheitslage sinnvollerweise fallen. Zwei Jahre im Voraus lassen sich weltweite Krisen eben nicht planen. Weder in Bezug aufs Personal noch Material.

Sipri-Ranking: Wer am meisten für das Militär ausgibt

  • Weltweit ist im vergangenen Jahr 1,9 Prozent weniger Geld in die Rüstungsindustrie geflossen als 2012. Dennoch haben die Ausgaben stolze 1747 Milliarden US-Dollar betragen – einen immer größeren Teil davon vereinigen die Regionen außerhalb des Westens auf sich. 23 Länder haben in den vergangenen neun Jahren ihre Investitionen ins Militär verdoppelt.
  • Platz 10: Südkorea:

Zwei Ränge ist Südkorea zwischen 2012 und 2013 nach vorne gerückt und befindet sich nun in den Top Ten. 33,9 Milliarden US-Dollar hat sich der Staat sein Militär kosten lassen – 2,8 Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukt. Innerhalb von neun Jahren haben sich die Ausgaben damit um 42 Prozent erhöht. Südkorea steht im Konflikt mit dem diktatorischen Regime in Nordkorea. Zuletzt folgte auf ein nordkoreanisches Seemanöver ein Schusswechsel der beiden Militärs entlang der umstrittenen Seegrenze. Die Spannungen schaukeln sich regelmäßig anhand von Militärmanövern hoch.

  • Platz 9: Indien

Die größte Demokratie der Welt hat essentiell genauso viele Mittel für sein Militär zur Verfügung gestellt wie zuvor. 47,4 Milliarden US-Dollar oder 2,5 des BIP sind in die Armee geflossen. Während Indien am Anfang der 2000er Jahre kräftig aufrüstete, haben andere Sektoren seit 2009/ 2010 Priorität.

  • Platz 8: Japan

Japan hat 2013 fast genauso viel in seine Armee investiert wie im Vorjahr, nämlich 48,6 Milliarden US-Dollar (ein Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts). Innerhalb von neun Jahren sind die Ausgaben damit um 0,2 Prozent zurückgegangen.
In ganz Asien und Ozeanien gab es einen moderaten Zuwachs bei den Militärausgaben von 3,6 Prozent.

  • Platz 7: Deutschland

Die Bundesrepublik rückt vor – zwei Plätze im Ranking des Sipri-Instituts. Als eines der wenigen westlichen Länder hat Deutschland seine Investitionen in den vergangenen neun Jahren um fast vier Prozent gesteigert. 2013 haben die Ausgaben 48,8 Milliarden US-Dollar betragen, 1,4 Prozent des BIP.

  • Platz 6: Großbritannien

Mit 57,9 Milliarden US-Dollar bleibt das Vereinigte Königreich auf Platz sechs der Liste. Immerhin 2,3 Prozent des BIPs wendet Großbritannien dafür auf. Langfristig betrachtet jedoch sind die Ausgaben gesunken – erstmals seit dem zweiten Weltkrieg ist das Land 2011 aus den Top Five ausgeschieden.

  • Platz 5: Frankreich

Frankreich ist einen Rang nach hinten gerutscht. 61,2 Milliarden US-Dollar oder 2,2 Prozent des Bruttoinlandproduktes hat sich die französische Regierung ihr Militär 2013 kosten lassen – angesichts der wirtschaftlichen Lage des Landes eine beachtliche Summe. Der Trend verspricht sich fortzusetzen: Ein Militärplanungsgesetz für 2014-19 sieht vor, dass das Verteidigungsbudget in diesem Zeitraum abzüglich der Gehälter, 252 Milliarden US-Dollar nicht übersteigt. Langfristig betrachtet sind auch die Ausgaben Frankreichs rückläufig.

  • Platz 4: Saudi Arabien

Gleich drei Plätze hat Saudi Arabien innerhalb eines Jahres aufgeholt – und damit den größten Sprung gemacht. 67 Milliarden US-Dollar hat der Etat 2013 betragen – gemessen am BIP gibt das Königreich von den gerankten Ländern gemeinsam mit Oman am meisten für seine Armee aus, nämlich 9,3 Prozent. Innerhalb der vergangenen neun Jahre sind die Aufwendungen um 118 Prozent gestiegen. Doch nicht nur in Saudi Arabien, sondern im gesamten Mittleren Osten geben Regierungen mehr für ihr Militär aus. Den rasantesten Anstieg verzeichnen Irak und Bahrain. Allerdings hat sich die Datenlage verschlechtert, für viele Staaten der Region liegen dem Sipri-Institut keine Zahlen vor.

  • Platz 3: Russland

Das erste Mal seit 2003 hat Russland im vergangenen Jahr einen größeren Anteil seines BIP für das Militär ausgegeben als die Vereinigten Staaten, nämlich 4,1 Prozent. Der russische Präsident Putin implementiert damit den Rüstungsplan des Landes, der Ausgaben in Höhe von 705 Milliarden US-Dollar zwischen 2011 und 2020 vorsieht. Ein Großteil der Ausrüstung soll so mit moderneren Waffen ersetzt werden.

Im vergangenen Jahr hat sich Russland seine Armee 87,8 Milliarden US-Dollar kosten lassen – eine Steigerung von fast fünf Prozent im Vergleich zu 2012.

  • Platz 2: China

Obwohl die Volksrepublik seine Rüstungsausgaben innerhalb von neun Jahren um 170 Prozent gesteigert hat, bleibt sie die Nummer zwei. Die Regierung betreibt eine Strategie der langfristigen Aufrüstung – im Einklang mit den positiven Wirtschaftswachstumsraten. 188 Milliarden US-Dollar hat China allein 2013 für seine Armee aufgewendet. Der bevölkerungsreichste Staat der Welt zeigte sich zuletzt selbstbewusster in den regionalen Konflikten.

Die Ministerin möchte folgerichtig die Zahl der Soldaten um 6.900 zu erhöhen, um den gewachsenen Herausforderungen zu begegnen. Diese Aufgabe ist ähnlich schwierig, wie einen rasenden Zug vor einem nahenden Gleisbruch zum Stehen zu bringen.
Zunächst ist die Zahl der Zeit- und Berufssoldaten in den letzten drei Jahren von 176.000 Soldaten langsam, aber kontinuierlich unter die angestrebte Sollstärke von 170.000 auf aktuell 167.000 Soldaten gefallen. Dies ist Ausdruck des enormen Konkurrenzdrucks des freien Arbeitsmarktes, der es der Bundeswehr vor allem im wirtschaftsstarken Süden erschwert, ausreichend Nachwuchs zu gewinnen.

Zuvor hatte die Bundesregierung aktiv den Abbau der ehemals 195.000 Zeit- und Berufssoldaten mit ihrem Reformbegleitgesetz eingeleitet. Anhand der sogenannten Altersbänder 1 bis 3 wurde es Zeit- und Berufssoldaten ermöglicht, ohne finanzielle Einbußen ihre Dienstzeit zu verkürzen oder in Frühpension gehen zu können. Die zwanghafte Realisierung der Personalobergrenze war der Motor dieser absurden Personalpolitik, zumal Frühpensionäre die Personalkosten nur in einen anderen Haushaltstopf verschieben. Insgesamt betrachtet ging damit viel qualifiziertes Personal verloren, das jetzt wieder händeringend gesucht und gebraucht wird.

Problematisch ist derzeit nicht der Nachwuchs an Mannschaftssoldaten, den die Bundeswehr inzwischen auch ohne Wehrpflicht decken kann. Ob das so bleibt, ist fraglich. Offenbar glaubt man selbst im Verteidigungsministerium nicht recht daran. Wie sonst lässt es sich erklären, dass laut darüber nachgedacht wird, ob und wie EU-Bürger für die Bundeswehr gewonnen werden können. Wie ließe sich diese Entwicklung mit dem Leitbild des bezahlten oder fast unbezahlten „Bürgers in Uniform“ vereinbaren?

G36-Affäre: Von der Leyen gibt sich geschlagen

Seit fünf Jahren läuft die Affäre um die Treffsicherheit des Bundeswehr-Sturmgewehrs G36. Jetzt setzt die Verteidigungsministerin einen Schlusspunkt, indem sie den Rechtsstreit mit dem Hersteller Heckler & Koch beendet.

Schwerwiegender ist bereits jetzt der Mangel am Fachpersonal. Man denke an Informatiker. Sie und vergleichbare Berufsgruppen werden nach ihrer Fachausbildung in der Regel den Weg in die wesentlich lukrativeren Industrie- und Dienstleistungsbetriebe wählen. Hierbei zählt nicht nur das Geld, sondern auch das weiterhin kritische Ansehen des Soldatenberufes in Deutschland. Der Soldatenberuf ist nicht nur gefährlich, sondern in vielen Bevölkerungskreisen auch nicht gut gelitten. 600 neue Dienstposten im Fachbereich IT zu besetzen, ist daher eine Herkulesaufgabe, zumal immer weniger Akademiker ohne Wehrpflicht mit der Bundeswehr in Berührung kommen werden.

Dass dieses Fachpersonal mit flotten Plakat-Sprüchen wie „Wir machen Karrieren und Olympiasieger“ oder vergleichbar oberflächlichen Parolen gewonnen werden kann, darf bezweifelt werden. Wer sich für die Bundeswehr eher als für ein IT-Unternehmen entscheidet, lässt sich so nicht motivieren. Wer Qualifikation braucht, kann auf ernstzunehmende Motivation nicht verzichten. Weniger denn je ist heute Sicherheitspolitik ohne Intelligenz möglich. Sprücheklopfen ist weder gute Sicherheits- noch Personalpolitik. Weder nach innen noch nach außen.

Der Historiker und Publizist Prof. Dr. Michael Wolffsohn ist u.a. Autor der Bücher „Zivilcourage“ (2016), „Zum Weltfrieden“ (2016), „Wem gehört das Heilige Land?“ (13. Auflage 2016), „Israel“ (8. Auflage 2016)
Maximilian Beenisch ist Staats- und Sozialwissenschaftler.


Berlin und Paris tun sich militärisch zusammen – in gemeinsamer Lufttransport-Staffel

Frankreich und Deutschland wollen bis 2021 eine gemeinsame Staffel militärischer Transportflugzeuge vom Typ С-130J Super Hercules aufbauen, die auf einem Luftstützpunkt im französischen Orléans stationiert werden sein soll. Dies bestätigt laut dem Informationsportal „B2“ ein von Frankreich und Deutschland unterzeichnetes Schreiben.Laut „B2“ hat der Brexit solche gemeinsame Projekte befördert: Die französisch-deutsche Initiative sei ein Signal für andere Europäer und Nato-Verbündete.

Die deutsche Verteidigungsministerin Ursula von der Leyen hatte, wie Welt Online schrieb, bei ihrem Besuch in Paris mit ihrem französischen Kollegen Jean-Yves Le Drian eine Absichtserklärung zur Zusammenarbeit im Bereich des taktischen Lufttransports unterzeichnet. Demnach sollen die beiden Länder eine gemeinsame Lufttransportstaffel mit Flugzeugen vom Typ Hercules C-130J aufbauen. Vier bis sechs dieser Flugzeuge sollen von Deutschland eingebracht werden. Von der Leyen sagte, das Projekt sei beispielhaft für das große Vertrauen zwischen Deutschland und Frankreich. „Das zeigt noch mal, wie die Zusammenarbeit in Europa gehen kann“, wird sie zitiert. Großbritannien ist Medienberichten zufolge mit der Aktivierung der Zusammenarbeit der EU-Mitglieder im Verteidigungsbereich, der Gründung einer gemeinsamen europäischen Armee, die als eine Konkurrenz zur Nato gilt, nicht zufrieden. Die C-130 Hercules der Lockheed Corporation ist eines der am weitesten verbreiteten militärischen Transportflugzeuge. Im August 1954 war die erste Hercules in den USA zum Jungfernflug gestartet.


George Friedman: Is the 2016 Presidential Election Unique?

10. 11, 2016 A look back at past turbulent times reveals the U.S. has seen elections like this before.

By George Friedman

There is a sense that the 2016 election is unique. There are two candidates who are enormously unpopular, each utterly loathed by the supporters of the other. Each candidate has sought to make the case that the election of the other would have catastrophic consequences. Each has their albatross to carry, whether it is a mail server or an old video. Many believe that we have never seen an election like this.

Defining how this election is different is important. It is not simply the fact that two candidates who are both widely disliked according to the polls are running. What is distinctive about this election is the extent to which large segments of the electorate are not merely divided but are actually enraged at each other. Supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton not only hate the opposing candidate, but they hold the other’s supporters in contempt.

According to Trump supporters, they are running against the financial, media and other elites who have imposed an alien ideology on the United States in order to serve their interests. Clinton represents that ideology. According to Clinton supporters, Trump’s campaign represents a fascist movement built on racism and ultra-nationalism, presided over by a personality not unlike Mussolini. It goes beyond the candidates, and that’s what’s important. Clinton’s supporters think of Trump’s supporters as rednecks and trailer trash. Trump’s supporters think of Clinton’s supporters as politically correct snobs, attempting to impose foreign values on the country.

It is the bitterness that is striking and the sense that the country has culturally ripped into two parts. But there is a third part of the country as bitter and alienated as the other two. These are the voters that despise both candidates, their supporters and the manner in which they think the country is being wrecked. It is not appropriate to call this group the center. At the moment, there is no center, since the Republican is running against Wall Street and the Democrat is saying that not only half of Republican supporters are racists, but that the other half are economic losers. Historically, Republicans have been seen as backing the financial community, while Democrats have been seen as supporting the little guy. The world appears turned on its head, and the third group wants to take it back to the way it was, ideologically and in terms of demeanor. This group should not be disregarded, as it is rarely aroused, but when it is, it can reset the system.

The political and social situation has certainly deteriorated. But it is important not to think of this as unprecedented. Since World War II, we have seen approximations of this mood twice before. Once was in 1952, when Harry Truman was forced to decline a run at re-election because of overwhelmingly negative poll numbers. The second was in 1968, when the campaign was punctuated by gunfire and riots. This is not the first campaign built around apocalyptic paranoia, where everyone is convinced that if the other side wins, the country will collapse. The personal clash between the candidates might not have been the same, but the canyon dividing the country was.

When Harry Truman declined to run in 1952, Adlai Stevenson won the Democratic nomination and Dwight Eisenhower won the Republican nomination. There was nothing odd about this. What was not normal were the circumstances around the election and the role of Joseph McCarthy. The Cold War had broken out, with a crisis in Berlin and a war in Korea. McCarthy and his team began searching for communists.

Now, that was not unreasonable, although good spies are hard to catch. Obviously, Moscow had spies in D.C. just as Washington had them in Moscow. What McCarthy did, however, was speak of conspiracies so vast they had never been seen before. He created a sense that the United States had been penetrated at the highest levels by communist agents. He would wave papers saying that he had a list of communist agents serving in the State Department, but never actually showed the list to anyone. He also charged, after the election, that George C. Marshall, who served as chief of staff of the U.S. Army during World War II and then secretary of defense and state, was himself a communist agent.

McCarthy had a huge following. The apparent failure of the United States had to be explained. The Korean War wasn’t going well, casualties mounted and by the time of the election, it was a stalemate. Using nuclear weapons had been rejected. The Soviets had set up puppet regimes in Eastern Europe and there were large communist parties in France and Italy, while communist-driven civil wars had been fought in Greece and Turkey. In addition, there was a wave of strikes in the United States. In one strike, Truman drafted all railway men into the Army to keep the trains running – a move that some perceived as having communist overtones. Given the tensions, the case that communists had influenced Franklin D. Roosevelt when he met with the leaders of the U.K. and Soviet Union in Yalta and had weakened the United States everywhere was persuasive.

McCarthy’s opponents saw him as a fascist and believed he was trying to drive liberals out of government and into prison. Some of his opponents also believed that there was no communist threat and that it had been manufactured by McCarthy’s ambition to impose a reign of terror in the United States. The fact that the Soviet Union was ruled by Josef Stalin did not give them pause. McCarthy made it all up, they asserted. And McCarthy used the criticism to demonstrate that his critics were communists.

This was the framework in which the 1952 election took place, and lest you believe I am exaggerating, the reality was 10 times as intense. The United States was being torn apart between the fear that the U.S. had fallen under the control of the communists and the left’s view that McCarthy was part of a fascist plot. Eisenhower and Stevenson were nominated at a time when primaries didn’t dominate the landscape, so the party bosses picked two candidates who were relatively moderate. But the country was likely more divided then than today, kept in check by centrist and credible candidates.

The country was even more divided in 1968. The leading candidate of the Democratic Party, Robert Kennedy, was assassinated on the night he won the California primary. This happened two months after Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. The tensions over the Vietnam War had reached a boiling point. The Democratic convention was held in Chicago with 10,000 demonstrators as well as police and national guards in the streets. There were over a thousand injuries, and police raided the offices of Eugene McCarthy, a candidate for the Democratic nomination, and arrested his staff.

The anti-war movement was powerful, but it went beyond being an anti-war movement. A large part of it morphed into a movement arguing that the Vietnam War was not only an imperialist war but a war fought to generate cash and support the economy. Others went further, claiming that the United States was utterly corrupt and a revolution was needed to redeem it. Had this been simply an anti-war movement, it might have won over the public. But it became an attack on American life – or else appeared to be.

Richard Nixon cast himself as the spokesman for the silent majority, as he put it. The demonstrators did not represent America, he claimed. Rather than defend the war, he cast the demonstrators as opposed to all things American – and the extremes of the movement played into his hands. He made the election about American values.

Nixon was not particularly admired, having lost the presidential race in 1960 and the race for governor of California in 1962. His opponent in the 1968 campaign, Hubert Humphrey, was also not liked. He was seen as a stooge for Lyndon B. Johnson, who declined to run for the same reason as Truman – because he knew he wouldn’t win. Humphrey was Johnson’s vice president, and supported the war. Therefore, the Democratic Party was torn. If they voted for Humphrey, they would be supporting someone who betrayed them. If they voted for Richard Nixon, they would be supporting a man they despised (and regarded as part of McCarthy’s witch hunt). The Republicans could live with Nixon but no one really liked him. He won, but by a very small margin in the popular vote.

Then there was Watergate, but that’s another story.

The point is that paranoia, and worse, violence, have been seen in presidential races before. The issue is whether there is any commonality. There is one. The tensions around the 1952 race came after years of frustration in Korea. The 1968 race came after years getting bogged down in Vietnam. 2016 comes after 15 years of war in the Middle East and Afghanistan. It would seem that when there is an extended and large-scale war that appears to have no end, what we might call extreme elections follow. It is the only common denominator I can see.

But it is a reasonable one. The United States sees itself, reasonably, as a powerful country. When it goes to war, there is an expectation that it will be successful. When it is not successful, people search for an explanation or demand that the war be ended. There are frequently two camps. First, there is the camp that wants to be more aggressive. Second, there is the camp that wants to withdraw. There is also the camp that wants to find the culprit who drew the U.S. into the war, and the culprit who caused us to lose.

In Korea, Douglas MacArthur, who led the United Nations forces in the war, wanted a more aggressive policy. Joseph McCarthy wanted to identify the people who caused the U.S. to lose, while many on the left wanted the U.S. to leave


In Vietnam, Barry Goldwater, Republican candidate for president in 1964, wanted the U.S. to be more aggressive. Many Vietnam veterans wanted to know who caused the U.S. to lose, and the anti-war movement wanted the U.S. to leave.

In the war on terrorism, Donald Trump plays two roles. He argues it was a mistake to go into Iraq and wants to leave. He simultaneously argues that we are losing the real war on Islamist terrorism, and blames Barack Obama and Clinton for the U.S.’ weakness. It is not altogether clear what role Clinton plays at this point, but the entire war has not yet sorted itself out as the others did.

There are always other issues, such as the economy in 1952 and 2016, or opposition to the “Great Society” programs introduced by Johnson. None of these are simple. But the fact is that the United States has had elections that were seen at the time as a total breakdown of a coherent order. All are different. But they have two things in common: they are all seen as unprecedented (and in a sense they are) and all three came at a point where everyone was frustrated by a war that couldn’t be won.

What is noteworthy about both 1952 and 1968 was that the more extreme elements were defeated. McCarthy was eventually crushed, and Eisenhower governed for those who were neither McCarthyites nor insensitive to the communist threat. The anti-war movement was also crushed. In 1972, when pro-war Nixon faced anti-war George McGovern, Nixon devastated the anti-war movement. Those who recall the anti-war movement as forcing an end to the Vietnam War tend to forget the election. Later, Nixon was destroyed by Watergate. Gerald Ford formed a government that neither sided with the counterculture, as it was called, nor tolerated Nixon-style government.

Healthy societies have a tendency to reset themselves after imbalances appear. During turbulent times, it is difficult to imagine the country finding its balance again. However, it is remarkable how quickly after McCarthy was crushed and the anti-war movement scattered, the third force – those enraged at the other two factions – reasserted itself. From 1953, when Eisenhower was sworn in, until the middle of Johnson’s campaign, there was a period of relative stability. From 1974, when Nixon resigned, until now, there was another period in which there was enough consensus that the election of either candidate did not arouse fears of disaster.

American politics are rough, but the sense that the current situation is unprecedented comes from Americans’ failure to remember their own history. To this point, the 2016 election has not broken any records. It is interesting to look at the aftermath of 1952 and 1968 to get a sense of where the United States goes from here.

I might add that the foreigners, who really don’t begin to understand the United States, would also be well served to remember what followed the self-destructive phases the U.S. puts itself through. As it recovered from each, it reasserted itself and forgot what came before. Having no sense of history sometimes is beneficial.


*Massenbach’s Recommendation*

The Saudis’ strategic failure

Nick Butler

Two years ago, the Saudi government put in place a strategy intended to protect its position in the world oil market. The plan was to increase their production to the point where prices fell. The aim was to squeeze other producers, in particular the US shale industry, and force them to cut output. The belief then was that the US industry needed a price of around $90 a barrel to keep going. Once prices fell below that level, the Saudis thought they would have protected their market share, and in the process, sent a sharp warning to others, particularly the Iranians who want to restore their production following the nuclear deal with the US.

The strategy has not only failed but has caused serious damage to the Saudis themselves. Prices fell much further than anyone anticipated because other participants in the market did not respond as expected. The Saudi increase in production has not destroyed the US industry – American output has fallen only marginally despite a 70 per cent drop in prices. The kingdom simply underestimated the resilience of the US producers and their ability to cut costs.

Far from forcing others to cut output, the price fall has created an incentive for everyone to maximise production to squeeze out as much revenue as possible. The Saudis missed the fact that once the main capital investment in an oil field has been made, the economic logic is to keep producing come what may. The price drop has destabalised countries that depend on oil revenue from Algeria to Venezuela, many of which were traditionally Saudi allies. And the kingdom has been forced to run down its financial reserves to maintain spending. Meanwhile, the Iranians have increased production and plan to do much more.

That all represents a pretty comprehensive strategic failure.

After two years of denying reality the Saudis, under the guidance of a new more pragmatic oil minister, Khalid al-Falih, have accepted that the only way of managing the market is for them to cut production. Opec has agreed a broad target, which might be confirmed at its next meeting in November if two big problems can be overcome.

  • First, the cut as discussed does not look sufficient to mop up the existing stock overhang or the continuing increase (of perhaps another half million barrels a day) that the Iranians are demanding. A bigger reduction will have to be agreed if the price is going to rise. The market’s initial reaction to the prospect of a cut of less than 1m barrels a day was lukewarm. The price has struggled to reach $50 a barrel. To reach $60 or even $70, which is said to be the real target, a cut of perhaps 2.5m to 3m barrels a day is necessary and will have to be maintained for some time. That is particularly true given that a price rise will encourage producers, especially in the US, to bring back on stream wells that have been temporarily shut in.
  • Second, Opec has to allocate the cut between its members. A few countries can make token contributions but it is hard to see any way in which the bulk of the cut will not fall on Saudi Arabia. It is a fine calculation of volume and price but the net outcome could be that if prices rise only modestly – say towards $60 – the Saudis will end up with lower revenue. Another strategic triumph.

What went wrong? The answer is a mixture of hubris, inexperience and – most important – a failure to understand the evolution of the oil market and in particular the role of the industry in the US. There, in contrast to the situation in most Opec member states, the instinctive response to a price challenge is to cut costs, not least through technology. The Saudis clearly do not understand how a genuine market economy works, which is why all the rhetoric about new economic plans for the country built on a fairy tale presentation from consultants is going nowhere. Nor is the proposed sale of a minority stake in Aramco. Saudi Arabia is simply not ready for the level of transparency – not least on reserves – that a listing on the London or New York stock exchanges would require.

All this comes at a time when support for the kingdom – in the west and the Middle East – is weaker than it has ever been. The headline on the front page of the latest issue of the New York Review of Books reads “How Nasty is Saudi Arabia?”, linked to a forensic critique by the Economist’s Middle East editor Nicolas Pelham. Two weeks ago, the US Congress voted overwhelmingly, and in defiance of President Barack Obama’s wishes, to allow American families to sue the Saudis for their alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks. In the region, Iran is winning the battle for hearts and minds – helped by the Saudi’s cruel and impotent war in Yemen. The kingdom is isolated.

Could things change? There are certainly technocrats – such as Mr Falih – who are able to manage the economy more sensibly. There are politically astute Saudis who recognise that the country can only lose if the conflict with Iran escalates and the isolation is compounded. Unfortunately, Mr Falih is one of few people in either category who have stayed to work in the Saudi government. Most have moved to London or New York well away from the Wahhabi fundamentalism that which is still the ruling creed of the country. Without their presence real change looks impossible.

In any normal business, a strategic failure on this scale would result in heads rolling. In Saudi Arabia heads do roll – a beheading last week was this year’s 124th execution, according to Agence France Presse. But even taking the phrase metaphorically it is hard to see how the kingdom can make the changes necessary when those responsible for the failures of the last two years are members of the royal family.


Carnegie Moscow Center: Kremlin-Duma Reshuffle Offers False Hope to Russian Reformers

The nominal architects of the internal political machine must be replaced with operators: people who will manage the status quo without changing its fundamental principles. This is the role that Sergei Kiriyenko is going to play. It’s a case of the trends dictating the logic of the management, rather than the manager setting the trends.

President Vladimir Putin’s appointment of Vyacheslav Volodin, the architect of Russia’s updated political system, to the position of speaker of the Duma and his replacement with Sergei Kiriyenko, a former liberal opposition figure and long-term head of the state corporation Rosatom, is a seemingly illogical move that has sent analysts scurrying to look for hidden meanings. It can in fact be explained by four domestic political trends of the last four years.

First are the political reforms that followed the protests of 2011–2012, before quickly turning into counterreform. Direct gubernatorial elections were reinstated, legislation regulating parties was liberalized, and the non-systemic opposition returned to the playing field. The emphasis on openness and competition was generally associated with the new style of Volodin, who was appointed first deputy chief of staff in December 2011.

In fact, the gubernatorial elections were limited by a municipal filter, which made it impossible to nominate truly oppositional candidates, and very few new political parties took part in elections for the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. The landscape of political parties didn’t actually become more pluralized, and today there is talk of again toughening the legislation regulating parties.

From the Kremlin’s point of view, the system has returned to equilibrium, and the prevailing trend of conservatism must be maintained. This means that the nominal architects of the internal political machine like Volodin must be replaced with operators: people who will manage the status quo without changing its fundamental principles. This is the role that Kiriyenko is going to play.

The second trend is the disappearance of the line between internal politics and security policy. In recent years, as Putin has focused on foreign affairs, domestic politics has become the job of those previously responsible for security issues, with the FSB removing and imprisoning governors with whom the directorate of domestic politics was quite content.

This has forced the locus of internal politics out from the presidential administration and into the Duma, dominated by United Russia and its three junior partners (the Communist Party, LDPR, and A Just Russia). This is the new core of internal politics that the new speaker, Volodin, is to guard. He will no longer be able to make decisions regarding opposition parties, or to curate public projects, and those who say that Volodin will increase his influence within the walls of the Duma are most likely confusing fantasy with reality, but the role is still one of political value, not least due to the third political trend of recent years.

This third trend is the re-politicization of the Duma. Prior to 2012, the body had become de-politicized: “Parliament is no place for discussion,” the parliament’s former speaker Boris Gryzlov famously said. But since 2012, the Duma has slowly but surely been getting its voice back. The deputies are no longer just stamping laws that come down from the Kremlin, but are producing their own legislative initiatives.

Far from demonstrating their independence, however, the parliamentarians have become the most active guardians of the regime, co-authors of the foreign policy rhetoric issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a personal resource of the president. This is the kind of Duma that the Kremlin can allow to express itself. The new Duma could become an ideological framework and at the same time a personnel resource, a pool from which the Kremlin can scoop up its next batch of patriotic employees—and this is where the new political potential of Volodin lies.

Positions with status but without a clear-cut role within the political machine, such as speaker of the Duma, gain their political content based on who holds them, and Volodin can now adapt his political value to his new role.

The fourth trend is the appearance of government institutions, another result of Putin’s preoccupation with foreign policy in recent years. If in previous years the political will of Putin was the driving force of the nation, in the last two years things have changed. The previously paralyzed government is suddenly starting to stand in for a Security Council at which the economy, trade, and the financial system are also on the agenda.

While Volodin is elevating the role and status of Duma deputies, over at the Central Election Commission, its new head, veteran human rights campaigner Ella Pamfilova, is annulling elections, firing election commissions, arguing with governors, and interfering with attempts to take the opposition off the ballot. If before outside control was the name of the game, now administrative mechanisms are becoming more internal. These apparent liberal reforms are in fact part of the fight to preserve the stability of the Putin regime, to help it along the path to conservation.

Kiriyenko is a reformer associated with the default of 1998, an oppositionist who reached out to Putin when the latter took the helm of the country in December 1999, and an effective manager, though of a state corporation. For eleven years, he quietly managed Russia’s atomic energy industry, regularly reporting on records and achievements.

But who is Kiriyenko today? Is he a political appointee or an executor? A liberal or a neutral figure, a reformer or a conservator? Should we expect a thaw or a crackdown?

The Kiriyenko of the 2010s is an in-system, depoliticized senior manager, one who perfectly fulfilled the tasks the state assigned him and remained outside politics. The same was once true of the current head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, Igor Artemyev, formerly a member of the opposition party Yabloko and a prominent figure for the democratic opposition. Today, he is an institutional helper of the ruling elite, assigning economic assets in their favor.

Using a liberal to execute counterreform is fully in keeping with Putin’s style of rule, and one of Kiriyenko’s first assignments is to toughen the legislation governing political parties.

Status, it appears, forces people to fall in line. So, under the logic of the political development of the country, the status of curator of internal politics will force Kiriyenko to protect the existing political system. It’s a case of the trends dictating the logic of the management, rather than the manager setting the trends.

Kiriyenko was once an outspoken liberal, and it’s impossible to rule out a thaw. But the tendency of recent years is to transform and reduce political responsibility and to exclude in-system liberals from power. Everything points against optimistic expectations, including the regime’s vast track record for digesting once-liberal democrats such as Igor Artemyev and Ella Pamfilova, the former Yabloko members Elena Mizulina and Irina Yarovaya, and human rights officials Vladimir Lukin and Mikhail Fedotov. Some have turned into fierce guardians of the regime, others into quiet task managers: court democrats.

Today, two things are undeniable. The Russian state is moving away from democratization and does not tolerate reformers, unless the reformer is the president himself. The arrival of Kiriyenko means only one thing: internal politics is becoming compact and automatic, and its management is becoming corporate and conventional. We are seeing the end of political creativity.

The liberal image of the curator is merely an attempt to sweeten the pill for the section of society that still hopes the country will turn toward progress and modernization.


How the British Government Tries to Stop Youth From Becoming Terrorists

Josh Siegel / @SiegelScribe / October 09, 2016 /

Mourners remember victims of the July 7, 2005, bombings of London’s public transport network by Islamist terrorists. By law, Britons who are part of public institutions serving youth also must protect them from going the extremist route. (Photo: Andy Rain/EPA /Newscom)

Rashad Ali once belonged to an Islamic extremist group, but he now spends his days helping the British government prevent others from becoming radicalized.

His position makes him an easy target of criticism, from multiple angles.

“On the one hand, I get criticized from people in the Muslim community who see me as acting on behalf of the state and the authorities, and on the other hand I am criticized by those who are genuinely anti-Islam and see what I am doing—helping British Muslims reconcile their identity—as some kind of secret to plot to spread Islam,” Ali says.

As a Muslim growing up in Sheffield, an industrial city that carries what he calls an “anti-establishment” mentality, Ali says, he struggled finding his way. At 15 years old, he decided to join Hizb ut-Tahrir, a nonviolent Islamic political organization.

Today, Ali is 36. He and his consultancy firm, CENTRI, provide deradicalization interventions for those the government considers “vulnerable” to radicalization by Islamists. They are referred to him through a program called Prevent, the oldest and most ambitious domestic counterterrorism initiative in Europe.

The program also seeks to identify and intervene with Britons who may be susceptible to extremism promoted by both left-wing and right-wing political groups.

At a moment when many countries in the Western world, including the U.S. and France, are trying to develop tools to defend themselves against the threat of homegrown terrorism, Britain’s intensive approach is receiving heavy scrutiny at home.

With anxiety and division over terrorism, immigration, and religion at a fever pitch, some Britons criticize Prevent as a heavy-handed, bureaucratic strategy that stigmatizes Muslims. Supporters, though, consider the program a necessary, serious-minded solution that reduces the risks of all forms of extremism.

Perhaps most contentiously, Prevent includes a statutory requirement that Britons who are part of public institutions that serve youth also must protect them from becoming extremist.

“There aren’t many people who get involved in this work at this level,” Ali tells The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “But because I was involved in the other side for quite a long time, I’ve seen the damage that radical ideas can do to vulnerable people.”

He adds:

What you have to do is speak with parents of children who have been involved in these types of [terrorism] incidents. The one common thing they say is, ‘Why did no one help us? Why didn’t anyone do anything?’ So I don’t have the luxury of debating whether this program is necessary or not.

Backlash to ‘Mammoth Task’

Britain has not suffered a major terrorist attack since the rise of the Islamic State, or ISIS, unlike the U.S., France, and Belgium. But the United Kingdom long has been an attractive target for terrorists.

British intelligence services, considered some of the best in the world, have foiled planned attacks before they happened.

In 2015, authorities made 35 percent more terrorism-related arrests in the United Kingdom than in 2010. About 800 individuals from Britain have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight in the conflicts there. Among them: Mohammed Emwazi, a British Arab who notoriously beheaded multiple Americans and Britons before he was killed in a U.S. airstrike in November 2015.

About half of those who left Britain are estimated to have returned.

The British government currently designates the threat level of terrorism in the country as “severe,” meaning an attack is “highly likely.”

Long before the most recent threats, Britain maintained a comprehensive, preventive approach to counterterrorism, beginning its efforts shortly after the 2005 bombings by Islamist terrorists of London’s public transport network. That attack is commonly known as 7/7 for the month and day it occurred.

The Prevent program, one component of Britain’s overall strategy to fight terrorism, does not involve intelligence or police work, and few people, if any, who are referred to services through the program are arrested. Instead, Prevent is meant to help those who have shown early signs of extremism—before committing criminal acts—and have not demonstrated an imminent threat to do harm.

Indeed, the government intends for Prevent to complement a second element of Britain’s counterterrorism strategy, called Pursue, dedicated to detecting, prosecuting, and disrupting active plots against the homeland or British interests abroad.

The Prevent strategy has undergone different iterations. Its current form under Britain’s conservative government is especially controversial because its implementation is required by national law.

In July 2015, a section of Britain’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Act placed a mandated duty on certain public institutions—including schools, universities, hospitals, and prisons—to prevent those it interacts with from “being drawn into terrorism.”

Specifically, the British government teaches front-line staff at these institutions how to recognize the early signs of extremism and refer those they have concerns about to intervention services such as mentoring and mental health treatment.

The government’s Home Office, a department responsible for immigration and security, defines extremism as “the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”

Since reporting became a legal requirement, referrals to the deradicalization program, known as Channel, have increased significantly. Almost 4,000 individuals were reported through the program in 2015—nearly three times more than the year before.

The Conservative Party made changes to the Prevent program.

It gave jurisdiction over the program to the Home Office, which new Prime Minister Theresa May formerly led. The government also became stricter about which community groups it funds to help implement the program, ruling out working with groups it considers to “oppose British values.”

Investigations into earlier versions of Prevent showed the government gave money to nonviolent extremist groups just because they denounced terrorism.

In addition, the government vowed to broaden its focus to combat all forms of terrorism, including right-wing and left-wing extremism, with a particular focus on confronting the ideology that it considers to be the driver of violence.

Some civil liberties groups and Muslim community leaders say the recent legal requirement to report has made public workers overly cautious, causing them to make referrals that are inappropriate and without justification.

A July report on counter-extremism efforts by Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee notes that unions representing educators, including the National Association of Head Teachers, are concerned about a lack of “guidance, support, and training for schools.”

Other educators and local Muslim leaders testified that the reporting requirement, coupled with the targeted focus on ideology, stifles classroom debate and alienates Muslim students.

Mohammed Khaliel, a community leader, told The Daily Signal in an interview that some Muslims view Prevent as discriminatory.

“The [Prevent] program is meant to address the problem of people becoming extremist and causing harm to Muslim communities; however, the very program trying to achieve that can also alienate the community that it is required to assist, which makes the problem go underground and makes it worse,” Khaliel says.

Mohammed Khaliel, a Muslim community leader, says it’s vital that the British government engage people of his faith. (Photo: Courtesy of Mohammed Khaliel)

Khaliel, 50, who helps coordinate referrals to the Channel deradicalization program from a high school outside London, says he doesn’t believe Prevent is misguided altogether.

Indeed, he is passionate about creating stronger ties between Muslims and the wider society, and says government should have a role in that.

He is the founder of Islamix, an organization dedicated to building those ties, and frequently consults with law enforcement about how to engage with his community.

Khaliel refers to British police officers as “the best in the world” and he credits law enforcement for creating trusting conditions that encourage Muslims to share useful intelligence.

But he says the government risks alienating Muslims if it is too overbearing and not transparent enough about what it expects from those who cooperate with Prevent.

“My feeling is we definitely need to have some type of initiative that deals with this quite realistic problem,” Khaliel says of homegrown Islamist terrorism, adding:

Those who don’t think there is a problem are in denial. Prevent in its entirety is not all bad. However, it needs to be a combined effort of all entities. The government needs to listen to its communities. It’s a mammoth task, but if you sit together and try to dispel some of the misconceptions and mistrust between parties, then you are halfway to solving everything.

Supporters of Prevent argue the program exists as a vehicle to address various forms of extremism and terrorism, not just Islamic-inspired, and say it tailors services to individual needs.

“It’s not expected that every public sector staff member has a finely detailed, nuanced understanding of all the manifestations of extremism and how to respond to them,” says Hannah Stuart, a terrorism expert at the Henry Jackson Society, a British think tank.

“That would be impossible—most politicians don’t have that level of understanding,” Stuart adds in an interview with The Daily Signal. “But what Prevent is trying to do—building a capacity to integrate and teaching communities to be resilient—are the sort of things you don’t see happening much in places like France or Belgium. Britain has a structure in place to help people who may be vulnerable [to extremist influences], and that’s the nature of this work. It’s long term and meant to respond as threats evolve and change.”

The British government insists it remains committed to Prevent despite criticisms. It is currently reviewing the program as part of a broader reflection on counterterrorism strategy.

“The threat we face, particularly from Daesh [ISIS], is very real and we have all seen the devastating impact radicalization can have on individuals, families, and communities,” Security Minister Ben Wallace told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement, adding:

Prevent is about working with local communities to protect those who may be vulnerable to being targeted by extremists and terrorist recruiters. It is both challenging and vitally important work which we are committed to continuing—and many countries have looked to our model as they develop their own approach.

‘Here to Help the Community’

Those who help implement Prevent in local communities across Britain are sensitive to the complaints, and say they are eager to prove right the government’s approach and improve upon areas of concern.

William Baldet is a Prevent coordinator for the Midlands region who has worked with the program in all its previous forms for eight years. Baldet is motivated to help address a problem that he says touches everyone.

He grew up with a “strong moral compass,” he says, in a “loosely Christian” household in a rural area of the Midlands with a small Muslim population.

He found Muslims to be peaceful and no different than anybody else, Baldet says, and when terrorists increasingly began using Islam to justify violence, he felt inspired to help spread a countermessage.

“I did feel in those early days what made me stay the course was I wanted to do right by those Muslims who have no connection to extremist people or ideology, yet they are the ones being spat on in the streets of the U.K.,” Baldet, 44, tells The Daily Signal in an interview:

As a member of our community, I can’t stand by. I know it sounds like white privilege, and people may say who am I to help. But it’s all of our problem, isn’t it? When I say our community, it’s not about ‘Who are you to help the Muslims?’ It’s, ‘I’m here to help the community.’ It’s not the police and government long term that solves this problem. It’s got to be communities themselves.

As a Prevent coordinator, Baldet represents a region deemed by the government to be at high risk for recruitment by extremists and terrorists.

He is tasked with developing a strategy designed to help those vulnerable to radicalization. The region he covers includes the city of Leicester, population 330,000, and four surrounding smaller towns and villages, for a total population of about 1 million.

Baldet says the local strategy must be approved by an oversight board comprised of representatives of various sectors including local government, mental health professionals, child safety services, probation and parole programs, prisons, schools, and universities.

He is employed by his local government, which receives Prevent funding from the national government.

Baldet spends many of his days interacting with Muslim religious and community leaders during visits to mosques and madrasas, trying to create local buy-in for the government’s program.

He also frequently spends time at outreach centers that work with vulnerable young people of any faith. He says the first case he worked on with Prevent involved a boy younger than 12 who was groomed for neo-Nazism by a grandfather. About 15 percent of interventions are connected with right-wing extremism.

“When people question if we are disproportionate toward focusing on one faith over the other, I say only so far as we deliver resources to where the greatest risk is,” Baldet says, adding:

As you get to more rural countryside areas, where there is long-standing, predominantly white communities, the threat is more far-right extremism. But in the inner cities is where you get more of the violent Islamist narrative. And right now, the greatest threat in the U.K. is Islamist recruiters. It’s terrorists [who are] targeting Muslim communities, not us.

Personal Approach

Rashad Ali, the Prevent interventionist and former nonviolent extremist, is one of several Muslim authority figures who provide mentoring to those considered vulnerable to radicalization.

While his deep knowledge of Islam, and his past, give Ali instant credibility to help others from similar backgrounds, he says each case he encounters is unique, so he takes an individualized approach.

“There are different things that motivate individuals to be attracted to extremism,” Ali says. “For some of them, it may well be religion, and how they interpret scripture. For others, it will be a personal grievance or experience. And you will also get individuals highly motivated by politics.”

He adds:

The fact I have been in a similar process of going in, and coming out, helps inform my understanding. But it’s also about having some understanding of human psychology. The majority of individuals who I work with are not bad people. Rather than telling them what they should think, I try to get them to see outside their particular worldview.

Many referrals to Ali come through mosque leaders he knows, he says, but those cases occur outside the Prevent structure since mosques are not public institutions and bound by the legal duty to report individuals of concern.

Referrals assigned to him through Prevent often originate in schools.

Every school in Britain has a staff member known as a safeguard lead, whose responsibility is to be the main resource for telling authorities about incidents related to the well-being of students. These concern not only extremism but issues long part of education, such as bullying, sexual harassment, and child abuse.

Though every region is different, the referral process typically goes like this:

After a school’s safeguard lead is made aware of a concern, usually from a teacher, a multi-agency team reviews the case and determines services to provide that student. The team consists of representatives from social services, law enforcement, health care, and other agencies.

If the case is related to extremism, the team refers the incident to the Channel panel, which similarly is made up of local leaders in government, policing, mental health, probation, and other sectors.

The panel determines whether a person’s susceptibility to radicalization is serious enough to warrant further attention, and if so, will decide what kind of intervention that individual requires. Intervention could consist of mentoring services similar to what Ali provides.

The student must agree voluntarily to participate in an intervention; support services also require approval by the student’s parent or guardian.

Baldet says few individuals decline offered services.

In the vast majority of cases, though, the panel declares referrals to it were inappropriate and not serious enough to warrant further action—a fact often cited by critics of the Prevent program.

In recent years, Channel panels found 80 percent of reports to be false alarms, according to data from the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

To some observers, this data point shows how difficult it is to predict who could become radicalized, and why it’s unrealistic to expect educators and others who interact with youth to know what to look for.

Quintan Wiktorowicz, a former senior adviser to the U.S. Embassy in London who established the State Department’s first embassy-based counter-radicalization pro­gram, says the young men and women attracted to ISIS’ brutal version of extremism often haven’t solidified their identities.

The path to extremism or terrorism is not as predictable as it was during the heyday of al-Qaeda, he says, when recruits usually were more versed in Islam and motivated by ideology.

“When people say we need to fight radical Islam, that applies to the support of al-Qaeda 10 years ago,” Wiktorowicz tells The Daily Signal in an interview. “I don’t think it’s a war of ideas anymore. It’s something different. It [radicalization] is being driven by other factors like identity and criminology more than ideology. You have had individuals who read ‘Islam for Dummies’ and went to ISIS.”

Wiktorowicz adds:

That’s good news and bad news. It’s good news if it’s not really about ideology, because that’s hard for the government to take on since we are not credible [to many Muslim youth]. So that means we need to think very seriously about what the drivers [of radicalization] are, and that may open up a series of tools that haven’t applied to counterterrorism as of yet.

‘It Should Be Our Duty’

Adam Whitlock, a senior teacher at Ark Burlington Danes Academy in west London, is his school’s primary contact for concerns related to extremism.

He leads religious studies at the school, which serves about 1,300 students 11 to 18 years old, 40 percent of whom are Muslim. The school itself is not faith-based. All students in Britain take classes in religious education, to learn of the world’s faiths.

Whitlock says he’s earned the trust of Muslim students by working hard to build relationships and empathizing with their experiences.

“We do have a handful of Muslim students that are quite vocal about mistrust of police and government,” Whitlock tells The Daily Signal in an interview. “But our Muslim students for the most part, because we are having open conversations regularly with them, they themselves will often condemn the terrorism going on in the Middle East and in this country when there are attacks and threats. You can see how much trust they have in the system, so together we can promote the right kind of Islam.”

That trust paid off four years ago, when Whitlock says he helped persuade one of his Muslim students, who was 15, from acting on radical Islamist ideology.

The student’s parents had expressed concerns to Whitlock that their son was watching videos of a radical imam online.

Whitlock reported the boy to Prevent’s Channel intervention team. But before he did, the teacher made an effort to talk through the student’s problems one-on-one.

“This student is very bright and well-read and he could argue about his beliefs all day,” Whitlock, 33 and a practicing Protestant, says. “It was clear he had a very one-track mind. I tried to give him the tools so he could pull down the beliefs he had. And that doesn’t work with arguing. It starts with me listening and slowly chipping away at his thoughts and getting him to realize what he is thinking is crazy. In the end, they hear their own voices more than yours.”

Once Whitlock connected the boy with the Prevent team, the panel of experts—with permission from the student and his parents—referred him to mentoring sessions with a Muslim counselor.

The young man is now a university student, pursuing a normal life without radical ambitions.

“I would say almost in every single one of these cases, there’s always an outside influence coming from a person, family member, social group, or even just the internet, because they are in a position at that age where they are still developing and growing their belief systems,” Whitlock says. “But if you can help them change themselves, it shows how fickle and vulnerable their minds can be. And it makes it worth what we are doing in reaching out to them and supporting them to help them see the world in a more moderate way.”

Whitlock has experienced the cost of not reaching a young person.

Last year, a male student who once attended Ark Burlington Danes Academy died overseas fighting with ISIS. Whitlock did not teach the student, a British citizen of Sudanese descent named Mahmoud Elsheikh, but knew of him.

The Prevent program was not as far along when Elsheikh was a student, Whitlock says, and faculty had not viewed him as a problem. He traveled to ISIS a year after leaving the school.

Afterward, Whitlock says, the Prevent team came to the school to teach faculty how to recognize early signs of attraction to extremism or terrorism.

At the start of the school year, Whitlock leads training of school staff, and every new teacher is exposed to his lessons.

“I think all educators have a duty to observe student behavior and report it when it becomes a concern and vulnerability for them,” Whitlock tells The Daily Signal in an interview. “Our main concern is the student’s well-being. Those are the people we ultimately care about. If we think anything will harm them, whether that’s extremism or anything else, it should be our duty to bring attention to it.

Whitlock adds of the student who joined ISIS: “I always think of him as a reason for why this is worth it. ”

Improving the Process

Sean Arbuthnot, a veteran policeman, spent the past three years working as a Prevent officer in Northamptonshire, a rural county between London and Birmingham.

The job required Arbuthnot to investigate referrals of possible radicalization to help determine if the persons met the threshold to be recommended for intervention assistance. It was much different than the traditional detective work he was accustomed to doing.

“It’s not what you think about with policing, where you want to get the bad guys,” Arbuthnot, 37, tells The Daily Signal in an interview. “In three years, I never made a single arrest. And that’s a mark of how successful it was. You are preventing them from going down the bad path in the first place. You want to keep people out of the criminal justice system. You don’t want to criminalize them.”

Despite the change in responsibilities, he chose to work in preventive counterterrorism because he thought he could use his community-building skills to tackle what he calls the biggest “challenge of our time.”

“To me, this is a moral responsibility to help us be better people, and look out for the most vulnerable people,” Arbuthnot says. “We, as a civil society, need to do our part in terms of combating extremism. This issue will be around for another generation at least. The police can’t do it themselves and the government can’t do it themselves.”

Arbuthnot, who is originally from Northern Ireland, grew to care so much about this responsibility that he decided to leave his post as Prevent officer earlier this year to try to improve the program from the outside.

Though his interactions with schools, colleges, health providers, and others involved with Prevent, he became frustrated by what he saw as an insufficient and unfocused level of training by the government.

Arbuthnot decided to launch his own private training service, with another former Prevent officer, to help public institutions realize the obligations of their reporting duty.

“It’s been difficult for the Home Office to come up with a one-size-fits-all approach that can be delivered by anybody because there are so many types of people who can be served by Prevent,” says Arbuthnot, who was raised Catholic but is not religious. He adds:

Training programs should be tailored differently to people depending on where they are. In this new, private role, I can deliver teaching to 50 to 100 people at a time each day from all walks of life. We are raising awareness with people who the police won’t necessarily reach, and helping to build resilience at a grassroots, local level.

Arbuthnot says too much of the government’s training occurs online, a forum that he considers superficial considering the intimacy of the responsibility. The government offers every public institution engaged with the program a standardized, basic introduction through an online workshop.

Arbuthnot argues the responsibility of public entities under Prevent is actually quite straightforward and not burdensome, if only the government would explain the process better.

Others share his concerns.

In an interview Thursday with BBC Radio, lawyer David Anderson—Britain’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation—recommended reform of Prevent to make it more transparent about the results of interventions and connect more effectively with Muslims.

“It is frustrating for me to see a program whose ideals are so obviously good falling down on the delivery to the point where it is not trusted in the community where it principally applies,” Anderson said. “It may be effective. But people need to know that. And they need to believe that.”

He also called for an independent body to review the results of the Prevent program.

Arbuthnot contends that better communication, accountability, and consistent training would improve the effectiveness of referrals and create a fairer process for everybody.

“You will never be able to stop inappropriate referrals, just like you can’t stop inappropriate calls to police,” says Arbuthnot, who adds that people who are reported for no valid reason are not punished or publicly acknowledged. “I wouldn’t criticize anyone for making an honestly made referral,” he says. “I wouldn’t want anyone to have sleepless nights because they are worried about somebody, and that’s just not for extremism, but also any safeguarding issue. However, if you improve training and openness around the process, you encourage less and less inappropriate referrals.”

Arbuthnot and others involved with Prevent recognize the challenge in proving the program is doing what it’s intended to do—stop people from becoming extremists, and keep the homeland safe.

Yet they say they are making an impact.

“As far as measuring Prevent, you cannot say our work has prevented a terrorist attack because it’s hard to prove a negative and you simply don’t know,” Arbuthnot says. “But there is more and more anecdotal evidence that we are helping a person’s circumstances, and I know that I have personally deterred young people from traveling to Syria.”

Baldet, the Prevent coordinator who remains with the program, vows to continue his work for the sake of the British people.

“The criticisms are frustrating, not debilitating, and they don’t stop us from doing what we do,” Baldet says, adding:

It’s a genuinely exhausting job, it messes with your head, and you take it home with you 24/7. But the other day, I looked to my little daughter, who is 10 months old, and I thought, ‘You are the reason I am doing this. I don’t want my world I’m living in to be your world.’


Die Widersprüche der Hillary Clinton

Datum: 11.10.2016 12:36 Uhr

Die Wikileaks-Veröffentlichung der gehackten E-Mails von Hillary Clinton belasten die Demokratin. Ihre Aussagen im Wahlkampf stehen teils im krassen Gegensatz zu anderen Auftritten. Ein Überblick ihrer Fehltritte.

Keine klare Linie

Hillary Clinton gerät immer wieder wegen ihrer E-Mails unter Druck. Jetzt sollen sich ihre privaten Aussagen gravierend von den im Wahlkampf getätigten Aussagen unterscheiden.

Washington. Hinter verschlossenen Türen hat Hillary Clinton einen versöhnlicheren Ton gegenüber der Wall Street angenommen als im Wahlkampf. Vor der Bekanntgabe ihrer Präsidentschaftskandidatur 2015 wirkt Clinton in bezahlten Reden an Finanzunternehmen und Interessengruppen wie eine eingeweihte Insiderin. Sie scheint dazu bereit, hinter den Kulissen Abkommen zu schließen und der Wall Street eine zentrale Rolle bei der Ausarbeitung finanzieller Regulierungen zu gewähren. Das geht aus Auszügen gehackter E-Mails hervor, die der Enthüllungsplattform Wikileaks zugespielt wurden.

Im Vergleich dazu hat Clinton bei öffentlichen Aussagen während des Präsidentschaftswahlkampfs die Rhetorik einer Kämpferin gegen die Oberschicht angenommen. Sie forderte höhere Steuern für Reiche und schärfere Regeln für die Wall Street. Sie zeigte Empathie für die finanziellen Lasten gewöhnlicher Amerikaner.

Die Kluft zwischen den privaten und öffentlichen Aussagen der Politikerin trägt zur Erklärung dafür bei, weshalb Wähler ein relativ hohes Misstrauen ihr gegenüber zum Ausdruck gebracht haben. Im Privaten vermittelte Clinton dem Publikum bei Finanzunternehmen wie Goldman Sachs eine Philosophie, die in mancherlei Hinsicht mit der progressiven Vision nicht zu vereinbaren ist, die sie im Wahlkampf artikuliert hat.

Der US-Wahlkampf nach dem zweiten TV-Duell

Trumps Wahlkampf wird von dem Video und von seiner nur halbherzigen Entschuldigung sicher belastet. Die Debatte am Sonntag hat aber gezeigt: Trump kann einstecken und denkt gar nicht ans aufgeben. Der CNN-Kommentator John King bescheinigte ihm in St. Louis einen „definitiv stärkeren Auftritt“ als bei der ersten TV-Debatte, die er vor zwei Wochen klar verloren hatte.

Trumps Vizepräsidentschaftskandidat Mike Pence, zuletzt kritisch gegenüber Trump, gratulierte ihm zu einem „großen Sieg“. In einer CNN-Blitzumfrage sahen zwar 57 Prozent Clinton vorn, 63 Prozent aber waren von Trump positiv überrascht. Wie schon im Vorwahlkampf bediente Trump bewusst seine Klientel. Unsicher ist, ob das reicht, um die schwachen Umfragewerte bis zum 8. November zu drehen.

Trump hat großen Rückhalt in seiner Familie, was in der Öffentlichkeit zählt. Vor allem seine Tochter Ivanka, sein Sohn Eric und die Ehefrau Melanie weichen nicht von seiner Seite und zeigen demonstrative Solidarität – auch wenn der Weg nicht leicht ist. Zählen kann er auch auf die Anti-Establishment-Fraktion bei den Republikanern, seinen engeren Zirkel. Dazu gehören New Jerseys Gouverneur Chris Christie und der frühere Neurochirurg Ben Carson, zwei seiner Kontrahenten im Vorwahlkampf. Ted Cruz, schärfster Widersacher bei den Vorwahlen, hat sich zumindest nicht distanziert.

Der Rückhalt in der Republikanischen Partei ist sicher gesunken. Ein Teil der Partei denkt schon an das Wahljahr 2020. Ein anderer fürchtet, von Trump in einen Abwärtsstrudel gezogen zu werden, der die Wiederwahl vieler Abgeordneter im Senat oder Repräsentantenhaus gefährdet. Der Vorsitzende des Abgeordnetenhauses, Paul Ryan, und der Parteiveteran und Senator John McCain stehen an der Spitze der Trump-Kritiker bei den Republikanern. Aber auch aus den streng christlichen Staaten, etwa aus der Mormonen-Hochburg Utah, kommt heftige Kritik.

Der Verdacht kam auf – immerhin war Trumps Gesprächspartner in dem Video der TV-Moderator Billy Bush, ein Cousin des Ex-Präsidenten George W. Bush und seines Bruders Jeb Bush, der sich gegen Trump um die Präsidentschaftskandidatur der Republikaner beworben hatte. George wie Jeb Bush gelten als ausgesprochene Kritiker Trumps, beide haben ihrem „Parteifreund“ die Unterstützung versagt. Anhänger Trumps beklagten, das Video sei ein bewusster Schlag des Partei-Establishments gegen Trump. Doch Billy Bush wurde inzwischen selbst Opfer der Veröffentlichung; der Sender NBC suspendierte ihn.

Viel tiefer kann das Niveau der Debatte fast nicht mehr sinken. Aber in der aufgeheizten Atmosphäre scheint eine rein sachliche Auseinandersetzung kaum mehr denkbar. In den vergangenen Tagen gab es bereits Hinweise, dass weitere kompromittierende Videomitschnitte aus Trumps Vergangenheit auftauchen könnten. Und die Enthüllungsplattform Wikileaks kündigte an, weitere E-Mails der Ex-Außenministerin Clinton publik zu machen.

Wall Street

In der Öffentlichkeit vertritt Clinton eine harte Linie gegenüber der Wall Street. Sie ist dagegen, die regulierenden Reformen zu schwächen, die nach der Finanzkrise 2008 verabschiedet wurden. Sie hat davor gewarnt, dass republikanische Abgeordnete und der Präsidentschaftskandidat Donald Trump die strengeren Regeln abschaffen wollten, die unter einem Gesetz namens Dodd-Frank aus dem Jahr 2010 eingeführt wurden.

Die Regeln aus diesem Gesetz sollten ausgeweitet und für Großbanken verschärft werden, forderte Clinton im Sommer in einer Rede im US-Staat North Carolina. Sie drohte auch mit einem Veto, sollten Versuche gestartet werden, diese Regeln aufzuheben.

Doch gibt es trotz solcher Erklärungen weiter Bedenken, Clinton stehe großen Banken und Investmentfonds zu nahe. Der Finanzsektor ist eine wichtige Quelle von Wahlkampfspenden für die ehemalige Außenministerin, Senatorin und First Lady.

Umfragen nach dem TV-Duell: Spiel, Satz und Sieg für Clinton

In einer bezahlten Rede für ein Symposium von Goldman Sachs legte Clinton 2013 nahe, dass die Finanzindustrie eine dominante Rolle dabei spielen sollte, ihre eigenen Regeln zu entwickeln. „Regulierungen haben nichts Magisches“, sagte Clinton laut den gehackten E-Mails. „Zu viel ist schlecht, zu wenig ist schlecht.“ „Wie gelangt man zum goldenen Schlüssel, wie finden wir heraus, was funktioniert?“, fragte Clinton. „Und die Leute, die die Industrie besser als irgendjemand kennen, sind die Leute, die in der Industrie arbeiten.“

Viele Experten sind sich einig, dass die Finanzindustrie eine Stimme bei der Erarbeitung von Regulierungen haben sollte, damit neue Regeln effektiv sind und Sicherheit bieten, ohne dass das Wirtschaftswachstum darunter zu leiden hat. Allerdings fiel Clintons Betonung in ihrer privaten Rede deutlich netter gegenüber dem Finanzsektor aus, als einigen Industriebeobachtern lieb ist.

Die Mittelklasse

Clinton zelebriert regelmäßig ihre Verbindung zu Durchschnittsamerikanern. „Meine Mission im Weißen Haus wird es sein, dafür zu sorgen, dass unsere Wirtschaft für alle funktioniert, nicht nur für diejenigen an der Spitze“, sagte Clinton in einer Rede im August. „Dies ist persönlich für mich. Ich bin ein Produkt der amerikanischen Mittelklasse“, erklärte sie.

Trotz des finanziellen Reichtums, den die Politikerin und ihr Ehemann, Ex-Präsident Bill Clinton, seit ihrem Auszug aus dem Weißen Haus 2001 aufgebaut haben, schien sie nahezulegen, dass das Paar wie viele amerikanische Haushalte mit Schulden und Hochschulkosten zu kämpfen habe.

Clinton, Merkel, May: Frauen – die besseren Staatslenker?

Noch nie waren in drei der stärksten Länder der Welt Frauen gleichzeitig die Regierungschefinnen. Mit Hillary Clinton könnte sich das ändern – ihre Chancen waren nie besser. Sind Frauen wirklich die besseren Politiker?

„Wir kamen aus dem Weißen Haus nicht nur komplett pleite, sondern verschuldet“, sagte Clinton ABC News 2014. „Wir hatten kein Geld, als wir dorthin kamen und wir hatten Probleme damit, die Ressourcen für Haushypotheken und für (Tochter) Chelseas Bildung zusammenzubekommen.“

Heute sind die Clintons Multimillionäre, dank Geld, das sie mit Reden, Buchverträgen und anderen geschäftlichen Arrangements eingenommen haben. Bei Wahlkampfansprachen hebt Hillary Clinton diesen Reichtum selten hervor.

Hingegen tat sie es bei einer Rede 2014 für Goldman Sachs und die Investmentmanagementfirma BlackRock. In privaten Äußerungen räumte Clinton ein, zunehmend entrückt von den finanziellen Problemen eines Großteils des Landes zu sein. Stattdessen seien Erinnerungen an ihre Mittelklasse-Vergangenheit jetzt ihre Hauptverbindung.

„Offensichtlich bin ich irgendwie weit entfernt wegen des Lebens, das ich gelebt habe, und der wirtschaftlichen (…) Reichtümer, die mein Mann und ich heute genießen“, sagte Clinton.

Private Positionen

Die E-Mail-Auszüge legen nahe, dass Clinton nicht immer ehrlich gegenüber Wählern gewesen sein könnte.

Paul Ryan: Spitzenrepublikaner hat Trump wohl abgeschrieben

Wer steht jetzt noch an seiner Seite? Donald Trump ist nun offenbar auch beim mächtigsten Vertreter der Republikaner durchgefallen. Paul Ryan will nur noch für den Erhalt der Mehrheit im Repräsentantenhaus kämpfen.

In einer Rede 2013 vor dem National Multi Housing Council deutete Clinton an, dass sie bei Themen eine private Position vertreten könnte, die sich von ihrer öffentlichen Haltung unterscheide, weil die Politik häufig ein hässliches Geschäft sein könne. „Die Politik ist wie Wurst, die hergestellt wird“, sagte Clinton. „Sie ist geschmacklos, und es ist immer so gewesen, aber wir enden gewöhnlich dort, wo wir sein müssen. Aber wenn jeder zuschaut, (…) dann werden Menschen ein wenig nervös, gelinde gesagt. Also brauchen Sie sowohl eine öffentliche als auch eine private Position“, erklärte Clinton.

Diese Philosophie könnte sich jedoch als problematisch erweisen, wenn Clinton das Vertrauen von Wählern festigen will. So ist Clinton heute beispielsweise gegen die sogenannte Transpazifische Partnerschaft (TPP), obwohl sie 2012 erklärt hatte, das Handelsabkommen setze „den Goldstandard“. Ihre Abkehr von dem Abkommen, das Präsident Barack Obama vorangetrieben hat, kam im Clintons Vorwahlkampf gegen Bernie Sanders häufig zur Sprache. Clinton erklärte, TPP werde nicht dazu beitragen, Löhne für die Mittelklasse anzuheben.



see our letter on:

*Herausgegeben von Udo von Massenbach, Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster, Joerg Barandat*



10-12-16 Control over energy resources is key in regional domestic conflicts.docx