Losing Afghanistan


US and allied forces are about to lose Afghanistan: The anti-terror and anti-Taliban efforts as well as state- and institution building are bearing no sustainable fruit.

The democratic institution-building process initiated by the Petersberg Conference in 2002 has indeed initiated the build-up of state-institutions based on electoral choice by a vast majority of Afghan citizens. The current Karzai government however is fragmented, inefficient and torn by corruption. What is more, its authority is weak beyond Kabul and rests with rogue warlords in the provinces. Civic … Continue Reading ››

Der nukleare Dammbruch


Die Versuche, die Verbreitung militärisch-nuklearen Wissens und dessen Nutzung zum Bau nuklearer Sprengkörper durch rechtliche Barrieren − das Nichtverbreitungsregime NPT 1970/1995 − aufzuhalten, kann als gescheitert angesehen werden. Zwar wurden die atomaren Diffusionsprozesse verlangsamt, aber die Dämme drohen nunmehr zu brechen. Das militärische Arsenal Nordkoreas und die mutmassliche militärische Nuklearoption Irans werden vermutlich regionale nukleare Rüstungswettläufe auslösen, aus denen nahezu zwanzig Nuklearstaaten entstehen werden.

Die militärische counter-proliferation als alternativer Schutzmechanismus gegen nukleare Aufrüstung neuer Staaten stösst in vielen Fällen an enge Grenzen: unbekannte, unterirdische oder verbunkerte … Continue Reading ››

Trading Values for Gas

russia_gas.jpgIn recent months we have witnessed a fierce debate among scholars and politicians on the relations of the European Union with Russia. Two camps have emerged putting different emphasis on political conditionality, i.e. deepening the ties to the degree Russia implements democratic reforms and respects human rights and the rule of law.

Both positions do have its merits, but according to my view the EU should not mix vital interests in certain policy areas with human rights issues.

Any comment on these issues has to answer three questions. The … Continue Reading ››

NATO: Out of business while out of area


In the nineties Senator Richard Lugar made his seminal statement about NATO going either out of area or out of business. Lugar was totally right – then. NATO had to accept new commitments beyond its territory, proliferate stability, enforce peace and enable civic actors to engage in post-conflict peace building were it to sustain its legitimacy. NATO since then has been of vital importance with SFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with KFOR in Kosovo and, most recently, with ISAF in Afghanistan.

ISAF is faced with growing resistance and ever more … Continue Reading ››

The Litvinenko Murder


The murder of the former FSB agent A. Litvinenko is a heinous crime. The substance used – Polonium 210 –, causing a slow and painful death, indicates that the perpetrators were vying for utmost public attention. Otherwise Litvinenko could have simply been gunned down by contract killers. In addition, the murderers deliberately left a trail implicating a direct Russian involvement, particularly the traces of Polonium found in planes used for Russian destinations. Furthermore, these many places with Polonium contamination are meant to disguise the professionalism of the perpetrators; the … Continue Reading ››