Schaffen die USA das?

Der Economist diskutiert die Herausforderung gleichzeitiger Kriege im Nahen Osten, in der Ukraine und in Taiwan für die USA. Klar ist, dass es sich um eine erhebliche Herausforderung handeln würde:

  • Three days after Hamas fighters swarmed across the security fence of the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,400 people and kidnapping about 220 more, the uss Gerald R. Ford, America’s most modern aircraft-carrier, arrived in the eastern Mediterranean, accompanied by its fleet of warships. A second carrier strike group, led by the uss Dwight D. Eisenhower, is sailing to the Middle East, presumably to move closer to Iran. Aircraft and air-defence systems are being dispatched to the region, and troops are being readied, too. It is a striking demonstration of the speed and scale with which America can deploy military power far from home.“ – bto: Es suggeriert, dass es den USA leicht fallen würde, größere Herausforderungen zu bewältigen.
  • Lloyd Austin, America’s defence secretary, warned of the ‚prospect of a significant escalation‘ against American forces. (…) American bases in Iraq and Syria have been coming under attack by rockets and drones, presumably fired by other Iranian proxies. ‚This is the most dangerous moment since the cold war,‘ argues Matthew Kroenig of the Atlantic Council, a think-tank in Washington, dc. ‚If Iran and Hizbullah get involved, America may feel compelled to respond. And does China then see an opportunity to try something against Taiwan?‘“ – bto: Das ist in der Tat eine Frage, die man sich stellen muss.
  • When America acted to help Ukraine resist Russia’s invasion many asked whether it had the wherewithal to deter a looming Chinese assault against Taiwan. The question is all the more acute now that America also seeks to defend Israel.“ – bto: Das ist eine Frage, die sich wirklich stellt.
  • Yet academics debate whether and when the ‚unipolar‘ world, in which America bestrode the globe after the cold war, reverted to a ‚bipolar‘ one, in which America is challenged by China rather than the Soviet Union; or whether it is already a ‚multipolar‘ world. Joseph Nye, a Harvard academic, defined national power in three dimensions: military, economic and ‚soft power‘, ie, the ability, among other things, to co-opt others to do your bidding.“ – bto: Ich finde die arabische Welt gehört auf die Liste mit Russland und China.
  • In military terms, America remains a colossus. Economically, the world is bipolar in a way it never was during the cold war, with China’s economic output somewhat smaller than America’s at market exchange rates, and surpassing it at purchasing-power parity. Soft power is harder to measure, but it is probably fair to say the world is more multipolar…“ – bto: So fühlt sie sich zumindest an.
  • In office, Mr Biden’s priority has been revitalising the American economy. He borrowed the protectionist mindset of his predecessor, Donald Trump, and added large doses of subsidies and industrial policy to promote, among other things, green technology and the manufacture of semiconductors. Gratifyingly, the American economy has outperformed that of its rich-world peers. He hoped such policies would reduce social and political polarisation.“ – bto: Aber das ist nicht passiert, wie man an der zunehmend gespaltenen Gesellschaft sehen kann.
  • He also hoped they would fortify America in its contest with China. Describing the era as one of ‚competition in an age of interdependence‘, Mr Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, says foreign and domestic policies are more interconnected than ever, for instance in efforts to restrict China’s access to advanced technology.“ – bto: Es dient ja dazu, nicht nur die militärische, sondern auch die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung Chinas zu bremsen.
  • Mr Biden flew to the Saudi city of Jeddah in July last year to make up with Muhammad bin Salman, the crown prince. The president could not persuade the de facto ruler of the world’s biggest oil exporter to help moderate oil prices; instead, Saudi Arabia cleaved to a production deal with Russia to keep prices high. Moreover, he set a high bar for the normalisation of relations with Israel that Mr Biden hoped to bring about: concessions on the Palestinian question; a mutual-defence agreement with America; and uranium enrichment at home to counterbalance Iran’s nuclear programme.“ – bto: … was die Region nicht gerade friedlicher machen dürfte.
  • America’s reliability as an ally comes down to both credibility and capacity. Given America’s many alliances, academics have long debated the importance of credibility: does a failure to live up to obligations to one ally affect commitments to others? (…) These days the question is whether America’s pell-mell departure from Afghanistan undermined American credibility and encouraged Russia to invade Ukraine. Tod Wolters, a former military commander of nato forces, suggested last year that it had been one of several factors. But Mr Sullivan insists that, in fact, leaving Afghanistan ‚improved our strategic capacity‘ to respond to the invasion of Ukraine and the threat to Taiwan.“ – bto: Wobei der Abschied aus Afghanistan an Peinlichkeit nicht zu überbieten ist.
  • As for military capacity, America must supply weapons to Ukraine, Taiwan and now Israel. That raises doubts about whether its defence industries can meet their needs as well as its own. In general America sends different weapons to the three countries, but some demands overlap. For instance, 155mm artillery shells are in short supply, and America is reported to have diverted a consignment intended for Ukraine to Israel. The war in Ukraine has shown how big state-on-state conflicts consume vast quantities of munitions. War games suggest that, in a war over Taiwan, America would quickly run out of the long-range anti-ship missiles that would be most useful in repelling a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.“ – bto: Das ist interessant. Man würde meinen, dass Produktionskapazitäten vorgehalten warden.
  • America helps Ukraine in the name of the UN charter, the inviolability of sovereign borders and human rights. In defending Israel, America is backing a country that breaches international law by building Jewish settlements in occupied territories, rejects statehood for Palestinians and stands accused of imposing collective punishments on Palestinians, if not committing war crimes, in its bombardment and siege of Gaza.“ – bto: Aber es ist die einzige Demokratie in der Region und wir wissen, dass nach den Juden die Christen dran sind.
  • A second factor is America’s own role. In Europe it is acting at arm’s length, sending weapons, intelligence and money to Ukraine, but not troops. In the Middle East it is deploying its own forces to protect Israel from attack by Iran and its allies. Mr Biden’s embrace of Israel is sincerely felt—Mr Biden calls himself a Zionist—but is also an attempt to influence and restrain Israel.“ – bto: Das kann natürlich nur beschränkt funktionieren.
  • The impact of the crisis may be more tangible among some ‚swing states‘, says Richard Fontaine of the Centre for a New American Security, a think-tank in Washington, dc. These are countries that are ‚multi-aligned‘, and for whose allegiance America, China and Russia compete ever more intensely. Saudi Arabia may demand a higher price from Israel and America if it is ever to follow its Gulf neighbours, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, in establishing formal ties with Israel. Turkey, an equivocal ally of the West’s in the Ukraine crisis, could turn more hostile. (…) Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, inevitably sympathises with Palestinians. Though India thinks of itself as non-aligned and a friend of anti-colonial movements, it has expressed solidarity with Israel, feeling sympathy for it as a fellow victim of Islamist terrorism. South Africa sees Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as akin to apartheid. African countries, more broadly, feel America either ignores conflicts on their continent—such as the war in Sudan—or is hypocritical when it comes to human rights.“ – bto: Es ist unstrittig, dass das alles nicht so funktioniert, wie es funktionieren sollte aus westlicher Sicht. (Anmeldung erforderlich): „The overstretched superpower“, 24. Oktober 2023