Eine Neuauflage der Containment-Debatte

PARIS – Bei Anbruch des Kalten Krieges gab es eine intensive Debatte in den USA zwischen denjenigen, die den Kommunismus eindämmen wollten (Containment), und jenen, die ihn zurückdrängen wollten (Rollback): War es ausreichend, den Ambitionen der Sowjetunion Grenzen zu setzen, oder war eine aggressivere Haltung – manchmal als „Containment plus“ bezeichnet – erforderlich?

Die jüngste Plänkelei zwischen US-Präsident Barack Obama und seiner ehemaligen Außenministerin (und möglichen Nachfolgerin) Hillary Clinton scheint diese Debatte wiederbelebt zu haben. Aber wie nützlich ist ihr Bezugsrahmen heute, wo sich der Westen gleichzeitigen Herausforderungen durch den Islamischen Staat im Nahen Osten und durch ein revisionistisches Russland gegenübersieht? Haben die westlichen Führungen mit ihrer Annahme Recht, dass beide Herausforderungen nichts miteinander zu tun haben und dass im Falle Russlands ein Containment ausreichen wird, während im Falle des Islamischen Staates ein Rollback absolut notwendig ist?

Die Überlegung dabei ist, dass der Westen Russland genauso braucht wie Russland den Westen, während (gelinde gesagt) niemand eine Schutzzone für islamistische Fanatiker im Herzen des Nahen Ostens braucht. Daher müsse man Russland durch eine Kombination aus Wirtschaftssanktionen, strategische Einigkeit und diplomatisches Engagement zum Kurswechsel bewegen. Den Ambitionen des Islamischen Staates dagegen ließen sich keine Grenzen setzen; deshalb müssten sie unterdrückt werden.

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