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German Anti-ISIS News, Europe's Solar Power, Billboard Shaming

GERMAN CABINET BACKS ANTI-ISIS CAMPAIGN

After agreeing last week to send 650 soldiers to Mali to support 1,500 French troops deployed to fight Islamist extremists, Germany could be about to launch a military campaign in Syria. The German cabinet voted today to send reconnaissance aircraft, a naval frigate and a 1,200-strong military force to the region as part of plans to back the fight against ISIS, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. German troops will not, however, engage in combat. This follows an appeal by French President François Hollande for an international coalition against ISIS in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks. German lawmakers in Berlin are expected to vote on the campaign tomorrow.

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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