Friday, May 20, 2022
Security Briefs

Judgment of Paris

By Cameron Abadi

On the institutional disadvantages of democracy vis-à-vis climate.

In the international rivalry between China and the West, the bloc of traditional democratic states has plenty of reason to think it can outcompete Beijing. But in the struggle against climate change, China’s system of government has shown some advantages over Western democracies. The challenge facing the United States and Europe is severe: on one of the defining international problems of our …

A more perfect Union

By Norbert Röttgen

A change in Germany’s foreignpolicy mentality is long overdue.

For the first time in 16 years, the CDU/CSU finds itself in the opposition after a federal election. Observers abroad are now looking to see what course the new German government’s foreign policy will take. They are likely also curious to see how the CDU/CSU will position itself in foreign policy matters without Angela Merkel at the helm. Our basic position …

Learning to drive

By Alexander Graf Lambsdorff

Germany faces its bugbears: geopolitics, deterrence, resilience

Good policymaking begins with a sober look at reality. One of today’s realities is that war and the threat of military force have by no means disappeared from Europe. Indeed, Clausewitz’s dictum continues to apply: War is merely the continuation of politics by other means. Russia is already using its 140,000 soldiers stationed at the Ukrainian border as an extension of its political …

Bridging the Gulf

By James Bindenagel

Americaʼs turn to Asia leads to new partnerships among the Gulf States.

The abrupt withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the end of the mission in Iraq manifests a process that is clearly leaving its mark. The US “Pivot to Asia” strategy, initiated under President Barack Obama, shifts more responsibility to the Gulf States for security in the region. While these states have responded positively, will this strategy work …

Hello. My name is Vladimir (he/him)

By Leandra Bias

Anti-gender backlash in Russia’s foreign policy strategy

Vladimir Putin’s 2012 campaign for a third presidential term invoked the term “Gayropa” as a popular concept to describe a perverted, subordinate Europe. The same period saw concerns aired on Radio Echo Moskvy that “homosexual Europe will be harassing normal Russia under the pretense that it is teaching us democracy.” Not long after, the Security Council of Russia itself weighed in on the …

Always the diplomat

By Günter Bannas

Wolfgang Ischinger is chairing the Munich Security Conference for the last time in 2022. Hats off to a dyed-in-the-wool German diplomat.

What times they were, what incredible experiences, what achievements, what a legacy. Wolfgang Ischinger’s career spans entire epochs of contemporary history: the Cold War, its end culminating in German unification, the hope for a lasting peace, the subsequent disappointments and, finally, globalization and its new – or maybe not …

How Europe should counter the rise of illiberal democracies

By Ivan Krastev

On Dec. 10, 1948, shattered by the horrors of World War II, the international community adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Of the United Nations’ 58 member states, 48 voted in favor of the declaration, eight abstained (the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies plus Saudi Arabia) and two did not vote. The world was far less liberal in 1948 than it is today, and the concept of …

European arms manufacturers under scrutiny

European arms manufacturers under scrutiny
By Markus Bickel

The allegations are nothing new. Human rights organizations have been accusing European arms manufacturers of aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen since 2015. That was the year Saudi Arabia’s air force began bombing military and civilian targets in the country sometimes referred to as “the poorhouse of the Arab world.” As a result of the bombings, the judiciary in Italy launched an investigation into RWM Italia, a subsidiary of …

The indefensible US defense budget

The indefensible US defense budget
By Jessica T. Mathews

The sheer size of the United States military establishment and the American habit of equating military spending with patriotism have made sound management and serious oversight in the area increasingly rare. For a democracy, that puts the US on an unusual and risky path. Capitol Hill’s annual debate about military spending no longer compares military with domestic needs or asks where real cuts could be made – it only asks …

Will the US terminate the Open Skies Treaty?

Will the US terminate the Open Skies Treaty?
By PHK

To date, the best thing we can say about the arms control agreement known as the Open Skies Treaty (OST) is that it’s not dead yet.

There have been reports, however, that US President Donald Trump raised the prospect of withdrawing from the OST in a memorandum issued in October 2019. Of course, that was also the year that Trump pulled out of the Cold War-era deal known as the …