Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Security Strategy

Europe and the US have failed in Syria

By Kristin Helberg

After almost nine years of civil war, the crisis in and around Syria has not been resolved. Nonetheless, it is clear who the winners and losers in the conflict are. Among the winners are the Syrian regime, Russia, Iran and even Turkey, to a certain extent. These countries have always known what they wanted, have proven ready to do anything to get what they want, and have been able to …

We must re-address arms control

We must re-address arms control
By Theo Sommer

When the history of these times is written, it may well be that the headlines of the day – Iraq and the controversies it has aroused – will pale in comparison to other international upheavals of our period. The center of gravity of world affairs is moving to the Pacific, and almost all major actors on the international stage are defining new roles for themselves.”

You may not believe it. …

Europeans are no longer evading the security question

By Wolfgang Ischinger

What are Europeans willing and able to do in order to secure their wider neighborhood? This question is by no means new. But with instability growing and the US footprint shrinking in Europe’s southern periphery, the question regularly returns – and each time with greater force.

Encouragingly, it looks as if Europeans are no longer evading the security question. Moreover, by hosting peace talks in Berlin, the German government – …

The West and the search for its future

The West and the search for its future
By Peter Koepf and Lutz Lichtenberger

There was a time when it appeared that history was coming to an end and the future was set to begin. The democratic and capitalist West had brought communism and the command economies of the East to their knees, not least by dint of an arms race the Soviet Union ultimately couldn’t keep up with. The battle of the two systems had a clear winner and the era of the …

Germany can make a difference in an unsteady world

By Heiko Maas

This year’s Munich Security Report diagnoses the world with a condition it calls “Westlessness,” with symptoms that include signs of Western paralysis amid a loss of global significance. Many political observers share similar concerns. While our countries and societies increasingly question their own norms and values, the argument goes, we are losing the power and will to shape the global order for the better.

Indeed, Western power and heft in …

Beyond trade: the confrontation between the US and China

Beyond trade: the confrontation between the US and China
By Graham T. Allison Jr.

Could China and the US be stumbling down the path Germany and the United Kingdom took at the beginning of the last century? The possibility will strike many readers as inconceivable. But we should remember that when we say something is “inconceivable,” this is a claim not about what is possible in the world, but rather about what our limited minds can imagine.

My answer to the question of whether …

The US and Europe hold a hand that’s too good to fold

By Joseph S. Nye, JR.

With the end of the Cold War, many believed the West had prevailed. In his 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama wrote that humanity had reached “the end-point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” A few years later, Samuel Huntington issued a gloomier prognosis in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking …

America, China and the complexity of their rivalry

By Volker Perthes

The rivalry between the United States and China has become a guiding paradigm of international relations, shaping strategic debates, but also real political, military and economic dynamics. This is not to say that competition between Washington and Beijing – or even great-power rivalries in general – determines all other international problems and conflicts. However, Sino-American competition increasingly provides the framework through which various actors view significant events and developments. At …

Brexit is a challenge shared by the UK, the EU and the US

By Nicholas Burns

Global leaders congregating at the annual Munich Security Conference this year must wrestle with a multitude of crises. The coronavirus pandemic is imperiling people in every region of the world and may threaten global economic growth and stability. The Middle East has been upended by an uneasy US-Iran truce after the attack on Qassim Soleimani. US President Donald Trump’s ill-advised Middle East Peace Plan has exacerbated tensions, and fierce fighting …

America’s retreat: A world without a keeper

By Herfried Münkler

Will the American century indeed give way to the Chinese century? While this may be the case in terms of industrial production, it will be some time before China can dominate the international order and become the actor dominating the globe. At the moment, the US commands the economic potency and the military might to pursue its global interests. China, on the other hand, will not possess such resources for …