Monday, February 06, 2023
Security Strategy

Sommer Time

By Detlef Prinz

For us, Theo Sommer was always Ted.

The invitation to call him Ted was both a sign of familiarity and an expression of generosity, magnanimity and the absence of any kind of conceit on his part. People who had the pleasure of working with him never found themselves speaking to Herr Sommer, that towering figure behind DIE ZEIT. Instead, they were always inevitably talking to Ted.

Theo …

Pledge of Alliance

Pledge of Alliance
By Christine Lambrecht

NATO and the EU can rely on Germany

For more than a decade, the strategic focus of global politics has been shifting steadily toward Asia. And yet, today, at the Munich Security Conference, the emphasis is once again on Europe. After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which was carried out in violation of international law, and after the war in Donetsk and Luhansk, it is uncertain what the Federation’s next move …

Permacrisis Europe

Permacrisis Europe
By Wolfgang Ischinger

The West V. Russia.

“The question of war and peace has returned to the European continent,” said then-Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in 2015. Less than one year earlier, Russia had invaded and annexed Crimea in a cloak-and-dagger operation. What followed was international condemnation and a period of intense shuttle diplomacy between Moscow, Kyiv and capitals in the West. Arriving directly from talks in Moscow, …

All together now

All together now
By Detlef Prinz

There’s no question that the Munich Security Conference (MSC) is being held this year in a perilous international political environment. We hope that all participants can take full advantage of the opportunity for intensive discussion, debate and negotiation. This is what matters, now more than ever.

As delighted as I am to greet the large US delegation, I’m deeply disappointed that no member of the Russian delegation is making the …

“Germany sometimes walks around Europe like it owns the place.”

By Security Times

In an interview with The Security Times, Sigmar Gabriel discusses Germany’s complicated relationship to the US, to Russia and to the states of Eastern Europe.


The Security Times: What role does the German-American partnership still play in 2022? Is Berlin still a reliable ally of Washington? And vice versa?

 In light of the near-tectonic shifts in the world’s economic, political and military axes of power, democratic states around the …

Down to the wire

By Dmitri Trenin

The blow-by-blow of Europeʼs ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

1. The current crisis in Russia-West relations is not primarily about Ukraine, but essentially about the architecture of European security. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s current goal is not to take over Ukraine or wrestle it back to the Russian sphere of influence. Rather, it is to replace the post-Cold War system, which is dominated by the United States and managed through NATO …

Mr. Precedent

By Kristin Helberg

What Russian intervention in Syria says about Putin

By Kristin Helberg

The West is bewildered. What is the driving force behind President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy? What are his goals and what tools is he willing to use to achieve them? To answer these questions, it would be wise to take a look back at Syria – Putin’s longest, most extensive foreign intervention. Since 2011, Moscow has worked to secure …

Separating chimeras from realities

By Rüdiger von Fritsch

Behind Moscow’s roar lies the realization that its international influence is on the wane.

“German weapons for Ukraine?” “Will Nord Stream 2 sink to the bottom of the Baltic if Russia attacks?” If German and international policymakers continue to focus on naval-gazing issues like these, they face the grave danger of losing sight of the real challenge we’re facing in the debate over Russia: The leadership in Moscow aims to …

Warsaw unpacked

By Pawel Karolewski and Claus Leggewie

How will Central Europe react to Russian aggression against Ukraine?

After 1990, it seemed that all was right with the world. With the demise of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the hitherto semi-sovereign states of Central and Eastern Europe were given the opportunity to determine their own security policy interests. And their choice was clear: They wanted to join NATO and the EU and drop the Brezhnev Doctrine, …

Origin story

By Martin Schulze Wessel

Putin’s doomed attempt to reconcile Russian myth with today’s realities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a leader who scrupulously weighs his interests, calculating the risks of each policy and balancing them against the potential rewards. The limited military interventions pursued thus far by Russia in Georgia, Syria and Ukraine, for example, would seem to confirm this theory. But while Putin clearly sees himself as a political strategist, he also sees …