Friday, January 22, 2021
Security Strategy

Even proven foreign policy instincts do not much help when confronting challenges of a new sort. Moving forward, Europeans must forge a new social consensus on foreign policy

Even proven foreign policy instincts do not much help when confronting challenges of a new sort. Moving forward, Europeans must forge a new social consensus on foreign policy
By Volker Stanzel

A look at Western Europe’s postwar history helps illuminate what served as its foreign policy’s point of departure in the past, and the foundation that undergirds its foreign policy moving forward. We can view the outcome of World War II as a global overthrow of Europe. In a matter of a few years, European imperialists and colonial masters found that their role on the global stage had changed completely. The …

“What’s wrong with America First?” – and other foreign policy questions Democratic presidential candidates will have to answer

By Anne-Marie Slaughter

As of the beginning of February, nine Democratic candidates had announced a bid for the US presidency; The New York Times estimates that a tenth candidate is “all but certain to run” and identifies three more as “likely to run” and an additional nine who “might run.” That adds up to a potential 21 candidates on the Democratic side, plus Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz’s possible candidacy as an Independent.

Of …

Violence has morphed from a political instrument into an economic resource, but this is only one of five reasons for today’s never-ending conflicts

By Herfried Münkler

In the grand scheme of European history, the 19th century stands out as an era of peace. However, this characterization of the epoch – defined by historians as spanning the Congress of Vienna and the start of World War I – rings only partly true. A whole series of wars dotted Europe at the time, like the Crimean War and the Italian and German wars of unification, just to name …

The EU needs a firm grasp on its neighbor to the east

By Eric Bonse

When Federica Mogherini was named the European Union’s new foreign policy chief, one particular photo made the rounds in Brussels. It shows the Italian politician at the Kremlin, shaking the hand of Vladimir Putin. Their grasp is firm, their eyes locked. The photo was taken during her first trip to Moscow, in July 2014, when Mogherini was still foreign minister of Italy.

Whoever greets Putin so affably cannot possibly speak …

Despite their troubles, Europe and the US are not withering away. It would behoove Moscow to avoid escalations

Despite their troubles, Europe and the US are not withering away. It would behoove Moscow to avoid escalations
By Dmitri Trenin

Looking at the West today, a Russian who witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago sees a striking picture. Political America is gripped in a cold civil war, and is led by a president who acts as if he were still the star of a reality TV show. British politicians have managed to maneuver their island into a Brexit limbo. Their French colleagues had to file for …

Helsinki 2.0: We need new multilateral formats, including a new permanent conference on European security with Russian participation

Helsinki 2.0: We need new multilateral formats, including a new permanent conference on European security with Russian participation
By Alexey Gromyko

In the long and complicated history of the Cold War, tensions and détente had their peaks and troughs. One profound achievement of peacemaking was the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, signed in Helsinki in 1975. It was the embodiment of a new modus vivendi, above all in the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Helsinki Process led to the creation …

Cold hard fact: Peace is only possible with Moscow on board

By Rolf Mützenich and Achim Post

When Social Democrats make the case for new initiatives in Germany’s official Russia policy, they are usually dismissed for being “naïve Russophiles.” So let’s get the following out of the way before we go any further: Yes, the Russian state has broken international law and continues to undertake obvious attempts to destabilize the EU and Western democracies. And, yes, it’s highly likely that Russian forces have influenced elections and referenda. …

From Brussels with love. To a more assertive EU in a volatile world

By Helga Maria Schmid

As we meet in Munich this year, the prediction made in last year’s edition of this paper with regard to the growing importance of great power rivalries still rings in our ears. Geopolitics is back and likely to stay.

What is more, our strategic environment is growing ever more unpredictable. Today, major powers openly challenge the rulesbased international order and seek to promote alternative visions of a world divided into …

This year’s EU elections could become an unlikely battleground for the future of the liberal world order

By Mark Leonard

The Munich Security Conference has grown accustomed to ranking the security threats to the West: Islamist terrorists, Russian revisionism or the global ambitions of China’s big data dictatorship. But today, the most critical challenges come not from outside the West but from the political dynamics within.

In 2019, they actually derive from one of the most unlikely sources: the elections to the European Parliament. Traditionally, these elections bear almost no …

The EU must win the conflicts of the future

The EU must win the conflicts of the future
By Sigmar Gabriel

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Europe has rarely been associated worth power. Complaints about Europe’s weakness are the rule, especially among those Europeans who too often favor depressive self-reflection over strategic observation, Germany included. Only one hundred years ago, just before World War I, European powers were at their imperial peak – and the US was beginning its rise. Many countries that are now our equal partners were, …