Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, chair of the Munich Security Conference, led the MuMAC audience through the recent changes that have shaken the international. Ambassador Ischinger believes that the current international climate is the most dangerous it has been since the end of the Cold War.
Central to this change are the “Five Losses” to the international order: the losses of prediction, truth, Western self-confidence and trust in institutions, regional and global decision- making capability, and the state monopoly of power.
From the complete surprise with which the international community was caught by events, such as the Crimean Crisis to the growing emergence of nationalistic tendencies around the world, and increasingly aggressive rogue states, Ambassador Ischinger highlighted how norms and principles that have been fundamental to the international order since the end of the Second World War are being steadily eroded.
The growing threat posed by cyberattacks is just another example of how things are changing and how governments are often poorly equipped to respond to them.
Nonetheless, Ambassador Ischinger pointed to a number of more positive developments. The election of Emmanuel Macron and the continued support for the European Union amongst both major parties in Germany are grounds for optimism. Indeed, projects such as the EU are where the future lies, not amongst nation states that are growing into “pretenders” that cannot keep their promises.