The Signal from Munich: A Report on the 45th Munich Security Conference
In the April edition of the Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (Journal for Foreign and Security Policy), Vice-Admiral Ulrich Weisser (retd) reports on the 2009 Munich Security Conference.
In his report on the “most important forum worldwide for discussing politico-strategic issues”, Vice-Admiral Weisser places special emphasis on the “signal from Munich” formulated by US Vice-President Joseph R. Biden: In a multipolar world facing major new global security challenges, no one country alone can tackle these; on the contrary, what is required is cooperation between equal partners based on shared values. Weisser also documents and comments on the Conference’s main discussions, not least the debates on updating the strategy in Afghanistan, Iran’s nuclear programme, the relationship between Russia and the West, and the future of NATO. Weisser praises the organi¬zation and orientation of the Conference: Weisser praises the Conference’s organization by saying: “It is thanks to Wolfgang Ischinger, the new host of the Munich Security Conference, that the right themes have been placed on the agenda and that the most eminently qualified speakers have been invited to talk about them. Throughout the Conference’s 45-year history, its founder, Ewald von Kleist, and his successor, Horst Teltschik, sent signals from the Munich meeting, in dramatic situations, that were instrumental in maintaining Alliance cohesion, in managing conflicts and in embracing new developments and themes. This year, Mr Ischinger has achieved the right balance between change and continuity.”