Munich Security Report
Munich Security Report 2019: "The Great Puzzle: Who Will Pick Up the Pieces?"
Looking at the current state of international affairs it is difficult to escape the feeling that the world is not just witnessing a series of smaller and bigger crises. Rather, the entire liberal international order appears to be falling apart – nothing will we be as it once was. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the global security landscape has never been more dangerous. We are experiencing an epochal shift, as one era is coming to an end, and for now only rough outlines of a new geopolitical age are visible. Although some states are committed to maintaining the liberal international order, it is questionable whether they – often distracted by other domestic and foreign policy challenges – are able to assume this role.
It is in this context that the Munich Security Conference Foundation publishes its annual Munich Security Report (download the report as a PDF here). Titled "The Great Puzzle: Who will Pick Up the Pieces?" the Munich Security Report 2019 provides an overview of major security policy challenges and features insightful data, analyses, maps and infographics. As a companion and impulse for the 55th edition of the Munich Security Conference, the Munich Security Report serves as background reading for conference participants, but is also made available to the general public. The last report was downloaded more than 40,000 times and received ample press coverage in both German and international media. The discussion on Twitter will happen under #MSCreport.
This year's report analyses the reshuffling of core pieces of the international order. Besides looking at major powers like the United States, China and Russia, the report also highlights actors of the "second row": liberal democracies such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan. In addition, the report assesses current security policy developments in selected regions such as in the Western Balkans, in the Sahel region and in the Middle East. It examines the global challenge to arms control against the background of the recently suspended INF Treaty and emerging technologies such as hypersonic weapons. Other global issues covered are the security policy implications of current developments in the areas of international trade, transnational organized crime and artificial intelligence.
The Munich Security Report features a number of exclusive and unpublished materials. For the preparation of the report, the Munich Security Conference Foundation has collaborated with renowned partner institutions, including the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Pew Research Center, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), Oxford Economics, McKinsey & Company, the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Regional Office for Cooperation and Peace in Europe and the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE).
Select media coverage of the Munich Security Report 2019:
- Europeans Grow Tired of the U.S.-Led Alliance (Bloomberg, February 14, 2019)
- Struggle between big powers spells hostile future: report (Reuters, February 11, 2019)
- Munich Security Report sees world as a broken puzzle (DW, February 11, 2019)
- China’s Influence in Balkans Poses Risks, Report Warns (Balkan Insight, February 11, 2019)
- Europe risks losing its footing amid shifting world order, report warns (Defense News, February 11, 2019)
- A new war in Europe has become visible on the radar (Kommersant, February 11, 2019 - in Russian)
- China leads research into hypersonic technology: report (Politico, February 8, 2019)
- Sahel Islamist groups' networking skills growing: security report (Reuters, February 8, 2019)
- Wolfgang Ischinger: 'European Union is alive and kicking' (DW, February 8, 2019)
Munich Security Report 2018: "To the Brink - and Back?"
For international security, the year 2017 was marked – among others – by signs of a continued erosion of the so-called liberal international order and an increasingly unpredictable US foreign policy. Tensions in many parts of the world have been growing: the rhetoric between the US and North Korea has escalated, the rift in the Gulf has become deeper, not only between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and major arms control treaties are at stake. In the last year, the world got closer – much too close! – to the brink of significant conflict, and we must do whatever we can to move away from the brink.
It is in this context that the Munich Security Conference Foundation publishes its annual Munich Security Report (download the report as a PDF here). Under the heading "To the Brink - and Back?", the Munich Security Report 2018 provides an overview of major security policy issues and features data, analyses, maps and infographics. As a companion and impulse for the 54th edition of the Munich Security Conference, the Munich Security Report serves as background reading for conference participants, but is also made available to the general public. The last report was downloaded close to 35,000 times and received ample press coverage in both German and international media.
This year's main topics include the crises of the liberal international order and the impact of the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency. It also looks at the new momentum in European defense policy and the potential impact of Brexit. In addition, the report analyses regional developments in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. It also provides insights into the state of global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, the issue of environmental and climate security as well as cyber security.
The Munich Security Report features a number of exclusive and unpublished materials. For the preparation of the report, the Munich Security Conference has collaborated with renowned partner institutions, including the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), McKinsey & Company, the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), Oxford Economics, the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) and the RAND Corporation.
Select media coverage of the Munich Security Report 2018:
- Geostrategists: Give Russia and China a Rest (Bloomberg, 16.02.2018)
- A phony war for our times (Valdai Discussion Club, 16.2.2018)
- Is Europe bold enough to counter US ambivalence? (Deutsche Welle, 15.2.2018)
- Munich Security Report 2018 (Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, February 15, 2018)
- Europe’s Geo-Tactical Trap (Carnegie Europe, February 14, 2018)
- Wie kann die Welt ihren Frieden wiederfinden? (Welt, February 12, 2018)
- Will NATO Nations Go to War With Russia? New Munich Security Report Warns of Conflict and Collapse of Liberalism (Newsweek, February 8, 2018)
- 'World on the brink,' warns Munich Security Report (DW, February 8, 2018)
- Bericht zur Sicherheitskonferenz "Angriffe von ungeahnter Seite" (Tagesschau, February 8, 2018)
- In dramatischer Unterzahl - Ein militärischer Kräftevergleich mit Russland zeigt die Schwächen der Nato (FAZ, February 8, 2018)
- EU, NATO face growing threat of inadvertent military clash, report says (Reuters, February 7, 2018)
- In Europa nimmt die Angst vor der atomaren Aufrüstung zu (Handelsblatt, February 7, 2018)
Munich Security Report 2017: "Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?"
Is the world facing an era shaped by disorder and by illberal actors? On February 13, 2017, several days ahead of the 53rd edition of the Munich Security Conference, the Munich Security Conference Foundation publishes the third edition of its annual report on key issues in international security (click here for an online version or download the full report as a PDF).
Under the title "Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?", the Munich Security Report offers a wide variety of analyses, data, statistics, infographics, and maps on major developments and challenges in international security.
The report aims to serve as a companion and impulse for the discussions at the Munich Security Conference 2017 and as background for participants. At the same time, it is also made available to security professionals and the interested public. Last year's report was downloaded more than 25,000 times, with press coverage in both German and international media.
Central topics of the new edition of the Munich Security Report include the crisis of the international order and of liberal democracies as well as European security and defense policy. In addition, the report assembles information on the threat emanating from jihadist groups, propaganda and fake news as security challenges, and the security situation in the Pacific and the Middle East.
The Munich Security Report was prepared in cooperation with numerous renowned institutions and think tanks, including the International Crisis Group, IHS Markit, Chatham House, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Hertie School of Governance, and McKinsey & Company.
Select media coverage:
- EU could slash costs by pooling military spending: study (POLITICO Europe, 06.02.17)
- Syrien-Bericht der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz - 80 Prozent der russischen Luftangriffe galten nicht ISIS (in German, BILD, 04.02.17)
- High-Tech-Firmen mischen die Rüstungsindustrie auf (in German, Handelsblatt, 08.02.17)
- Trumps Politik stärkt iranische Hardliner (in German, FAZ.NET, 09.02.17)
- The World Next Week Podcast (CFR, 09.02.17)
- 'A post-Western age': Munich Security Report details fragile world order (Deutsche Welle, 13.02.17)
- Why Europe Is Warning of Pax Americana's End (Bloomberg, 13.02.17)
- World on brink of 'post-Western age' as influence of Europe and US declines, warns report (Independent, 15.02.17)
Munich Security Report 2016: "Boundless Crises, Reckless Spoilers, Helpless Guardians?"
In the run-up to the Munich Security Conference's 52nd edition (12 to 14 February 2016) the MSC released its second Munich Security Report (MSR) featuring important trends and issues in international security.
Key topics of this edition, entitled "Boundless Crises, Reckless Spoilers, Helpless Guardians," include the crisis of the European security order, the war in Syria and the global activities of jihadist groups. The report also sheds light on the refugee crisis and the security implications of global climate and health policies. More...
"Just like the MSC, which has successfully grown out of its original focus on defense, the report takes a broad approach to security. In addition to what you might expect to find in such a report, like analyses of Russian or Chinese foreign policy or the Syrian war, I was pleased to see that the report also looks at issues like refugee flows, health, climate change and cyber warfare." – Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan about the MSR 2016.
Munich Security Report 2015: "Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians?"
On 26 January 2015, ahead of the Munich Security Conference's 51st edition, the MSC published its first Munich Security Report (MSR), an annual digest on critical questions and important trends in international security policy.
Topics of the inaugural edition, entitled "Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians?", include the Ukraine crisis, a survey of recent developments in jihadist extremism, new challenges such as hybrid warfare, and the global refugee crisis. More...
"A truly intriguing and thought-provoking paper" – German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen about the MSR 2015.