The world’s security elite descend on Munich for annual security conference

Dozens of world leaders and defence ministers will convene today at the 56th Munich Security Conference. Global issues that defined

Munich Security Conference

Photo: MSC

Dozens of world leaders and defence ministers will convene today at the 56th Munich Security Conference.

Global issues that defined last year’s conference, such as climate change and migration policy, will likely feature again this year. However, European participants are expected to heavily focus on domestic challenges. The central theme of the conference is “Westlessness,” the notion that the West is uncertain of its own values and needs to redefine its global strategy.

A central component of said strategy will be US presence in the Middle East. The conference will provide the first opportunity for international discussion of Washington’s unclear strategy in the region, including President Donald Trump’s controversial peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While the conference itself will be sparsely attended by Western heads of government—even German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be present—it will serve as an important measuring stick for the West’s global policy priorities. While US foreign policy will undoubtedly receive widespread criticism, expect representatives from both America and Europe to attempt to hash out a coherent common strategy in the Middle East.

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