By Michael Liebig
Founded in 1962 by Ewald von Kleist, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become probably the leading international event debating security policy. Until 1990, then named Wehrkunde conference, the event was an exclusively „trans-Atlantic“ affair. But von Kleist recognized early on that the world was moving towards multipolarity and invited also political
The atmosphere at this year’s Munich Security Conference seemed stressful: Probably too many sticky security problems internationally – not to speak of the financial and fiscal problems within the “West”. And, on top of this, new, rising powers are joining the premier league of global security actors. While speaking softly in Munich, the Chinese Foreign Minister put forward new rules of the game for global security.
In 2007, the intervention of Russian President Putin dominated the Munich Security Conference. This year, it was the Obama admininistration’s “smart power” foreign policy, presented by a high-powered US delegation. Vice President Biden’s speech stood at the center of attention, but Joseph Nye explained what American “smart power” really means – which is not exactly what most people think it is.