The Munich Security Conference – one of the main international forums on global security – presented an annual report on the situation in the world. It is titled “Lose-Lose?”, which can be translated into Russian as “Loose everything?”
The authors of the report say that the usual order of international cooperation turned out to be ineffective in resolving new political crises. The countries of the world began to cooperate less with each other and more often pursue only their own interests. As a result, experts believe, in most of the current crises, all involved parties are losing, and political uncertainty is growing.
Analyzing the situation in Eastern Europe, the authors of the report note that “Moscow’s imperial ambitions have already led to war and crossed out all plans for joint security work in the foreseeable future.” In the end, they lose everything: Ukraine risks its very existence as an independent state, but the war also causes enormous harm to the population of Russia, and Europe can no longer receive the usual benefits from a peaceful existence and is forced to invest finances and efforts in its own defense and in support of Ukraine.
At the same time, as the authors of the report note, after almost two years of war, fear of Russia in the world has decreased significantly. According to polls, only residents of Great Britain and Japan now mention Russia as the main security threat. For German citizens, Russia ranks seventh in their threat rating, and for Italians, it ranks 12th. In many countries, people are more concerned about mass migration, radical Islamism, in particular the politics of Iran, and climate change. In China and the USA, citizens call cyberattacks the main threat.
Many observers are concerned about the growing tension in the Indo-Pacific region and the militarization of China. Because of it, many countries of the region are looking for closer ties with the USA and are trying to reduce their economic dependence on Beijing, which worsens the political and economic situation of both China and themselves.
In the same way, according to experts, “everyone loses” from the escalation of violence in the Middle East. After the attack on October 7, 2022 by the Islamist group Hamas, recognized as a terrorist in the USA and the EU, Israel not only suffered losses among civilians, but also lost the very feeling of security. Its retaliatory strikes lead to mass casualties among residents of the Gaza Strip and to a humanitarian crisis there. There is also a danger that instability will spread to other countries in the region, where Islamist groups supported by Iran operate.
Similar trends are noted in Africa, where military coups took place in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger last year. Local residents are losing their chances for democratic progress, and the USA and the EU are contractual partners.
Analysts emphasize that in the conditions of instability, the level of cooperation between states and entire regions decreases, and the level of rivalry increases. This interferes with joint work in the field of economics, climate policy and technical progress. “There is a real risk of a vicious circle, when more and more countries will be drawn into a situation where everything loses, and it is not about who will receive more benefits, but only about who will lose less,” they conclude.
The next Munich Security Conference will be held this week. The participation of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as the heads of the foreign policy departments of leading Western countries, is expected.