An article by: Ahmed Moustafa
The wars in Ukraine and in Gaza dominated the 2024 Munich Security Conference

The Munich Security Conference (MSC), an annual conference focused on security and defense issues around the world, took place on 16th-18th of February. Top issues discussed were the Russo-Ukrainian war and the war in Gaza. In addition, delegations discussed issues in the Indo-Pacific and Africa.
The “vibes” and sentiments of the participants, as it were, were not positive coming out of the conference which is traditionally a gathering of high-ranking officials from the transatlantic foreign policy community, who have brought Western power to its current predicament through bungled policies from Iraq to Afghanistan and Yemen. The Conference is a platform for the spread of globalist ideological currents and narratives that undermine the Western spirit and identity.
As Mathew Lee from Associated Press wrote “the Munich Security Conference, traditionally a celebration of the US-led post-World War II international order, is now reflecting America's political turmoil”. The event began after former President Donald Trump threatened not to defend European allies in case of an attack by Russia. There are concerns about the US's ability to continue providing defense assistance for Ukraine and increasing American isolation over its support for Israel's war in Gaza.
This time the Munich Security Conference focused on unprecedented challenges to global rules and regulations. There were also a lot of debates on bilateral and multilateral relations. China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, has criticized Germany's approach to de-risking China by shutting it out of the trade. He argued that the absence of cooperation is the biggest risk and that shutting China out in the name of de-risking would be a historic mistake. Wang also emphasized that the world economy is like a big ocean that cannot be cut into isolated lakes and that the trend toward economic globalization cannot be reversed. He emphasized the need to collaborate to make globalization more universally beneficial and inclusive.

A reevaluation of strategies is needed to address security threats

The 2024 edition of Munich Security Conference highlighted the complex global security landscape, focusing on strengthening the rules-based international order and addressing revisionist tendencies. The conference suggested a need for a strategic reevaluation to address both traditional and emerging security threats, emphasizing the importance of global cooperation while acknowledging the persistent influence of national interests.

The conference also discussed Europe’s role in security and defense, new visions of the global order, and the security implications of climate change. The reluctance of many states to unite against Russia’s war in Ukraine demonstrates the difficulty in developing a shared vision for global cooperation. Other topics discussed included ongoing wars in Europe and the Middle East, rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific, NATO expansion, and the potential return of Donald Trump to the White House.

The 2024 MSC report, published ahead of the Munich Security Conference, focuses on the redistribution of Western gains towards the Global South. The report accuses the West of failing to pursue “inclusive global growth” and focusing on relative gains or zero-sum thinking. It criticizes Western governments for raising defense budgets, introducing sanctions, and reconsidering engagement policies in response to autocratic revisionism. The report also warns that shrinking national budgets will make it more difficult to compensate the “losers” of globalization.

However, this argument is not accurate. The report ignores the detrimental impact on economic growth in the West due to the Net Zero agenda, COVID-19, government waste, corruption, and welfare budgets. The report is a complaint about the West’s mobilization and security against revisionist rivals, particularly China. It warns decision-makers to avoid adopting an ever-more expansive conception of security relevance to damage the prospects for an “inclusive world order.” The logic of the report is that the West should let its guard down for more lucrative business with autocracies so that Western governments would have more money left available to give out to the Global South. The report also suggests that de-risking from China should go hand in hand with redirecting investment toward Africa and other low-income countries.

The conclusions reached by the MSC participants largely reflect the thinking of the Western community

The MSC 2024 report reflects the mindset of a Western strategic community that has been overtaken by events and has difficulty accepting the reality of great-power competition in the world system. The generation that matured intellectually in the post-Cold War era of hyper-globalization, “soft power” and liberal internationalism has a hard time accepting the reality of resuming great-power competition. The report suggests that zero-sum and overmatching adversaries are the only way forward to preserve Western security and return to the globalization ideals of the 1990s. The aspiration for a better world and global prosperity is legitimate, but the primacy of Western power and values in international affairs is the precondition for any grander vision of human flourishing.

Russia and the group of gas exporting countries have a great opportunity to respond to the triviality and superficiality of the Munich Security Conference through the “Algeria Summit of Gas Exporting Countries” and they can cause them pain and discomfort – because gas has become the most strategic energy resource in the world because it is the most in-demand, the least polluting of the environment. It is also used in generating “Blue hydrogen.”

Energy is still a strategic tool in the world, and Russia and Iran are still among the largest energy producers in the world, along with the countries of the Global South. They control the oil and gas industry as well as nuclear energy. Without energy, no country can achieve any progress or development. This is why Europe is in big trouble if it bets more and more on Presidente Biden.

Here, will Europe try to support Biden financially, thinking that he is best for it? Especially since the American election process is one of the most corrupt elections in the world due to the interference of donations and political money from supporters of competitors and lobbies for the presidency at home and abroad. The value of what was spent in the 2020 presidential elections reached about 15.5 billion dollars, according to a report by the Open Secrets website.

In the Egypt we believe that Russia and Iran in particular are hated by the West because the West fails to accept the reality that they have become one of the largest global powers, as well as a major player in the international and regional arenas. Therefore, the coming days will witness more cooperation between the two countries, and this is noticeable from the activity of the ambassadors and foreign affairs of the two countries in the south and east. And also what the Iranian ambassador to Moscow, Kazem Jalali, is doing, and his hosting of sustainable events between the two countries, the most recent of which is his reception of the great Russian thinker, Alexander Dugin.

Biden damages the reputation of the U.S.

Biden, his team, and his lobbyists failed to achieve any of the goals of his previous election campaign, or what he promised later, so Russia was waiting for him in Ukraine and defeated NATO in its worst defeat. He failed to complete the deal of the normalization between Israel with Saudi Arabia. America’s internal debt has increased so that each American citizen owes about 100,000 dollars, and the external debt has become 130%, that is, an increase of approximately four times the external debt of its counterparts in Russia and China.

Biden lost the moral battle and even undermined the reputation of the United States and the West globally because they adopted extreme racism and double standards towards any citizen who did not belong to the West. The Gaza crisis became scandalous for them. This lack of trust will be entrenched in the hearts and minds of Arab and Muslim youth and the South, and that the West is not the role model, but on the contrary, it is an example of lies and moral decadence. The East and the new global powers are still the world’s protective shield for family, ethics, and the good human spirit, no matter how many crises they are exposed to.

Many experts predict that a civil war may occur within the United States and a rift in American federalism as the frenetic race for the presidency approaches as if we are facing a war that will occur within America between elephants and donkeys. Perhaps there will be a boycott of the elections by certain groups, such as Arabs and Muslims, due to the positions of either Biden or Trump that are hostile to Arabs and Muslims, especially regarding the Palestinian issue. Perhaps new youth movements similar to “Occupy”, which the American regime eliminated at the beginning of the last decade, will emerge in retaliation against corrupt politicians who revolve within the “revolving door” of both parties.

Director of the Center for Asia Studies

Ahmed Moustafa