The 2018 Munich Security Conference and the emerging conflict between the US and Europe
22 February 2018
The Munich Security Conference (MSC) held last weekend was dominated by rising, potentially violent conflicts between the imperialist powers and Russia and China. How close the world is to a possible war between nuclear-armed powers was epitomized by the MSC’s main report, which featured an introduction by Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger that warned, “The world has gotten closer—much too close!—to the brink of a significant conflict,” and which backed up this assessment by listing US war threats against North Korea, China’s rapid economic growth, conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe, and the US confrontation with Iran.
Yet amid all the talk of a common “external threat” in the form of Russia, China and Iran, the MSC was characterized by a widening rift between the US and the European Union centred on plans to create an independent European military capability. This was initiated last year by the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) treaty and detailed in a second MSC document, “More European, More Connected and More Capable, Building the European Armed Forces of the Future.”
It was impossible to hide the accelerating, historic collapse of the institutions of world capitalism that Washington created after emerging from World War II as the imperialist world hegemon.
Just nine months ago, in response to US President Donald Trump declaring his belief that NATO was an outmoded institution, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Berlin would now pursue an independent foreign policy from Washington. In the future, she said, “we will have to fight for ourselves.”
At the 2018 MSC, the EU, led by Berlin and Paris, declared that it would no longer be…