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Although I suggest you all download our new #MSCreport (-> securityconference.de/en/publication…) and read it - let me walk you through some of its main arguments and illustrations. Some of you might remember Gramsci's famous description of the inter-war "interregnum": 1/n
"The crisis consists," Gramsci wrote, "precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this #interregnum a great variety of morbid symptons appear." Well, that seems like an apt description of today's world. 2/n
The post-Cold war period - and the optimism associated with it - has come to an end. Many of the certainties, widely shared and taken for granted in Europe since the end of the Cold, are eroding. As German Foreign Minister, @HeikoMaas, put it in June: 3/n
"That world order that we once knew, had become accustomed to and sometimes felt comfortable in – this world order no longer exists." (auswaertiges-amt.de/en/newsroom/ne…) But what will take its place? 4/n
If you believe recent US strategic documents, the world is entering a new era of great power competition. This threat perception has now replaced terrorism as the key concern (for more examples, quotes etc. read the intro chapter in the #MSCreport.) 5/n
As then-US Assistant Secretary Wess Mitchell put it, "we are heading into an era of sustained big-power competition for which the West, collectively, is under-prepared." state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2… #MSCreport 6/n
Yet, one could argue that the US still enjoys vast advantages compared to its challengers. In terms of military spending, the US is still dwarfs the others. And this does not even take into account that spending/GDP is a misleading measure. See: 7/n
Most importantly, however, the US can rely on resources both China and Russia are lacking: a vast network of allies and an "ideational balance of power" in its favor (see the @IntOrgJournal article by @bentleyballan, @srdjanvucetic & T.Hopf: cambridge.org/core/journals/…) 8/n
Thing is: the Trump administration is undermining both (again, read the #MSCreport for details and examples). In any case, it already shows. Here is a devastating @pewresearch opinion poll... In Canada, France, and Germany, US is seen as more threatening than China or Russia. 9/n
After many Europeans initially wanted to believe that the "axis of adults" would rein in Trump's worst instincts and tried to focus on the policies rather than the tweets, as suggested at last year's @MunSecConf (washingtonpost.com/world/top-us-o…),... 10/n
...most "adults" have left the administration (see the @BrookingsInst website for turnovers: brookings.edu/research/track…) - and US foreign policy is increasingly looking like Trump's tweets. European policy-makers are expecting even more turmoil in the 2nd part of Trump's term. 11/n
For all those countries such as Germany that have benefited from and adapted perfectly to the liberal international order largely shaped by the US, the end of the United States' benign hegemony represents a major challenge. #MSCreport #MSC2019 12/n
Is anybody able to pick up the pieces? Politicians (like @HeikoMaas or @cafreeland) have called on the liberal democratic middle powers to step up - as have many analysts. See e.g. @IvoHDaalder & @JamesMLindsay's article in @ForeignAffairs: foreignaffairs.com/articles/2018-… #MSC2019 13/n
With this in mind, the "actors" section in the #MSCreport looks at some of those middle powers (that are rich democracies, have an excellent int. reputation & score high on @PortlandComms soft power index): France & Germany, the UK, Japan, Canada. securityconference.de/en/publication…. 14/n
But are they up to the task? Our chapter on France & Germany shows that there are some major differences between the two when it comes to strategic culture. See public opinion data from FES and the overview provided by the @DelorsBerlin's @Nic_Koenig. #MSCreport 15/n
The United Kingdom is another natural candidate but - for the time being - remains preoccupied with #Brexit. The #MSCreport shows, based on @IISS_org and @SIPRIorg data, how important the UK is for Europe's #defense industry and military capabilities. 16/n
A very interesting public opinion poll can be found in our #Japan chapter: While 58% in the US said they were in favor of Japan expanding its military power (and only 10% disagreed), 51% of those surveyed in Japan opposed it (only 18% in favor). 17/n
#Canada, in contrast, seems more willing to step up and presents itself as a very vocal champion of the "rules-based international order." But its spats with Saudi-Arabia or China have shown that it is sometimes left alone. A very weak alliance of democracies... 18/n
To briefly sum up, it remains an open question who will pick up the pieces in the end. We are in for our rough ride... 19/n #MSC2019 #MSCreport
Tomorrow, I may share some more content from the other sections that shed light on some of the "morbid symptoms" of today's world. In the meantime, read the #MSCreport and let us know what we can do better. We are always looking for new data, graphs, ideas... 20/n
A big shout out to all our partners without whom this wouldn't be possible and to the wonderful team of young and bright people at @MunSecConf who have worked on the #MSCreport for months (in addition to their others tasks). Thank you! #MSC2019 21/n
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