Task Forces

01.02.2016.

Munich Security Report 2016

Boundless Crises, Reckless Spoilers, Helpless Guardians

Preface

Last year, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) published – for the first time –the Munich Security Report, a digest compiling some of the most interesting figures and thought-provoking analyses in key areas of international security.We were very encouraged by how well this inaugural effort was received. The report has been quoted and referenced by national and international media and has found distribution among decision makers, security professionals, and the interested public well beyond the circle of MSC participants. Motivated by this response, we have again set out to compile the most insightful analyses,data, maps, and other materials in order to illuminate major international security challenges. Two weeks ahead of the 52nd edition of the Munich Security Conference, we are pleased to present the results.

A year ago, we observed that international and regional orders were at significant risk of disintegrating. Since then, this risk has only further increased. There is, I am afraid, ample reason for pessimism as we enter 2016. Today’s conflicts are characterized by a scale and gravity unprecedented since the end of the Cold War. Traditional guardians of order are more and more overwhelmed, while others have not stepped up – or have acted as spoilers instead. Considering the landmark deal with Iran and the Paris climate agreement, there is room for cautious optimism that major diplomatic achievements are still possible. But managing crises that have increasingly become boundless and border less remains an enormous challenge and is likely to get even more complicated in the future.

With this report, we hope to provide an easy-to-consume companion that helps bring light into this thickening fog of disorder and a useful conversation starter for the debates in Munich and beyond. The report is not meant to show a comprehensive picture of the state of affairs in international security, but we think it does provide food for thought in critical areas. I take this opportunity to thank the numerous renowned institutions, friends, and partners who allowed us to rely on their research and data in our report. Without their support, the document you are holding in your hands would not have been possible. We welcome your feedback to msr@securityconference.de. I hope you will find this a thought provoking and stimulating read.

Sincerely yours,

Wolfgang Ischinger

Chairman of the Munich Security Conference

 

In the report, we acknowledge partners who collected data specifically for the MSR or who provided data before their official release by printing their logos along with their respective charts, maps, or tables

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