Task Forces


Munich Security Report 2020


Dear Reader,
As a prelude to the 56th Munich Security Conference, I am delighted to present the Munich Security Report in its sixth edition. Once again, the report will serve as a conversation starter for our flagship event. It has become, much to our satisfaction, a go-to resource for security professionals and the interested public around the globe. A unique collection of insights and analyses, building on some of the best research in the field, it sheds light on major developments in and critical challenges to international security.
In 2019, concrete security challenges seem to have become inseparable from what some would describe as the decay of the Western project: today, the West as we know it is contested both from within and from without. Part of the challenge is that we have lost a common understanding of what it means to be part of the West. All this occurs against the backdrop of the relative rise of the non-Western world and a mounting number of global challenges and crises that would require a concerted Western response. The 2020 Munich
Security Conference will provide a prime opportunity not only for discussing the state of international peace and security but also for revisiting the Western project in particular.
This Munich Security Report sets out to make sense of what we refer to as “Westlessness” and of today’s security environment by presenting a concise analysis of selected actors, regions, and issues on the international security agenda. As with previous editions, this report explicitly covers only selected topics – we do not and cannot claim that those not discussed here are not also important. Rather, we try to highlight a limited sample of actors, regions, and issues of significance, redefining our areas of focus each year. For
example, while the report’s 2019 edition placed particular emphasis on middle powers of the “second row,” the 2020 edition returns to examining the United States, China, Russia, and Europe. In addition, we cover developments in key regions from the Mediterranean to the Middle East and South Asia, as well as broader security issues from space and climate to right-wing extremism.
The Munich Security Report 2020, like its predecessors, would not have been possible without the generous support of numerous renowned institutions, friends, and partners who made available their research and data – much of it previously unpublished or updated specifically for this report. I would like to thank them all and wish you an interesting and thought-provoking read!

Sincerely yours,
Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger
Chairman of the Munich Security Conference