Last weekend, the world’s national security establishment gathered for the annual Munich Security Conference. What was once an exclusively transatlantic affair has become far broader over the years, and now includes some 30 heads of state and 70 foreign and defense ministers from every region of the world. In addition to the speeches and discussions, the conference illuminates how national security leaders rank the challenges they face and serves as a useful report card on how the world is dealing with them.
This year’s gathering was marked by the frustration of multiple crises: refugees streaming into Europe, the Syrian civil war, Russian aggression, diminishing European Union cohesion, and the threat posed by the Islamic State. That frustration was coupled with a sense of pessimism about the ability of the transatlantic partners to deal with the many crises effectively.
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