Dr Ali Bigdeli, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations offering his analysis of the Munich Security Conference and its most important issues, noted: After the Second World War and over the past 75 years, the global security situation has never been so fragile as it is today and it is a concern the whole world is worried about.
Trump Basically Not Interested in Europe
Referring to the designation of the Munich conference as “The Decline of the West” as well as warnings by Germany and France against the weakening of the West, he said: “Because of the self-centred policies that Trump, in particular, is pursuing, the EU is a little worried. The issue here is not the disregard Americans have traditionally had for Europeans because Trump is basically not interested in Europe and the basis of his thinking is not universal and global. The US has pressured many Europeans to accept its unilateral policies, and its disregard for NATO has added to Europe’s concerns.
The European and American affairs analyst, citing former French President François Hollande’s remarks that considering Trump’s policies EU should seek a new NATO and free itself from unbalanced US policies, noted: The European Union is under intense pressure to stand and the German president has announced that a phenomenon called the “West” is on the decline that they do not have the past polarity before the world nations.
As Ms Pelosi and Mr Pompeo have pointed out, there are sharp differences between Europe and the US in both NATO and EU so the French is trying to maintain the EU somehow, Bigdeli said.
Europe’s Concerns over Spread of Trump’s Extreme Right Thought
He described French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent trip to Poland in line with maintaining the European Union in its past form, explaining that Trump’s “neo-conservative” and “extreme right” thinking has caused much concern in Europe, especially in France. With Merkel’s departure next year, such trends may come to power in Germany as has been the case in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom where all neoconservatives have come to power. Europeans are concerned about the state of their countries. As Mr Macron said at a ceremony marking 100 years since World War I in Paris, Europe would be on fire if the current trend continued with Trump’s support.
Noting that the differences between Europe and the United States and within the European Union were widespread, the university professor said the Munich Security Conference could not do much in such a situation, adding that given that the Munich Security Conference itself cannot be a viable option for countries, they did not make any accomplishment and the United States will not abandon its perennial policies, and this concern and discontent between the United States and the European Union will continue.
EU Efforts to Maintain the Status Quo
Emphasizing that the European Union is trying to keep the situation as it is, Bigdeli pointed to the issue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known as Iran Nuclear Agreement) on the sidelines of the Munich Conference and said: Perhaps one of the reasons that the EU declares its commitment to the JCPOA is that it does not want to allow Americans to tie their hands in all cases and play with them; but given the enormous investment the Americans have made in the European Union, one has to look at the issue from this perspective as well that the EU’s continued life, especially in the economic realm, may be difficult without the United States.
West’s Tolerance Serves EU Interests
He said the West is undergoing a stage of tolerance and hardship which will be to the detriment of the European Union, especially given the conditions that Trump is expected to win the second round of the presidential elections. The EU is very worried about this and is trying to resist Trump over the next four years. But the West we knew in the ’60s, ’70s or ’80s, does not exist even in America any longer. The magnificence of the West is rapidly diminishing in the eyes of other countries.
Bigdeli said the capitalist system faced problems that could plague the West from within, adding that the only way to deal with this is that the West as a whole and the European Union, in particular, need to rethink the capitalist system because its traditional form is no longer the answer to today’s issues.
The contradiction created today between far-right and neoconservatives with Trump origin in Latin America and Europe severely separates Europe from the US, so the problem will not be solved at least as long as Trump is in office.
Libya and Syria at Munich Security Conference
The international analyst on the Libyan issue raised at the Munich Security Conference and admitting the futility of the efforts and the need for an arms embargo in the country, said: “The US, Britain and France removed Gaddafi from power when they thought they exercised good entry strategies. They either had not thought of Libya after Gaddafi or there were differences between them. Under these circumstances, Trump came to power and he thinks of American interests rather than security outside of his own borders; so Libya became a venue for the rivalry between regional and trans-regional countries such as France and Russia.
Referring to the decisions taken at the Munich conference on Libya, including the arms embargo, he stressed: “The Libyan issue will not be resolved so easily and its fate is not clear. I have previously emphasized that the West’s “Arab Spring” policy was wrong because they have disrupted a mix that can no longer be repaired.
Bigdeli also referred to the Syrian issue at the Munich Security Conference and the admission by Wolfgang Ischinger, the chairman of the Conference that the international community had an inexcusable defeat against Syria, saying that the Syrian issue was due to its geographical location and the unresolved crisis in the country. And America’s failure is far more important than Libya’s. Syria fell to Russia as a bargaining chip and the Americans are pushing the Russians behind Mr Erdogan, and the effort seems to be to move Iran away from the Syrian issue. However, the Syrian issue was one of the most important issues raised at the meeting.
The university professor also pointed to the declared positions of France at the Munich Security Conference concerning the failure of the West’s defensive policy against Russia. He also cited understanding between Germany and Russia in the area of energy and gas transmission and said Europe cannot let Russia go for various reasons. Russia is a vast and lucrative market for Europeans, with Paris having more traditional relations with Moscow than Germany. Despite the US pressure on Europe, the European Union does not appear to be more willing to break away from Russia than it is today and to be more inclined to Russia. Even the British are eager for Russia and China to find new markets because of losing the EU markets.
He added: “Given the complexity of these developments, the world is entering a new era of political-security life that is a matter of concern.”