The theme that marked this year's Munich Security Conference summit, which was established during the most heated period of the "Cold War," was "concerns" about the future of a world without the West. Concerns summarized as “Westlessness” was the main theme of the 56th "2020 Report" of the Munich Security Conference. The world is becoming more and more Westless. Worse still, the West itself may becoming less Westernized. These sentences best describe the essence of the report.
The report was put on the agenda in the midst of the current crisis that Christian Democrats are experiencing in Germany. The report states that non-Western countries such as Russia, China and India are on the rise, while the West-controlled global system is on the verge of a collapse. In the report, it was pointed out that values such as the West’s commitment to liberal democracy, human rights, a free market-based economy and international cooperation maintained across global institutions have eroded in recent years.
Trump's election in the U.S., Britain's break with the European Union and the strengthening of radical and racist right-wing parties across Europe are considered as striking examples of the West becoming less Western. Trump's dealings with Brexit leaders and his efforts to expand this front together with other anti-EU parties in Europe scared the globalist power circles. According to the report, the idea behind the EU has been weakened, and the U.S. and EU’s common stance on issues will soon be a thing of the past.
The competition for influence between the U.S. and China also constitutes a dilemma for the EU. The U.S. forces EU countries not to cooperate economically and technologically with China. Washington is pushing EU countries along with the UK to prevent Chinese telecom company "Huawei" from purchasing next generation 5G technology. These pressures are felt across many areas, especially in NATO and the debate over the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
As I have repeatedly said in my columns, the rise of populist right-wing parties in Europe is weakening pro-EU centrist parties. Populist parties almost represent the “new normal,” while mainstream parties are now more willing to accommodate them and even cooperate with them. The expression in the report that the “West is becoming less western” is referring to this shift.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel resigned from the leadership of the "Christian Democratic Party (CDU)" and was replaced by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who still serves as the Minister of Defense. Referred to as "Mini Merkel," Karrenbauer was a prospective candidate for chancellor for the Christian Democrats. However, Karrenbauer unexpectedly resigned from her party leadership position and sent shock waves across the CDU. Now everyone is wondering who will be handed the reins as the new future leader of the Christian Democrats.
During local elections in the German state of Thuringia, Christian Democrats and "Free Democrats" came into an alliance with the anti-EU and racist Alternative Party for Germany (AfD). Thomas Kemmerich, the "Free Democrats" candidate in the Liberal Right lane, was thus elected as chancellor. Kemmerich has become the first state chancellor to be elected with the support of a racist party since 1945.
Merkel was extremely critical of the alliance. According to the chancellor, it is inexcusable for democratic parties to court the support of the AfD. Kemmerich lost his post as state chancellor in the aftermath and Karrenbauer resigned from CDU leadership. This development in Germany, the focal EU country, is the most concrete example of the concerns expressed in the "Munich Security Report." The report will be exhaustively and endlessly discussed, put forth as an example that demonstrates that the West, which has so far dominated the global system, has been experiencing an existential crisis.
The power vacuum in the global system is plunging the world into chaos. So how will this vacuum be filled? Although we are on the verge of scary developments, this uncertainty also translates into new opportunities for fringe countries of the global system. Is the Turkic and Islamic world ready to take advantage of these historical opportunities? Despite all its weaknesses, the Muslim world must recognize the values it could bring forth as the sole source of humanity and peace.