Munich Conference: "For The First Time In Decades We Are Facing Threat Of Nuclear Conflict"

Over the past fifty years, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has traditionally reflected the current state of world military affairs. Each February, more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the globe descend into Munich, Germany, to discuss current and future security challenges.

And while there have been times in recent years when the MSC demonstrated signs of hope and optimism, none of that was evident this year. This year’s motto “To the Brink – and Back?”- which seems to be an accurate portrayal of the current geopolitical situations in most regions. After several days of senior decision-makers bickering back and forth, the negativity in the atmosphere only means one thing: A global conflict between nuclear superpowers is lingering.

“I was hoping when I opened this conference on Friday that, in concluding the conference, I would be able to say we can delete the question mark. In other words: ‘We are back from the brink,'” former German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger said in closing remarks of the MSC. “I’m actually not sure we can say that,” he added.

The dangers of nuclear proliferation and talk of a “dire” global security situation dominated the security conference: from the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, to U.S. allegations of Russia’s election-meddling, to territorial disputes between ex-Soviet republics, and even discussions about the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran: geopolitical doom and gloom was not short in all conversations during the meeting.

And, in the latest escalation, Bloomberg reports that the most fiery subject of the conference were the tensions surrounding Russia and the U.S over nuclear arms controls.

Addressing a conference hall in Munich packed with dignitaries, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the risks emanating from North Korea’s nuclear activities, which have ratcheted up tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

"For the first time since the end of the Cold War, we are now facing a nuclear threat, a threat of a nuclear conflict," Guterres told the gathering in the southern Bavarian city.

Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger opened the event by warning that the world has moved too close to a “major interstate conflict” and faces a “dire reality.”

“We have too many unresolved crises, instabilities, and conflicts,” Ischinger warned.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov fired a shot at President Trump’s new 74-page nuclear doctrine calling for a modernization of America’s nuclear arsenal.

U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster shot back at Lavrov’s statements defending the U.S. nuclear posture, which calls for more low-yield atomic bombs and outlines explicitly Russia and China are the primary sources of security concern for the Pentagon.

“We will not allow Russia any of the power to hold the populations of Europe hostage,” he declared Saturday in Munich, appearing on stage minutes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sounded the alarm on the U.S. military-industrial complex expansion since the collapse of Communism.

While the two countries have fulfilled the terms of another landmark nuclear weapons reduction treaty, New START, that accord expires in 2021 and there’s political pressure on President Donald Trump to let it expire because of the alleged Russian non-compliance with the INF treaty. Moscow in turn accuses Washington of itself breaking the intermediate-range pact.  So far, no formal negotiations are taking place on either issue.

And as the world devolves to another potential nuclear arms race, Javier Solana, NATO's former secretary-general, and Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s acting foreign minister, expressed alarm: “The most likely theater for nuclear conflicts would once again be here, in the center of Europe,” Gabriel told the conference.

Meanwhile Graham Allison, a Pentagon adviser under former U.S. President Ronald Reagan when the two superpowers were negotiating arms control, said he’s skeptical momentum will be found to revive START and the INF.

Arms control was developed primarily to prevent the “insane” possibility that Russia and the U.S. would annihilate each other due to miscalculation or accident, despite not even wanting to go to war, said Allison, now a professor of government at Harvard University. “Those risks remain today.”

Needless to say, a return to the nuclear arms race is the worst possible outcome:"according to Sergei Karaganov, a former Kremlin foreign policy adviser, the situation could get “much more dangerous” than during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the world was on the brink of nuclear war.”

Under New START, which followed from the 1991 START treaty and was signed in 2010, the Russian and U.S. arsenals are restricted to no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads on no more than 700 deployed strategic missiles and bombers.

And, if that long-range missile pact isn’t prolonged and the INF collapses, “you have a situation where there are no limits on Russian and American nuclear forces,” said Steven Pifer, a former top State Department official and arms control expert, quoted by Bloomberg. In addition, Russia and the U.S. would stop exchanging data on each other’s nuclear arsenals and permitting regular inspections. “It would be less predictable, less secure, less stable,” Pifer said.

Russia would then likely respond to any U.S. move to station land-based intermediate-range missiles in Europe by deploying similar missiles to target “all the bases where these weapons will be,” said Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade in Moscow.

“And the U.S. can’t stay safe over the ocean - we’ll create the same risk for the U.S. as they do for us in Europe,” he said.

In short: a full blown nuclear arms race coupled with Cold War 2.0.

* * *

Some experts,  such as Thomas Graham, ex-White House adviser under George W. Bush, remain optimistic, and believe Russia and the U.S. will blink when faced with the prospect of stepping into a void without the security of arms control.

Russia has proposed a 5-year extension to New START, to 2026, though it’s tying that to fixing complaints about the way the U.S. has complied with the treaty, the Interfax news service reported Feb. 16.

Others are not: “The chances are diminishing every day,’’ said Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian upper house of parliament.

Ian Bremmer, the founder of the Eurasia Group told Handelsblatt that, "We’re in trouble, because, you know, pretty much every geopolitical conflict out there is escalating, none of them are getting fixed, and no one has any solutions. This was not a good meeting."


nmewn Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:02 Permalink

"Each February, more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the globe descend into Munich, Germany, to discuss current and future security challenges."

And done.

MozartIII stizazz Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:33 Permalink

You are actually stupid. Based on the article that you just posted on an economics/market blog. Why you religious zealots are allowed is a mystery. Good clicks for the Tylers?


Don't need you or your stupid spam! I just retired.


Good luck to the remaining original Hedgers! To many stupid non-financial people.





In reply to by stizazz

Voluntary Exchange Pandelis Tue, 02/20/2018 - 03:56 Permalink

"More diplomats": that are paid for by pointing guns or threatening to point guns at people to pay the taxes to pay for those diplomats.

So using stealing and physical aggression to help prevent mutual destruction? This about sums up the idiocy of most of humanity. Expecting to get peace by consenting to be slaves of those who live by aggression!

So, since those who seek power over others can never feel safe from the other psychopaths that control other states, ask yourself this question:

Which state will be successful in transforming every other state into it's slave vassal? Or which group of criminals will be able to fool all the other criminals into agreeing to be enslaved ? And if it ever happened what would happen to the top criminal group? Those that run it would in turn seek to eliminate each other. 

Thousands of psychopaths controlling the wealth of billions of non-psychopaths will result in human destruction.

Billions of non-psychopaths keeping their wealth and refusing to support the psychopaths - that can work.

Humanity has two choices:

Live by voluntary exchange and join the peaceful civilization of the galaxy or,

Live by involuntary exchange and suffer human destruction over and over again till ....?


I very wise person once asked the question:

Jas 4:1  From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Jas 4:2  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

Those who live by voluntary exchange ASK.

Those who live by involuntary exchange do not ASK, they demand!

For humanity asking is the key to survival and well-being.

For humanity demanding is the key to destruction.

A tax is a demand!

Conscription is a demand!

Human law imposed upon other humans is a demand!

Voluntary exchange is asking.

An agreement is asking.

Those who view others as their equal do not demand, they ask.

In reply to by Pandelis

not dead yet Neighbour Tue, 02/20/2018 - 01:11 Permalink

Damn Russians bombed the crap out of Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, plus backing Iraq in a war with Iran causing millions of innocent people to be killed. Russians flying drones all over the ME killing thousands of innocent people and the best recruiting tool for terrorists. Russians supplying all those weapons to the Saudi's to bomb the crap out of Yemen and kill over 10,000 innocent people and creating a humanitarian disaster with rampant disease and over a million people on the verge of starvation. Those pesky Russians creating ISIS and keeping them supplied and when necessary allowing them to escape to fight another day. Russia airlifted a bunch of ISIS to Afghanistan where it's hoped they will make it into China. Of course everything written above is complete fiction until you put USA where Russia and Russians are written. Then it's 100% fact. Yet your worried about the Ruskies in the ME. The Europeans are the bitches of the US and are afraid to go against any US policy. Most of those whores are addicted to the big bucks the US spends there to place it's military. The Baltic's and Poland are the worst at shilling for US bucks by claiming that Russia wants them and basket case economies back. Russia doesn't. Upshot is the sanctions on Russia hurt Europe far more than Russia. Europeans will tell you they don't trust the US as the US is only looking out for it's own selfish interests. They will also tell you they like dealing with the Russians as they don't play games and can be trusted to keep their word. Brain deads in the west fall for the line that Russia's holding them hostage with their gas and point to when the Russians shut off the gas. The Russians gave fair warning about the shutoff which was over Ukraine stealing gas and not paying for it.

In reply to by Neighbour

Implied Violins nmewn Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:33 Permalink

Funny, Munich is among my top twenty cities that need a nuclear cleansing:

1. Washington D.C., USA

2. London, UK (the Green Mile)

3. Vatican City, Italy

4. Mecca, Saudi Arabia

5. Tel Aviv, Israel

6. Hollywood, California, USA

7. Manhattan, New York, USA (Wall Street specifically)

8. Zurich, Switzerland

9. Basel, Switzerland

10. Brussels, Belgium

11. Beijing, China (government center)

12. Berlin, Germany (government center)

13. Munich, Germany

14. Tokyo, Japan (government center)

15. ALL of Lichtenstein

16. Paris, France (government center)

17. Ankara, Turkey (government center)

18. Sidney, Australia (government center)

19. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

20. Jerusalem, Israel


EDIT: a simple CLEANSING of the evil within is enough.  I don't actually wish death upon the innocent!!  These seem like good places to start though...

In reply to by nmewn

Nelbev Implied Violins Tue, 02/20/2018 - 01:07 Permalink

You need to add a few SHs, I nominate Baltimore MD, but say 25 MT hit on DC 1st on your list would clean Bmore too, two for one deal, if smaller Bmore would still get brunt of fallout from DC due to wind patterns. I still prefer the Wall being built around it and Baltimore paying for it than the nuke option given criminals and zombies on carfentanyl wandering up my way under latter.

You know, after a nuke, water would fill the hole and there would be an artificial lake where the city/swamp used to be, vacation boating, water skiing.  Lots of new glow in dark caving near Punggye-ri NK for spelunkers too.

In reply to by Implied Violins

shamus001 BGO Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:57 Permalink

Simple, India is a U.S. ally, .... lots of enemies over there including China, must have sufficient deterrents ya know!

Pakistan got it's nukes from Russia (so they may have more of them than India, but half probably don't work LOL) as a gift/spear in the U.S.'s ass)

Israel... well, if the U.S. didn't give them enough to deter their enemies, they'd have been overrun by muzzies quite some time ago!

In reply to by BGO

not dead yet shamus001 Tue, 02/20/2018 - 01:28 Permalink

Pakistan makes it's own nukes. Pakistani A Q Khan stole the plans from when he worked in Europe. Rumor has it he helped the Norks with their bombs. Trump, the generals, and the neocons love to claim how unstable North Korea is, maybe it is or isn't, but Pakistan is chock full of Islamic wackos making the Norks look sane. There have been attacks on nuke bomb storage bases in Pakistan by the wackos but so far they haven't acquired any. Or so says the Pakistan government.


In reply to by shamus001

I am Groot Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:09 Permalink

Everybody was fine until a short, fat, fucking nutcase, brutal dictator got his hands on nuclear weapons ! We've been mostly ok since the 60's. There were a few false alarms that could have ended up bad, but didn't. The world can't put up with nuclear blackmail. Short Dik No Dong has a history of blackmailing South Korea and America with bad behavior. Having nuclear weapons just makes it exponentially worse.

shamus001 bluskyes Mon, 02/19/2018 - 23:00 Permalink

Umm... because the North was overrunning the south to conquer it, supported by the Communist Chinese. (remember Communism?) and had we left the place completely, they'd have resumed their grand-pappys plan of conquering it.  1 million troops on standby would walk through the south in under a month should the U.S. be vacant. it makes for a nice base with ground access for attacking China should the need arise in the future. :P

In reply to by bluskyes

Mustafa Kemal shamus001 Tue, 02/20/2018 - 00:44 Permalink

"Umm... because the North was overrunning the south to conquer it, supported by the Communist Chinese."

You should try reading a little history. Fehrenbach's…

is excellent and says nothing of the kind. We came extremely close to losing very badly. After we turned that down, we destroyed every town, killed millions of people and destroyed most of their damns ( a war crime). 

Oh yes, I forgot about the commies.  Brrrrrrrrr

In reply to by shamus001

not dead yet TBT or not TBT Tue, 02/20/2018 - 01:39 Permalink

Why not. If that's what the people of those countries want let them have it. Same goes for socialism. It's their business not ours. By the way if socialism is so bad, I'm not say it is or isn't, why does the US undermine, overthrow, or outright attack 3rd world countries that have ELECTED socialist governments like most of the countries south of it's border, Afghanistan, Libya, and other countries in the ME. Elections are the tool of democracy yet if the US doesn't like the results the elected guy is gone and a dictator or military junta friendly to the US and it's corporations put in it's place.

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

not dead yet shamus001 Tue, 02/20/2018 - 02:32 Permalink

Before the main event there were plenty of clashes between North and South with some claiming the South started the war. What is known is that the puppet installed by the US in rigged elections, Rhee, butchered a couple hundred thousand political opponents and suspected communists after the war started while the US let it happen and never protested. After the war was over Rhee butchered more while the US looked away.

McArthur's swift advance through North Korea made the Chinese nervous that Mac wasn't going to stop at the Yalu and would head into China. Even more nervous when Mac made comments about using nukes on the Chinese. Otherwise the Chinese didn't care about Korea. The Chinese kicked US and it's "police action" allies ass so the US instead of admitting defeat did it's best to destroy Korea and it's people. Even if China wanted to occupy Korea what would they do to the US? Wait for ocean to freeze and walk over and attack us?

The US needs North Korea to justify bases in Japan, Korea, Guam, and Okinawa. That's why every time the North and South get friendly the US throws a wrench in the works. US generals have stated they don't want a united Korea especially one with nukes. Seems we don't trust the South either.

If the US hadn't done anything and the Norks conquered the South tens of thousands would have died, the prisons filled up, and life would go on. Same with the recent forays by the US in Syria and Libya based on lies and propaganda. If the lies about Assad and Qaddafi were true, they weren't, a few thousand would have died and a few thousand more in jail in each country and life would go on. Libya, under Qadaffi a prosperous country with the best economy and best citizen benefits in Africa is a failed state chock full of civil wars with Al Qaeda and ISIS training camps and a thriving trade in slaves. Not to mention the jumping off point to Europe for hundreds of thousands of "refugees". In Syria the country is train wreck and will be for a long time and the death toll is nearing half a million. Millions more are in displacement camps or invaded Europe and raping and murdering their way through the white population.

When the Chinese took over Tibet they pretty much left the country alone. The CIA set up shop in Nepal and trained insurgents and sent them into Tibet. Eventually the Chinese got pissed and when the dust settled over a million Tibet citizens were dead, thousands of religious shrines destroyed, and the Dali Lama gone. The mess in Rwanda started when the US backed a rebel insurgency which directly led to the genocide of 800,000 people. The CIA even blew up the plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. Two instances totaling over a 2 million dead thanks to US meddling must make you swell with pride. I suppose the idea of murdering two presidents, not the first or last murdered by the CIA, gives you a woodie.

The real experts claim the Sony hack was an inside job by a PO'd employee. Obambam and the neocons used this as another excuse to blame the North Koreans and put more sanctions on them because they will not knuckle under to the US.


In reply to by shamus001

Rich Monk Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:13 Permalink

Because the Deep State - Central Bankers - Jewish organized crime syndicate wants war - it's very profitable, regardless of 10's of millions that will die!