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The whole liberal world order appears to be falling apart – nothing is as it once was. When Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and started the bloody conflict in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, many considered him to be the major cause of global destabilisation. Nobody could have known that just a few years later the US President, of all people, would seriously challenge the current international order. Donald Trump questions free trade just like he questions the Western set of values or NATO. This has massive consequences – not just for us Europeans.

https://www.securityconference.de/en/publications/food-for-thought/single-view/article/food-for-thought-who-will-pick-up-the-pieces/ – 2/13/2019

Remarks by German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger covered a full palette of issues at this month’s Munich Security Conference, but as he has noted without defining the most central problem, i.e., that of placing the Feudal world in the future of the Modern one, an American President (“of all people”), a feudal lord himself in his more familiar domains, has come to lead a part of the charge right back into a bloody and barbaric western civilizational past.

Mike Pence, now associated with a glowing encomium about his leader that brought no applause — ” . . . I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump” –> dead silence — delivered a bit of a mashup for the “Inaugural John McCain Ceremony”

Politico (“Munich Insecurity Conference”), caught a comment on Turkey that seems to BackChannels positively surreal given the distance President Erdogan has created between the potential of a democratic Turkey and the reality of an Islamist sultanate:

“We will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries,” he said, in an apparent reference to Turkey’s plan to buy the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
“We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”

https://www.politico.eu/article/munich-security-conference-angela-merkel-mike-pence/ – 2/18/2019.

Pence may have been taking sideways aim at Nord Stream 2, a perhaps more delicate matter than the selling of Russian defense missiles to a “NATO alley” for the purpose, one might suppose, of defending itself from the seller.

Then too, BackChannels wonders if enthusiasm may have been expressed for the development of other energy sources and pipelines, i.e., Baltic Pipe Project (related: “Polish, Danish grid firms give final nod to pipelines link to Norway gas fields.” Reuters, November 30, 2018).

Related Online: “Impressions from the Munich Security Conference 2019”.