The Munich Forum and the March to World War

The march to world war continues, but people are in denial or under the illusion that they can go on living normally. On the other hand, the bourgeoisie are stimulated, discussing among themselves, and not informing us about the horror they are preparing!

Representatives of more than 100 countries gathered in Bavaria on February 16, 2024, for the 60th Munich Security Conference (MSC, or in German, Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz). This functions as a forum for debate on international security policy. This year’s forum notably included Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Vice-President of the United States Kamala Harris, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and his French and British counterparts, Stéphane Séjourné and David Cameron.

The forum was created at the height of the Cold War by an old German officer, Ewald Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin. He was known for his participation in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944. This year’s agenda concentrated on the War in Ukraine, the tensions in the Middle East, and the role of Europe in the world.

The introductory report to the February 2024 Conference(1) is explicit. It begins by recalling the international context at the end of the Cold War:

When the Cold War ended, the world seemed to enter an era of global cooperation. The easing of tensions between the superpowers led to unprecedented reductions in nuclear arsenals. While violent conflict did not disappear, the risk of interstate war involving the great powers was low, prompting intellectuals to assert that humanity was in the process of 'winning the war against war'.(2)

And, it continues:

But the optimism of the beginning of the post-Cold War era has long since disappeared. Today, instead of promoting effective global governance, the international community is 'locked in a colossal global dysfunction'... Tensions between the great powers do not cease to accumulate, several non-Western powers are rebelling against Western domination and the order shaped by the United States and its allies. All the while, the world evolves towards a new form of multipolarity.

The changes in the world order after the Cold War are marked by the beginning of a violent and enduring crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the occupation of Crimea and the Donbass, and two failed attempts at compromise, Minsk 1 and 2. Then, in 2022, there was the so-called "special operation" (preventative) of Russian occupation in Ukraine. In 2023, there was the expansion of NATO to Sweden and Finland, and, finally, the conflict between Hamas and Israel and its repercussions in the Middle East.(3)

Before these latest events, the "new rules" for security envisaged by the United States linked Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia with a tight, unified thread.

Here's what Brzezinski recommended back then:

For America, the principal geopolitical issue is Eurasia... In this new framework, Ukraine occupies a crucial position, in that it can permit or prevent the emergence of a power at the heart of Eurasia and around Russia, contesting the supremacy of the United States. The independence of Ukraine modifies the very nature of the Russian state. By that singular fact [the independence of Ukraine - tr.], this important zone on the Eurasian chessboard has become a geopolitical pivot. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire in Eurasia. Central Asia, the Caucasus, the “Eurasian Balkans”, and their energy resources are at the heart of a US strategy, but Ukraine constitutes the essential issue. The process of expansion of the European Union and NATO is underway (1997). Eventually—as it continues—Ukraine will have to decide if it wishes to join one or the other of these two organizations.

We see clearly what is really going on in today’s military conflicts, between the West and Russia and its allies. The current hostility (vis-à-vis Russia and, in the background, China) tends to slide progressively towards its ineluctable outcome, a total war, since it results from the judgment of the victor (first dominant then hegemonic power) that condemns the vanquished (in 1900-1945, Germany, then from 1945-1991, the Soviet Union). Moreover, this creep towards total war is discernible in the banishment, ostracization, isolation, proscription, stigmatization, sanctions, and outlawing of those who are designated as the enemy of the international community—in short, the aggressors.

This is what emerges from the Munich forum. We are in an "intermediate state of non-peace, non-world war", but closer to belligerence (sending of weapons, subsidies, false volunteers, battalions without flags, training of elite forces, support from "uncommitted third parties", as in the color revolutions), which makes it possible to hide the truth of ignoble, direct war. In today's conditions of a "hybrid" war, intermediate situations are becoming more and more common.

Once these political stratagems have been decrypted, it is clear that the United States, contrary to all the harping of the media, will not disengage from Europe, even assuming Trump wins the election. And even Macron’s derided saber-rattling isn’t fooling anyone. The different European powers must switch to a war economy and prepare for a high-intensity conflict.

More than ever, revolutionaries should propagate the idea of creation of NWBCW committees. Not only to denounce the march to war, but to prepare for survival during the events of the major wars to come.

March 12
Groupe Révolutionnaire Internationaliste


Image: Ben Dance / FCDO (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED),


(2) Joshua S. Goldstein, Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide, New York: Plume, 2012; Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence World Has Declined, New York: Viking, 2011.

(3) The joint military exercise "Security Bond 2024" of March 11th 2024 between Russia, Iran and China in the Gulf of Oman are a serious acceleration towards the construction of alliances. These maneuvers arrive in a context marked by the rise in tensions in the region; the Houthis, supported by Iran, attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea, while the forces of the American-led coalition strike targets in Yemen.

Thursday, March 21, 2024