The head of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, complains about the weak position of the West in view of the conflicts in Libya, Syria and Yemen. In an interview with the ZDF morning magazine shortly before the conference opened, Ischinger spoke with more than 800 participants about an "unusually serious" situation in the world. In view of the "very dangerous" international situation, it is important that "talk" and "not shoot" at the political level, said Ischinger.
German politicians like to say that "there can be no military solution" to these conflicts. "I would even agree with that, in the end there has to be a political solution," emphasized Ischinger. But the reality is that there are some states "that do not care that there can be no military solution". In Syria, Libya and other conflicts, "shooting, invasion, war" are being carried out, said Ischinger. "We're watching," he added.
Praise for AKK's push for a UN military mission in northern Syria
Germany's military strength is too weak compared to its political weight in Europe, emphasized the diplomat, who has headed the security conference since 2009. Regarding German foreign policy, he said: "Given the enormous speed at which world politics is developing, it is going too slowly for me. It is a little too little with a little too little determination."
"I think the neighbors would all be happy if Germany had used at least as many planes against the" Islamic State "as Denmark. We didn't use a single one to shoot, we just took photos," said Ischinger. Denmark fought IS in Syria and Iraq between 2014 and 2016 with F16 fighter jets, while the Bundeswehr is still involved in the international coalition against the terrorist organization with tornado reconnaissance planes.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) praised Ischinger for a UN military mission in northern Syria. "It was at least a signal in the right direction, even if the timing was not promising," he said.
This Friday, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is the first German head of state to open this year's security conference since then Federal President Joachim Gauck. Steinmeier also spoke in 2014 - at that time as Foreign Minister - for more German responsibility. Unlike Gauck, he did not emphasize the military means.