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War in Europe is top priority at Munich Security Conference

War in Europe is top priority at Munich Security Conference
Munich Security Conference 2023 top priority: war in Europe | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Will Russia-Ukraine dominate the conversations at this year's Munich Security Conference?

I think absolutely it will be not just the topic of conversation that's keeping everyone anxious, but it will be the top priority. Again, it's in Europe. 50 members of a US congressional delegation showing up. That's a record like by a large number. I'm kind of shocked that many people will be there. The Russians of course won't be there, but the top priority is a war in Europe. Everyone's deeply worried about it as they should. It's the largest risk out there by a factor of magnitude. Balloon gate is not close.

Is Israel's democracy really under threat?

I would say it's eroding. The fact that Netanyahu, the prime minister, is trying to undermine the balance and separation of powers with the judiciary and have it more directly accountable, responsible to the executive would be a weakening of the Israeli political system. That would make it more of a flawed democracy, more of a hybrid democracy. Then of course, there's the broader question of outside of Israel, the occupied territories and how they are governed and how the Palestinians there do not have, do not enjoy actual citizenship, and are treated as second class citizens clearly has an impact on Israeli democracy as well. Put those two things together, flawed democracy is increasingly what we're talking about.

Finally, should I care about balloongate?

Well, I mean now that we're calling it balloongate, I guess you have to care about it. I mean, how many of these things are actually balloons? I don't know. We don't know what they are yet. What we do know really is that after the Americans shot down the Chinese balloon, NORAD really opened the aperture for what they are tracking, what they're paying attention to, and what the Americans might be willing to shoot down. So the fact that you have a bunch of additional stuff being shot down does not imply a greater threat. It implies a reduced threat tolerance. And the potential that that's going to antagonize third parties is going up. Very little reason to believe so far that the other objects are coming from China or are part of that surveillance program.


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