“The world is becoming less Western!” This observation was featured in the 2020 Munich
Security Report, issued by one of the most prominent forums of the Atlantic System. This forum
conveys the most recent and critical changes to the global security environment in the presence
of world leaders.
A superficial concept named “Westlessness” is introduced in the report, and the report states
that Western liberal values are no longer valid. Similarly, the 2019 report had portrayed the main
challenge to international security as consisting of “a reshuffling of core pieces of the international
order “. The problem was associated with a “leadership vacuum in what has become known as the
liberal international order “. The bottom line is that these developments caused a great deal of
ambiguity in the global security environment.
European states have been discussing options to pursue an independent policy from the
impositions of the United States (US), ambiguously revising their approach to Russia, China, Iran
and Turkey in particular, and the relations with Asia and Latin America in general. In parallel with
the advancement of multipolarity in the world, it appears that a power shift has been occurring
from the Atlantic to Asia. After September 11, 2001, the doctrine of the “global war against terrorism”
and the attempts to actualize the war can well be interpreted as an effort to prevent the
emergence of multipolarity. In the geography extending from Africa to China, virtually all developing
countries have increasingly suffered terrorism that exploits ethnic separatism and religion since
the beginning of the 2000s. Moreover, governments in several countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq,
Libya, Syria have been overthrown by US or NATO-led foreign interventions. The countries subjected
to foreign interventions have either been fragmented or driven into chaos.
This situation leads to the strengthening of a new tendency of cooperation among developing
countries in both economic and security affairs. One could observe that the effort to jointly
respond to common threats has improved among developing countries that were in rival camps
before 1991. Countries that are targeted by the Atlantic Front are able to protect and to strengthen
their national states to the extent that they succeed in solving problems among themselves.
A strong case in point is the Astana partnership formed by Turkey, Russia, and Iran during the
Syria crisis, which marks perhaps the most successful and fruitful example of such cooperation
In order for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to turn into a success story, it is imperative to
provide security along the routes that form the New Silk Road, i.e. the backbone of BRI.
Therefore, cooperation in the field of security has inevitably an important place in the agenda
of BRI. The realization of such cooperation –as is envisaged in the Belt and Road Initiative– will
not only create a safe environment for individual countries taking part in this cooperation, but will
also provide international security as a global common good.
While security concerns are also growing in developed countries, BRI stands out with the
greatest potential to ensure trust among nations.