Norm-Based Security Structure: Conventional Arms Control in Europe

Since the end of the Cold War, Europe has yet to succeed in developing a new, coherent security architecture that both includes Russia and grants it an equitable position. Mistrust on the side of Russia has grown in the face of NATO and EU expansion, internationally non-legitimized interventions in Kosovo in 1999 and Iraq in 2003, and the actions of Western states in Libya in 2011. At the same time, the Russian government under President Putin has increasingly turned towards authoritarianism and has placed more drastic limits on democratic rights. Moreover, democratic revolutions in neighboring states have come to be seen as a threat. This has, in parallel, spurred Western mistrust towards Russia. Failed efforts to implement the CFE Treaty, negotiated in 1999, have added to the mutual mistrust, and Russia has by and large suspended implementation of the treaty since then. In the wake of the collapse of Yanukovych’s pro-Russian government in the Ukraine in February 2014, Russia went on to illegally annex the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, and, shortly thereafter, supported destabilization efforts in eastern Ukraine. In this context, the former myth pertaining to the existence of a common European security order is no longer justifiable, though it has not yet fallen apart altogether. Despite the conflict in the Ukraine and the new confrontation between Russia and the NATO member states that has resulted from it, the measures set forth in the 2001 Vienna Document for security and trust-building as well as the open-skies agreement outside of existing conflicts both continue to be implemented. It remains to be seen which new relation between confrontation and cooperation with Russia and Europe will emerge. This will also be a prerequisite for the continuation of European arms control. Additionally, the new confrontation has heightened the security dilemma in Europe and, at the same time, weakened the durability of war prevention and crisis stability. This raises the urgency to modernize and make adjustments to the existing, norm-protected, instruments for arms-control policies, if future elements of cooperative security are to continue contributing to the maintenance of peace in Europe.

This project is situated at the borders of basic and applied research. It sets out to identify the interests and justice claims on either side of the former “Iron Curtain” that European states bring to the debate in relation to European security and the potential resulting conflicts. By considering recent developments in military technologies, military doctrines and the structures of armed forces, this study seeks to develop concepts for a security order that would be sufficiently compatible with the demands and interests of all states involved.

Project director:
Konventionelle Rüstungskontrolle in Europa | 2011

Rüdiger Hartmann/ Hans-Joachim Schmidt, Konventionelle Rüstungskontrolle in
Europa – Wege in die Zukunft, HSFK-Report Nr. 6/2011, Frankfurt/M.

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