United States, Russia, Europe, and Security: How to Address the 'Unfinished Business' of the Post-Cold War Era   [open pdf - 703KB]

"The paper first provides an honest assessment of the NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]-Russia cooperation of the past 20 years and concludes that this relationship has yet to deliver a truly 'strategic partnership' in line with the current rhetoric, many documents, and political declarations. It attempts to shed light on the Russian outlook and reviews the limits of the current partnership. It points to a significant level of 'unfinished business' from the post--Cold War, which will have to be addressed if there is any hope of building a whole Europe that is free, undivided, and at peace. The second part reviews the current challenges facing NATO Allies and Russia in three main areas: the reduction of nonstrategic nuclear weapons in Europe, stalemate regarding conventional forces in Europe, and limits of cooperation in missile defense. In reviewing the debate in these three areas, the paper offers options to move forward in each case but, in all three areas, concludes with the need for a broad political-military dialogue, reaching beyond the confines of the NATO-Russia relationship to broadly address Russian concerns. In each area, the paper points to fundamental disagreements that reach well beyond the issue at hand to a basic difference of views on the European security construct and on threat perceptions that ultimately reflect a fundamental lack of trust, paralyzing the strategic community. The third and last part of the paper spells out a confidence-building program to reassure Russia regarding Western intentions and to develop trust through operational cooperation, transparency in contingency planning and exercising, dialogue about deterrence and transparency on safety measures regarding tactical nuclear weapons, smart defense approaches and projects, and possible joint installations and co-ownership as cooperation develops. In conclusion, the paper argues for renewed bilateral and multilateral efforts toward a strategic partnership with Russia. It stresses, however, the requirement for a 'confidence-building detour' on the road to an inclusive European security community. Today's agenda ought to focus on creating the conditions for this genuine strategic partnership to develop."

Report Number:
Center for Transatlantic Security Studies Institute for National Strategic Studies Transatlantic Perspectives, No. 2
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Institute for National Strategic Studies: http://www.ndu.edu/inss/
Media Type:
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