Arms Control and European Security

By Graeme P. Auton | Go to book overview

peace and security order but also ease U.S.-Soviet tensions still further. 16 It is important for the U.S. leadership to understand the political potential of CSCE and take a more active role in the formulation of Western CSCE policy. But the demand for a more active stand on CSCE is an appeal not only to the United States but to Western Europe as well. Harmonization and integration of Western European national-security policies through a European Union or the European Parliament--as well as through a better coordination of economic, political, and military security policies--is vital for the policy outlined here. Politically credible Europeanization means less a new partnership between Western Europe and the United States than the implementation of the EC's political will to unite, integrate, and develop active responsibility for Europe.


THE OUTLOOK

This idealistic advocacy of CSCE as a framework and mechanism for a new European peace and security order is not intended to overlook the fact that such a process requires both time and a tremendous political effort. Until now the CSCE process has done more to generate qualitatively new perspectives than to produce concrete political results. But it is exactly this new quality of politics that makes the CSCE process so attractive in historical terms. It demands that we define security not only as a military but also as a political, economic, and sociocultural matter; that we look for common security instead of bloc confrontation, establishing structures above traditional blocs and nation-states, thereby changing the very political configuration of the present European system; and that we introduce a new "democratic" approach to foreign policy and the regional order.

If European history is understood as something more than an irreversible decline of Europe's ability to solve its own problems, and if the present structural problems of European security are seen not as destiny but as a political challenge, the CSCE process can be regarded as a way to transform the quality, structure, and patterns of the European regional order. One of CSCE's strengths is that it can embrace both conservative and progressive views and interests: for conservatives, past experience and Western success in the areas of CBMs and human rights can be stressed; for progressives, the attraction of a new type of European security order that is less militarily risky than the present one can be emphasized. The lessons of modern European history and the present structural problems of European security both point to the necessity of a new, more aggressive Western CSCE policy in the 1990s.


NOTES
1.
See John J. Maresca, To Helsinki: The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1973-1975 ( Durham: Duke University Press, 1985). The Helsinki accord

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