Overlapping institutions, underinsured security--the evolution of the post-Cold War security order

by James Steinberg

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With the end of the Cold War, the bipolar European political and security institutions which underpinned it have struggled to adapt to new security challenges. The process has been shaped by four key factors: the U.S. desire to maintain a significant role for NATO; the impact of German unification; the need for an enhanced pan-European organization to reflect the end of Europe's east-west division; and the emergence of new sources of conflict, especially ethnic and national conflict. This evolution has followed four principal lines: adaptation of NATO, movement toward deepening and enlarging the European Community (EC), institutionalization of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and growing international willingness to intervene in nations' internal affairs. Nonetheless, these changes have been inadequate to address effectively Europe's emerging sources of instability. Policy makers need guidelines for further adaptation. The paper proposes nine policy recommendations for developing the roles and responsibilities of the United Nations, CSCE, NATO, the EC and the WEU, as well as an enhanced institutional link between the EC and the United States, in order to enhance European stability in the future.

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