The Role of Military Power and Arms Control in Western Security in the 1990s

A Conference Report

by Richard Bitzinger

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From April 30 to May 2, 1990, RAND, the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, the Institute Francais des Relations Internationales, and the Royal Institute of International Affairs jointly sponsored a conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, on The Role of Military Power and Arms Control in Western Security in the 1990s. This report summarizes some of the key conference discussions related to the climactic changes taking place in Eastern Europe; the subsequent redefinition of the threats, risks, and dangers to the West; NATO's role in an evolving European security system; future conventional and nuclear force requirements and the impact of arms control; and the likely future course of Western security policy over the near term. The discussion showed that dramatically changing threat perceptions should continue to affect NATO security policies. In particular, public perceptions of a diminished threat will pressure alliance leaders attempting to restructure NATO. There was unanimous agreement on the continued need for NATO and general agreement that the West must enhance the political conditions for NATO's acceptance.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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