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Research Report


Dieter Mahncke
Copyright Date: Sep. 1, 1993
Pages: 38
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. None)

    The changes in Europe over the past few years have been dramatic and they have led, particularly in the field of security, to a great deal of re-thinking--or at least demands for and appearances of re-thinking. Compared to the earlier East-West conflict most of the changes were considered as being positive from the Western point of view. The West was able to decrease its military readiness, decrease the numbers of its troops and arms and, at least to an extent, reduce the accompanying financial burdens.

    At the same time, however, three things occurred which, in direct or indirect ways, affected...

  2. (pp. None)

    Since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the break-up of the Soviet Union it has become commonplace to remark on the dramatic changes that have taken place in Europe over the last few years. Dramatic changes have indeed taken place and to point to them seems all too self-evident. But, obviously, the problem with such remarks is that they tend to become broader and broader, generalising in a manner that glosses over differences and weakens the perception of those things which are unchanged and remain important.

    Of course, there have been important and fundamental changes. As a result of...

  3. (pp. None)

    In the discussion about potential risks to European security, three groups of risks are usually mentioned: first, the geopolitical location, uncertain development and continuing military power of Russia, second, the new, already visible or potential national, religious, ethnic and cultural (and power-political) conflicts in Eastern and South-eastern Europe, including parts of the former Soviet Union and third, potential extra-European threats, specifically from North Africa or the Near and Middle East.

    While there is general agreement on these three groups of risks, there has been little precise analysis of exactly what risks for European security they entail and whether there are...

  4. (pp. None)

    An analysis of European security problems alone is insufficient; equally important is an understanding of the aims, attitudes and policies of the European states concerned. For these attitudes will determine the approach to the problems; policies are more often the results of attitudes and objectives rather than a pure reaction to problems.

    Within the European Community there are three major actors: Great Britain, France and Germany. This does not mean that the other countries are unimportant; initiatives and personalities from these countries frequently bring movement into events. But as a rule the other members tend to react to or side...

  5. (pp. None)

    Many European observers and policy-makers find it difficult to assess correctly the role and policy of the United States in Europe because of the specific combination of- -in Robert Osgood's classical phrase--ideals and self-interest: Europeans often either tend to overestimate the idealistic elements in American policy, which usually leads them to conclude that this policy is naive, or they ignore these elements altogether, hence having on occasion to invent motives for American policies that are actually wholly or in part motivated by idealistic considerations.

    United States policy towards Europe since the end of World War II has been characterised by...

  6. (pp. None)

    There is no lack of institutions concerned with European security: NATO, EC, WEU, CSCE, and even the UN. The first four are exclusively concerned with European security, while the United Nations is deeply involved in the most prominent current European security issue, in the former Yugoslavia.

    Since the end of the Cold War the United Nations, no longer hampered by the East- West conflict, has gained a more prominent role. The Iraq war, the war in the former Yugoslavia and the crisis in Somalia have shown that where there is agreement between the major powers it is an instrument that...

  7. (pp. None)

    European security cannot be maintained unless domestic stability is assured in the Western democracies. Domestic stability will not be assured unless these democracies succeed in dealing with the problems confronting them. None of these problems is purely national. Dealing with each one of them will thus require both national action and international cooperation. Among the most important are the crisis of the political party system, budgetary imbalance, mass migration and environmental damage, but issues such as international trade relations and the security of nuclear power plants, as well as overpopulation and starvation in the Third World, have domestic effects in...