Introduction to the Introduction: THE STABILIZING ROLE OF CONVENTIONAL ARMS CONTROL
Every child knows – if you lie multiple times – nobody will believe you.
So when before the German reunification the NATO-Washington promised to not extend NATO further to the east – that promise was quickly broken by saying: “We forgot to write it down and we promised it to the UDSSR not to Russia.”
While Putin would be happy to keep Russia intact and avoid having it collapsing into a “Russian-CIA-Spring” (like the “Arab-CIA-spring”) – the question is will Israel-US-radicals continue their path to world dominance regardless social and environmental costs? (wars are fought by the poor and stupid – not by the children of the profiteers)
Israel loves to see Arabs shooting Arabs and Arabic countries disintegrating into civil war.
Now Russia is helping Syria because it is afraid it will lose all it’s allies and friends to “democracy” (credit-money-dictatorships) and wake up surrounded. (pretty much what is happening)
So Russia and Israel should also sit down as well in the NATO-Russia Council (NRC 2002) or similar meetings even if Israel is not part of NATO instead of fighting all those proxy wars with central-bank printed money and state-debt.
Also: THOSE Council meetings should get MORE MEDIA ATTENTION! ( i think they are largely ignored – fear and misery sells more )
Putin != Stalin != Hitler, even if he would like to be king of a new UDSSR.
While of course he and his oligarchs want to stay in power – he is not a psychopath.
Hitler and Stalin and Mao Zedong clearly were psychopath that did not know love and did not value human life in any form so they would sacrificed the last man and child for their power addiction war games.
The problem here lies with power greedy psychopaths that get flushed to the top of weapons companies and governments around the world.
Washing each other’s hands with the blood of others.
Bribing for profit and risking war.
Corruption on all sides – west and east – which simply do not care if children or women are killed and bombed.
Which is pretty much the Skull and Bones philosophy: Poor man die – so that fat cats can make a kill. Thanks a lot G.Bush and co. Please go and kill yourself before your children return the favor or this planet runs out of oxygen to support your stubborn stupidity.
As long as there is a (real or self-made) threat that makes state expenses for weapons rise, corrupt lobbyists and CEOs can pay their money-lenders (bankers) and prostitutes with: Profits – more profits – even more profits.
As tax free as possible Mr Trump.
Just recently Austria started to sue Airbus for a too-expensive Eurofighter deal that probably was sealed with bribing politicians – an act of corruption that is almost considered normal these days also in the Washington-Israel-NATO-hemisphere.
Wonder why Greece has more tanks than money? Same reason. Corruption on all sides and a monetary system – that lends to the Satanists rather than Greenpeace.
A US president once said when confronted with the argument – that Germany and many other European countries were increasing it’s military before the first world war – because they wanted security.
“What a foolish thing to stuff the continent full of weapons and explosives and expect that nobody will drop a matchstick”
Mankind consuming itself – for profit – and more profit. Regardless the social and environmental costs. DeathEconomy at it’s best.
Is homo sapiens really deserving to be called sapiens – wise? It still will have to proof itself.
Summarizing Key Messages:
“The cooperative European Security Order and its instruments have eroded dramatically.
Territorial conflicts, military interventions and new politico-military tensions between
NATO and Russia, which are aggravated by assertive policies, military brinkmanship,
exaggerated threat perceptions, a new sense of confrontation and diverging narratives on its
root causes, entail risks of unwanted escalation.
This background demonstrates the strategic dimension of the Ukraine conflict.
In consequence, a comprehensive solution to sub-regional conflicts seems possible only if the underlying strategic root causes are addressed.
Therefore, a sub-regional arms race or arms deliveries to the Ukraine and military support of break-away entities would be counterproductive and rather fortify the geostrategic dimension of the conflict.
A narrow focus on the implementation of the Minsk agreements is not enough to overcome the political rift in Europe.
In addition to their full implementation, returning to the foundations and principles of the European security order is urgently required to reverse such dangerous trends.
Security cooperation and strategic restraint which are ensured by conventional arms control and enhanced CSBMs are its core elements.
Verification rules should be robust and flexible enough to permit gaining reliable information on the military situation also in times of crisis in order to enable early warning and contribute to deescalation.
Coping with various security challenges inside and outside Europe, regaining regional stability and returning to security cooperation in Europe requires a “grand strategy” beyond military budget discussions.
In such a strategic approach, a focused and measured increase of defense budgets – where conceptually needed – might find its place.
The current “structured dialogue” in the OSCE on threat perceptions, force postures, military activities and doctrines with a view to returning to security cooperation and revitalizing conventional arms control and CSBM in Europe points at the right directions.
However, this dialogue needs a more vigorous support by governments and should aim at bold steps forward to produce tangible results.
In particular, it is paramount to clarify as soon as possible the principles, objectives and military substance of the European arms control initiative that is carried by like-minded countries under German chairmanship and with the support of the Austrian OSCE chair.
Further delay could cause irritations and undermine the credibility of the process.
A new arms control process should be based on the principles of international law but avoid establishing preconditions such as preferred solutions to territorial conflicts.
For disputed territories status-neutral approaches might be useful as interim measures until the deeper root causes of the underlying larger strategic conflict are addressed.
Modern arms control should reflect political realities to maintain relevance and promote the OSCE objective to establish an undivided security area without geopolitical zero-sum games.
New concepts must ensure military significance, reciprocity of provisions and legitimate defence requirements in light of geographical disparities and be compatible with the principle of sufficiency.
Conventional arms control concepts should pursue the objective to prevent destabilizing force accumulations in Europe that could be used for offensive cross-border operations.
(remember the pre ww1-matchstick? more weapons = more profit but not more security)
In light of this objective, (sub-) regional limitations are required.
While the CFE armament categories (TLE) are still highly relevant in high intensity conflict scenarios the CFE scope should be widened to reflect modern force capabilities such as strategic mobility, multinational formations and precise long-range conventional strike systems deployed in or to Europe or adjacent sea areas.
Transparency and verification of military structures, holdings of relevant weapon systems, defence planning and military activities are indispensable elements of any new regime which is to ensure military predictability, rebuild trust and restore security.
Verification rules should be robust and flexible enough to permit gaining reliable information also in times of crisis in order to enable early warning and contribute to de-escalation.”
I dunno why he had to repeat that thing but it seems to be important.
The paper continues:
The European security order as agreed upon in the 1990s has eroded dramatically.
The objective of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to create a common European space of coop-erative security without dividing lines has
been replaced by new geopolitical zero-sum games, deep rifts, military interventions and protracted conflicts.
Cooperative NATO-Russia relations which had been agreed in
context with the NATO-Russia Founding Act (NRFA 1997) and the Rome Declaration on the NATO-Russia Council (NRC 2002) have been suspended and replaced by new political and military confrontation.
Conventional arms control lies in ruins and the OSCE Confidence and Security-Building Measures (CSBM) are insufficient to stabilize the situation and dispel new threat perceptions.
These developments started long before the Ukraine conflict triggered the second nadir in NATO-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War.
Contentious issues have accumulated since the beginning of the new millennium and continue to poison the political atmosphere and the security situation in Europe.
The key words are, inter alia, military interventions inside and outside Europe in violation of international law;
support for break-away regions, separatist regimes and rebels in Europe and beyond; non-implementation of the cooperative
security agreements enshrined in the NATO-Russia Founding Act (1997) and the OSCE European Security Charter (1999) on the creation of a common and undivided security
space and continued focus on NATO’s east-ward enlargement with reference to the right of states to freely choose their alliances; blockade of the entry into force of the 1999 Adaptation Agreement to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) by NATO and suspension of the CFE Treaty by Russia in December 2007;
withdrawal by the U.S. from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) in 2001 and build-up of strategic missile defence capabilities;
stationing of Iskander tactical Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM) by Russia in Kaliningrad and mutual Russian and U.S. accusations of violations of the
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
The recognition by western states of the independence of Kosovo in spring 2008, the Georgian attack on Zchinvali and Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia in August 2008, the subsequent military intervention and recognition by Russia of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as well as the warning of the then Ukrainian President Yushchenko to curtail Russian harbour rights on the Crimean Peninsula foreshadowed future crises.
Such events had followed a sharp increase of Georgian-U.S. military cooperation and NATO’s offer to Ukraine and Georgia to become NATO member states which was issued during its Bucharest Summit in April 2008.
However, due to German and French resistance no concrete Membership Action Plan was agreed.
Since then attempts failed to “reset” security relations between Russia, the U.S. and European allies, and to revitalize conventional arms control.
Perceptions and misperceptions Against this backdrop, Russia viewed the 2014 Maidan revolt another Western plot against Russian interest.
Certainly, the Maidan enjoyed western political support and was partially inspired by an ambiguous, at times polarizing EU trade policy; but its root causes
Russia based its subsequent decisions to intervene and take control of Crimea on three serious misjudgements which shaped the current stand-off:
The assumption that the victory of the Maidan would result in Ukraine’s NATO-membership, U.S. military presence at the Don River, in the Crimean Peninsula and
Sevastopol, which would pose a direct threat to the strategic position of the Black Sea Fleet, misinterpreted national positions of NATO member States and alliance proceedings:
There was and is no agreement on such further enlargement which would require a consensus decision by the alliance as a whole.
The assumption that a pro-Russian population in East Ukraine would revolt in masses against the Maidan government in Kiev was flawed as well.
Therefore, hybrid warfare methods in support of rebels failed to inspire the creation of Novorossiya east of the Dnieper River.
The assumption that the West would condone an allegedly “humanitarian” intervention and accept the annexation of Crimea on grounds of the right to self-determination of the people was another illusion.
Instead, the official Russian reasoning to protect “countrymen” dramatically increased security concerns in the Baltic States.
That triggered NATO’s decisions to establish a persistent forward military presence in the region and enhance rapid reaction capabilities.
The EU responded with sanctions.
But also Russian allies seem to be worried about foreign interventions which were justified by ethnic affinities or historical bonds.
They obviously do not support the Russian intervention.
Also in the West exaggerated threat perceptions hamper de-escalation and a return to security cooperation:
In contrast to frequently published perceptions, Russia did not launch a major conventional offensive operation to establish a land connection between the Donbas region and Crimea or enforce the creation of “Novorossiya”.
Instead, it has committed to the Minsk agreements which underline Ukraine’s territorial integrity – though without Crimea according to Moscow’s understanding.
Russia’s political objective, however, seems to be decentralizing the political power in Ukraine in order to prevent its accession to NATO and maintain the historical, cultural, economic and political bonds to ethnic Russians or Russia affine populations in Eastern Ukraine.
It might therefore continue to support rebels as long as Kiev does not change the constitution to grant a special status to the Donbas region and hold local elections as required by the Minsk agreements.
Furthermore, Moscow seems to link such a local settlement to a solution to the larger crisis of the pan-European security order.
In contrast to studies published by renowned U.S. institutes, Russia has not amassed combat forces at the Baltic borders which are capable of launching successful surprise attacks into territories of NATO allies.
The partial return of the Russian army to division structures is currently taking place predominantly at the Russian-Ukrainian border where no larger formations where stationed in peacetime up to 2014.
Two divisions are being established in the Voronesh area and at Rostov-na-Donu while one division will be stationed in the Smolensk region close to the border to Belarus.
Such divisions are being created through the merger of brigades that were already existing in the Western and Southern Military Districts, probably with two additional brigade elements shifted from the Central Military District to the Don River.
However, in the areas bordering the Baltic States and Poland which are subject to Russian restraint commitments of 1999 – namely the Pskov and Kaliningrad oblasts – no permanent deployment of additional substantial combat forces has been observed.
However, the deployment of Iskander SRBM in Kaliningrad was reported.
According to Moscow, such measure was taken in response to the build-up of a U.S. missile defence site in Redsikovo, Poland, which is scheduled to become
operational in 2018.
No matter how one might assess sub-regional force balances, the assumption that an aggression against a NATO ally could be limited to a sub-regional war seems flawed.
Nevertheless, a narrow focus on sub-regional Russian geographical advantages as to quick movements of land forces has been shaping the western discussion on military response options.
The European security order as agreed upon in the 1990s has eroded dramatically.
The objective of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to create a common European space of cooperative security without dividing lines has been replaced by new geopolitical zero-sum games, deep rifts, military interventions and protracted conflicts.
Conventional arms control lies in ruins and the OSCE Confidence and Security-Building Measures (CSBM) are insufficient to stabilize the situation and dispel new threat perceptions. These developments started long before the Ukraine conflict triggered the second nadir in NATO-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War. In his latest Deep Cuts Working Paper, Wolfgang Richter elaborates the stabilizing role of conventional arms control regarding the return to security cooperation in Europe.
Author: Wolfgang Richter (Colonel ret.) German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik SWP) in Berlin Research Group on Security Politics
“In 2016, the NATO-Russia Council (NRC 2002) met for the first time in nearly two years at NATO’s initiative. The meetings were held at the ambassadorial level in Brussels on April 20, July 13 and December 19 to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, security issues in Afghanistan, and risks related to the NATO military build-up on Russia’s western border.
The first 2017 meeting of the NRC took place on March 30, during which the sides discussed terrorism and crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine as well as reciprocal transparency and risk reduction in the Euro-Atlantic area.”