April 12, 1991 | Backgrounder on Middle East
322 January 13, 1983 THE STOCKHOLM TALKS m OPPORTUNITIES FOR -THE WEST INTRODUCTION When the Conference on Disarmament and Security-Building Measures (referred to as CDE) convenes on January 17 in Stockholm, it will receive a high level of public attention. F or one thing it will permit the first meeting between U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko since the two had a tense encounter in Madrid in September 1983 after the Soviet downing of Korean Airlines Flight 0
07. For another, it will be the only current forum at which East and West discuss arms control, since the Soviets have refused to continue three separate arms negotiations-the talks on strategic and interme diate-range nuclear systems and those .on convention al reductions.
With this new--and unexpected--importance, the CDE has become a high priority for U.S. policymakers a Promoted mainly by some Western European nations to demonstrate to their citizens that they are serious .about arms issues, and by the Sovi et Union as an opportunity to achieve some of its European security goals, the CDE was endorsed somewhat reluctantly by the U.S. government. Now forced to make the best of the situation Washington should work to ensure that Western positions at the CDE re flect the overall European security balance-a NATO force somewhat inferior conventionally to the Warsaw Pact, dependent upon U.S. resupply, and particularly vulnerable to a surprise attack.
The U.S. must counsel the Western nations to pursue limited Such c onfidence and security-building measures (CSBMs). Some of these may improve marginally the security of the West in Europe measures include pre-notification of troop movements above certain levels and unimpeded observation of .military maneuvers. The U.S. s hould insist upon adequate verification wherever required and seek to make any agreements binding under international law. At 2 the same time, the U.S beyond limited CSBMs or interests should work against proposals that go that would impair important secu rity If Washington conducts skillful diplomacy, it could emerge from CDE having demonstrated correctly that it is the Soviet Union that remains intransigent at the bargaining table and is the major obstacle to equitable arms limitations.
BACKGROUND There i s no generally accepted definition of a confidence and security-building measure At a minimum it is any action or measure that provides useful information about the military inten- tions, actions, or activities of a nation or a group of nations. The polit i cal purpose of CSBMs is to provide a barometer of peaceful intentions between nations and to reduce the possibility of unintended conflict; the security purpose is to provide signals of unusual military activity and, in particular, to reduce the possibili ty of a successful surprise attack. CSBMs either can be used as an adjunct to an arms control agreement or can stand alone.
The main components of CSBMs are 1) notification measures that require governments to publicize in advance their plans for specified military activity and 2) inspection measures that call for non-national observers to be present at specified military activities at agreed times or on request by the foreign nati0ns.l Measures that today might be termed CSBMs have been agreed to in the p a st, but the development of a conceptual framework for CSBMs did not begin until the late 1960s itself in a variety of international forums, including the Final Act agreed to by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (usually called the Helsi n ki Accord proposals made at the Mutual Reduction of Force and Armaments and Associated Measures in Central Europe conference (referred to in the West as the Mutual Balanced Force Reduction [MBFR] talks) in Vienna; the CDE conference under review here; and various others It now manifests The Helsinki process mainly focused on human rights issues and the de facto ratification of post-World War I1 European borders, but also included non-legally binding2 CSBMs. These were 1) notification to be given at least 2 1 days in advance of military maneuvers including over 25,000 troops 2) voluntary For background on CSBMs, see Jonathan Alford, "The Future of Arms Control Part I11 Confidence-Building Measures," Adelphi Paper No. 149 Interna tional Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 1979; and Johan Jorgen Holst and Karen Alette Melander European Security and Confidence-Building Measures," Survival, July-August 1977, pp. 146-154.
Also known as "politically binding I 3 notification of maneuvers and military movements i nvolving under 25,000 troops; and (3) Helsinki signatory nations voluntarily to invite each other to send observers to military maneuver At the Vienna talks to reduce arms levels in Europe, which began in 1973, Western proposals at first focused almost ex c lu- sively on methods of counting current military force levels and specific force reduction proposals. But in 1979, the West tabled a group of "associated measures. These contained elements that could "build confidence,Il although they were designed prim a rily to ensure verification of any force reductions (if and when such reductions were im~lemented The Vienna talks' CSBMs were 1) pre-notificati~n~ of out-of-garrison activity 2) exchange of observers at out-of- garrison activities 3) pre-notification of m ajor movements by ground forces of direct MBFR participants 4) right of inspec- tions up to 18 times per year 5) permanent entry and exit points to observe force movements 6) exchange of information on relative forces 7) non-interference with Ibational te c hnical means i.e non on-site) of verification. While some of these proposals were intended to cover specific areas where force reductions had taken place, the principles involved were clearly applicable to CSBMs. At the MBFR talks, CSBMs are an integral p art of actual force reduction issues. real progress on these issues, there has therefore been no signi- ficant movement on the CSBM question.
The CDE talks now will provide another forum for discussion of CSBMs. Meeting in Stockholm are 35 nations, includi ng all the NATO states, the Soviet bloc plus eleven of Europe's neutral and smaller nations. They are convening as the result of a number of factors 1) the longstanding Soviet drive for a European security conference which led to active support for CDE be g inning in 1979 2) the Soviet interest in diverting attention from the Helsinki process, which has emphasized human rights issues 3) the French proposal of 1978, made under pressure from French leftists, for France to participate in some kind of arms contr o l forum 4) a feeling by Western European governments that another arms control parley would allay some of the popular fears concerning deployment of the Pershing I1 and cruise missiles; and (5) a genuine feeling in the West and perhaps by the Soviets that some specific CSBM measure might not be harmful to, and possibly beneficial to, their security interests Since there has been no At the Belgrade follow-up to Helsinki, some limited CSBMs were tabled but nothing was agreed to.
For further discussion, see Lothar Rudel MBFR: Lessons and Problems,"
Adelphi Paper No. 176, International Institute for Strategic Studies London 1982 That is, notice prior to the initiation of the military activities 4 The Western nations in December 1980, after extensive consul tat ion, presented a proposal for a CDE conference at the Madrid review conference follow-up of the Helsinki process. Last Sep tember, this proposal was accepted,6 after the U.S. yielded somewhat on the earlier effort to tightly link improvement in the Soviet human rights performance to a CDE meeting.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MBFR AND CDE The prime differences between the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction talks in Vienna and the CDE discussion (which is part of the Helsinki process) include subject matter, geography, and legality. The MBFR talks cover reduction in conventional forces while the CDE, at least in its first phase, is supposed to focus on non-force reduction, confidence-building measures. Geographical ly, the PBFR covers mainly Central Europe, not including Hungary while CDE covers Europe from the Western coastline to the Ural Mountains (ten times farther than the Helsinki coverage) and adjacent sea and air. The French are in CDE but not in MBFR.
With respect to legality, MBFR would resu lt in a legally binding treaty, whereas CDE is a part of the non-binding Helsinki process. 7 SOVIET INTERESTS AND CDE MOSCOW~S interest in CDE reflects the Soviets' general inter est in European security, the Soviet record with respect to the MBFR and Ifa s sociated measures,Il and the Soviet record on Helsinki's confidence-building measures.8 Soviet general. European security goals include 1) maintenance of the European military balance in favor of the Soviets 2) maintenance and strengthening of Soviet cont r ol of Eastern Europe 3) Soviet political dominance in Western Europe 4) recognition of (l 2) and (3) by the West 5) lowering of Western military efforts 6) diminishing or 'breaking U.S.-Western European ties; and (7) making Soviet-style lIdetentell irreve rsible.
At the MBFR talks, the Soviet response to Western "associated measurell initiatives has been tepid. While the Soviets have agreed that "associated measurest1 are a subject for discussion For the text, see "The Madrid CSCE Review Meeting Washington, D.C Commission on Security and Cooperation, 1983), pp. 74-75.
The interntional legal dimensir..ts of the Helsinki Final Act are discussed in Oscar Schachter The Twilight Existence of Non-binding International Agreements American Journal of International Law, April 1977, pp 296-304.
The Eastern European nations are, of course, a part of the CDE process but while they may occasionally offer a variation on Soviet proposals they are not independent actors.
For further discussion of Soviet goals in Europe, s ee John Erickson European Security Winter 1976, pp. 37-43 Soviet Preferences and Priorities," Strategic Review 5 there is little evidence of serious Soviet interest in useful associated measures The Soviets at times also have argued that Itassociated meas urest1 are merely a pretext for the West to obtain military data.
Soviet record on compliance nonetheless indicates the Soviet ap proach toward CSBM. While generally following the letter of the agreements MOSCOW'S observance of the spirit has been question able. For example, the Soviets have hampered Western observers in various ways, such as giving them defective binoculars. West ern observers have been carefully restricted, made to stay in prepared stands, and permitted to watch set piece maneuvers only.
Most important, some of the Soviet large-scale maneuvers during the Polish crisis of 1980-1981 were made without the proper notification as required by the Helsinki CSBMs including those most analogous to CSBMs Although the Helsinki CSBMs are not legally binding, the WESTERN INTERESTS AND CDE Western interests must first be viewed within the context of current security factors in Europe.ll Most relevant are 1) the conventional military balance tilts in favor of the Warsaw Pact over NATO 2) the Soviet bloc fighting doctrine, training, and force capabilities are oriented toward offensive rather than defensive posture 3) for primarily political reasons, NATO doctrine spreads out forces along the West German border with the East, thus making the West particula rly vulnerable to a surprise attack 4) a successful Western defense absolutely requires a rapid deployment of U.S. forces to Europe.
Western nations have observed the spirit as well as the letter of the Helsinki CSBMs. Further, Western CSBM proposals at the MBFR talks have not been accepted by the East.
CDE AGENDA The CDE will involve all of the states that are part of the Helsinki process and will occur in two stages. In the first stage, beginning on January 17, the main focus is to be on limited CSBMs. H owever, there is nothing to prevent other issues related to arms control from being raised. The CDE mandate specifies that any CSBM measures must be tlpoliticallyll binding, militarily lo In its June 1983 MBFR proposals, the Soviet Union did appear to sli ghtly modify its rigid opposition to all on-site inspection, but its position was that any particular inspection could be rejected, thus negating the purpose of inspections.
For a general review of U.S.'policy and CSBMs, see: U.S. Department of State Secur ity and Arms Control Washington, D.C Office, 1983 pp. 4350 l1 Government Printing 6 significant, Itprovided with adequate forms of verification which corresponds to their content I' and applicable throughout Europe to the Urals.
The results of the first stage of CDE are to be evaluated at the Helsinki follow-up meeting scheduled for Vienna on November 4, 19
86. If all parties. agree,;a second stage of the CDE will begin, which will have an official mandate to deal directly with arms control issues. The U.S has not committed itself to a second stage.
The specific issues to be raised at CDE concern 1 trans parency" measures, such as the pre-notification of exercises, exchange of military data, improved communications, and inspec- tion/observation 2) restrictive measures, or limitations, such as limits o n aspects of military maneuvers and'nuclear free zones; and 3) declaratory measures, a favorite of the Soviets such as pledges of nonaggression and of no first-use of nuclear weapons. Western proposals.wil1 focus on information, notifica- tion, verificati o n and.communication CSBMs.12 CDE: PROBLEMS AND POLICIES Participation in CDE raises some problems for the West, the U.S. in particular. These should be taken into consideration as the U.S. reviews CDE usefulness. These problems are o The CDE will draw att e ntion away from one of the most vulnerable Soviet points-human rights issues. Soviets consistently have sought to weaken the human rights dimension of the Helsinki process. of the CDE, segregated from human rights issues, which are supposed to be an integ r al part of the Helsinki process, will divert public attention from a major Soviet vulnerability--its extensive human rights violations The The convening o The CDE may serve as a propaganda forum for Soviet propo- sals intended primarily to persuade the We s tern European public that Moscow has peaceful intentions.13 Certain to l2 On January 11, 1984, the NATO members stated that the Western proposals at CDE will include and exercises 2) regular exchanges of military information 3) rights of observation of mi l itary activities; and 4) improved communications on military matters On January 10, 1984, the Soviets proposed a ban on chemical weapons in Europe, but did not include any verification measures be the opening round of the Soviet CDE propaganda effort. On chemical weapons, see Manfred Hamm Deterring Chemical War The Reagan Formula,"
Heritage Backgrounder No. 272; and Hamm, "Chemical Weapons and Europe forthcoming from the Institute for European Defense and Strategic Studies London 1) obligatory advance noti ce of troop movements l3 This could well 7 have a superficial appeal are such proposals as 'Ino first use of nuclear weapons and nuclear free zones.I' Careful and detailed analysis demonstrates the negative impact of many of.these proposals on Western sec u rity, but this is a laborious and repetitive process while the Soviets have only to offer the ideas in order to create a positive image with some sectors of European opinion. Western governments are vulnerable to public opinion while the Soviets are not. o The CDE could exacerbate tensions between the Western zones, and by repeated condemnation of the continuing allies-a prime Soviet goal--by offering superficially appealing Ildeclaratory measures, such as nuclear free Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF ) deployment. Pres sure could increase for a full European return to a 1970s type detente with the Soviets and some governments could fall even further behind in meeting the NATO commitment of 3 percent real defense budget growth per year.' Not only could t here be differences between the U.S. and its NATO allies, there could well emerge tensions among the Europeans themselves over such issues as nuclear free zones 14 0 The Soviets may seek to utilize the CDE as a forum for unrelated issues such as the INF o r even the Strategic Arms Reduction (START) issues. Because of the great number of nations attending, this could add an unnecessary layer of complexity to the already muddled arms control situation. Further it could at least implicitly involve the European s directly in START talk issues, which are relevant principally to U.S. security o CDE could remove whatever modest pressure currently exists on the Soviets in the now-suspended Vienna MBFR talks for actual conventional force reductions in Europe.
Improved warning time is use'ful (although it can be ignored), but actual force reductions could be more significant o Locating the conference in Stockholm means that the Swedish government of Olof Palme, known for his strong criticism of U.S. policies, may tilt m atters slightly against the U.S. and Western interests, although perhaps the recent Swedish experience with intruding Soviet sub marines has been a chastening cannot determine the outcome, it often plays the role of a conciliator, as Spain did with the Ma d rid follow-up to the Helsinki accord While the host government l4 This process already may have started announced that it would seek a Balkans nuclear-free zone despite U.S and NATO opposition On January 10, 1984, Greece 8 o As with all Helsinki Act confe r ences, any CSBMs must be unanimously agreed to by all 35 participating states, which often means that the least objectionable, least meaningful measures will be accepted, rather than those that could be truly effective CSBMs As the U.S. pursues its intere s ts at CDE, Washington should consider the following policy guidelines o ItTransparencyif measures consistent with U. S security interests include 1) lowering of the threshold number for notification of maneuvers from 25,000 to a substan- tially lower numb e r 10,000-15,000) troops;15 (2) requir- ing notification of maneuvers earlier than the 21-day notice called for in the current Helsinki CSBMs 3 exchanges of information, which should be verifiable, on. military force structures and budgets 4) improved com- munications; and 5) real verification measures, such as on-site inspections (ground and aerial) and'a right to unscheduled inspections o The most serious Western vulnerability is a surprise attack on Western Europe.l6 Any CSBMs that provide more warning t i me without.damaging Western security should be fully pursued. Notification and information measures of the general type described earlier, combined with ef fective intelligence capabilities, could provide some additional indications of attack preparation, especially since the area covered includes the Soviet Union to the Urals. Such indications include dispersal of aircraft, removal of materials from storage, movement of forces of out-of-garrison areas, and interference with CSBM observers. No amount of in formation, however, can substitute for informed evaluation and judgment, but this can be enhanced by good information. the West must review its intelligence evaluation procedures to assure that Soviet actions are correctly interpreted.
Should such measures be adopted o CDE should establish limitations on the ability of the Soviets to intimidate neighbors with military buildups and troop movements during periods of tension primarily by means of early pre-notification of maneuvers l5 l6 Since the Warsaw Pact tabled a similar proposal in Vienna in 1979 agreement on this measure at CDE is likely.
Since the Soviets have in the past rejected the idea that the West is vulnerable to a surprise attack. the likelihood of effective CSBMs to deal with this problem is n ot great.' See Jeffrey Record, Force Reductions in Europe: Strategy Over (Cambridge: Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis 19801 p 76. For a discussion of problems related to surprise attack see Richard K. Belts, "Surprise Attack Washington D.C Brookings Institution 1982 Lessons for Defense Planning 9 Exchanges of information should be pursued. Assuming they are accurate (and some verifications measures should be devised), such information should benefit the open West more than the secretive East.
The West should avoid any Ilrestrictive measurestt or other force capability limitations on the carrying out of maneu vers at this time; given the current military balance in Europe, this could have a negative impact on Western security interests. At some point i n the future, however some such measures might be appropriate, but only with very stringent verification measures.17 At present, NATO security requires realistic training involving very large numbers of troops; practice is essential to be ready for the pos sible transporting of thousands of U.S. troops on very short notice and the deployment of forces in a for ward defense position. Any weakening of U.S. reinforce ment capability would also inevitably lower the nuclear threshold.
The West should not agree to include air and naval maneu vers at this time; such activities, alone, simply are.no threat to the security of the Warsaw Pact. The U.S in particular as an essentially maritime power, cannot allow any measures that, even implicitly, would impinge on free dom of the seas, or its ability to operate in the Mediterranean or other waters close to Europe.
The West should oppose any Soviet efforts to extend the range of coverage for CSBMs into the Atlantic or the Mediterranean or to include the U.S. East Coast. S uch areas are clearly away from direct relevance to European security and would in fact include U.S. military activi ties totally unrelated to European security.
The U.S. should oppose measures that would require reporting or observing forces merely in transit between two non-European points.
Soviet efforts to turn CDE into a forum for lldeclaratoryll measures should be resisted. Such measures traditionally raised.by the Soviets include the non-first use of nuclear weapons, non-aggression pacts, and the e stablishment of nuclear and chemical weapon free zones in various parts of Europe. The former would deprive the West of its most significant deterrent and potential response to a Soviet attack on Europe and would psychologically undermine U.S allies while the Soviets would not believe it anyway.
The latter would serve no useful purpose and, most impor tant, almost by definition cannot be verified. Alterna tively, imaginative counterdeclaratory proposes that l7 Such limitations could be on the size, area of manuever, or duration. 10 place the Soviets on the defensive could be offered by the U.S.--such as nonintervention by the Soviets in Poland o As with any agreements negotiated with the Soviets, the terms should be absolutely clear and not subject to dif f ering interpretations, and any terms subject to dispute should be carefully defined within the text of the agree ment It is essential that the Russian translation be carefully scrutinized for deliberate loopholes. Transla tions must not be viewed as a mer e formality.
Adequate verification must be a top priority for Western negotiators; the Soviets are vulnerable on their consistent refusal to consider meaningful verification measures especially on-site inspection. At a minimum, observers should have consid erable freedom of movement, be adequate ly supplied, and free from harassment. Soviet willingness to 'agree to adequate CSBM inspection would be a first step to such agreement on arms reduction negotiations.
Refusal would indicate a lack of seriousness in arms talks as well. Verification is essential to assure observance of CSBMs and to assure that the principal Western interest in them-adequate warning time-is achieved. At the same time, any "intrusive" inspection measures, in the unlikely event that the Soviets were agreeable to negotiating them, should be carefully weighed for their impact upon Western security. Non-intrusive verfication is not sufficient because 1) it cannot detect all that needs to be detected 2) to do so could reveal U.S. intelligenc e capabilities; and (3) on-site inspection would be a significant signal of political intentions o r o An agreement should provide a mechanism for definitively determining that violations have occurred. In devising such a mechanism, the experience of the U .S.-Soviet Standing Consultative Commission of SALT should be re viewed; it has not always been a satisfactory forum for clearly determining whether violations have occurred.
At a minimum, the forum should. be public o Penalties for non-compliance with a CSBM should be pro posed unannounced on-site inspections be allowed for any viola tion, or to require cancellation by the violating party of an equivalent already announced fu t ure activity. Of course, for a serious violation or systematic non-compli ance, the reaction should be severe, such as withdrawal from the agreement, military countermeasures, or other appropriate response One possibility would be to require that addition al o In the evaluation of all suggested CSBMs, full considera tion should be given as to how they would work in a time of great tension, and what the impact would be on Western 11 security were they to be suddenly ignored at such a time.
Further, considera tion should be given to .other CSBMs which would be triggered at the time of a crisis, although these should be approached with some skepticism as the measures would also likely be non-binding, and a nation that has violated binding treaties would not lik ely observe such measures in times of crisis. Actions for consideration as subjects of crisis CSBMs include calling up of reserves, placing units on alert, and marshalling of supplies.
The West should use the CDE as an educational forum for European public s, including the smaller and neutral na- tions that will be involved in an arms control forum for the first time, to point out that Soviet conventional capabilities have increased substantially beyond those needed for self-defense, and that their planning and exercises are based on an offensive strategy including integrated use of chemical weapons As with any treaty negotiation, the U.S. should not enter into preemptive concessions; that is to say, the U.S should know what it can and cannot accept and shou ld not go beyond that for any reason, be that to keep the Soviets at the table, to placate sectors of public opinion, or merely to reach an agreement for the sake of reaching an agreement.
The Western position at CDE should be coordinated with ongoing MBFR interests (assuming the Soviets return to Vienna longer be available as a bargaining chip for actual force reductions, although the likelihood of the Soviets agreeing to such reductions with adequate verification is minimal. Alternatively, the substance o f Western MBFR positions could eventually be transferred to Stockholm since there is considerable overlap A concession or compromise made at CDE will no The West should propose that any CSBMs agreed to be separated out and put into the form of a treaty, b i nding under international law. Of course, this does not assure Soviet compliance, as existing covenants have been violated, but it nonetheless removes the argument that the agreements do not require obligatory observance. Labeling an agreement negotiated within the Helsinki context as "mandatory" does not make the agreement binding under international law. It is perhaps bett..x than nothing but falls far short of the best result.
The West should not allow the CDE and Soviet public relations exercises in ar ms control to divert attention from the Soviet huinan rights record. also point out that it would be more confident about the Soviets were they to allow for human rights and political freedoms The West should 12 CONCLUSION A well-thought out and executed U .S. policy at CDE could achieve the following 1) agreement to a small number of CSBMs that could marginally enhance Western security 2) the preserva- tion of alliance unity on security issues 3) the maintenance of continued pressure on the Soviets on the h uman rights issue 4 the encouragement of even modest political independence by the East Europeans; and 5) the blunting of Soviet propaganda initia- tives and efforts at declaratory CSBMs with clear presentations of the Soviet military buildup and its impa ct upon the East-West balance along with the offering of imaginative counter-propaganda where appropriate.
The West, of course, should be realistic about the likelihood of Soviet compliance with any measures agreed to in view of MOSCOW'S record on such mat ters. This Soviet record also makes verification measures even more important as part of an overall package. Cer- tainly, if the Soviets will not agree to the minimal on-site requirements of CSBMs, there is little hope that they will accept them for more s ignificant negotiations on nuclear and conventional force reductions A realism should inform expectations about the CDE. present circumstances, only two things could significantly improve the West's security positions: first, genuine, balanced and truly v e rifiable arms reductions, or, second, a strengthening of 'Western military capabilities to assure deterrence or the ability to counter the Soviets militarily if necessary. with respect to CSBMs, the most important actions that would create confidence woul d be for the Soviet Union to renounce expansionism, end its quest for overwhelming military predominance in Europe and to respect human rights. Without such measures, the West must remain viligant regardless of whatever CSBMs may be adopted at the CDE Unde r W. Bruce Weinrod Director of Foreign Policy and Defense Studies The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of James Hackett in the preparation of this study.