Jeffrey D. McCausland
Department of National Security and Strategy
U.S. Army War College
Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania 17013

February 15, 1995

The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


On November 19, 1990, the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty was signed in Paris following the successful completion of 20 months of negotiations between the members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact Treaty Organization. At its completion President Bush hailed the agreement as ending the" . . . military confrontation that has cursed Europe for decades." Despite the dramatic nature of this document, the large scale reduction required of all signatories, and the complex inspection regime it established; the completion of the treaty was overshadowed by the ongoing deterioration of the Warsaw Pact, end of the Berlin Wall, and impending conflict in the Persian Gulf between Iraq and the coalition headed by the United States. Even these events paled to insignificance in comparison to the dissolution of the Soviet Union roughly 1 year later. In this study, the author examines the viability of this agreement in the post-Cold War era. He describes the scope of the treaty, how it was adapted to meet many of the changes that have occurred, and how it has moved towards final implementation in November 1995.

The author describes the problem of the flank limitations that Russian and Ukrainian forces must subscribe to at the end of the implementation period. Both countries have argued that they can no longer live with these restrictions and have formally requested that they be removed or modified. He notes that there has been little progress towards resolving this impasse, and there is every indication that the Russian Federation will be in violation of the CFE accord in November of this year. This development indicates not only Russian disquiet with the treaty but larger questions concerning the role of various "players" in the Russian national security process and the direction of Russian foreign policy. The author then suggests a framework that NATO should adopt in formulating a policy towards the flank question.

The final portion of the study is devoted to the future role of conventional arms control in American foreign policy. Here the author discusses the implications that a compromise or failure in CFE implementation may have on broader questions of policy as well as the areas of emphasis for the Review Conference scheduled for spring 1996.

The Strategic Studies Institute is pleased to publish this report as a contribution to understanding this issue of U.S. national security policy.

                         WILLIAM W. ALLEN
                         Colonel, U.S. Army
                         Acting Director
                         Strategic Studies Institute


This study examines the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with respect to the process of implementation to date and prospects for final implementation in November 1995. It describes the basic points of the treaty and the danger posed by the ongoing disagreement between NATO and the Russian Federation over the limitations imposed by the treaty on Russian forces in the "flank areas" (Leningrad and North Caucasus Military Districts in the Russian Federation). It analyzes the positions of the primary NATO members, Russian Federation, Ukraine, as well as the United States, and places the treaty in the broader context of Russian foreign policy and the future of conventional arms control. The main findings are as follows.

The Treaty and Implementation Process.

The Problem of the Flanks.

Implications of the Ongoing Disagreement.

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