The evolution of a wide-ranging system of agreements and understandings moderating security risks during the Cold War period was built upon an extended, if sometimes difficult, interchange between the United States and its NATO partners on the one hand, and the members of the Soviet-directed Warsaw Pact on the other. Its evolution also required substantive exchanges as to competing aims and interests within the rival blocs.
The system that then emerged and retained a degree of practical effect even after the collapse of the USSR has since deteriorated to the point of extinction, even as confrontation between Russia and NATO has been reborn.
In this policy brief, Sir Andrew Wood considers what lessons, if any, are worth drawing for the situation now from the experience of navigating the Soviet-NATO interchange then.
The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Leadership Network (ELN) or any of the ELN’s members. The ELN’s aim is to encourage debates that will help develop Europe’s capacity to address pressing foreign, defence, and security challenges.