in: Politologija, Issue 2
The aim of the article was to explore the Agreement on the Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe 1999 (hereinafter referred to as an A-CFE) & its positive/negative implications for the NATO-Russian relations. The A-CFE, considered to be a cornerstone of the European security paving the way to a greater conventional stability on the continent, has not entered into force for political & geo-strategic reasons. Moreover, A-CFE aims at establishing a stable & balanced overall level of conventional armed forces between NATO & Russia in Europe, thus solving NATO enlargement & security dilemmas, the bone of contention between NATO & Russia. The main question the article dealt with was whether the A-CFE could stabilize NATO-Russian relations in the anarchical international system facing the dynamics of balance of power. The article focused on analyzing conventional arms control influence on NATO-Russian interaction; a heavy emphasis was placed on A-CFE functionality to solve security dilemma problems in light of NATO enlargement, hypothetical NATO-Russian conflict, & NATO-Russian level of conventional armed forces in Europe. What's more, a concrete case -- the Baltic States possible membership in A-CFE & its influence on NATO-Russian relations has been analyzed in the context of military power disparities & geo-strategic position of the Eastern Baltic sub-region. Having analyzed it accordingly, the following conclusion has been made: A-CFE Treaty of actual text would not properly stabilize NATO-Russian relations due to the reaction of national units to the on-going redistribution of military power & the dynamic of military balance. If not revised, A-CFE will amount to a "sunset Treaty" while remaining an instrument of political process. This assumption emerges from the following factors: 1. A-CFE has asymmetrically imposed the ceilings of conventional arms in favor of Russia, reducing U.S. Army quota in Europe & setting strict limits on keeping foreign military forces on a permanent basis; new NATO members are obliged not to increase the ceilings whereas Russia's limits rise to the Flanks. 2. Asymmetrical distribution of power imposed by A-CFE has decreased NATO operational capabilities to respond to Russian offensive/defensive attacks. NATO forces have been reduced in NATO-Russian border sub-regions, which might become a conflict zone. 3. The first wave of NATO enlargement was set in a frame of arms control thus solving the security dilemma of Russia, whereas the second wave diverted the distribution of power & required a new response from arms control. With the second wave including the Baltic States, NATO has significantly improved its geo-strategic positions as a result of the possibility of establishing an offensive front against Russia from the Baltic States in which conventional arms control does not apply. 4. The Baltic States' membership in the A-CFE has had implications for its own national security could be evaluated from perspectives of defensive & offensive realism. In the world of the offensive realism, the Baltic States should avoid entering the A-CFE with low ceilings, as Russia proposed, which would diminish Baltic States' national security. On the other hand, the Baltic States are supposed to evaluate a negative effect of the security dilemma, according to defensive realists. Large & flexible ceilings the Baltics may negatively affect Russian security & it could start increasing the weapons. The Baltic States would lose the arms race with Russia due to the lack of economic recourses. 5. The research suggests two ways to revise the A-CFE to solve the security dilemma of both Russia & the Baltic States: (1) to set ceilings for the whole Eastern Baltic sub-region (at the present time, Russia's commitments in Kaliningrad & Pskov are the political ones); (2) to add the whole Eastern Baltic sub-region to Central European stability zone using the formula national ceilings = territorial ceiling. 5 Lenteles. Adapted from the source document.