One of the aims of the new CSCE/OSCE is to strengthen co-operative security throughout the OSCE area. This concept implies the commitment by all participating States, individually and collectively, not to enhance their security at the expense of the security of other States. However, the OSCE does not provide for defence guarantees.
Developing co-operative security is an ambitious task. Some of the necessary components are already there. The OSCE, indirectly or directly, is the political guardian of far-reaching arms control agreements which can form the basis of a new order of military security in Europe: The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), the CFE 1 A Act on Personnel and the Vienna Documents on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures. They have introduced strict limits for key military equipment and personnel held by the States of NATO and the former Warsaw Treaty Organization. Europe, which has for many years been the area of the most intense confrontations and highest concentration of weapons, has embarked on an unprecedented demilitarisation process resulting in the destruction of tens of thousand of pieces of equipment. A very intensive system of information exchange and intrusive verification is in place.
An elaborate system of confidence-building measures makes it possible to control military activities and provides at the same time for a number of early warning indicators. The OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation meeting every week and consulting on all security related matters is an essential part of a developing co-operative security system. At the same time, the Forum is a negotiating body.
An important milestone in the road leading to co-operative security, was the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, adopted at Budapest in December 1994. The document, reaffirming the continuing validity of the comprehensive concept of security, sets norms and principles guiding the role of armed forces in democratic societies, relations among States and of States vis-à-vis their nationals in the military field. The Code, inter alia, underscores the determination of participating States to act in solidarity if OSCE norms and commitments are violated and to facilitate concerted responses to security challenges they may face as a result. Under the Code, the participating States will consider jointly the nature of the threat and action that may be required in defence of their common values.
The development of Confidence and Security-Building Measures has accompanied the CSCE process from the very beginning. The first confidence building measures were introduced by the Helsinki Final Act. They were designed "to contribute to reducing the dangers of armed conflict and of misunderstanding or miscalculation of military activities which could give rise to apprehension, particularly in a situation where the participating States lack clear and timely information". The measures at that time were only voluntary and comprised of
- prior notification of major (as well as other) military manoeuvres,
- exchange of observers,
- prior notification of major military movements, and
- "other confidence building measures", such as the exchange by invitation among their military personnel, including visits by military delegations.
Notification was to be given 21 or more days in advance, on all major military manoeuvres exceeding a total of 25,000 troops. It was to contain information on the designation, the general purpose of and the States involved in the exercise, the type or types and numerical strength of the forces engaged, the area involved and estimated time-frame for its conduct. Observers were to be invited voluntarily and on a bilateral basis, in a spirit of reciprocity and goodwill towards all States.
The Madrid Follow-up Meeting (1980 - 1983) gave the mandate to hold a dedicated Conference on Confidence- and Security Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (CDE). The measures were to cover the whole of Europe and be of military significance, politically binding, and provided with adequate forms of verification which correspond to their content. The CDE took place in Stockholm (1984 - 1986) and resulted in the Stockholm Document , adopted on 19 September 1986. It significantly improved the CBMs by providing:
- the political obligation to abide by the provisions;
- lowered thresholds and a longer time-frame for prior notification of military activities (13,000 troops, 42 days in advance);
- obligatory notifications of military activities and invitation of observers;
- provisions on annual calendars of planned military activities;
- "constraining provisions" which were at that time, however, not more than special cases in the annual calendar regime; and
- for the first time in the history of modern arms control, verification by compulsory on-site inspections relating to military activities, thus paving the way for the relevant principle in the US-Soviet INF Treaty on medium-range nuclear forces one year later and US-Soviet START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) later still.
Due to the improvements and the widened scope, these measures were seen as a "second generation" in the development.
The CSCE Follow-up Meeting in Vienna (1986-1989) mandated that the CDE should be continuing in Negotiations on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (NCSBM). They were to be held in parallel with the negotiations on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) and yielded, as a first step, the Vienna Document 1990 (17 November 1990). They were ended by conclusion of the Vienna Document 1992 (4 March 1992).
The Vienna Document 1990 broadened the scope of mutual information exchange. It contains further measures, namely the obligation for an annual exchange of
- information on existing forces, including the structure of the armed forces, their deployment, peacetime authorized strength and major weapons and equipment systems down to brigade/regiment level;It also broadened the scope of verification by imposing the obligation to accept evaluation visits to military formations or units reported under the information regime. It further provided for obligatory invitations to visit air bases. In addition to these more or less "traditional" CSBMs, the Vienna Document also introduced a new type of communication and consultation measures (including emergency mechanisms), which could be seen as the "third generation" of CSBMs within the OSCE framework. They envisage
- information about the planned deployment of major weapons and equipment systems;
- annual military budgets.
- the establishment of points of contact for hazardous incidents of a military nature;
- a communications network able to transmit computerized information; and
- emergency meetings to clarify unusual military activities, either on a bilateral level between the States concerned, or with all OSCE participating States, to be held at the Conflict Prevention Centre, which was tasked by the 1990 Paris Charter to assist in implementing agreed CSBMs.
Finally, the Vienna Document 1990 introduced an Annual Implementation Assessment Meeting of all CSCE participating States "to discuss the present and future implementation of agreed CSBMs".
The Vienna Document 1992 amended the previous Documents, inter alia, by further provisions for annual information exchange, in case of non-active forces, by lowering the notifications thresholds (9,000 troops) and the invitation of observers (13,000 troops), and it introduced more detailed provisions in the area of "constraining measures", taking into account the size of exercises as regards manpower and material involved, and the frequency of activities. It also introduced as a crisis-stability measure an invitation to make visits in order to dispel concerns about military activities.
Negotiations on the further development of CSBMs have since then been continued in the Forum for Security Co-operation.
The Forum for Security Co-operation - (FSC)
As a first stage, the FSC adopted on 23 November 1993 a set of four new measures concerning
- increased openness in defence planning , obligating participating States to provide information, inter alia, about their defence policies and doctrines, force planning, budgets etc.;
- a programme for military contacts and co-operation , including, inter alia, joint military exercises and training, provision of experts, seminars on co-operation, etc.;
- principles governing conventional arms transfers , with an emphasis on transparency and restraint as well as taking into account the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the recipient country, as well as the internal and regional situation in and around the recipient country; and
- stabilizing measures for localized crisis situations of a non-obligatory character, intended to facilitate decision-making in the appropriate CSCE bodies and the search for specific measures for temporary application, including, inter alia, measures of transparency; measures of constraint, such as the introduction of a cease-fire, establishment of demilitarized zones by the parties involved, de-activation of certain weapons systems, treatment of irregular forces; measures to reinforce confidence; and measures for monitoring compliance and evaluation.
On 28 November 1994, the Forum for Security Co-operation adopted the Vienna Document 1994 . It expands the provisions of the previous Vienna Documents on military information exchange by including, inter alia, additional thresholds for notification and observation. It also integrates into its framework the above-mentioned measures on defence planning and military contacts.
In addition, the Forum for Security Co-operation adopted the same day a document on the global exchange of information, obligating participating States to exchange annually information on major weapon and equipment systems and personnel in their conventional armed forces, as well as on the command structure of their forces, on their territory and world-wide. The global exchange of information will be separate from other types of information exchange and will not be subject to limitations, constraints or verification. The level of desegregation is, however, somewhat less detailed than within the information exchange regime of the Vienna Document.
On 3 December 1994, the Forum for Security Co-operation adopted a document on principles governing non-proliferation in the field of nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapons, and the transfer of missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, and their components and technology. Measures include support for the existing international agreements in these fields, and, more specifically, the obligation to reflect the existing commitments in national legislations, regulations and procedures, to exchange information, and to take all appropriate action to prevent their nationals from engaging in activities that do no conform to these principles. The document was subsequently incorporated with the Decisions of the Budapest Follow-up Meeting.
CSBM implementation is reviewed at the Annual Implementations Assessment Meetings (AIAMs), which highlight existing implementation bottlenecks, incomplete information exchange, etc. and attempt to identify means to ensure full implementation. Serving as a forum for a lively debate, the AIAMs offer brainstorming opportunities generating ideas on, inter alia, the future tasks of the FSC. For the time being, as agreed upon at Budapest, these include the development of a framework for arms control, promoting complementarity between regional and OSCE-wide approaches and greater integration of the FSC into OSCE political conflict prevention and crisis management activities, thus allowing practical co-operation between the FSC and the PC in the consideration of current issues affecting military security.
In December 1996, just before Lisbon Summit, the FSC adopted two decisions defining new directions for its further work, " A Framework for Arms Control " and "Development of the Agenda of the Forum for Security Co-operation" . These decisions have been incorporated into to the Lisbon Document 1996 as separate chapters.
Most documents, measures and bodies dealing with security issues in Europe concern the whole OSCE area and all of the OSCE participating States. However, some of the documents of key importance for military security in Europe were adopted by - and are valid for - only a part of the member States. This is the case of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), as well as for the Open Skies Treaty.