Rather than whiffs of Munich, a European security plan that smells good?

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL February 15, 2022

Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash

One of the most constructive suggestions offered on how to deal with Russia comes from Mary Kaldor, director of the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit in the London School of Economics Department of International Development.

The Professor recently pointed out that a rethink is needed of Europe’s security arrangements. Rather than following preordained lines of classic geo-political alliances like Nato, she said, Europe should be building its structures of security and cooperation per the 1975 Helsinki Accords.

The end of the Cold War was a good moment to move firmly on the demilitarisation of Europe. But even though the Warsaw Pact (the military alliance of Eastern bloc countries) closed shop, Nato remained a going concern, and even expanded.

Nato’s structure is divisive anyway, she added, unlike the Helsinki Accords, with their three basic components – the prevention of war; economic, social, cultural, and environmental co-operation, and human rights.

The Professor suggested: “In such a rethinking, it might be possible to adapt NATO as the military arm of a pan-European security arrangement, dismantling offensive capabilities, strengthening purely defensive postures, and helping to dampen down conflicts. This would create a framework so that, if and when a democracy movement develops inside Russia, it could be invited to join as well.”

That may sound like a load of waffle, but it’s a whole lot better than twaddle about the whiff of Munich.