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Strengthening the OSCE’s role in strategic stability (Marina Favaro, Atlantic Council)

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—an organization born at the height of the Cold War—might yet again prove instrumental in strengthening strategic stability in the twenty-first century. Shifts in global polarity, a growing role for non-traditional actors, and the unique properties of emerging technologies are all conspiring to undermine strategic stability. Meanwhile, the OSCE’s instruments for upholding strategic stability—including common norms, values, and principles of strategic restraint—are eroding in now-defunct treaties. Today, there are a range of material roadblocks to arms control, but the most significant impediment is the current lack of political will to sustain and improve it. At the OSCE, Russian obstructionism is perhaps the clearest manifestation of this trend. The categorical failure of great and middle powers to expend the time, expertise, and political capital necessary to create meaningful regimes of control is stark. It is also, fortunately, something that the OSCE can address and improve. We cannot give up on the OSCE vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.

Strengthening the OSCE’s role in strategic stability – Atlantic Council