Colonel Jeffrey McCausland argues that arms control is a political activity and cannot be divorced from other aspects of a nation's security and foreign policy. The key to exploiting good arms-control procedures and building on the successes of the 1992 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) and the November 1995 Dayton Agreement is cooperation. To that end, the West should:
* forge an effective working relationship with Russia
* design a European security architecture that both resolves and prevents conflict
* maintain NATO unity at all cost.
Now is an ideal time for the West to reconsider the roles of existing conventional arms-control arrangements, as its security orientation shifts from collective defence towards collective security. As the nature of security relationships in Europe changes, so arms-control policy must adapt to become more concerned with qualitative aspects of conflict prevention. Conventional Arms Control and European Security stresses that any new proposals should encourage frank discussions with Russia; and that they should use the CFE and existing confidence and security building measures (CSBMs) as their main building blocks. Although not the complete answer to the problems of security in post-Cold War Europe, McCausland concludes that conventional arms control provides a flexible, powerful set of tools with which to confront them.