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Securing Europe.

Richard H. Ullman. Twentieth Century Fund, Adamantine International Studies No. 8. 13.50[pounds].

Now that we are no longer afraid of a |hot war', what should be the security arrangements for the New Europe of the 1990s? Whatever emerges from today's turmoil in Yugoslavia, or along Russia's own boundary lines with its neighbours, there seems to be no serious likelihood of war between or among Europe's major states. The post-World War II era, the Cold War, is over. It is so, partly because of the strength of the NATO military alliance, still more because of the remarkable success -- thus far -- of the West's economic system; but due also -- to a greater degree than Professor Ullman appears to recognise -- to the ruin of the Soviet economy by excessive military and technological expenditures. So: what now? he asks. Against what kind of threats do we now need protection? What role will be played by the United States, and what role by the Soviet Union, given the enormous political upheaval engulfing its republics, and its own bureaucracy's still reluctant acceptance of its new regime? What place will nuclear weapons occupy -- not only those of the now single superpower, but also those of the two European Middle Powers, the UK and France -- and what action will be taken to avert any new would-be nuclear power (Iraq?) joining the league? And how will the arrival of a more closely-integrated European Community affect European security?

Professor Ullman is fully aware of the range of his subject, and attempts to narrow the focus of his book. He concentrates on possible military threats to security and thus brings good news: Europe is likely to be at peace for our generation. But he is aware -- who cannot be? -- of many factors, not obviously military, that will threaten any such optimism: waves of migrants fleeing from the East, many of them Moslems, poverty and unemployment (itself a byproduct of peace, since munitions are no longer needed), urban violence, the impact of the economic policy of the OPEC, the host of |side-shows' that threaten any balance of power in Europe (Israel, poverty, famine and unrest in and across Africa) ... the list is endless.

To many of these problems, notably the consequences of Gorbachev's agenda for change within Russia itself, and USSR's ethnic conflicts now spilling across international boundaries, Professor Ullman brings a penetrating analysis. The value of his book rests in these sections of topical analysis. It is easy for him to conclude by the statement that Europe's new security system depends on the evolution of NATO, into European Security Organisation, with the side-result that the Warsaw Pact will become an alliance of constitutional democracies. He recognises -- for his footnotes are a mass of references to daily newspapers -- that each day brings unexpected and often unwelcome changes that could not be foreseen when he was writing: the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the turmoil in Russia's Moslem world, the continuing bloodshed in South Africa, where the black struggle still invokes communist salutes, and a communist strategy. This is an optimistic analysis for any European to read if he does not read between the lines. But below the surface, as Professor Ullman recognises, it is a grim, restless and violent world that he is describing, and any analyst, however optimistic, cannot avoid being also a Cassandra.
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Author:Wright, Esmond
Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 1992
Words:553
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