Sputnik Escalates the Cold War
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Stockholm Document (1986)

Final document of the Stockholm Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBMs) in Europe. The 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) included a modest set of measures to improve cooperation in a range of areas. The key component dealt with security issues and proposed a series of confidence-building measures (CBMs) designed to lessen tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Warsaw Pact. The Helsinki CBMs focused on advanced notice and exchanges of information concerning military maneuvers.

The Helsinki Final Act also called for follow-up meetings to assess progress and develop further CBMs. Little was accomplished at the first of these in Belgrade (1977–1978) and Madrid (1980–1983), largely because of the deterioration in East-West relations at the time. However, the Madrid meeting did agree to a call for a new conference on Confidence and Security-Building Measures, to be held in Stockholm, with a mandate to develop a more comprehensive and verifiable set of CBMs, now termed CSBMs. All CSCE members would participate. The Stockholm Conference, as it was better known, began on 17 January 1984 and concluded on 21 September 1986 with the adoption of the Document of the Stockholm Conference, which became effective on 1 January 1987.

The Stockholm Document included agreed provisions for CSBMs in several areas related to the activities of ground and air forces and covered a geographic region from the Atlantic to the Urals. All parties to the agreement pledged to refrain from the threat or use of force and also agreed to give all other parties forty-two days' advanced notice of any military activity involving the movement of more than 13,000 troops or 300 tanks. Notice was also required if more than 200 aircraft sorties would be associated with a notifiable troop movement, if any parachute or amphibious exercise involved more than 3,000 troops, and for the movement of any division-strength force into the covered area. All parties were permitted two observers at any exercise or transfer involving more than 17,000 troops or any parachute or amphibious exercise of more than 5,000 troops. All parties would also submit to all other parties an annual calendar listing notifiable activities at least one year in advance and for any involving more than 40,000 troops two years in advance. Movements of more than 75,000 troops were banned without a two-year notification, while those between 40,000 and 75,000 were banned without a one-year notification. Finally, all parties were granted the right to conduct on-site inspections by air and ground with four inspectors within thirty-six hours of a request, although no state had to accept more than three such inspections per year. This marked the first time that the Soviet Union accepted guaranteed on-site inspections.

The Stockholm Document marked considerable success in the process of developing meaningful CSBMs, which helped provide stability during the turmoil associated with the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, but it was not the end of the process. A new round of negotiations beginning in 1989 would produce enhanced CSBMs in the Vienna Document (1990).

Steven W. Guerrier


Further Reading
Goodby, James E. "The Stockholm Conference: Negotiating a Cooperative Security System for Europe." Pp. 144–172 in US-Soviet Security Cooperation: Achievement, Failures, Lessons, edited by Alexander L. George, Philip J. Farley, and Alexander Dallin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
 

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