Buffer or highway: cyclical patterns of security development in East Central Europe.
Walker, Duncan Hughitt
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Since 1919, security foundations and specific architecture in East Central Europe have followed a repetitive cycle of policy behavior on behalf of the external power placed by circumstances into a position of preponderant influence within the region. This cycle of policy behavior contains elements of initial success, as well as of eventual failure. Exposing the two contradictory elements of this repetitive cycle, by disclosing a consistent pattern contained in selected variables, and then understanding the relationship between the current security environment in East Central Europe and traditional security conditions is the task of this analysis. This relationship suggests that the United States and its Western European allies should exercise caution and restraint with regard to formal integration of East Central Europe within the common security institutions of the West. The process of integration should be limited to informal or symbolic measures which encourage economic and political development, but which retain East Central Europe as a buffer between Western Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
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