The Disintegration of the USSR: Implications for European Security

  • J. Philip Rogers


In the fifth century, when the Western Roman empire collapsed and in the nineteenth century when the Ottoman and the Austrian-Hungarian empires were torn asunder following the “Great War”, Europe had to adjust to radically different situations. This is precisely the situation that Europe confronts now with the disintegration of what was the world’s largest empire — the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This chapter will explore six different problems that derive from this disintegration.1 In the following examination of the problems, a “worst case analysis” will be adopted — not because these problems will necessarily develop — but because they are sufficiently serious that some serious thought must be given to them even if, for now, they appear, unlikely.


Nuclear Weapon North Atlantic Treaty Organization European Security Border Guard Weapon Proliferation 
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  1. 6.
    For discussions of the distinction between advertent and inadvertent war see A. George, ed., Avoiding War: Problems of Crisis Management (Boulder: Westview, 1991), “Introduction” and the chapters by R. Smoke, J. Levy, J. Stein, P. Williams and J. P RogersGoogle Scholar
  2. 6.
    For an example of cold war scenarios that could produce inadvertent war in Europe see A. George, D. Bernstein, G. Parnell and J. P. Rogers, Inadvertent War in Europe (Stanford: CISA, 1984).Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    See e.g. J. Snyder, “Averting Anarchy in Europe,” op. cit. See also M. Weiner, “The Macedonian Syndrome… ” World Politics (July 1971): 665–683.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    for a discussion of the original concept, S. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale, 1968), pp. 304–305.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    For a discussion of the difficulties of developing these tacit rules and some prescriptive suggestions, see A. George, Chapters 1, 26–29, in A. George, P. Farley and A. Dallin, eds, U.S. Soviet-Security Cooperation (New York: Oxford, 1988).Google Scholar

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© J. Philip Rogers 1993

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  • J. Philip Rogers

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