Book Review: Security through Cooperation – To the Same End, Walter A. Kemp
On the day that the Russian troops invaded the peaceful neighbor of Ukraine, Walter Kemp’s book on “Security through Cooperation – To the Same End” was presented in The Hague. The time could not have been more cynical, as the tragic event of that day immediately raised the question whether there is any future for ‘cooperative security’. Was the unimaginable Russian aggression against a seemingly weaker neighbouring state not the answer to the question whether ‘security through cooperation’ with its key tools of dialogue, negotiations, compromise and consensus has any future left?
At the same time, since the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has always been functioning on the basis of its key concepts of cooperative and comprehensive security, is there any future left for such organization, since one of its key participating states has made it abundantly clear that cooperative security has no meaning left for it? Would it not be more effective to return to the more old-fashioned principles of blunt power politics, since the soft tools of cooperative security have turned out to be ineffective, at least in this striking case of aggression by one of the main states in Europe against one of its neighbours? Is it time to go back to the rough times of geopolitical power play which many had considered to be belonging to the 19th century? The Russian imperialist war seems to point in that direction.