Clouds of Suspicion: Airspace Arrangements, Escalation, and Discord in U.S./NATO-Russian Relations

Publication Date: 
May 2016
Description: 
CISSM Policy Brief
Project: 
Collaborative Education and Cooperative Security
The Advanced Methods of Cooperative Security Program
U.S.-Russian Security Relations
Document Type: 
Articles and Op-Eds

Policy makers in the Euro-Atlantic region are concerned that incidents involving military or civilian aircraft could result in dangerous escalation of conflict between Russia and the West.  This brief introduces the policy problem and traces the evolution of three sets of cooperative airspace arrangements developed by Euro-Atlantic states since the end of the Cold War—(1) cooperative aerial surveillance of military activity, (2) exchange of air situational data, and (3) joint engagement of theater air and missile threats—in order to clarify the current regional airspace insecurity dynamics and identify opportunities to promote transparency and confidence in U.S./NATO-Russian relations.