Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - CFE Treaty (OSCE - CFE Treaty) - VERIFY
International Operation Name: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - CFE Treaty
International Mission Name: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - CFE Treaty (OSCE- CFE Treaty)
Mandating Organization: Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Region Name: Europe
Mission Date: 9 November 1992 - Present
Mission Mandate: To eliminate large-scale surprise attacks by eliminating major conventional weapons systems and equipment and reducing the number of military personnel.
Mission/Operation Notes: The end of the Cold War allowed NATO and Warsaw Pact members and interested European nations to find means of fostering mutual trust. This however, required a system of confidence and security building measures. In 1990, this was achieved with the signing of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE), signed under the auspices of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (now renamed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). The treaty came into force in 1992 when the required number of signatories had ratified the treaty.
Originally, the treaty involved 22 European nations, but this has expanded to 30, stretching from the Atlantic Coast to the Ural Mountains. The aim of the CFE Treaty is to eliminate large-scale surprise attacks by eliminating major conventional weapons systems and equipment (TLE) and reducing the number of military personnel (CFE 1A). Operation of the treaty includes nine-member Declared Site Inspection Teams that verify TLE and personnel strengths at specific sites, and four-member Reduction Inspection Teams to verify destruction of TLE. The inspections are coordinated by the NATO Verification Coordinating Committee.
Canada has participated in or led a team on over 300 missions. The peak years were 1993 and 1994 when there were an average of 65 missions per year, but this has now dropped to an average of 18 missions per year. CFE missions are carried out under two operation names: Operation VERIFY and Operation REDUCTION. The former consists of those missions in which inspections take place (over 184), while Op Reduction involved the confirmation that TLE has been eliminated (over 138).
Since coming into force, the CFE Treaty has involved over 3,500 operations and has reduced over 60,000 pieces of major equipment. With the resultant down-sizing of military forces in Europe, the number of inspections has correspondingly decreased.
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