Arms Control in the OSZE Region
The Bundeswehr Verification Center serves as the hub for the implementation activities carried out under the arms control agreements and confidence- and security-building measures. With a mandate of the Federal Ministry of Defense, which co-ordinates its approach closely with the Federal Foreign Office, approximately 100 inspectors conduct verification measures in other countries or escort such measures in Germany. Another focal point of the work here at Geilenkirchen garrison is to provide expert knowledge to support the further development and adaptation of confidence- and security-building measures to reflect changes in the general security situation.
Multinational training in the recognition and identification of major weapon systems is one element of the Bundeswehr Verification Center’s mission. Heavy armored vehicles, for example, are subject to numerical ceilings which are stipulated in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. During mutual visits, inspection teams can verify whether a State Party fulfills its obligations.
Over the last 25 years, we conducted more than 2,400 inspections pursuant to the CFE Treaty, that is the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. We carried out more than 240 observation flights. Over 900 inspectors – guest inspectors – were integrated into our arms control activities and participated in inspections. Moreover, we trained approximately 550 inspectors within the scope of our training program for arms control inspectors, both from Germany and from other countries.
The training is designed to enable the would-be inspectors of many nations to gradually develop an eye for the different weapon systems – and in the end, their job will be to serve as the eyes of their countries during mutual inspections.
The ability to carry out checks is an important element to promote confidence building. This means that verification is a crucial tool. It is the only way to create transparency.