Mid-Life Crisis?Issue: Mar-Apr 2007
DOES THE OSCE still matter for United States? The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), like its predecessor, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), has never gone down that well with the American public and opinion-makers. Before President Gerald Ford traveled in 1975 to sign the Helsinki Final Act, William Safire wrote an article for The New York Times headlined "Jerry, Don't Go." And Safire was not alone in criticizing the administration for its seeming acceptance of the Soviet Union's desire to obtain recognition of the status quo that emerged in Europe after the Second World War. Many observers in the United States thought that the Final Act would not serve American interests; few believed that its decalogue of principles, including those on human rights, would be respected by the Soviet Union.