Policy Briefs Books Journals

Contemporary Peace Research and Practice Policy Brief  No.128 - April, 2022 • By Herbert Wulf

Escalation, De-escalation and Perhaps—Eventually—an End to the War?

Image: E.Kryzhanivskyi/Shutterstock.com

The war is back in Europe. February 24, 2022, the day of the Russian invasion, is called a watershed, a turning point. How will this war possibly end and how can we get out of this escalation spiral? What is a possible path to de-escalation? The massive arms build-ups and mutual threats are reminiscent of the times of the Cold War. It looks like the major powers are trying the chop the globe into spheres of influence again. It seems that there can be no return to intensive economic interdependence, a cornerstone of détente. But in the medium- and long-term, a Helsinki II process is important: a political project that pursues predictability of the nuclear arsenals, arms control and the return to an adherence to international law.