The United States and NATO face several challenges in deterring Russia in the Baltics. Solving these is vital to achieving core U.S. objectives in Europe. The first step is to ensure that NATO can stay in the game and deny Moscow an easy strategic victory.
The government of Lithuania issued a guide on how its citizens can resist a potential Russian invasion and occupation. Resistance is a key element of the “Total Defense” strategy which all three Baltic states have been pursuing to varying degrees, spurred on by Russian aggression in Crimea and elsewhere.
At its Warsaw summit in July, NATO agreed to establish a permanent rotating presence of its troops in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The decision may be interpreted as NATO's commitment to take its Baltic members' concerns seriously.
U.S. defense engagement priorities in Europe are shifting in the face of Russian aggression. By engaging strategically on NATO's northeastern flank, the United States can strengthen deterrence while minimizing inadvertent escalation.
A series of wargames examined the potential results of a Russian invasion of the Baltic states. While such an invasion appears unlikely, its consequences would be so dangerous that not taking steps to deter it more robustly would be imprudent.
Unconventional options from the Swiss defense strategy during the Cold War could benefit Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. These include training and equipping local defense units and preparing transportation infrastructure for demolition to prevent an invasion.
A series of wargames examined the threat Russia may present to the three Baltic republics. As currently postured, NATO could not defend the territory. What might be done to prevent Russia from attempting to reclaim it?