The horrors of the past have motivated Lithuanians to build a successful new independent country. Lithuania is a success story, an advertisement for democracy and market economics during a dark period in Eastern Europe.
There is much the West can do to push back against Chinese economic pressure, and many reasons to do so. Doing so is a core interest of the United States, which now places itself in competition with China over the shape of the international order.
President Biden may invite Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine to his “summit for democracy” in December. By both praising and nudging these imperfect democracies to do more to achieve their democratic potential, Biden could give his agenda more meaning.
The United States and key allies have taken steps toward redressing the imbalance in military power between NATO and Russia in Northeastern Europe. But NATO's defense planners must be clear-eyed about what remains to be done.
An increased NATO presence in the Baltics could lead Russia to feel a motivation for an invasion. U.S. and NATO deployments in the region should avoid this risk by taking seriously Russian beliefs about NATO capabilities in planning future deployments, and by pursuing transparency and negotiation in future deployments in the Baltic region.
NATO alliance countries deploying to the Baltics should prepare to deal with increasing levels of disinformation. An open and robust communication strategy could be crucial in tackling a sophisticated Russian disinformation campaign aimed at disrupting support for these deployments.
Lithuania's government 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 all three Baltic states have been pursuing, spurred on by Russian aggression.
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.
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.