Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 7.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Download Support Files

Appendix: Country Initiatives Matrices

Microsoft Excel spreadsheet

FormatFile SizeNotes
zip file 0.1 MB

The file(s) provided above are ZIP-formatted archives, which most modern systems can natively unpack. If your computer does not unpack the archive when you double-click it, you may need to use a separate decompression program such as UnZip.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback358 pages $72.00 $57.60 20% Web Discount

Research Questions

  1. What is the impact of renewed tension between NATO and Russia on key allies and partners in central and northeastern Europe?
  2. As a result of increased Russian activity in central Europe, are new opportunities emerging for U.S. Air Force engagement?

This report examines the impact of renewed tension between NATO and Russia on a group of key allies and partners in central and northeastern Europe. It identifies how changes in the interests, security strategies, and defense capabilities of these countries may affect U.S. defense partnering in the region, with a specific focus on opportunities and implications for the U.S. Air Force. While both politics and resources will constrain partnership opportunities and the ability of these countries to contribute to U.S. regional defense objectives, opportunities for strengthening partnerships do exist in multiple areas.

Key Findings

New Requirements Are Emerging for Defense Engagement in Europe

  • U.S. defense priorities in the region are shifting; as a result, so will the focus of U.S. partnerships.
  • RAND research indicates that, among potential problem areas, the Baltic States are particularly exposed to conventional and unconventional threats from Russia.

Strategic Trends in NATO's Northeastern Flank Vary Among Countries

  • Poland is significantly willing and able to contribute resources to regional defense.
  • Sweden and Finland, while not NATO members, are increasingly debating membership in light of recent events and already have close partnership arrangements with good interoperability and considerable economic resources.
  • The small Baltic States are concerned by and vulnerable to Russian aggression but have limited resources to contribute to their defense. Determining the nature of optimal engagement strategies will be challenging.
  • The Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary are conflicted by varying degrees of pro-Russian sentiment. They also lack capabilities. Their contributions to NATO efforts to deter Russia are thus apt to be more limited.

Recommendations

  • Ensure Poland is able to provide a secure logistics and staging point for forward-based U.S./NATO operations. This will include encouraging its transition away from old Russian-made transport helicopters and toward refueling and strategic lift capability, expanding its ISR ability, and promoting public-private partnerships to enhance cyberdefense and space expertise.
  • Support Swedish and Finnish goals of defending their airspace confidently for long periods with minimal U.S. and NATO support, and generally strengthen relations with both countries to ensure access to airspace and bases.
  • Ensure the Baltic States are able to receive allied ground forces and support allied air superiority forces, and bolster their contributions to air and missile defenses and Estonia's regional cyberdefense preeminence.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Part I

    The Visegrad Four

    • Chapter Two

      Czech Republic: In Havel's Shadow

    • Chapter Three

      Hungary: Balancing East and West

    • Chapter Four

      Poland: A Growing Regional Role

    • Chapter Five

      Slovakia: Moving West While Hedging East

  • Part II

    The Baltic States

    • Chapter Six

      Estonia: Committed Partner with Limited Capabilities

    • Chapter Seven

      Latvia: Acute Vulnerability and Limited Capacity

    • Chapter Eight

      Lithuania: Closing the Gap Between Rhetoric and Capabilities

  • Part III

    The Nordic Partners

    • Chapter Nine

      Finland: Moving From Self-Reliance to Solidarity

    • Chapter Ten

      Sweden: Ever Closer to NATO

    • Chapter Eleven

      Conclusions

  • Online Appendix

    Country Engagement Priorities

Research conducted by

The research reported here was commissioned by the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs and conducted within the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.