Collection launched: 21 Aug 2019
The Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and subsequent tensions between NATO and Russia have lead many observers to liken the current geopolitical climate in Europe to that experienced during the Cold War. These heightened tensions have forced NATO to revert to its foundational purpose: deterring Russian military expansion in Eastern and Central Europe. Although arguably one of the West’s greatest political successes, the expansion of the NATO eastward into the Baltic region has produced strategic vulnerabilities for the Alliance. Nowhere are these vulnerabilities more apparent than in NATO’s three Baltic members: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Led by the United States, NATO far outmatches Russia in global conventional military force; however, Moscow can severely limit NATO’s ability to operate in the eastern Baltic through an interrelated set of strategies, tactics, and weapons systems categorized under the dual umbrella concepts of Anti-Access and Area Denial (A2/AD). When coupled with confusion over the current administration in Washington’s commitment to upholding Article 5 and the weakness of European militaries, the Russian threat to the Baltic Region appears all the more apparent. Taken together, this special issue aims to foster new thinking into the Russian strategic and military challenge in the Baltic Sea region.
Collection Editors Thomas Crosbie (Lead Editor) Edward R. Lucas (Guest Editor)
Photo credit: F-16 ved Baltic Air Policing, March 2018
Photographer: Dawid Kamizela