The European security environment is at its most volatile since the Cold War, and much of the friction between NATO and a newly assertive Russia can be found in the maritime domain, particularly in the Baltic Sea region. This means that NATO must once again address the role of the maritime domain in collective defense and deterrence, and in particular NATO’s ability to conduct sea control and effect reinforcements across the sea. Germany, a key NATO ally in the Baltic Sea region, is currently rebalancing its navy toward the Baltic Sea, and to a lesser degree the North Atlantic, after more than two decades of tending to crisis management tasks. This presents a real opportunity to strengthen collective defense and deterrence in northern Europe and to help fill some of the capability and command and control gaps in the region.
In this publication, Magnus Nordenman, director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative and deputy director of the Scowcroft Center, outlines a range of these emerging opportunities for increased cooperation among the navies of the Baltic Sea, along with the major naval powers of NATO, including the United States, the United Kingdom (UK), and France.