A permanent rotational presence of NATO troops in the Baltic States and Poland, the outcome from the recent NATO Warsaw Summit, will form an integral part of NATO’s increased deterrence measures against Russia in Europe’s east. One of NATO’s key challenges as it seeks to enhance its presence in the Baltic Sea region is the lack of modern military infrastructure, especially the kind that meets the needs of large Allied units. The Baltic states have not been unaware of their military infrastructure gaps, and all three countries have built their armed forces from the ground up, focusing on manning the force and equipment requirements. But if NATO troops cannot get their tanks and supply convoys to training ranges and bases far from the Baltic coastline, they will not be of much use. Additionally, improving military infrastructure is not just a matter of presenting a more palatable offer to NATO allies; it is also an issue of operational capabilities.
“NATO’s New Frontlines: Building NATO Deterrence in the Baltic States and Poland,” by Elisabeth Braw, a nonresident senior fellow in the Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, takes a deeper look into the Baltic States’ military infrastructure needs. The author outlines the key policy issues related to building long-term hosting capabilities, as all four countries proceed with large-scale military construction moving forward.