The conventional military threat from Russia towards Europe most acutely affects a number of frontline Nordic and Baltic states from the Barents Sea in the Arctic through the Baltic Sea region: Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. Since Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014, these countries, in concert with other Euro-Atlantic allies and partners, have concentrated on strengthening their own defenses and on developing and enhancing eight sets of different defense cooperation arrangements.
As the only two non-NATO and militarily nonaligned nations in the region, Finland and Sweden’s role in regional security and their level of cooperation with these and other partners poses challenges as well as opportunities for deterrence and defense in Europe’s northeast. These two countries have particularly emphasized cooperation with partners as they seek to build an interlocking web of security relationships to improve defense in the region. The core arrangements within this network include.
- The Finnish-Swedish bilateral defense relationship
- Nordic Defense Cooperation
- Nordic-Baltic Eight
- The Northern Group
- NATO Partnerships
- The European Union
- Ad hoc arrangements such as the Joint Expeditionary Force, Framework Nations Concept, and European Intervention Initiative
- Finnish-Swedish-US trilateral and bilateral defense cooperation
These “geometries of deterrence” vary in scope, scale, and membership, but taken together, they enhance a range of important components of deterrence. In Geometries of Deterrence, Hans Binnendijk and Conor Rodihan assess the contributions of each of these arrangements against an ideal or “gold standard” for conventional military deterrence, before evaluating the arrangements collectively and offering recommendations to further strengthen deterrence for Finland, Sweden, and indeed for all of Northeastern Europe.
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Report Apr 22, 2020
Moving out: A comprehensive assessment of European military mobility
By Task Force Co-Chairs: General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, USA (Ret.) and Ambassador Colleen B. Bell
Military mobility is the logical and critical next step to enhancing the twenty-first-century conventional deterrence posture throughout Europe, an essential part of the formula for keeping the peace.
Report Nov 14, 2019
Over the horizon: NATO joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in the Baltic Sea region
By Task Force Co-Chairs: ADM Mark E. Ferguson, III, USN (Ret.) and AM Sir Christopher Harper, RAF (Ret.) Project Director: Dr. Richard D. Hooker, Jr.
NATO joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance is about getting the right information to the right person at the right time in the right format.
Report Feb 7, 2019
Permanent deterrence: Enhancements to the US military presence in North Central Europe
By Ambassador Alexander R. Vershbow (Ret.) and General Philip M. Breedlove, USAF (Ret.)
To provide an independent perspective, the Atlantic Council established a task force to assess the broader political and military implications of an enhanced US posture in North Central Europe. The report’s recommendations, guided by several key principles, are a result of the task force members’ agreement that enhancements to the US presence in the region could, and should, be undertaken to bolster deterrence and reinforce Alliance cohesion.