• Before Tallinn Burns

    The Third Offset must address NATO’s local numerical inferiorities.

    As Inside Defense reported earlier this month, current events have the US Army questioning its organization, wondering if it’s otherwise destined to be perennially late to the game. The Russian Army, after all, has gotten rather good at showing up unannounced on short notice. It would be bad enough, as Sydney Freedberg wrote for our Art of Future Warfare project, to find “Tallinn Burning” with the Chinese simultaneously causing trouble. That’s because the really ugly anti-access problem, a former Pentagon official assured us here the other day, would be getting back into Tallinn or Riga or Vilnius after a Russian invasion. So, as we should want to avoid needing to eject dug-in Russian troops from NATO territory, what more could be done? Rushing more troops forward faster may not be as useful as devising labor-saving means of seriously slowing the enemy’s advance. And the technical advances required to do that are entirely the sort of thing we should expect from the Pentagon’s Third Offset initiative. 

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  • Ward Quoted by Reuters on NATO and the Baltic States

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  • Russia in Ukraine: The Greatest Challenge to the European Security Order

    European sanctions on Russia cannot be eased until Moscow fulfils commitments it made under the Minsk agreements to pull its troops and weaponry out of eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian control of its state borders is restored.

    Despite persistent Russian denials, regular Russian troops remain in Donbas and Moscow continues to provide military equipment and training to the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    On our visit to Kyiv in February, we delivered a clear message: Russian aggression in Ukraine must stop and Russia must return Crimea and Sevastopol to Ukraine.

    The world’s attention today has turned to Syria and other related crises, but no matter how grave those situations they must not draw us away from Crimea and eastern Ukraine. It is unacceptable that military force, deception, and disinformation is used to change borders in Europe in the twenty-first century. Indeed, this is in direct contravention of the fundamental principles of the European security order laid down in the Charter of Paris for a New Europe and the Helsinki Final Act.

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  • Who will Defend the Baltics? NATO, the US and Baltic Sea Security

    In times of tension with Russia, security for the other Baltic Sea states is highly dependent on external allies.
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  • Nuclear Component Must Be Part of NATO’s Deterrence Policy in Europe’s East, says Latvia’s Foreign Minister

    Official says Russia using migrant crisis to divide Europe

    NATO’s current presence in Europe’s east is insufficient to provide credible deterrence, must be ramped up, and include a nuclear component, said Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevičs.

    “A nuclear component should be part of the overall NATO Article 5 deterrence policy,” Rinkevičs said, noting that Russian officials have openly stated that they cannot rule out the use of nuclear weapons in a conflict. (NATO’s Article 5 states that an armed attack against one member is an attack against all and sets in motion the possibility of collective self-defense.)

    Last year, Russia’s Ambassador in Copenhagen warned Danish warships could become “targets for Russian nuclear missiles” if Denmark joins NATO’s missile-defense shield.

    “We have seen that rhetoric increasing,” Rinkevičs said in an interview at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters in Washington on February 26.

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  • Expert on NATO Calls for Permanent Alliance Military Presence in Baltics As Hedge Against Russia Military Action

    A leading analyst on NATO policy called for the alliance to place a permanent military presence in Baltic member states as a hedge against a more active Russian military.
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  • NATO’s Vulnerable Link in Europe: Poland’s Suwalki Gap

    The Pentagon's decision to quadruple its 2017 budget for European defence due to the perceived threat of Russian aggression and the recent RAND report noting the difficulties NATO would have defending the Baltic States, are once again bringing to the forefront the risks on Europe's frontier states.
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  • Aslund: Why Have the Baltic Tigers Been So Successful?

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  • Russia to Deploy New Divisions on Western Flank, Form Nuclear Regiments

    Russia will create three new military divisions on its Western flank in 2016 and bring five new strategic nuclear missile regiments into service, Sergei Shoigu, the country's defense minister, was quoted as saying by news agencies on Tuesday.
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  • NATO Jets Scrambled 160 Times to Protect Lithuanian Airspace in 2015

    Lithuania's Defence Ministry said that NATO jets patrolling airspace over the Baltic Countries scrambled 160 times to intercept Russian planes in 2015, up 14% on the previous year.
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