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Closing the Gap: NATO Moves to Protect Weak Link in Defenses Against Russia

Known as the Suwalki Gap, a 64-mile strip of Poland’s eastern border has become a growing focus of U.S. military planning.

...U.S. war planning for Europe is focused on what military officers call “phase zero”—the days before a crisis escalates into a conflict—and are looking for ways to quickly and safely reinforce the Baltic region, officials said. “The presence of NATO forces in front-line forces can raise the threshold for a Russian act of aggression, and those forces could be first responders if a crisis did break out,” said Mark Gunzinger, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary [Assessments] in Washington. “Time is not in the favor of NATO when you are talking about the Baltic states and Poland.” The U.S. has also been prodding allies to do more...

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