Strengthening the Defense of NATO’s Eastern Frontier

A resurgent and revisionist Russia poses a threat to the security of the NATO Alliance and its members states. Although a major conflict between NATO and Russia remains unlikely, plausible paths to conflict exist that NATO cannot afford to ignore. At the same time, the NATO Alliance faces strategic and operational challenges that threaten to undermine its ability to deter and, if necessary, defeat Russian aggression along the Alliance’s eastern frontier.  The U.S. European Deterrence Initiative and other efforts have done much to strengthen collective deterrence and defense, but serious challenges remain, especially where the potential for conflict is most acute and the NATO Alliance is most vulnerable: the Baltic region.

In this report, our authors offer a new strategy for deterring and, if necessary, defeating Russian aggression against NATO in the Baltic region and make recommendations for enhancing the U.S. forward posture in Europe and improving Poland’s military capabilities and force structure to support this strategy.

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