On May 17-18, 2016, the ICDS Senior Researchers Kalev Stoicescu and Pauli Järvenpää participated as speakers in a CSIS seminar on “Baltic States and Poland Track 2 Deterrence and Strategig Stability Dialogue“arranged in Washington D.C. The seminar participation was by invitation only.
The seminar addressed the following general questions: Over two years after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine, how should one assess the U.S. and European Union responses towards Moscow? Were there Western missteps in the early days of the Ukraine crisis, and what lessons can be drawn for potential future crises?
Then the discussion moved to regional perspectives on current threats, vulnerabilities, and resilience: What are the most likely scenarios of Russian action against NATO or Europe at large? How do the vulnerabilities to Russian unconventional and convential warfare vary across the Eastern Flank? Are Poland and the Baltic States pursuing adequate measures to respond to the threat? How resilient are Eastern European nations against the non-military aspects of Russian coercion and what steps should governments in the region do to improve their resiliency?
Finally, the following questions were addressed: What force levels and multinational contributions in Poland and the Baltic States would constitute a credible deterrent? What force posture arrangements in Europe should the United States and other NATO allies consider? What are the prospects for the formation of a multinational force on the Eastern Flank? And, finally, to what extent is Russia’s nuclear strategy and posture a source of concern for Poland and the Baltic States and how does it impact each country’s decision-making and defence planning? Is the current U.S. and NATO nuclear posture in Europe sufficient for an effective deterrent?
The contributions of the seminar will be taken into consideration in the on-going CSIS study on Track 2 Deterrence and Strategic Stability Dialogue to be published soon.