September 20, 2016

NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence System and Dialogue with Russia: From “Talking past Each Other” to Facing down a Bully?

As a follow-up to the Riga Dialogue 2016 conference, the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) published a collection of essays – “Riga Dialogue Afterthoughts 2016: Building Bridges for Euro-Atlantic Security” (eds. Andris Spruds and Diana Potjomkina).

ICDS Head of Studies Tomas Jermalavicius contributed to the publication with an essay on the development of NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence System. The essay argues that it is time to stop wasting time trying to reassure Russia about the intent behind this system and think about its role in deterring Russia’s aggression. In response to Russia’s nuclear “escalation to de-escalate” paradigm and its potential abandonment of the INF Treaty, the Alliance should consider how its fledgling BMD capabilities could add a layer of “deterrence by denial” to its “deterrence by punishment” posture. Only by becoming more immune to Russia’s coercive strategies by ensuring a strong and unbroken chain of deterrence, can NATO pursue a balanced dialogue with Russia on strategic stability, arms control and confidence building measures.

The publication can be accessed on the LIIA (Latvian Institute of International Affairswebsite.