NATO’s Eastern Flank

Reuters/Scanpix

Zapad-2021—Logistics and Key Fighting Concepts

Between 10–16 September 2021, Russia and its ally Belarus conducted the active phase of the Zapad-2021 command-staff exercise. Zapad tests Russian warfighting capabilities in the Western operational direction and thus it has a strong anti-NATO character. This has always been the case.

Read more

Between Bad, Worse, and Worst: Europe Faces Tough Tests This Winter

Europe is under growing pressure from the East. First, the dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, after a test run of weaponised waves of migrants against the Lithuanian and Latvian borders over the summer, has now sent not just hundreds but thousands of migrants to breach the borders of the European Union. Kuźnica, on the Polish border, was only the first major attempt; many more are likely to follow to coerce the EU into accepting the regime in Minsk as legitimate and lifting the sanctions.

Read more

#NATO2030. Regional Cooperation for a Stronger NATO

The countries of central and eastern Europe have often worked together politically and militarily to advance their security interests vis-a-vis NATO. They have been most successful when they have had a clear goal, such as joining the Alliance in the late 1990s and early 2000s or ensuring that NATO would adopt robust enhancements to its deterrence posture following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014.

Read more

#NATO2030. Credible Deterrence in the Baltic Region

After Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and aggression against Ukraine in 2014, NATO put renewed focus onto its primary task of collective defence and deterrence. It has taken several important steps, but it would be a mistake to believe that NATO’s deterrence posture in the Baltic region is complete.

Read more

Initial Reflections on the Recommendations of the Participants of the Expert Dialogue on NATO-Russia Military Risk Reduction in Europe

Those who have read Clausewitz, not least of all the Russian military establishment, know that war is a tool of policy. Paraphrasing Clausewitz, Lenin stated that conflict and war are inseparable from the political conditions that engender them. The recommendations recently produced by a working group of experts from Russia, the United States and Europe depart from these insights.

Read more

A View from the Frontline: Estonian Experience

“The Baltic states are where NATO is at its weakest and Russia, its strongest,” ICDS Director Sven Sakkov provides a sobering view of the threats and developments from the frontline states of NATO’s Eastern Flank in the recent NATO Defense College Research Paper “The Alliance Five Years after Crimea: Implementing the Wales Summit Pledges”.

Read more