ICDS research fellows Martin Hurt and Tomas Jermalavičius contributed to the publication “Towards #NATO2030: The Regional Perspective of the Baltic States and Poland”, a project managed by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) and supported by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division.
Towards a Credible Deterrence and Defence Posture in the Baltics in 2030
Martin Hurt wrote an article about NATO’s deterrence and defence posture in the Baltics in 2030. He described past decisions that were made to design a credible posture, challenges that will affect the delivery if this posture as well as the evolving security environment describing the Baltic Sea region in a wider context together with unfolding events in Belarus and developments in the Arctic and the northern Atlantic Ocean.
Hurt recommended that NATO should regularly exercise reinforcement of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroups as part of major NATO exercises. NATO should also closely monitor Russia’s military presence in Belarus, assess related threats and, if required, strengthen the posture to mitigate the increasing threats to the Baltic states and Poland by maintaining forces at high readiness in or close to the Baltic Sea region, by exercising reinforcement and by temporarily forward deploying forces and capabilities, including but not limited to joint fires, to the region.
The Baltic states should take greater responsibility for regional security and defence by strengthening capabilities, individually as well as collectively, in the electromagnetic spectrum and in the air and maritime domains, including through the 3B Naval Vision 2030+. The Baltic states should also continue to improve Host Nation Support capabilities and finalise the Rail Baltic project by 2026. In addition, Allies should increase defence spending to a level that enables them to fulfil their spending and NATO defence planning commitments and to demonstrate their credibility vis-à-vis the US under Article 3 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
Gravity of “Star NATO”: Can the Alliance Pull the Baltics Into Military Space Affairs?
Tomas Jermalavičius together with Alejandro Leal, previously a research intern at ICDS, contributed an article titled ‘Gravity of “Star NATO”: Can the Alliance Pull the Baltics Into Military Space Affairs?’. The article explored the implications of NATO’s recent decision to declare outers space the fifth operational domain alongside land, air, sea, and cyberspace. They outlined the main drivers for the Alliance to become a platform to coordinate space capabilities and operations of the Allies such as growing dependence of military operations, national economies and civilian resilience on space-based assets and services as well as threats posed by various actors to these assets.
They urged the defence establishments of the Baltic states to overcome their space ignorance and find ways to contribute to the implementation of NATO’s overarching space policy. Their recommendations include some necessary adjustments in the command and control structures and processes as well as in their strategic assessments, military plans, doctrines, and education. The Baltic states also identify some niches in which they could contribute to the Alliance’s resilience in outer space and draw upon the strengths of their national innovation base in doing so. But overall, they conclude, the defence leadership of the Baltic states must adopt a longer-term perspective and have a bolder vision for involvement in military aspects of outer space, and not regard this operational domain as out of reach for small allies.
The publication was launched on 15 December 2020. At the launch, the keynote speech was delivered by H.E. Egils Levits, the President of the Republic of Latvia, and a lead-in was provided by Ambassador Baiba Braže, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO Headquarters. Martin Hurt participated in the panel discussion of the launch.
Watch the full discussion: