A military conflict between Russia and NATO is unlikely, but it is possible when one reads a report published by the NATO Defense College titled: “Why the Baltics matter. Defending NATO’s North-Eastern border.”
According to the document, it is necessary to send more American troops to the region because, in the opinion of the author of the report, the Baltic States can become for Moscow a means to destroy Europe’s security architecture.
“Over the last decade the Russian Federation has demonstrated that it attempts to overturn the European security architecture. The likelihood of a NATO-Russia military confl ict is low, yet it should not be ruled out as a possibility. To reduce the risks, NATO’s deterrence posture in the Baltic States should be strengthened by the deployment of American forces on Baltic soil. That deployment should complement, not compete with, existing eFP arrangements,” the author wrote.
Previously, the US Congress proposed offer to members of the Eastern European NATO, using military equipment manufactured in the Soviet Union, credits to buy American military equipment. In the opinion of lawmakers, the allies of the Atlantic Alliance are dependent on Moscow because they are forced to buy spare parts in Russia.
The report also suggested that America boosts its military presence in the Baltic countries to contain Russia.
“Policy options to tackle this situation are not many. First and foremost, much more attention should be paid to deterrence. That means American forces to be forward deployed in the Baltic States. The US is currently deployed, on a continuing basis, in Poland but not in the Baltic States. Since the Russian military is measuring itself against the US, the absence of American troops from Baltic soil is detrimental to NATO’s deterrence posture. The best way to remedy that is to identify the most evident capability gaps of existing eFP arrangements in the Baltic States and for the US to fi ll those gaps. That means supplementing, not supplanting, existing NATO troop deployments,” the report said.
The full report can be read here.