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Reinforcing Deterrence Through Societal Resilience: Countering Hybrid Threats in the Baltic Region

  • James Rogers
Chapter

Abstract

Fifteen years ago, it was generally hoped that the Baltic region, broadly encompassing the three Baltic states, that is, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the Nordic states, Poland, Germany and Russia, would become progressively integrated economically to such a degree that it would become a strategic backwater in world affairs (Andersson and Balsyte 2016). With the enlargement of the European Union (EU) in 1995 and 2004 and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1999 and 2004, the region looked set towards near-full incorporation into the Euro-Atlantic structures, all underpinned by the Anglo-American conventional and nuclear deterrents. Today, just a decade later, the rise of a revisionist and belligerent Russia has fundamentally altered the perception of strategic analysts in relation to the Baltic region. In response, NATO’s Newport and Warsaw summits of 2014 and 2016 put the Baltic region firmly back onto the strategic map to such an extent that it would not be exaggerating to argue now that the Baltic states have themselves become a ‘geostrategic frontier’ for the defence effort of the entire Euro-Atlantic area. Indeed, as NATO’s response has intensified, the Baltic region—insofar as it has sucked in countries like Canada, Germany, the UK and the USA—might be considered as having expanded to become a ‘Wider Baltic’ area, effectively tethering the Baltic to the North Atlantic in a way not seen since the height of the Cold War. Therefore, to consider the three Baltic states in isolation would make little strategic sense and likely lead to fundamental misunderstanding as to the region’s centrality to the West’s wider defence effort.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Rogers
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Global Britain ProgrammeThe Henry Jackson SocietyLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Political and Strategic StudiesBaltic Defence College (2015–2017)TartuEstonia

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