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NATOs Deterrence Strategy is Failing. The Enhanced Forward Presence: Delusion or Renewal

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Technical Report,15 Aug 2017,20 Apr 2018

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Joint Forces Staff College / NDU NORFOLK United States

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO acknowledges that the character of conflict is changing but has struggled to convincingly adjust. As a result, NATOs application of deterrence theory lacks sophistication at a time when the Russian threat to NATO is growing in both nuance and complexity. The Enhanced Forward Presence EFP, established by the 2016 Warsaw Summit, is the latest manifestation of NATO adaptation. The NATO response is positive but overly simplified. An updated and better coordinated response is required if NATO is to avoid delusion and take tentative steps towards renewal. An examination of Russian cross-domain coercion and NATOs associated response exposes strategic and operational weakness in NATOs application of deterrence theory. The EFP should be seen as an opportunity to cohere consensus surrounding NATO deterrence and develop alliance capabilities that can credibly deter Russia.

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