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Exploring the Role Nuclear Weapons Could Play in Deterring Russian Threats to the Baltic States

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Technical Report

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RAND Corporation Santa Monica United States

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Previous analysis has shown that, given the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATOs current substantial disadvantage in conventional forces for a conflict in the Baltic states Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, a Russian invasion there would reach some or all of the capitals within a few days, presenting NATO with a fait accompli. As outlined in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, the United States is currently considering tailored deterrence strategies, including options to use nuclear weapons to deter Russian aggression in the Baltic states. What role could the threatened use of nonstrategic nuclear weapons play in deterring such an invasion What military and other outcomes would nuclear use accomplish, and what are the implications for credibly enhancing extended deterrence In this report, we seek to answer these questions.

Subject Categories:

  • Nuclear Weapons
  • Government and Political Science

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