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Russia vs NATO: Baltic States Testing Ground

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Naval War College Newport United States

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This paper considers the Russian invasion threat and possible annexation of the Baltic States, or a piece thereof, to restore Russian power to that of the former Soviet Union, to seek revenge for what it feels is humiliation by NATO, and to dismantle NATO permanently. Since the end of the Cold War Russia has faced NATO encroachment, professionalized its military and taken advantage of opportunities to expand its influence. Baltics leadership fear they might be Russias next target and their small militaries depend on NATO membership to deter an attack. Populist statements and post -Cold War attitudes in the United States and Europe undermine NATOs credibility, and none of the NATO countries is well prepared to combat a hybrid attack. Meanwhile, Russia is already building a reason to invade the Baltics and will choose a low-risk opportunity using unconventional means to achieve its objectives. This paper argues for a better regional strategy in which the Baltics and NATO can best posture themselves amidst these Russian threats.

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Technical Report,01 Dec 2017,31 May 2018




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Approved For Public Release;

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