Volume 30, Issue 3, Fall  2016

Geopolitics and Planning for a High-End Fight:
NATO and the Baltic Region

The geopolitical crisis in Europe stemming from Russia's annexation of Crimea and further attacks on Ukraine has resulted in a heightened level of tensions between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Geopolitical concerns, especially from the NATO members most at risk--the three Baltic states--have prompted the alliance's political leadership to make demands on military planners to bolster readiness and to consider operational options to deter aggression from Russia and, failing that, to fight a technologically sophisticated adversary. Key among these has been the establishment of the Baltic air policing mission and the forward deployment of NATO air assets to bases in the Baltic region. Although arguably important as a deterrent, the idea that NATO could conduct even agile or "untethered" wartime air operations from the Baltic countries in light of their vulnerable location vis-ŕ-vis Russia and the high threat posed by the Russian armed forces incorporates a dangerous strategic assumption that could have extremely unfavorable consequences.

Comments

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Mike 2/26/2016 4:39:59 PM

I feel like it is the President Carter Adminstration in control again, Retired Crew Chief. I remember the comic in the Stars and Stripes with the lawn of the White House covered with Russian tanks, a voice inside the White House says, "Sir we now can have an accurate count of Russian tanks"

A1C 3/4/2016 12:40:06 AM

Some sections of the national highway system in Turkey are surprisingly runway-like, with cops on standby to block traffic if necessary. FARPs do not have to be limited to known airfields. That''s the whole point.

A1C 3/4/2016 12:46:24 AM

FARPs do not have to be limited to known airfields, that the whole point. Some sections of the national highway system in Turkey for example are surprisingly runway-like. Build more.

Ralph Clem 3/15/2016 5:18:10 PM

A1C: Great comment, thanks. Highways have indeed been used as runways in a pinch. But the FARP needs more than runways. A parking apron, for example, is a must.