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Download this document. Economics and Security Committee. Related documents. These changes are not only affecting the high technology sector, they are restructuring almost all industries including traditional sectors like agriculture, basic manufacturing, retail… Committee Reports. Last but not least, in any crisis or open conflict with Russia, NATO would face serious but not insurmountable obstacles reinforcing its troops. Officials from the region have echoed some of these concerns. Baltic officials, in particular, argue in private conversations for additional deployments—particularly of U.
These views are at odds with those of other NATO allies who have warned the alliance of unnecessarily increasing tensions with Russia by going beyond current deployments. Germany and France, in particular, seem to believe that the EFP is sufficient and that further military deployments are not an urgent matter. After all, on the other hand, NATO states currently have 3. Proponents of a more cautious approach worry that NATO and Russia are entering a self-reinforcing cycle of mutual insecurity, with each side mis interpreting the actions of the other as potentially offensive in nature.
They argue that the instability of an uncontrolled arms race, driven by a desire for more security, further increases general tensions with Russia and could ultimately lead to escalation. Germany sees arms control measures for the wider Baltic region—such as mutual force limitations in the region and more transparency regarding large as well as snap Russian exercises—as useful tools for enhancing crisis stability and avoiding a renewed arms race. For the time being, NATO seems focused on maintaining the delicate balance of assuring its easternmost allies, considering calls for caution, and signaling resolve as well as non-offensive intentions to Russia.webinfogroup.com/profiles/313/mobile-spy-free-download-windows-81-sp2-cd-download.html
Lithuania-Belarus Relations on the Rise
At the same time, as a result of this concession, NATO has accepted the military and political hardship that would come with retaking the Baltics in the event of a potential Russian attack. This consensus is, however, not necessarily set in stone. Any significant and permanent buildup of Russian forces close to Baltic territories, which has not occurred so far, or another Russian intervention in the post-Soviet space—in Belarus, for example—would strengthen arguments in favor of more NATO boots on the ground.
Beyond the aforementioned risks of conventional escalation, additional escalation pathways extend to the nuclear realm of the NATO-Russia relationship. In its official documents, NATO is upfront and states that the alliance reserves the right to use nuclear weapons. But words are only one part of the equation.
The alliance has forward-deployed an estimated U. As noted before, Russia has an estimated 2, tactical nuclear arms, many of which are assumed to be stored in depots in the western European part of the country, and Moscow regularly conducts exercises to simulate the transition from conventional to nuclear warfare. That said, even though Russia now relies heavily on the threat of nuclear use, and even though NATO has reduced its reliance on nuclear arms, the alliance still threatens nuclear use to try and deter a Russian attack against the Baltics.
There are, nonetheless, a range of views within NATO on its nuclear posture. To begin with, nuclear weapons are generally very unpopular in all of the five NATO states that host U. B bombs; politicians in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands have regularly responded to this domestic sentiment by seeking to remove these U.
On the other hand, this ambiguity could also invite deliberate nuclear escalation if Russia misreads it. The intra-alliance debate over nuclear weapons is similar to the one over conventional forces. Critics who worry that NATO is doing too little perceive Russia as having more, and more readily available, capabilities, as well as, perhaps, greater resolve to escalate to nuclear use.
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Other points of criticism abound as well. For instance, NATO exercises do not practice the transition from conventional to nuclear warfare, as Russian exercises do. Against this backdrop, the new U. In response to the criticism that NATO lacks the capabilities necessary for deterrence, they point out that NATO is already tailoring its deterrent capability.
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In particular, the U. Bs have a so-called dial-a-yield functionality that reportedly permits them to produce a yield as low as 0. Starting in , Washington will field a modernized version of the B with improved accuracy and again adjustable yields. B bombers. Moreover, critics underline the grave dangers that a U. Escalation is escalation, and nuclear use would be the ultimate escalation.
Finally, proponents of a more cautious nuclear approach want to prevent allies from unnecessarily entering a new nuclear arms race with Russia, which could raise tensions and, hence, risk escalation and the unity of the alliance. Current events, particularly the ongoing crisis over the INF Treaty, could lend additional credence to those urging NATO to take a fresh look at its approach to nuclear deterrence.
Deterrence and assurance are not necessarily an effective remedy against these operations as many of them take place in the civilian realm and cannot be countered by classical military means. It is, therefore, necessary for NATO to embrace a holistic strategy that doubles down on resilience measures, aimed at mitigating nonkinetic escalation risks. Nevertheless, this form of low-level attacks in nonmilitary domains and by non-attributable or low-visibility actions can further exacerbate general tensions between NATO and Russia and could potentially create the conditions for a crisis.
Lithuania's bilateral relations and the challenge of EU and NATO enlargement on Apple Books
This problem is particularly apparent in the three Baltic states. But they continue to value their Russian roots, language, and family or business ties. Moreover, their relationship to the Baltic majorities is often fraught because of mutual historical grievances about the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and the breakup of the Soviet Union. Since , these efforts to negatively manipulate Russian minorities in the Baltics, which sometimes border on outright hate speech, have accelerated.
With the arrival of the first units of the EFP, Russian propaganda increased. For example, in February , a source, believed to be Russian, reported the alleged rape of a Lithuanian teenager by a group of German soldiers. The danger of nonkinetic Russian operations in the information space stems from their deliberate as well as inadvertent effects and the difficulty of defending against them. The deliberate effect is to prevent reconciliation efforts between the many ethnic groups populating the Baltic states and to present authorities with manifold internal problems, such as fighting a constant uphill battle against hardening mutual prejudices.
But the inadvertent effects could go much further, since the constant seeping of propaganda and disinformation into the collective consciousness of Russian minorities could at some point lead to a domestic crisis, perhaps sparked by a totally mundane event, such as local rivalries between different groups of youth turning into violent protests. In the wake of such an incident, the Kremlin could face mounting domestic pressure to intervene if Russian minorities were involved. Baltic officials and experts have a range of views about the likelihood of such a scenario.
The big challenge for NATO is that deterring these operations with classical military means is almost impossible, particularly since Russia relies on a wide range of nonkinetic operations across multiple nonmilitary domains—such as cyberattacks, criminal activities like fostering corruption, and intelligence operations aimed at probing border security measures. A related risk is that because Russian nonkinetic operations can fly under the radar, NATO members might pay too much attention to nuclear or conventional escalation scenarios and fail to give adequate attention to Russian nonkinetic operations.
Resilience aims to lessen the impact of a future shock by preparing states to manage a crisis such as a sudden, sustained nationwide electricity outage. In concrete terms, Lithuania has started to raise public awareness about the possibility that Russia may stage a military attack and has widely disseminated small handbooks to its people on how to act in such an event.
Like deterrence, resilience is preventive, but the latter operates without making a threat. What remains open to debate is how to tailor resilience measures in the Baltics to reduce the vulnerability of Russian minorities against Russian propaganda and disinformation. So far, allies have viewed resilience as a primarily national responsibility that NATO can support by, for instance, cooperating with the European Union.
To be clear, the alliance could be tested in the future. For example, EFP forces could become a high-priority target of Russian nonkinetic operations, such as protests in front of military barracks, sabotage, or terrorist activities. Such operations could be aimed at undermining public acceptance of the EFP, both in the countries that provide the forces and in their host countries.
Having said that, so far none of the allies in the Baltics have experienced any concerted or sustained large-scale, nonkinetic, Russian attack across multiple domains that could seriously test the effectiveness of existing national resilience measures. Brinkmanship, as a tactic aimed at intimidating the opponent, entails the risk of accidental escalation, if for instance adversarial forces operate in close proximity.
Instead, managing accidental escalation requires NATO allies to more actively pursue good communications and risk-reduction measures. In the past few years, Moscow has repeatedly violated the national airspaces of countries in Northern Europe, such as the Baltic states, as well as those of non-NATO members like Finland and Sweden.
The immediate tactical aim of the Russian pilots conducting such maneuvers is to test the readiness of national air defenses. Close military encounters involving Russian forces also happen in international airspace and over international waters. In these environments as well, Russian pilots have exhibited risky behavior, by getting very close to surveillance planes or ships, for instance.
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Especially early on in the Ukraine crisis, there were even cases in which civilian aircraft were endangered. Quite often, these tactics create the risk of accidental escalation. For example, a Russian fighter aircraft deliberately came extremely close to a U. Hasty overreactions can lead to fatalities as well. In , the Turkish military shot down a Russian jet after issuing multiple warnings for Russian aircraft not to continue violating Turkish national airspace.
In the wake of that incident, tensions between Moscow and Ankara ran high, as each side accused the other of misbehavior. Preventing accidental escalation calls, first and foremost, for responsible behavior. But absent the political willingness to show such behavior, improved communication can help. Before an accidental crisis, good communication can help prevent one from occurring in the first place. During an accidental crisis, reliable communication channels can help the parties involved deescalate the situation and perhaps contain the immediate political fallout.
In addition, commonly agreed-upon rules of the road, such as a mutual expectation to switch on aircraft transponders at all times, perhaps embodied in bilateral and multilateral CSBMs, could help mitigate the risks of accidental escalation. NATO allies have sought to pursue talks with Russia on risk-reduction measures and general responsible airmanship, but these efforts have stalled as the two sides have not been able to agree on the best way forward.
Russia–European Union relations
Because NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia in in reaction to the annexation of Crimea, alliance members would prefer the OSCE as a forum, so as to avoid a dedicated military-to-military dialogue with Moscow. Contrary to this preference, Moscow has started to demand direct and exclusive consultations with NATO. Further complicating matters, the Ukraine crisis has interrupted continuous NATO-Russian military-to-military channels of communication at the working level.
Some experts have suggested dusting off, inter alia, two bilateral U. Both agreements were designed to regulate military forces operating in close proximity so as to reduce the risk of accidents and miscalculations by, for instance, avoiding mock attacks simulating the use of weapons against aircraft or ships.