What if Russia decides to deal with internal political and economic problems by attacking NATO's Baltic member states? Most of NATO's efforts to ensure the security of its most vulnerable Eastern European territories center on direct defense. However, given the manner in which a conflict is likely to unfold, addressing the maritime dimension is vital.
My recent report out from the Human Security Centre, Fire and Ice: A New Maritime Strategy For NATO's Northern Flank, looks at the regeneration of Russia's military, the priorities and doctrine of Moscow's forces, the challenge it poses to the alliance, and the potential role of NATO's northern maritime region in deterring and – if necessary – combating this threat. The analysis is framed in the historical context of the alliance's 1981 Concept of Maritime Operations and the linked U.S. Maritime Strategy, with a view to determining what these approaches have to teach about managing the modern threat.