Menace and Mischief: Containing Russia’s Threat to its Neighbors

Russia’s aggressive foreign policy has notched up successes in Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. The Kremlin has repeatedly confounded the West and established Russia as a supra-regional actor with real negotiating clout. The West has responded by reassuring the frontline states, fostering closer ties with NATO for Sweden and Finland, increasing defense spending and bolstering the U.S. military commitment to Europe—all of which featured at the NATO summit in Warsaw. But what next? How far is the threat now a military one? How should NATO deal with non-military threats such as cyber-warfare, propaganda, energy sanctions, subversion? What is NATO’s response to Russian superiority in A2AD in the Baltic region? Do we confront it head-on, or widen our deterrence? What is NATO’s nuclear posture vis-à-vis Russia? How can we maintain the credibility of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons when the European public is overwhelmingly skeptical about their use?

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