ICDS – ICDS

Aims to advance the transatlantic community’s strategic thinking on the security challenges facing the Baltic-Nordic region, from armed or cyber attacks to threats against social cohesion and energy security.

Photo:Robert Reisman

Publications

A Plausible Scenario of Nuclear War in Europe, and How to Deter It

Andreas Meyer / Flickr.com
Andreas Meyer / Flickr.com
Topol M nuclear ballistic missile launcher on Moscow’s street.

A special issue of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published an article co-authored by ICDS Director Jüri Luik and Head of Studies Tomas Jermalavičius on a plausible scenario of a limited nuclear war in Europe and on the need for the Alliance to further strengthen the deterrence posture in the Baltic area, placing a particular emphasis on deterrence by denial in order to avoid such a scenario.

The specter of nuclear war in Europe has returned under the regime of Vladimir Putin in Russia. Russia’s large-scale exercises incorporate the scenarios of a limited nuclear strike against NATO as part of Moscow’s “escalation to de-escalate” concept. Russia has acquired an edge over NATO in tactical nuclear weaponry and is expanding the range of tactical delivery systems. Moscow’s political rhetoric includes nuclear threats toward the West. NATO’s range of response options to such threats and limited nuclear war scenarios has shrunk considerably, and the Alliance to lacks the collective will to call those threats a bluff. Because of Russia’s regional superiority in conventional forces and its anti-access/area denial capabilities, the Baltic area is particularly vulnerable. Despite deployment of Enhanced Forward Presence units to the eastern flank members, NATO still relies on deterrence by punishment to prevent the possibility of Russian military attack in the area. But Russia’s posture and capabilities could allow it to seize the Baltics, establishing a relatively quick fait accompli that it then defends by issuing nuclear threats. To prevent Russian miscalculation of the Alliance’s determination – a miscalculation that could lead to a major war – NATO needs to build credible conventional deterrence in the Baltic area, making it impossible for Russia to seize any of these countries quickly.

Full article can be accessed here.

Blog

An Exercise of Tension: Zapad 2017 Undeclared Messages for Ukraine's Security

The tension escalated by media reporting which surrounded the preparation and conduct of the Russian-Belarus exercises Zapad 2017 has demonstrated the...

Zapad and Beyond: a Look at Russian Naval Activities Through the Summer of 2017

Despite its conclusion just over a month ago, Russia’s military exercise Zapad 2017 has left western observers with many unanswered questions.

EU’s Cyber Capacity Building in the Eastern Partnership Countries

“Achieving cyber resilience in the EU” is one of the strategic priorities of the 2013 EU cybersecurity strategy.

Events

Prospects for European Defence and Security Co-Operation

On November 13 Henrik Praks spoke at the public discussion „Which Future for the European Defence and Security“ held in Riga.

A Year since the US Elections: Taking Stock of the US Foreign Policy

On November 10th, ICDS organised a panel discussion titled: “A year since the US Elections: Taking stock of the US foreign policy.”
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