Strategic Estimate of the Baltic Region

BACKGROUND/DISCUSSION

  • Introduction

It takes much effort when countries or regions are trying to regain their freedom from their rulers. Kaliningrad is a Russian jurisdiction that was captured fork the Germans after World War II in 1945. Since then, through their leadership, the Russian Soviet Union has considered and gazetted the area as one of their cities. They have even provided the area with military protection from possible attacks from countries like the United States. It, therefore, serves as an army base for the Russian government and has high-tech sophisticated ballistic weapons such as the Iskander SSM and Bastion anti-ship missiles that got kept under massive surveillance and protection and that deny access to the area[1]. Despite the purpose it serves for Russia and its threats, there is a need for the region to regain back its freedom from the influence of other countries and start operating independently.

The operation of the Baltic region has been under the influence of many forces, including its friends, adversaries, and even neutral forces. The USA has had an interest in the area for many decades, which was recently spearheaded by former president Donald Trump[2]. Trump disagreed with the alleged unlawful activities happening in the Baltic sea territory. One of the accusations was the failure of Russia to become a member of open skies treat, which gives access to their inside boundaries, making it possible for them to be patrolled or investigated to avoid any possible global threats getting developed in the region. In April 2018, missiles got shot into the Baltic sea as retaliation when the Baltic sea region leaders met with Donald Trump. Russia added seventy formations, three brigades, and two divisions in the region and claimed that they would beef up more security in the area if America continued to interfere[3]. It is only when the influence of all these forces is eliminated that the region would regain stability.

  • Strategic Environment

The strategic environment of the Kaliningrad region is the area where nations are indirectly or directly affected by the actions of the Russians across the Kaliningrad and Baltic sea region. That area can also be called the USEUCOM territory[4]. The USA has collaborated with many European countries in the EU (European Union) and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty. The environment has rival forces, including Russia, Belarus, and collective security treaty organization members[5]. All the rival members view NATO and the EU as threats to their political and economic growth. The area has benevolent members who support the NATO and EU initiatives, bringing security, end corruption, terrorism, democracy, end corruption, and human and drug trafficking. Such countries include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland. The area also has neutral forces that are independent but support EU and USA security programs in the Northern Atlantic Belt. Finland, OSCE (organization for security and cooperation in Europe), and Sweden are neutral entities in the USEUCOM region[6]. All these forces influence the actions for or against the region.

 

  • Strategic Direction

The strategic directions are the plans that need to be implemented for peace and prosperity to reign. USA has several directives from their engagement in the NATO treaty and EU collaboration[7]. Most importantly, the USA’s main aim is to protect American citizens from its enemies like Russians. By doing this, the USA shields itself from illegal dealings, domestic terrorism, human trafficking, firearms, and drug smuggling[8]. The security also guarantees that there will be simplified navigations by flights that are immune from Russian interference. Another objective of the USA is to promote its economic prosperity and promote empowerment of the NATO nations with close ties with it. This will improve political relationships with close allies to ensure that they embrace and adopt US policies to preserve the European state of security.

  • Strategic and Operational Challenges

Strategic planning has challenges triggered by Russian rivals. Careless actions by the Russian naval forces remain the greatest threat to security around the Baltic sea. The careless conduct is what fuels disunity among NATO and EU states. In addition, the Suwalski area in the USEUCOM territory has both NATO and Russian location that is difficult to trespass. Gotland Island and Kaliningrad offer continued threats to the aerial denial of Russian technology. Additionally, infrastructure continues to challenge the movement of goods over the Baltic seas region. These challenges continue to threaten the possibility of building and maintaining peace among Russia and the USA and its allies.

  • Potential Opportunities

Although the Baltic region has characteristics that make opportunities seem unfavorable, there are potential opportunities to stabilize the area. For example, most European Union countries can seek security independence and increase their security allocations. Most of the advanced military technologies and weapons can get supplied by the US due to the high demand for sophisticated security machinery, raising revenue to the country. Russian careless actions contributed to the additional deployment of the necessary American army protection and monitoring of the Northern Atlantic belt[9]. As Russia creates an intentional gas supply to NATO countries with different political and economic policies, the USA has an opportunity to take that vast gas market and benefit and sales revenue. These interventions by the various countries would reduce tension and make Baltic countries a better place.

Risk assessment is the best way to prepare for situations that would interfere with progress and growth. Risk assessment of the Baltic region shows that the probability of risks ranges from low, moderate to high[10]. It means that there are potential risks in the region due to Russian actions. However, Russia can be considered an unintentional threat to the region. The reason is that the Baltic states seem to be the one pushing Russian president Putin into annexing them and seems to have no interest. The Baltic statelets have also been trying to harass Russian Federation to invade them for a long time than Ukraine. The unlikelihood of NATO reacting to Russian threats is a serious issue that exposes the Baltic region to risks[11]. However, it is possible to plan mitigation after determining the impact of each risk.

Mitigation interventions ensure an effective process of planning and coming up with ways to lessen the negative impacts. Russian actions can be stopped by using economics and politics and retaliation to its actions. The USA can also be involved in making other nations aware of Russian actions and prepare to act. Therefore, the intervention actions can be used to enhance countries’ cooperation that would be advantageous to the region.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Recommendation

Recommendations are important in providing direction for actions to be followed. In this case, the recommendations include improving E-PINE to ensure improved intelligence, inter-country relations, and economic empowerment[12]. Another recommendation is the permanent USA army presence with plans to increase their number regularly[13]. There should be a considerable and equal military presence and economic development to boost regional security[14]. The US forces employing adequate intelligence forces to the Baltic area would be important as the forces would provide the intelligence required. Also, the US government can provide funding to its allies to promote economic development. The continued US presence in the region can motivate the civilian informants to give out intelligence information about Russian activities or any attacks it plans. This would help mitigate the associated risks. While following the recommendations, the US forces would provide strong security that would neutralize the Russian forces and protect the Baltic economies.

  • Validity Assessment

The recommendations need to be assessed to ensure that they would be effective, which creates the need for validity assessment. The affected countries with improved relations with the USA can easily access funding from the world bank and other important development institutions to finance development projects. Concerning sanctions for supplying gas products from Russia to NATO and E.U. countries, the U.S. can easily step up and supply the precious commodity to ensure that the precious energy product is available. The U.S. diplomats can pressure the Russian government to uphold the sovereignty of neighboring countries like Latvia and Estonia to promote peace in the region. With less interference from Russia, these countries can independently pursue their political and economic policies with less dependency. The risk of retaliation and resistance is moderate and can easily get monitored through NATO civilian intelligence forces that would block any attacks being planned by Russia. The validity assessment shows that the recommendations would be important to the region.

  • Risks and Mitigation

It is important to identify risks and plan actions to mitigate them. The highest risk probability is the case where Russians continue being careless with their actions. Negotiations can reduce the risks by exerting economic and political pressures that would cause Russia to halt some of its operations and mitigate the risks. Another risk scenario that would occur would be in a case where NATO members become reluctant to address or fail to react to Russian threats[15]. Though the probability of such risks occurring is moderate and unlikely to occur, in case it occurs, the US forces can mitigate this by advising its allies to be aware of Russian actions and act to shield themselves from destructive Russian operations. There is also a risk of Russia declaring economic and political warfare on Baltic countries which support USA policies. Although such a risk is unlikely to appear, Baltic countries can mitigate this through early detection of any retaliatory actions from Russia and take the appropriate measures.

  • Justification

When implemented, recommendations assure a positive outcome. The security of the Baltic sea region is threatened and has become a point of friction between Russia, the United States, and NATO. When applied, the recommendations would help restore peace in the region.

  • Conclusion

The Baltic region is valuable for Russia’s operations, a characteristic that causes threat that need to be mitigated for the region to grow. However, some of its states have become NATOs allies which boost the region in seeking its security. Its strategic location and the positive internal and external outside forces such as the USA puts the region in a better position to regain its stability.

Share this Post