Strategic Challenges in the Baltic Sea Region

Russia, Deterrence, and Reassurance

Ann-Sofie Dahl, Editor
Foreword by Anders Fogh Rasmussen

"This book is recommended to anyone interested in the subjects of international relations, international conflict, and/or security and politics— especially to military personal, governmental officials involved in defense, and academicians and students of international relations."
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How should the countries in the Baltic Sea region and their allies meet the strategic challenges posed by an openly aggressive and expansionist Russia? NATO and the nonaligned states in the region are now more concerned about an external threat than they have been since the end of the Cold War. Russia has been probing air space, maritime boundaries, and even land borders from the Baltic republics to Sweden. Russia's undermining of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea worries former Soviet republics with Russian minority populations, nonaligned Sweden and Finland are enhancing their cooperation with NATO, and the Trump presidency has created some doubt about America's willingness to follow through on NATO's collective defense commitment.

Ann-Sofie Dahl brings together an international group of experts to examine Baltic security issues on a state-by-state basis and to contemplate what is needed to deter Russia in the region. The contributors analyze ways to strengthen regional cooperation, and to ensure that security in the region stays at the top of the agenda at a time of many competing strategic perspectives in the transatlantic community. This book will be of great interest to foreign policy and defense practitioners in the US and Europe as well as scholars and students of international relations.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Ann-Sofie Dahl

Part 1: The West, Russia, and Baltic Sea Security
1. Still the Indispensable Power: The United States and Baltic Sea Security
Robert J. Lieber

2. Russia and Baltic Sea Security: A Background
Gudrun Persson

3. NATO's Role in Baltic Sea Security: Reestablishing Deterrence, Projecting Stability
Jamie Shea

4. The West and Russia: Another Front in the New Cold War?
Christopher Coker

Part 2: NATO Allies and Baltic Sea Security

5. Are the Baltic States Next? Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
Andres Kasekamp

6. Deterring Russia: An A2/AD Strategy in the Baltic Sea
Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen

7. Russia as a Challenge in the Baltic Sea Region: A View from Warsaw
Justyna Gotkowska

8. Germany: The Silent Baltic State
Claudia Major and Alicia von Voss

9. Norwegian Perspectives on Baltic Sea Security
Hakon Lunde Saxi

Part 3: NATO's Nordic Partners
10. The Strategic Role of Gotland
Johan Raeder

11. Sweden and Finland: Partnership in Lieu of NATO Membership
Ann-Sofie Dahl

12. Finland and NATO's Renewed Focus on Collective Defense
Karoliina Honkanen

Ann-Sofie Dahl

List of Contributors


"In this volume, Ann-Sofie Dahl has convened a very strong team of European and American experts to examine security challenges in the Baltic Sea region. As former NATO Secretary General Rasmussen writes in the foreword, this is an “understudied” European security topic. This book impressively helps remedy that shortcoming."—Stanley R. Sloan, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council and Visiting Scholar, Middlebury College; author most recently of Transatlantic Traumas (2018) and Defense of the West (2016).

"What a great line up of talent Ann-Sofie Dahl has pulled together to cast fresh light on security challenges looming in the Baltic! As Russia’s menace increases, we all need to re-look this crucial neighbourhood and bring the security policies of its free countries into better alignment with, in particular, our energy and other economic policies. Russia even in its weakness is posing new and cunning challenges. Our resilient societies have the means to protect ourselves, but have work to do in figuring out how we collectively meet these challenges. The smart perspectives from this book are a great place to start."—Kori Schake, Deputy Director-General, International Institute for Strategic Studies

"This book is recommended to anyone interested in the subjects of international relations, international conflict, and/or security and politics— especially to military personal, governmental officials involved in defense, and academicians and students of international relations."—Journal of European, Middle East & African Affairs


Christopher Coker Ann-Sofie Dahl Justyna Gotkowska Karoliina Honkanen Andres Kasekamp Robert Lieber Claudia Major Gudrun Persson Johan Raeder Anders Fogh Rasmussen Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen Håkon Lunde Saxi Jamie Shea Alicia von Voss

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Ann-Sofie Dahl, PhD is Associate Professor of International Relations and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. She is formerly a senior research fellow at the Centre for Military Studies at the University of Copenhagen, and she is the author or editor of several books including the co-edited volume Northern Security and Global Politics: Nordic-Baltic Strategic Influence in a Post-Unipolar World.

181 pp., 6 x 9
1 map
ISBN: 978-1-62616-570-0
May 2018

181 pp., 6 x 9
1 map
ISBN: 978-1-62616-571-7
May 2018

181 pp.
1 map
ISBN: 978-1-62616-572-4
May 2018

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