Deterrence in the Twenty-first Century

Deterrence in the twenty-first century - Air University Press


NATO members, and they do not have a lengthy history of

well-established relationships with the United States and

Western Europe. In addition, the new members of the alliance

note that key NATO institutions and military installations

have not been located on the territory of the newer members,

and they are not active participants in NATO nuclear burden

sharing. For these reasons, they may feel that they are at the

edge of the US nuclear umbrella and perhaps perceive themselves

as second-class members of the alliance.

Some NATO allies feel that a sense of vulnerability to a newly

aggressive Russia increases the incentive for closer ties with the

United States. For example, the Polish defense minister, Bogdan

Klitch, has cited the need for Poland to have extra protection

because Russia is richer and more confident than it was a decade

ago. “We have a reduced level of security,” Klitch has said.

“The lack of the Polish feeling of security is provoked by the tendencies

of Russia over the past few years.” 22 He also has noted,

“The distribution of NATO institutions in Europe is not balanced.

The majority of the NATO and EU [European Union] institutions

are located in the western part of Europe. That is why we began

those talks with the Americans over missile defense.” 23

In December 2008, a Norwegian official addressed a seminar

held in Washington, DC, regarding extended deterrence. He explained

that Norway closely observes the military activities of Russia

and the geopolitical context associated with those activities.

Based on recent observations, he concluded that, with respect to

Russia, NATO will need effective deterrence in the future.

An Estonian opined that the Russians wish to inspire fear to

gain respect:

The message from NATO has been that there is no threat from Russia

and that NATO is not afraid of Russia. That annoys the Russians very

much. They just don’t understand. It doesn’t fit in their paradigm. They

interpret it to mean that Russia is not respected or taken seriously.

Domestically as well, the government wants respect from the people,

and it is trying to gain respect through the complete defeat of its opponents.

It has no tolerance of other points of view. They put their critics

in jail or shut them up in other ways, as with Khodorkovsky and Kasparov.

The Russian leaders are accordingly hostile to democracies on

their borders—the Baltic states, Georgia, and Ukraine. . . . 24

Similarly, a Pole said, “In the Russian mentality respect comes

from fear, rather than admiration for positive qualities. The


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