Despite what will transpire in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the largest war in Europe since World War II has permanently impacted the region’s defense climate. As a result, we can expect a significant change in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) approach to deterrence.
In a piece published by the Brookings Institution, Director of Research in Foreign Policy Michael E. O’Hanlon argued for the abandonment of NATO’s tripwire approach and to replace it with a more permanent defensive posture in eastern Europe.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin must know of NATO’s unambiguous commitment to defend alliance territory and feel no doubt that the United States and its allies would do whatever it took to prevail in a war that he might initiate against one or more of the alliance’s members,” O’Hanlon wrote.
In response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, the members of the Alliance agreed to bolster NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in the east. In 2017, the first four multinational battalion-size battle groups were established in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland as part of the Alliance’s enhanced forward presence.