Countering Russian Aggression in the Baltics and Eastern Europe

  • Lieutenant Colonel Robert Sean Berg

Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea in March of 2014 highlighted the Russian Federation’s expansionist actions to the world. The notion that Russian aggression and expansionism is a new threat fails to acknowledge centuries of an imperialist Russia. The 2015 US National Security Strategy calls for a continuous response to current Russian aggression in the wake of Putin’s Crimea and Eastern Ukraine involvement. As a long term counter to Russian actions, U.S. training for a domestically developed and supported, cellular, resilient resistance network to deter and counter the asymmetric intrusion of the Russian Federation into sovereign territory is a viable solution. Resistance networks in the Baltics and other former soviet states may leverage existing state structures and security elements. The intent is to establish an “on order” capacity from within, as a defensive measure, incorporating civil elements not currently involved. This resistance network is a bridging capacity to address an operational gap in a nation’s capacity to thwart Russian aggression which threatens national security but fails, by design, to clearly trigger a NATO Article V requirement.