chapter  1
9 Pages

The creation of a threat

WithMark Galeotti

NATO’s greatest challenge coming out of the Wales Summit is to take on two different forms of strategic challenge from the East and South simultaneously. These challenges are composed of very different actors, and various forms of modern hybrid warfare. In light of such conceptual car-crashes, it is fair to ask how far this may be a threat of the West’s own imagining. It is striking how United States and NATO military perspectives on Russia have changed since 2014. From being all but written off as a decaying post-imperial nation of limited regional military significance, it is being characterised as the West’s most serious threat, even – a plausible ‘existential threat. Russia has increasingly focused on new and less conventional military techniques. These asymmetric tactics techniques are both more aligned to Russian strengths, and considerably more difficult for NATO to counter.