chapter  4
10 Pages

Modern deterrence? NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence on the eastern flank

ByRobin Allers

In February 2016, NATO announced measures that would strengthen the Alliance's deterrence posture by enhancing its forward presence in Eastern Europe. This new focus on deterrence was a decisive step forward from the assurance measures agreed upon at the Wales Summit two years earlier and a clear signal that NATO would respond as one to any aggression against any ally. Five months later, at the Warsaw Summit, NATO officially decided to establish enhanced forward presence as a way to 'unambiguously demonstrate, as part of our overall posture, allies' solidarity, determination, and ability to act by triggering an immediate allied response to any aggression'. Renewed Russian threats might intensify calls for permanent presence, whereas a calmer period on the northeastern flank combined with increased conflict and turmoil in the south might make allies - including the USA - turn their focus to other tasks and priorities.