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Baltics Left of Bang: Nordic Total Defense and Implications for the Baltic Sea Region

By Håkon Lunde Saxi, Bengt Sundelius, and Brett Swaney Strategic Forum 304

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Baltics Left of Bang: Nordic Total Defense and Implications for the Baltic Sea Region
Baltics Left of Bang: Nordic Total Defense and Implications for the Baltic Sea Region
by Håkon Lunde Saxi, Bengt Sundelius, and Brett Swaney
Photo By: NDU Press
VIRIN: 200203-D-BD104-004

Key Points 

  • Nordic states (Norway, Sweden, and Finland) efforts to enhance societal resilience through unique “total defense” and “comprehensive security” initiatives are unlikely to change the near-term strategic calculus of Russia. Over time, however, a concerted application of total defense in harmony with Article 3 of the North Atlantic Treaty will aid in the resilience to, and deterrence of, Russian hostile measures and hybrid warfare, and serve as a complement to a regional denial-based deterrence strategy.

  • The Nordic states are uniquely positioned and equipped to coordinate with their Baltic neighbors and partners to enhance multilateral cooperation on defense technology, regional information sharing, and best practices for the implementation of total defense.

  • The Nordic states could “export” resilience to the greater Baltic Sea Region by strengthening participation in European Union energy and infrastructure projects with the Baltic states, amplifying efforts to connect infrastructure links among allies and partners and decouple from adversaries. For their part, the Baltic states should aggressively adopt a whole-of-society approach to total defense.

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