NATO’s military committee will hold a two-day meeting in Brussels starting today.
The military committee is the organization’s highest authority and consists of senior leadership figures. On the agenda is likely the strengthening of NATO’s Eastern Flank following intelligence reports of a possible Russian attack towards the end of 2024. NATO member states are increasing their troop presence, particularly in the Baltic states with Germany committing to permanently stationing 4000 soldiers in Lithuania by 2026. A greater NATO presence on its current border with Russia may also have strategic implications for Russia pressuring it to also increase its presence on the respective border.
This increased NATO presence as well as the enlargement of NATO to Finland and Sweden could thus have significant implications for Russia. A longer border with NATO combined with increased troop numbers could force it to reduce its presence in Ukraine hindering its ongoing invasion. In addition, an increased NATO presence could deter Russia from further expansionism should it succeed or abandon its objectives in Ukraine.
Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.