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Research Report

Options for Enhancing Nordic–Baltic Defence and Security Cooperation: An Explorative Survey

Henrik Ø. Breitenbauch
Kristian Søby Kristensen
Gary Schaub
André Ken Jakobsson
Mark Winther
Copyright Date: May. 1, 2017
Pages: 43
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-2)

    The security environment of the Nordic–Baltic region is rapidly changing as outside pressures mount and new, internally founded responses are being fleshed out. Revanchist Russian behavior, multiple challenges to the European Union and the uncertainties of changing American policies have greatly increased the stakes for defence and security cooperation in the region. The Nordic–Baltic countries therefore now find themselves in a situation where there is a greater incentive for defence and security cooperation.

    With this incentive in mind, the May 2017 NATO meeting in Brussels will be the venue for the Nordic–Baltic region to address common challenges...

  2. (pp. 3-5)

    The Nordic–Baltic region as a whole has first recently come to share a liberal democratic regime type. It has vastly dissimilar historical experiences of national sovereignty and plays host to a wide array of unique cultures. As such, the Nordic–Baltic space escapes easy definition. It becomes more tangible when approached through its shared fate of being a geopolitical buffer zone, however, historically positioned between neighbouring great powers, which created the constitutive external pressure during the Cold War with the United States and the USSR.² This common destiny of ‘thrownness’ between larger powers and their interests should be understood...

  3. (pp. 6-11)

    Security and defence cooperation in the Nordic–Baltic region has developed along multiple lines and through many institutional settings over the past decades. These settings include the formal multilateral institutions of NATO and the EU, the less formal multilateral ‘working structures’ of NORDEFCO, the Nordic–Baltic 8, the multilateral political frameworks of the Northern Group and e-PINE, and a plethora of formal and informal multilateral and bilateral relationships focused on specific areas of common interest and cooperation.⁷ A brief description of each institution in relation to various dimensions will be provided in the following. These are, first, whether an internal...

  4. (pp. 12-24)

    The options and ideas presented in this report all have an exploratory aim and seek to inspire further idea development. The initiatives have thus been described in varying degrees of detail and address the central how, why and who. Ultimately, they should be approached as plastic ideas, ready to interact with the levers available to the reader’s imagination. The reader is therefore encouraged to visualize the potentials and consequences of shifting the level, scope, motivation and organization of the suggestions.

    One way of developing the ideas further would be to ask questions such as:

    What if the initiative was raised...

  5. (pp. 25-25)

    The Nordic–Baltic security environment has undergone significant change. Internal regional developments and external pressures are putting a premium on further regional cooperation on security and defense issues. To inspire and facilitate that process – and to point to issues of further potential for cooperation – this report outlines a number of regional cooperative options along four dimensions of defense and security cooperation: the political level, force generation, force employment and security and resilience.

    By drawing on the discussions and the many great ideas generated during the expert workshop held in Copenhagen in March 2017, the final aim of this...