Chisel On Concrete

Russian soft power in the Baltics

Testing NATO Vulnerabilities

April 2019, Number 09.02

“At a NATO Accession Ceremony in 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush underlined the importance of the day for the new members and for the Alliance. “Today marks a great achievement for each of the nations,” he said. “Our seven new members have built free institutions; they’ve increased their military capabilities in the span of a decade. They are stronger nations because of that remarkable effort, and the NATO alliance is made stronger by their presence.” However, NATO’s expansion would do little to cease Russia’s revisionist policy toward its neighbors. Rather, it marked the beginning of an era of softer confrontation by Russia.

NATO-Russia relations have never been easy. Although there have been times when both sides could agree on topics, there remain several areas where they fundamentally diverge. The most controversial issues are related to NATO’s enlargement policy and the buildup of its members’ military powers, especially near Russian borders... ”

Excerpt from Irine Burduli, “Testing NATO Vulnerabilities,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  9, No. 2, 2019: 18-23.

Irine Burduli has worked at the Ministry of Defence of Georgia, specializing in defense policy, planning and cyber security. She currently works at the Defence Institution Building School. She has expertise in policy drafting and development, networking with the defense and security community nationwide, and supporting institutional development through analyses and research of international and regional trends and dynamics. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from Tbilisi State University and is an alumna of the Marshall Center, where she attended the Program on Applied Security Studies in 2008.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.