Image by NordNordWest
With the militarization of the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, and the recent massive military exercises in Belarus and inside Russia proper, the Suwalki Gap, a small strip of land connecting Poland to the Baltic NATO members, has become quite important for the alliance’s collective defense in time of conflict. A group of NATO think tanks traveled to the Suwalki Gap in an attempt to find a solution to the military strategy problem of the Gap’s defense.
“The Lithuanian Defense Ministry declared the participants of the discussion included, among others, experts from the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), which has offices in Washington and Warsaw, and from Vilnius University’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science,” reported The Baltic Times. Among experts taking part in these discussions are CEPA President Peter Doran and retired US General Ben Hodges, who is now an analyst with the think-tank.
In response to Europe’s new-found concern for its own defense, the alliance has recently deployed several thousand troops into the Eastern European nation of Poland, and the Baltic countries, in an attempt to bolster deterrence against a perceived Russian threat. Many analysts have declared the 100 km strip of land of the Suwalki Gap indefensible due to Russian territory on either side, allowing massive reinforcement and concentration of military force.
Kaliningrad has been highly militarized, including the deployment of Iskander nuclear-capable missiles that can hit NATO installations in nearby members of the alliance.