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NATO capabilities in Baltic region

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Message Antanas Tubelis

As we can see, militarization in the Baltic States remains at a very high level at present time. But why do our leaders want to invite as many foreign troops as possible? What are the main mission and real capabilities of these troops in the region? Let's try to figure them out.

The Baltic States now are preparing for possible military confrontation because of the "Russian threat". As we know, this requires money, logistics, weapons and troops. So, let's see what we have.

As for money, military budgets of the Baltic States are too small. Even after increasing to 2% of GDP, they remain insufficient. US donates too little money for military needs as a support.

Speaking about the logistics, military infrastructure of our region is poorly developed. Territory is pretty small, and there is a lack of facilities to accommodate troops. The number of military training areas is not so big, and their size is tiny. Highways are also poorly developed and not suitable for transfers of units with military equipment. Seaports, as well as airfields, which are also few in number, are not quite suitable for military needs.

The railway network is not wide, and there is a shortage of suitable-for-NATO-military-equipment rolling stock. In addition, Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian railways are out of European standards.

To change this situation, infrastructure-modernization projects of a quite huge scale are needed. It is clear that such a large projects require big amounts of money, which, as we already know, are not available.

Of course, there is the only "Rail Baltica" project, but work on it moves extremely slow. It is very expensive. Its construction is absolutely not agreed between partners. So, its future is not defined exactly.

As far as weapons are concerned, they are mostly outdated. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia do not have own military industries. At the same time, humble military budgets do not allow to make serious purchases of modern weapons and military equipment. States of our region do not have appropriate Armed Forces, by the way. It is known that the Baltic States have no tanks and combat aircraft at all.

The total number of military personnel of three Baltic States is less than half a percent of three countries' total population.

Obviously, the Baltic States do not have significant military power; that is why NATO troops are here. So, what are these troops?


operation "Atlantic Resolve" - US tank battalion

operation "NATO Enhanced Forward Presence" - multinational battlegroup

NATO's Baltic air-policing mission - about 100 military personnel with 4 aircraft


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Born in Kaunas in 1981

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