Baltic security, NATO enlargement and defense reform: the challenges of overcommitments and overlaps
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Within the European area, the Baltic Sea still is the region where multiple security organizations seek influence to enhance stability and peace. The EU plans to enlarge into this region and the Baltic States are candidates for NATO enlargement. On the other hand, the Russian Federation sees the region as "near abroad" and has declared the support of its minorities living there to be of vital interest. Therefore, this area is crucial for future relations between the former antagonists U.S. and the Russian Federation. The different security systems around the Baltic Sea guarantee stability and peace. Although there are still overlapping and waste of efforts, the coordination between the supporting nations and the receiving nations as well as the different organizations has increased. These initiatives try to help the Baltic States to restructure themselves. However, sometimes they slow down progress, because the organizational overhead is too big for the Baltic States. After they gained independence, a surge of nationalism went through them and they missed opportunities for better cooperation. Today the Baltic States are willing to coordinate their efforts, as several military cooperation projects under the Baltic Security Assistance Group show.
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