November 2017

NATO’s Eastern Flank and Its Future Relationship With Russia

By JUDY DEMPSEY

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its invasion of eastern Ukraine unified the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and prompted the allies to beef up defenses. But the process of strengthening the alliance’s Eastern flank is far from over. To complete it, NATO needs to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy toward Russia based on unity, deterrence, and resilience. That effort is long overdue.