The Baltic States: The United States Must Be Prepared to Fulfill Its NATO Treaty Obligations

The U.S. has a long history of championing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Baltic states dating back to the interwar period of the 1920s. Today, U.S. interest in the Baltic region derives primarily from its treaty obligations in the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty and membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty states that an attack on one is an attack on all. This means that the U.S. is committed to the security of the Baltic cities of Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius in the same way as it is to the American cities of Tallahassee, Raleigh, and Virginia Beach. The U.S. needs to ensure that it has the political will and military capability to live up to its NATO treaty obligations in the Baltic region. Defending the Baltic states and deterring Russian aggression will be far easier and cheaper than liberating them.

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