Changing NATO's "Achilles Heel"—Security in the Baltic Region
On February 24, 2022, when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, four NATO members—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland (from here referred to as the "Baltic region (countries)"—invoked Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which provides for consultations with the allies regarding security concerns. In April, the presidents of the four states visited Kyiv to convey to Ukrainian President Zelensky their region-wide solidarity and called on the international community to support Ukraine. The Baltic region countries are far ahead of other Western countries in terms of the number of refugees per-capita received from Ukraine (2-5% of their populations) and the amount of aid to Ukraine (0.5-1.0% of their GDPs).
The Baltic region countries spearheading support for Ukraine share not just traditional perceptions of Russia as a threat but also their position of becoming a theater of war as NATO's northeastern front in an emergency. Although NATO outstrips Russia in overall conventional forces, there has been concern about the possibility that Russia could gain local and temporary dominance in the Baltic region, which shares a long border with Russia, Belarus, and Kaliningrad, an enclave of Russia. With the Baltic region in mind, Russia is conducting a large-scale military exercise "Zapad" including nuclear elements. A war simulation conducted by a US think tank in 2016 concluded that Russian forces could reach the outskirts of Estonian and Latvian capitals within 60 hours. 1 Against this background, the Baltic region countries, among NATO members with diverse threat perceptions, have placed particular emphasis on collective defense and deterrence among the strategies defined by the 2010 NATO "Strategic Concept"—collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security. 2 In the meantime, even after Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, experts concurred that the more realistic threat from Russia to the Baltic region would be so-called hybrid one including destabilization through cyber attacks and disinformation targeting Russian-speaking residents rather than an act of invasion to seize the territory—although its possibility could not be completely ruled out. 3
Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has fundamentally changed this perceptions. This paper addresses threat perceptions historically shaped in the Baltic region; the Baltics' pursuit of security since the 1991 restoration of their independence; NATO and US engagement with the region since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea; and lessons from Russia's all-out invasion of Ukraine for security in the Baltic region.
Historical Threat Perceptions
Security threat perceptions peculiar to the Baltic region countries are noticeably influenced by the lasting memory of the nations and individuals. In 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to partition Eastern Europe in a secret protocol annexed to the Non-Aggression Pact and invaded and carved up Poland. The following year saw the Soviet Union's issuance of an ultimatum to and military occupation of the three Baltics. The Soviets compelled the "people's assemblies" created by sham "elections" in those countries to "request" accession to the Soviet Union and illegally annexed them. 4 In annexed eastern Poland (the western part of today's Ukraine and Belarus), the Soviet Union executed more than 20,000 Polish officers (the "Katyn massacre"). In the three Baltics, one million of the six million interwar population were affected by the Soviet mass deportation or other forms of suppression. Furthermore, while forcibly relocating people in the occupied lands to Siberia, the Soviets promoted the settlement of Soviet people (mainly ethnic Russians) in the areas, substantially changing the ethnic composition of Estonia and Latvia, in particular. Before the downfall of the Soviet Union, the Estonians in Estonia and the Latvians in Latvia had decreased to 60% and 50%, respectively, of those countries' population. 5
In the summer of 1989, 50 years after the signing of the secret German-Soviet pact, some 2 million people in the three Baltic states participated in the Baltic Way demonstration, forming an unbroken human chain connecting the capitals Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius. At the end of the same year, the Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union admitted the illegality of the secret pact. Yet, this does not mean that Moscowprofessed the illegality of annexing the three Baltics. Russia, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, continued to reiterate the rhetoric that the three Baltics had "voluntarily" joined the Soviet Union. 6 In 1994, in a speech at the Matthiae-Supper of Hansa cities in Hamburg, Germany, Estonian President Lennart Meri warned against a euphoric atmosphere of "victory" in the West, pointing to Russia's stagnant democratization after the downfall of the Soviet Union. The Russian diplomatic authorities demanded the continued stationing of Russian troops, claiming that diplomacy alone could not resolve the problem of Russians in the former Soviet republics. 7 Meri criticized this Moscow's claim as "neo-imperialist appetites." Reportedly, it was Vladimir Putin, invited then to the same dinner as the deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, who resented this speech and abruptly left the table. 8 In the same year, under pressure from the West, Russian troops finally withdrew from the three Baltics.
Quest of Security Following the Restoration of Independence
The Baltic region countries, which restored their independence following the demise of the Warsaw Pact Organization and the Soviet Union, share the recognition that reliable allies are, above all, necessary to avoid repeating the experience of half a century of Moscow's rule and occupation. Poland and the three Baltics gained accession to NATO in 1999 and 2004, respectively. As part of their contribution to NATO, the Baltic region countries participated in NATO missions beyond the treaty region, such as Afghanistan. At that time, Latvia and Lithuania abolished conscription due to their trust in NATO's collective defense and a temporarily decreased perception of threat from Russia. On the other hand, Estonia largely maintained its national defense system, including conscription and territorial defense units. 9
The threat perceptions of the Baltic region countries toward Russia were raised again by the Russia-instigated riots in Tallinn and large-scale cyber attacks against the Estonian government offices and financial institutions in 2007 10 and the Russia-Georgia war in 2008. However, the NATO-Russia Council suspended due to the same war resumed the following year, the US "resetting" its relations with Russia. 11 In Latvia, defense officials grew awareness of the need to strengthen "individual" capabilities to resist armed attacks, mentioned in Article 3 of the North Atlantic Treaty. But the recognition was not shared nationwide against the backdrop of public opinion among Russian speakers constituting 40% of the population, who tended to support Russia in the Russia-Georgia war, and of harsh domestic financial situations in the wake of the global financial crisis. 12
Meanwhile, it would be incorrect to portray the Baltic region countries as having consistently held a "hardline" position toward Russia. In the post-Cold War era, the interdependence theory became the mainstream view among the European liberals, who believed that cooperation in the economic and energy areas and human exchanges through various channels would encourage Russia to act cooperatively. This view permeated also the Baltic region countries to a certain extent, which attempted to maintain friendly relations with their giant neighbor Russia. 13 The EU, through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), implemented various Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) programs in the areas of environment, public health, and safety between the Baltic region and Russia (the Estonia-Latvia-Russia Program and the Lithuania-Poland-Russia Program). The EU did not halt its cooperation programs between the Baltic region and Russia (2014-20) after Russia annexed Crimea, in the hope that CBC would, despite the political tension between the EU and Russia, serve as a channel for intra-community cooperation, forming an "underpinning for improved regional cooperation in the future." 14 Only when did Russia begin a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with more than 80% of Russians expressing support for Putin— the EU's last hopes for engaging Russia based on liberal assumptions came to an end. In March 2022, the European Commission suspended all CBC programs with Russia and Belarus. 15
Response to Russia's Annexation of Crimea
In the 2009 "Zapad" exercise, Russia allegedly simulated an invasion of Poland using nuclear threats. In 2010, in response to the tenacious efforts of the Baltic region countries, NATO ultimately formulated the "Eagle Guardian," a NATO regional defense scheme to defend the three Baltic states and Poland. On the other hand, the US military has drastically reduced the number of troops stationed in Europe; only 160 US soldiers participated in the 2013 "Steadfast Jazz" exercise for the Baltic region. In the decade between the three Baltics' accession to NATO in 2004 and the year of 2014, NATO's only continued presence in those countries was the peacetime Baltic Air Policing mission deployed from the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania. 16
Russia's annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014 became a litmus test for NATO's solidarity and credibility for the defense of the Baltic region. NATO adopted the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) at the Wales Summit in the same year, agreeing to triple the size of the NATO Readiness Force to 40,000 strong and to establish a 5,000-strong "Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF)" that could be deployed within two to three days. NATO also decided to strengthen the Baltic Air Policing mission (with the addition of the Amari base in Estonia), enlarge the Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE) in Szczecin (Poland), and improve infrastructure and advance stockpiles necessary for receiving reinforcements. Looking at the individual defense capabilities of the Baltic region countries, Poland and Estonia had nearly secured defense spending worth 2% of their GDPs by around 2014, while Lithuania and Latvia secured defense spending with similar ratios by 2018. Lithuania had reinstated conscription in 2015. 17
At its Warsaw Summit in July 2016, NATO announced an "Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP)." The following year saw a rotational deployment in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia of battalion-sized (around 1,200 troops) multinational battlegroups led each by one of the "framework nations" of the United States, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, at the Brussels Summit in July 2018, NATO members agreed that 30 mechanized battalions, 30 flying squadrons, and 30 combat ships should be ready for deployment within 30 days.
The "continuous rotation" of the eFP multinational battlegroups can be explained for by the concerns of other NATO allies that the permanent presence of those groups in the Baltic region might provoke Russia, given the wording of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act (NRFA) that says NATO does not consider the "additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces." 18 On the contrary, the Baltic region countries assert that the NRFA was a unilateral measure taken by NATO in the peculiar security environment of the 1990s; that NATO should not be bound by the NRFA since Russia brazenly challenged the international order with its 2014 annexation of Crimea. 19
Immediately after Russia illegally annexed Crimea, the United States, through its own engagement, quickly and powerfully complemented NATO's measures, which did not necessarily meet the needs of the Baltic region countries. In June 2014, the Obama administration publicized the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI). Later renamed the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), this program improved US readiness through increased US military presence in Europe, enhanced exercises and training, advance stockpiling of equipment, and infrastructure development. The scale of the program is evident from the fact that the 2019 budget for supporting the US-led eFP battlegroup Poland worth $224 million accounts for only 3.5% of the overall US EDI budget of $6.5 billion. 20 The EDI was taken over by the Trump administration, contrary to some scepticism about its commitment to European defense, rather expanded its engagement with the Baltic region to include increasing US military forces in Poland and making a roadmap for defense cooperation with the three Baltics. 21
|GDP (100 million)||6794||664||398||371||17787||2000|
|Def. Spending vs. GDP||2.42%||2.36%||2.10%||2.34%||4.1%||3.23%|
|Accession to EU||May 2004||May 2004||May 2004||May 2004||-||-|
|Accession to NATO||March 1999||March 2004||March 2004||March 2004||-||-|
|COE etc.||Counter Intelligence COE, Military Police COE||EnergySecurity COE||Strategic Communication COE||Cooperative Cyber Defense COE, Baltic Defense Academy||-||-|
The "Enhanced Forward Presence"
The "enhanced forward presence (eFP)" in the Baltic region is multinational forces based on the "framework nations concept (FNC). The eFP entails the creation of a cluster comprising a leading state with a relatively broad range of assets and capabilities (a framework nation) and several small- and medium-sized countries (contributing nations) that help the former in specific functional areas; cluster countries as a whole undertake the task of joint defense. 23 The NATO Warsaw Summit in 2016 reached an agreement on framework nations responsible for leading a battlegroup deployed to each of the Baltic region countries. Table 2 lists the framework nations and contributing nations as of October 2022. 24 France, which began to serve as Estonia's contributing nation in 2022, has been stationing its troops in either Estonia or Lithuania every other year. All NATO's nuclear states (the United States, the United Kingdom, and France) and major European countries (the United Kingdom, Germany, and France) are engaged in security in the Baltic region. 25
|Host Nations||Framework Nations||Contributing Nations|
|Poland||The United States||Croatia, Romania, the United Kingdom|
|Lithuania||Germany||Belgium, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, (France)|
|Latvia||Canada||Albania, Czech Republic, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain|
|Estonia||The United Kingdom||Denmark, France, Iceland|
For example, Estonia's framework nation is the United Kingdom. The two countries have enjoyed traditionally close cooperation, such as the UK Royal Navy's support to Estonia during the Estonian War of Independence (1918-20) and both countries' participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan. The British-led multinational battlegroup has become integrated into the First Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defense Forces (Tapa). In recent years, it has also been conducting an exercise with the territorial defense units of the volunteer Estonian Defence League (26,000 strong). 26 Generally speaking, host nations improve infrastructure such as military training grounds and storage facilities, upgrade logistics or amend domestic laws to facilitate the movement of multinational battlegroups and reinforcements in their region. 27
The importance of the relationship of host and framework nations is [三四郎1]evident from Russia's vigorous disinformation efforts seeking to disrupt it. Regarding Canada, which became Latvia's framework nation in 2017, Russia took up the issue of ethnic Russians in Latvia, spreading a narrative in the Canadian media that Latvia does not deserve support from Canada that respects multiculturalism. Russia also disseminated diverse fake news stories about sexual assaults involving German and British soldiers stationed in Lithuania and Estonia. 28 In Estonia, where according to a 2019 poll survey, about half of the Russian speakers accounting for 26% of the population are negative about the presence of NATO troops—90% of Estonian speakers support it—, the British-led multinational battlegroup, as part of countermeasures against Russia's disinformation, organized charity events and other strategic communications targeting Russian speakers. 29
In addition to possessing relatively large-scale ground forces, mechanized brigades, and a medium-range air defense system, Poland stands out among the Baltic region countries due to its hosting of the US military forces in the country. In 2016, the United States under the Obama administration decided, as Poland's eFP framework nation, to deploy 900 US soldiers to the multinational battlegroup Poland; the US troops were deployed to a base near Orzysz in the country's northeast, 65 km from Kaliningrad and 135 km from the Suwalki Gap. Even before that, US soldiers had been stationed in Poland under the EDI (around 4,500 soldiers as of 2019). 30 The Obama administration's choice of Poland is alleged to have come out of the consideration that it would less provoke Russia compared to the stationing of US troops in the three Baltics. 31 Yet, from a military viewpoint, it is pointed out that Poland's comparatively large land area allows the United States to deploy reinforcements in the relatively safe western part of the country. 32
The 150-odd US paratroopers that had been stationed in the three Baltics since April 2014 withdrew following the deployment of NATO's eFP multinational battlegroups in 2017. The three Baltics welcome the multinational battlegroups led by the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany. Nonetheless, they believe that the continued presence of US forces is the principal deterrent to Russia. The US military continues to train its special forces in the three Baltics, while Poland is promoting communications with the other regional countries, explaining that the concentration of US forces in Poland aims to defend the Suwalki Gap and the entire Baltic region (see below). 33
The Unacceptable Cost of Temporary Occupation: Toward "Forward Defense"
The relatively small eFP multinational battlegroups have been called "trip-wire" forces, which though committed to joint defense, cannot check an enemy invasion single-handedly. This is not a NATO expression, and there are experts who believe that multinational battlegroups could delay an enemy invasion to a significant degree. In any case, the success or failure of the defense of the Baltic region depends on the rapid deployment of large reinforcements in the wake of an invasion and on whether they can instantaneously become ready for action by using the stockpile of weapons and ammunition.
However, the massacres of civilians in Bucha and Izium, which have been liberated after a temporary occupation by Russia, suggest that, for a frontline state like the three Baltics, a temporary occupation would be fatal and costly, even if a sufficient number of reinforcements subsequently arrived to liberate them and restored their territory and sovereignty. 34 Moreover, if diplomatic negotiations could end a conflict, the battle ground situation would play a decisive role for the timing and outcome of those negotiations, as has been demonstrated by the all-out Russian invasion and Ukraine's resistance. 35
At its Madrid Summit in June 2022, NATO member states agreed that the multinational battlegroups in the Baltic region should be expanded from battalions to a brigade as needed—a while back at an emergency summit in March 2022, they decided that multinational battlegroups should likewise be deployed to Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia in the Black Sea region. In addition, NATO announced the advance stockpiling of weapons and artillery ammunition, a further expansion of forward deployment, including air defense and missile defense systems, the enhancement of command and control, and the preliminary allocation of forces among allied countries to enable the rapid deployment of reinforcements that will follow the eFP multinational battlegroups. 36 The Baltic region countries are currently calling for a "forward defense posture" rather than a traditional "forward presence." 37
Land Route for Reinforcements—The Suwalki Gap
The primary challenge for NATO in defending the Baltic region is its proximity to Russia and the fact that it almost lacks strategic depth. Some argue that viewed from Russia's buffer zone-oriented geopolitical thinking, NATO's "eastward expansion" has reduced the strategic depth of Russia by more than 1,000 km. 38 The picture looks totally different from the capitals of Estonia and Latvia, which are on the Baltic Sea coast and only 200 to 250 km distant from the Russian border. Once a Russian invasion begins, the three Baltics, in stark contrast to Russia boasting vast land areas, have no "rear" for logistics and command. In addition, while the three Baltics possess a relatively well-developed road network, they have few rivers that could serve as natural lines of defense.
Using this geographical advantage, Russia may likely think it can launch a short war using conventional forces, occupy certain territories of the three Baltics, and then make this a fait accompli by nuclear threat. If, in that case, Russia took control of the Suwalki Gap, a 100-km land corridor in the Polish-Lithuanian border, which links Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea, and Belarus, a Russian ally, the three Baltics would be isolated; reinforcements from Poland would be unable to reach those countries; the Baltic Fleet headquartered in Kaliningrad would block sea traffic routes, thereby making it hard for NATO to provide maritime support to the three Baltics. In 2015, Commanding General of US Army Europe Ben Hodges also expressed concern about the vulnerability of the Suwalki Gap. 39 In 2017, the United States and the United Kingdom jointly conducted a defense exercise of the Suwalki Gap with 1,500 troops, whereas Russia's Zapad 2017 exercise is estimated to have mobilized 100,000 troops (officially announced 12,700). 40
A worst-case scenario may develop as follows. Russia would quickly "annex" the occupied Baltic region countries to its territory, claiming that it has brought them under its "nuclear umbrella." Russia would define NATO's counteroffensive as an "invasion of Russian territory" and threaten the use of nuclear weapons. Since NATO's operation to liberate large cities such as Tallinn and Riga would impose enormous human cost and claim a considerable amount of time, Russia would attempt to drive a wedge among NATO allies, part of which prefer the avoidance of escalation and a "political solution." 41 A similar nuclear threat scenario became a reality in the 2022 Russian "annexation" of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson regions of Ukraine.
The A2/AD "Bubble" and Air Defense Systems
NATO's defense of the Baltic region hinges upon how quickly it can deploy large-scale reinforcements. The only land route available to this end is the vulnerable Suwalki Gap. Not only that, but NATO reinforcements by air and sea to the three Baltics will also become targets of the air power of the Russian Western Military District and the A2/AD "Bubble." Therefore, in an emergency, NATO air power, long-range missiles, and electronic weapons support are considered to be essential to offset Russian A2/AD capabilities. 42
The three Baltics possessed an air surveillance system (BALTNET) but lacked fighter aircraft or an air defense system (except a short-range system to protect key assets). NATO's Baltic Air Policing Mission is designed to deal with peacetime airspace violations but not an air defense mission. For this reason, the United States has been training fighter jets and deploying them to airfields in the Baltic region as part of the EDI. The enhancement of air defense capabilities is the most necessary element of the three Baltics' defense. It was the only military cooperation element explicitly mentioned in the joint statement issued following the 2018 US-Baltic summit. 43
Following the Lithuanian military's procurement of medium-range anti-aircraft missiles (NASAMS) in 2020, Estonian and Latvian defense ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint procurement of NASAMS at the NATO Madrid summit in the wake of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 44 Until those procurements come to completion, Spain will deploy NASAMS to Latvia and Estonia. 45 Meanwhile, Stinger and other portable surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS) owned by the three Baltics have been provided to Ukraine. Theoretically, it may not be impossible to build an air defense system covering a whole country if there is no limit on the expense. However, even such a defense system could not defend all towns and critical infrastructure when an enemy directs cruise missiles at civilian facilities, as the Russian military does in Ukraine. 46
The Greater Baltic Area
The three Baltic states have enjoyed good relations with the Nordic countries: a top political leadership framework Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) was established in 2000; following the restoration of independence of the three Baltics, Denmark supported the establishment of the Baltic Battalion (BALTBAT), Sweden - the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL), and Norway - Baltic Air Surveillance Network (BALTNET). 47
The most important potential partners for the Baltic region countries are Sweden and Finland, both non-NATO states; in an emergency, the "Greater Baltic Area," including Sweden and Finland, would be significant to the three Baltics, which lack strategic depth and have only limited routes for reinforcements. In the past, Sweden and Finland conducted joint exercises with NATO allies such as Norway and Denmark and, in 2017, joined the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). Yet, there were certain limits for the Baltic region countries to deepen military cooperation with these non-NATO states. Since 2022, both countries' accession to NATO has neared reality; the Nordic-Baltic region, including Sweden and Finland, will likely become a common space for security. Specifically, Swedish and Finnish air defense systems, 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft, and their intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in the Baltic Sea and Arctic region will constitute valuable assets for NATO. Some go so far as to say that the Baltic Sea will turn into a "NATO lake" with Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO. 48
Engagement of the Baltic Region Countries with Regional Frameworks Incorporating Ukraine
The Lublin Triangle announced in June 2020 by the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania condemned Russian aggression against Ukraine; Poland and Lithuania have supported granting Ukraine a NATO Membership Action Plan. In 2014, those three countries established a joint Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade (LITPOLUKRBRIG) and, in 2016, conducted joint exercises on decision-making and communication among multinational forces. 49 On February 17, 2022, just before Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, Poland, and Ukraine announced the "Trilateral Alliance," a new political and security framework. 50 There are expectations in Ukraine for these multiple regional frameworks joined by the Baltic region countries, along with the 2 plus 2 ministerial meeting "Quadriga" between Ukraine and Turkey (December 2020), which may add to Ukraine's security until it becomes a NATO member. 51
The fundamentals the Baltic region countries share regarding the security conditions after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine can be summarized in the following three points.
The first is the need for a Ukrainian victory and a Russian defeat. At the May 2022 Lennart Meri Conference (the annual conference on diplomatic and security issues in the Baltic region) held in Tallinn, Latvian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks criticized the German and French officials for advocating "immediate ceasefire" and "no humiliation to Russia." He said Ukraine and its partners should not sit at the negotiation table unless Russia accepts its defeat. The Baltic region countries will carry on their full support for Ukraine. In January 2023, representatives of the three Baltics, Poland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Slovakia signed the "Tallinn Pledge," promising not only efforts to defend Ukraine but also "an unprecedented donation" of weapons to drive Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.
Second, the Baltic region countries will pursue a long-term "smart containment" of Russia (Estonian Prime Minister Kallas), isolating the country internationally. 52 Meanwhile, it is recognized that the position of China, Russia's strategic partner, and the response of the Global South may matter more than ever in promoting this line of action.
Third, a postbellum Russia will be unlikely to democratize, and if it resuscitates, it will head for revenge. Putin launched the recent full-scale invasion of Ukraine, assuming that he could readily seize air control and overrun Kyiv in a few days; this has turned out to be a "miscalculation" downplaying the capabilities of the Ukrainian military and the resistance of the Ukrainian leadership and people. The Baltic region countries seek further NATO and US engagement ("forward defense posture") not to allow Russia to "miscalculate" again by making it aware of the grave costs of an invasion.
(Fellow, The International Centre for Defence and Security, Estonia)
- April 2023, "Changing NATO's "Achilles Heel"—Security in the Baltic Region" by Sanshiro Hosaka, Fellow,The International Centre for Defence and Security, Estonia
- April 2023, Evolution of European Security System - Visualization of Deterrence by NATO and the "Russian Problem" by Michito Tsuruoka, Associate Professor, Keio University
- April 2023, "An Expanded NATO's Nuclear Strategy" by Yoko Iwama
- March, 2023, "Germany's Civilian Power Model—Modification or Termination?--Germany Struggling with the War in Ukraine" by Toshiya Nakamura, Professor, Nagoya University
- March, 2023, "France and the Ukraine War―The Logic Behind Macron's Security Policy" by Ken Endo, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- March, 2023, "The Russo-Ukrainian War and the British Response: 2014-2023" by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- March, 2023, "Where is America Heading—Implications and Challenges for the Allies" by Koji Murata, Professor, Doshisha University
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- August 2021, "Easternization and Security in Asia" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- July 2021, "The Ideas of "Autonomy" and "Self-Reliance" in Contemporary India's Foreign Strategy" written by Kazutoshi TAMARI, Associate Professor,Chukyo University.
- July 2021, "Thailand's Security Policies and Threat Perceptions" written by Saya Kiba, Associate Professor, Komatsu University, Faculty of Intercultural Communication.
- July 2021, "Myanmar's Security Perceptions and the February 1 Coup d'Etat" written by Yoshihiro Nakanishi, Associate Professor, Kyoto University.
- July 2021, "Australia's Security Perceptions and the "Asia Threat"" written byTomohiko Satake, Senior Fellow, Defense Policy Division, Policy Studies Department, NIDS .
- June 2021, "The Indo-Pacific Regional Architecture: Its Future--- Multipolar Order Beyond US-China Relations ---" by Tsutomu Kikuchi, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
- June 2021, "The Quad Plus in the Security of Asia: Its Significance and Outlook" by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- June 2021, "Indonesian Views and Perceptions on National Security" by Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, The Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University
- June 2021, "Normalized Tensions in the Cross-Strait Relations--- Structural Changes in Taiwanese Society and the Xi Jinping Administration's Strategic Shift ---" by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- June 2021, "China's Maritime Strategy and Responses of the United States and Japan" by Yoji Koda, Former Commander in Chief, Self Defense Fleet
- June 2021, "The South China Issues from the Perspective of the International Law Order",by Shigeki Sakamoto, Emeritus Professor, Kobe University
- May 2021, "Indonesian Views and Perceptions on National Security" by Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, Kyushu University
- May, 2021, "The Philippine Foreign and Security Policy Perspective" written by Yusuke Takagi Associate Professor,National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- May, 2021, "Vietnam's Security: Challenges and Responses" written by Tomotaka Shoji Head, Asia and Africa Division, Regional Studies Department, National Institute for Defense Studies
- March, 2021, "Can the Biden Administration Restore America as a Global Leader?" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, the National Defense Academy of Japan.
- March, 2021, "The Biden Administration and Japan's Security Strategy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- February,2021, "US Foreign and Security Policy Direction Viewed from the Biden Administration's Lineup" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- February,2021, "Trade Policies of the Biden Administration" written by Takaaki Asano, Senior Analyst, Sumitomo Corporation Global Research Co. Ltd.
- February,2021, "The Biden Administration's Policy toward Russia" written by Taisuke Abiru, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January,2021, "Will US Policy Toward China Change?" lectured by Ryo Sahashi, Associate Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January,2021, "How will China View the Biden Administration?" written by Bonji Ohara, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January,2021, "An Assessment of the 2020 US Presidential Election－American Democracy Now－" lectured by Fumiaki Kubo, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January,2021, "Two Trumpian Mysteries－Why did Trump win over 70 million votes? Why is his outrageous behavior unchecked?－" lectured by Kazuhiro Maeshima, Professor, Sophia University
- September, 2020, "The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and Internationa Relationsl" by Matake Kamiya, Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
- September, 2020, "The Policy Agenda for the Xi Jinping Administration- COVID-19 Countermeasures and China's International Relations -" by Shin Kawashima, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- "Control in the United States and International Relations" by Koji Murata, Professor, Doshisha University
- September, 2020, "The EU's Response to COVID-19 and International Relations" by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- August, 2020, "The Corona Crisis Seen from a Macroeconomic Perspective" written by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
- August, 2020, "The Coronavirus Pandemic and Japan's Infectious Disease Control" written by Takashi Mihara, Senior Research Fellow, NLI Research Institute
- August, 2020, "Infectious Disease Crisis Control in Japan- Recommendations on an Exit Strategy -" written by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor, Hosei University
- August, 2020, "Security against Infectious Disease Threats --- Policy Responses Abroad" written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- June 2020,"Transformation of the International Order in the Middle East--- Varying Degrees of "Stateness" and Three Directions of the New Order" written by Satoshi Ikeuchi, Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
- June 2020,"Destabilization in the Middle East and its Impacts on Japan's Energy Security" written by Amane Kobayashi, Research Fellow, The Institute of Energy Economics
- May 2020: Urgent Recommendations "Toward a V-shaped Recovery after the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic "Coronavirus Testing for All" --- the First Step of the Next Phase"
- May 2020: "US Diplomacy toward Iran: Economic Sanctions as a Diplomatic Tool" Hiroki Sugita Columnist, Kyodo News
- "Russian Factors in the Middle East" Taisuke Abiru Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- "The SDF Dispatches to the Middle East --- History and Significance" Ippeita Nishida Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Space and Security" Kazuto Suzuki Professor, Hokkaido University
- March 2020, "The US Security Space Policy --- With a Focus on the Establishment of Two Space Forces" Yasuhito Fukushima Chief Researcher, The National Institute for Defense Studies
- March 2020, "China's Recent Activities in Space and Cyberspace" Bonji Ohara Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Environmental Security and Japan" Takashi Sekiyama Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- March 2020, "Changes in Global Environment and Security --- US Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
- February 2020, "Cyberspace Security" Motohiro Tsuchiya Professor, Keio University
- February 2020, "Japan's Space and Cyberspace Policy" Yukinari Hirose Former President of the National Institute for Defense Studies
- December 2019, "The US-China Confrontation --- Where Will Hegemony Reside Next?" Akio Takahara Professor, the University of Tokyo
- December 2019, "Challenges Facing the Chinese Economy" Osamu Tanaka Chief Senior Researcher, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
- December 2019, "US Strategic Perception on China: Implications for US Allied Partners" Tsuneo Watanabe Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- November 2019, "The Xi Jinping Administration's View of the International Order– China's emphasis on United Nations diplomacy and liberal economic policies−" Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- November 2019, "The Future of China's Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- November 2019, "China --- Its Confidence and Anxiety" Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- August 2019: Several Perspectives on the Korean Peninsula Issue--- The Deteriorating Japan-South Korea Relationship and the Uncertain Denuclearization of North Korea --- By Masahiro Akiyama Chairman, the SSDP
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea--- What is the Stance of North Korea?---", Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea --- How will the US move?", Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2019, "Discussion on Denuclearization of North Korea", SSDP Discussion Meeting on May 8, 2019
- May 2019: "Current Status and Prospects of South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History: How to address the Judicial Problems", Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- May 2019: "South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History" (Comments), Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- May 2019: Japan and South Korea Relationships (Question & Answer)
- March 2019: "The Present State and Prospects of the Indian Economy and Economic Policies" written by Koji Kobayashi, Senior Economist Mizuho Research Institute Ltd.
- March 2019: "The "Modi diplomacy" in the History of Indian diplomacy--- Departure from or maintenance of the traditional diplomacy? ---" written by Toru Ito, The National Defense Academy of Japan
- February 2019: Dynamics of Indian Politics and the 2019 General Elections, written by Chiharu Takenaka, Professor of Rikkyo University
- February 2019: "Cooperative Strategy" to Realize "Competitive Strategy"--- The composite structure of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision) ---, written by Matake Kamiya, Professor at The National Defense Academy of Japan
- January 2019:, A paper, "How will the US midterm elections results affect the Trump administration's foreign policy for 2019?" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2019:, A paper, "The Present and Future of the International Trade Order" , written by Akihiko Tamura, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- December 2018: The US-China Competition and Japan, written by Ryo Sahashi, Professor at Kanagawa University
- December 2018: An Outlook for the US-China Trade War―What makes the two economically interdependent superpowers confront each other?―, written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate professor at Toyo University
- September 2018: Proposal, "The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Restoration of Peace in the Korean Peninsula― Correct Perceptions and Eight Proposals on Japan's North Korea Diplomacy－" edited by the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- September 2018: "The Taiwan Policy of the Xi Jinping Administration in its Second Term: An Outlook on Cross-Strait Relations in the New Era" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor of the Tokyo University
- July 2018: "The EU States and Russia on North Korea Issues- Expansion of Influence through Diplomacy: Attempts and Limitations -" lectured by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of Keio University
- "An Assessment of the US-North Korea Summit and an Outlook for the Future of the Korean Peninsula" lectured by Junya Nishino, Professor of Keio University
- "Korean Peninsula Issue and Japan's Future Security Policy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2018: "US North Korea policy affected by personnel changes in the Trump administration" lectured by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- "China-North Korea relationship under Xi Jinping" lectured by Shin Kawashima, Professor of the Tokyo University.
- "North Korean Denuclearization and Russia" lectured by Nobuo Shimotomai, Professor of the Hosei University.
- March 2018: "The Network Hegemony Theory for a Security Architecture in The Asia Pacific Region" lectured by Masahiro Akiyama, Chairman, the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- January 2018: "A Destabilized Middle East" lectured by Koichiro Tanaka, Professor, Keio University
- December 2017: "Problems in Sino-Japanese Relations, 1992-2042" lectured by Ezra F. Vogel, Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University
- November 2017: "The Future of the Asia-Pacific Region" written by Yoriko Kawaguchi, Fellow, the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, Former Minister Foreign Affairs
- October 2017: "A New Trend in India's Foreign Policy and Japan" Written by HIROSE,Takako, Professor, Senshu University
- August 2017: "The Shocks that shook the Transatlantic World and their Implication for Japan's Foreign Policy" written by HOSOYA, Yuichi, Professor, Keio University
- August 2017: "Does Economic Interdependence not Encourage Collaboration? ―Thinking Japan-China Relations from an Economic Perspective―" written by Takashi SEKIYAMA, Ph.D., Toyo University
- July 2017: Proposal article "The Trump Administration's Impact on the Cross-Strait Relations" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Ph.D.
- June 2017: Proposal article "The outlook for the relationship between two great powers and implications for Japanese diplomacy" written by Professor Shin Kawashima
- May 2017: (Emergency Proposal) Facing the Inconvenient Truth: Re-examining Policy for Peace and Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (Chief author, Masao Okonogi)
- March 2017: "Economic Influences of the Trump Administration" written by Professor Motoshige Ito
- February, 2017: Proposal article "Trump's Foreign and Security Policy - Unpredictable President, Realistic Secretaries - " written by Mr. Tsuneo Watanabe is posted on the website of SSDP.
- December, 2016: Proposal article "Reconsidering North Korea Policy: How to Deal with a Nuclear Armed Divided States" written by Professor Masao Okonogi is posted on the website of SSDP.
- Japan-Korea Political Leaders Dialogue was held on February 10th,2023 at International House of Japan
- March 2022, A remembrance seminar "Remembering Professor Ezra Vogel" held on January 17, 2022
- March 2021, Japan-ROK Parliamentary Dialogue -Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Era of US-China Competition- held on March 11, 2021
- December 2020: The report of the Japan-ROK Future Dialogue held on November 21 to discuss "Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Post-Covid-19 Era
- October 2020: "Responses to COVID-19 and Agendas for the Post-COVID-19 Era", A Brief Overview of the Japan-Korea Experts Dialogue held on July 29,30, 2020
- October 2020: "The China-Taiwan Confrontation over Corona Response and Taiwan's Security" written by Makoto Ogata, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- May 2020: "Rivalries in the Middle East in New Security Dynamics", Written by Sayed Ghoneim, Major General (retired) of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Chairman, Institute for Global Security & Defence Affairs
- March 2020: The Japan-South Korea Relationship in a Cul-de-Sac--- Where is an Exit ? Masao Okonogi Professor Emeritus, Keio Universit
- December 2019: The Hong Kong Upheaval and the Future of Cross-Straits Relations－The 2019 Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue Report OGATA, Makoto Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- August 2019: Report; 2019 FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE --Sustainable Prosperity and Future of Korea-U.S.-Japan Cooperation-- By Future Consensus Institute (Yeosijae)
- June 2019: Report on India – Japan Security Dialogue 2019 by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D Student, The University of Tokyo
June 2019: Four papers on Japan-India Cooperation submitted to India-Japan Security Dialogue 2019
Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
The Significance and Possibilities of India-Japan Cooperation in the Concept of the Indo-Pacific
Toru ITO Associate Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
Japan-India Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context - Operationalizing the Security Aspect of the Indo-Pacific Vision –
Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
India-US-Japan Defense Cooperation: What's next?
Dr. Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute
- Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
- November 2018: "The Present State of the Japanese Economy and Policy Issues" lectured by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo.
- November 2018: "Expanding Social Security Expenses and Fiscal Reforms" lectured by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor at Hosei University.
- September 2018: "Taiwan Identity and Cross-Strait Relations and Trump's Taiwan Policy and the Future of Taiwan-US Relations-Discussion at The Second Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue (June 21, 2018, Taipei)-" written by OGATA, Makoto
- September 2018: "Japan-Taiwan Dialogue 2018 Minutes", 21st June 2018, Taipei, Taiwan.
- July 2018: Report on The Second Japan – Philippines Strategic Dialogue prepared by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D. Student, Graduate School of Public Policy, Tokyo University.
- May 2018: "Civilian Control "at Crisis"? – Perhaps Not, for the Case of the Field Sit-reps from SDF's South Sudan Mission" reported by Ippeita Nishida, Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2018: "Fukushima, Genki？Project－Young Taiwanese volunteers introduce the facts on Fukushima's revival through documentary films－" reported by OGATA, Makoto, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- December 2017: "Commemorating a Quarter Century of Dispatches of the JSDF's PKO Units: Challenges and Possibilities in the Post South Sudan" written by Takayuki Shoji, Lecturer, Nihon University
- November 2017: "19th CCP National Congress" written by Mr. Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Fondation
- October 2017: "What is Japan's Role in the Indo-China border conflict?" written by Dr. NGAO,Satoru, Research Fellow, Institute for Future Engineering
- July 2017: "Overview of the Current Situation in Taiwan-" the Naturally Independent Generation" will affect the Taiwan"s politics-" written by Makoto Ogata MGE.(Ret.)
- June 2017: "Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue" written by Mr.Takaaki Asano
- March 2017: "The Japan-Philippines Strategic Dialogue" written by Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi
- February, 2017: Current topic "The Importance of Japan's Security Role Under Trump" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao is posted on the SSDP website.
- December, 2016: Current topic "Widening Security Task: Will SDF do the Job?" written by Mr. Ippeita Nishida is posted on the SSDP website.
- March 2023,Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no1" (What Will Happen to European Security?―Facing the War in Ukraine) in English edition was published.
- January 2023, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 4)" - Defending Our Country – Defense Policy in a "New Cold War Era - was published.
- October 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 3)" - Xi Jinping's China - Politics, Economy, Society and Diplomacy - was published.
- Jun 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 2)" -The Russia-Ukraine War and Its Global Impact- was published.
- March 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 1)"-What is Economic Security?- was published.
- December 2021, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 3 no 4)"-Korean Peninsula Situation- was published.
- September 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no03" -Asia's Security II- (English edition)
- June 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no02" -Asia's Security I- (English edition)
- March 2021: Research journal "Security Studies (vol3 no1) "- US Foreign Policy in the Biden Administration / The 2020 US Presidential Election and American Democracy -(English edition)
- December 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no4) "- Normalize Japan-South Korea Relations trough Dialogues -(English edition)
- September 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no3) "-The Novel Coronavirus and Security-(English edition)
- July 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no2) - Middle East Situation and Japan's Security - " (English edition) was published
- May 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no1) - Cyber, Space, Environment and Security - " March 2020 (English edition)
- February 2020, "A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no4) " (English edition)"
- September 2019: A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no3) " (English edition)
- August 2019: Korea-Japan Joint Seminar: FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE
- April 2019: "Security Studies (vol1 no2) April 2019"
- March 2019: A research journal "Security Studies vol1 no01" just published
- February 2019: The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Takeshima Issue
- December 2018: Former Vice Defense Minister Masahiro Akiyama's Memoirs (An Ad)
- November 2018: Participation in the Future Consensus Forum held in Beijing
- September 2018: "2018 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue" reported by Masahiro Akiyama
- 2017 December: "The Butterfly Project-A possibility of showing a solution to the North Korea problem-"
- October 2017: Campaign on the problems with North Korea
- August 2017: A New Containment Policy Strategy
- June 2017: Korean peninsla
- March 2017: President Duterte
- February, 2017: Kazakhstan
- November, 2016: Participated in Astana Club 2016 held in Kazakhstan on November 14- 16, 2016.