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Russia’s A2/AD strategy is a myth

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskning

The paper examines Russia’s sea denial capabilities in the Baltic region. It is often described as if Russia has the ability to close the Baltic Sea for Western navies. This is a vulnerability for NATO because it could be impossible to reinforce the Baltic States in case of a war. However, recent research indicates that the effectiveness of Russia’s so-called A2/AD capabilities is overrated. There are significant weaknesses in Russia’s surveillance and missile technology, and NATO can explore these opportunities.

This paper expands on that argument. It is shown that Russia would face both technical and political obstacles to the establishment of effective sea denial in the Baltic Sea. The technical argument is that Russia does not have the necessary naval or air assets to deny the access of Western navies to the Baltic Sea for very long. The political argument is that it is unsustainable for Russia to block all maritime traffic in the Eastern Baltic, because such a move would be counterproductive and make it less likely that Russia could achieve their political goals.

A short discussion suggests that A2/AD should rather be understood within the framework of layered defense systems. This focus rejects the notion of impenetrable bubbles, and consequently it discredits the idea that Russia intends to use A2/AD as a tool to secure offensive victories.
Publikationsdato9 sep. 2019
StatusUdgivet - 9 sep. 2019
BegivenhedMAST- Northern Coast conference - Bella Centeret, København, Danmark
Varighed: 6 sep. 2019 → …


KonferenceMAST- Northern Coast conference
LokationBella Centeret
Periode06/09/2019 → …

    Forsknings- og udviklingsområder

  • Maritime operationer
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