Importance of NATO enhanced Forward Presence for security of Poland and Baltic states
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Wydział Zarządzania Ełk, Wschodnioeuropejska Akademia Nauk Stosowanych Białystok, Polska
Submission date: 2024-01-30
Final revision date: 2024-03-11
Acceptance date: 2024-03-28
Publication date: 2024-03-29
Corresponding author
Krzysztof Dariusz Motacki   

Wydział Zarządzania Ełk, Wschodnioeuropejska Akademia Nauk Stosowanych Białystok, Polska
Bezpieczeństwo Narodowe 2024;44(1)
Summary: NATO’s essential purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of its all members, by political and military means. During the Cold War, it was to protect from the threats emanating from the Soviet Union. After the collapse of Communism, situation changed and possibility of a big war in Europe disappeared. In the following years the Alliance engaged in out-of-area operations around the World. Russian annexation of Crimea, involvement in Donbas and aggression against Ukraine in 2022, changed the security environment in Europe. Collective defence is back again. NATO countries, especially Poland and the Baltic States started to take actions, to increase security on the Eastern Flank of the Alliance. It was reflected in decisions, taken during successive summits, starting in Wales in 2014. Two years later, during the summit in Warsaw in 2016, NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) was accepted. Four battalion size multinational battle groups were deployed to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Additionally, Multinational Division North East Headquarters (MND NE HQ) has been created in Poland. This article shows the eFP establishment, its present status and possible development. Purpose and research methods: The aim of the article is to show the background, present and prospects of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence. The main thesis is as follows - an enhanced Forward Presence plays an important role in deterrence, in the land domain, on NATO's eastern flank. The research process used methods such as: analysis of literature and available documents, and, above all, participant observation of the author, who was responsible for forming and then commanding the Multinational Division North East. Conclusions / recommendations: Trying to increase NATO potential it would be advisable, to start by implementing existing commitments regarding eFP forces. The first step should be to develop battalion battlegroups to the brigade level. Initially, they could be stationed on a rotational basis, as for now. If the brigades are to retain their multinational character, it is important that the combat modules (battalions, squadrons, independent companies) are from a single country. Preparing brigades, divisional units should be prepared in parallel (e.g. artillery, anti-aircraft, logistic regiments, reconnaissance battalions, sappers, and other units). The optimal solution would be to station them in the Baltic countries and Poland. . If they stay in their home countries, plans should be prepared and practiced for their quick transfer to the areas of operational responsiblity. The end state - in the first stage, there in the area, should be at least two fully equipped NATO divisions.
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