The full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces changed Europe overnight. Still, questions remain about what would happen if Vladimir Putin decided to invade a neighboring NATO country, such as one of the three Baltic States. Ultimately, though, the essential nature of that scenario can be understood by looking at a map. The region’s geography tends to favor Russia and put outsiders wanting to deter it at a disadvantage. This, in turn, leaves frontline states vulnerable to the violation of their sovereignties. Recent events have made this even more true. Given the creeping omnipresence of Russia in Eastern Europe, the geography of the region also makes it clear that any defense of the Baltic States, Poland, and/or Romania will be waged primarily by the U.S. Army and Air Force, with the Sea Services locked out by various strategic chokepoints. I have written more on this subject here.
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