Atlantic Voices, Volume 6, Issue 04 – April 2016

Deciding to attack an opponent is often the result of a rational choice calculation whereby the gains of attacking would outweigh the associated costs. In order to prevent an attack, building a strong deterrent force is crucial to make the cost of attacking or the cost or retaliation clearly outweigh the potential gains of attacking.  It is based on this idea, and mainly thanks to their nuclear weapons, that the West has been through relatively peaceful times since the end of the Second World War and despite the confrontation with Russia.

In recent years, and even though threatening NATO still risks triggering a nuclear response, Moscow maneuvers on the Alliance’s Eastern front have made the Allies recenter their scope of action back onto themselves. The way Russia is behaving does not seem rational, and it is for that reason that the Alliance must respond with care. At the same time, NATO must respond to the security dilemma Russia created: deterrence must be reinforced.

The first article of this publication focuses on NATO’s deterrence strategy on the Eastern flank of the Alliance, while the second analyses Exercise Trident Juncture, NATO’s largest exercise  since 1998.


  • Deterrence on the Eastern Flank

Mr. Patrick Curran analyzes how deterrence has been a core element of NATO’s strategy during the Cold War but had been put to the side until a few years ago with the worrisome developments to the Alliance’s Eastern Flank.  It appears that despite many efforts, NATO’s deterrence is not yet powerful enough to face a potential attack.

  • Trident Juncture and the Return of Large Scale  Exercises

Mr. Francisco Costa focuses on Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 which marked the return large scale exercises. Outlined in the Wales Declaration, this exercise appears to be the first step of many new initiatives currently being put in place by the Allies and aiming to reinforce the security of the Euro-Atlantic.