Due to Russia’s continuous malicious actions against the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, as well as its ongoing war against Ukraine, most European countries have recently been forced to take a critical look at their national defense strategies and military capabilities. These reviews unearthed serious capability gaps, resulting in the emergence of so-called total defense strategies based on peacetime social resilience and war time resistance. This article focuses on resistance, arguing that the current manifestations of such a strategy do not ensure maximum results for the countries because their fundamental characteristics and principles were derived from cases that are limited in spatial and temporal scope. The article suggests that lessons must be also learned from recent experiences such as the Chechen resistance against Russia, Hezbollah’s fight against Israel, the Iraqi and Taliban insurgencies, the Syrian insurgency, and other similar cases. This article offers a starting point for identifying such critical lessons by analyzing the First Russo-Chechen War through a research model built on the common principles of Mao Zedong, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, and General Vo Nguyen Giap.
This paper will discuss the Resistance Operating Concept and how nations should prepare to resist a potential enemy before an invasion takes place. Oriented towards the self-defense of small countries by a resistance or partisan force, it describes past examples of resistance groups in Europe. Specifically, by discussing the long-term survival of resilient organizations, its focus will be on the basic factors crucial for an underground resistance, including security, organization, and training. It also considers the need for a practitioner-oriented manual that can be disseminated at the widest levels to guide and enable future resistance operations.
In response to the power redistribution in the international system, the United States prepares for long-term Great power competition. It is aiming at strengthening America’s network of alliances and partnerships in order to counter a rising China and revisionist Russia. The other states react to greater or lesser extent to the changing constraints and opportunities in the international system. The article examines how Lithuania, being a small state that belongs to the North Atlantic Alliance, is adapting to these systemic pressures. Current NATO’s deterrence posture in the Baltic region is something akin to deterrence by the assured response – NATO is sending a signal that if the Russians attacked, NATO would respond in the Baltics. Lithuania, as well as other Baltic countries, has undertaken many legal, procedural, financial and technical measures to boost resilience and deterrence. However, there are not enough national or NATO military forces that would be able to counter conventional Russian forces deployed in the region. There are challenges such as air defence and control of the Baltic Sea. Also land forces are not present in adequate quantities. As a result, Lithuania has to strengthen its own capabilities with the help of the allied countries. It argued in the article that building up a total defence system in Lithuania would be a right effort in this regard.
This article explores how comprehensive defence has been introduced in Latvia, and focuses on society’s involvement and tasks in the state defence. This approach envisages a significant change in society’s relationship with the armed forces and state defence. Differently from many other countries, Latvia maintains its system without introducing conscription and instead puts efforts towards youth education in defence. Additionally, the Ministry of Defence involves different society groups and NGOs in defining their role in state defence. This article also discusses the concepts of resistance and non-collaboration as part of comprehensive defence.