As a political and military reassurance, a recent NATO exercise in the Baltic region makes sense. But Russia’s real levers of influence over the Baltic states are not military, and NATO may not be the appropriate answer.
Despite the obvious antagonism between Russia and the US, the two states can also cooperate, as the current deal over Syria indicates, especially when Moscow wishes to expand its available strategic options.
Russia’s ability to deploy bombers in Iran for sorties in Syria has less operational significance than either Moscow or Tehran would have us believe. But the geopolitical impact is substantial, both for Russia’s claims to superpower status, and for Iran’s positioning as a pre-eminent regional power.