This piece raises the question I have been asking for the past week in Brussels: can we credibly commit to the defense of the Baltics? Without a permanent NATO (or at least American) presence, is our Article V commitment (an attack upon one is an attack upon all) believable?
The stability-instability paradox is a concept from nuclear deterrence land: that if two sides both have nuclear weapons that can survive a first strike, it might just create deterrence at the strategic level AND free up both sides to engage in violence at lower levels. Sounds just like an air-headed theory that would never happen in reality because, you know, NUKES!*
* To be clear, I have not studied deterrence theory closely since grad school, so I may not have this entirely right, but I am pretty sure I have the basics.