Forward defense – concept, plan, and action for solving russian aggression at Nato's easternd border


  • Iulian CHIFU



forward defense, deterrence, defense by denial, forward posture, extra-territorial engagement, strategic depth.


Forward defense is not a new concept. It is rather traditional, coming from the Cold War and implying, originally, the nuclear posture and strategy. Following the issuance of the Madrid NATO Strategic Concept and Vilnius statement that not an inch of the Alliance’s territory will fall under the control of the opponents, a new approach to forward defense is needed to cope with the multiple shifts in the security environment: Russian war of aggression, the change of technological generation, dilemmas of resources and  apabilities, limits and multiple challenges from the international environment with superposed simultaneous crises. The perspective of possible attacks on NATO territory – in the next 2-3-5-8 years – requires a review of the concept and, consequently, of the political decisions, strategic planning, enforcement of those decisions, and development of forces and capabilities on the ground. Combining nuclear flexible capabilities, a strategy of massive retaliation with conventional forces and deterrence by reinforcement, deterrence by denial, forward presence, rapid projection capabilities, resolution, effective decisionmaking, and forward posture, we could build a new, updated doctrine of forward defense. However, the debate has to consider what is theoretically developed, technically feasible, politically acceptable, financially sustainable, and strategically credible in the „new forward defense” for granting inviolability of allied territory. The basic limitation is to define and refine forward defense without a reconsideration beyond existing means.

Author Biography

Iulian CHIFU


Prof. Dr. Iulian Chifu, is a President of the Center for Conflict Prevention & Early Warning, Romania. Since 2005, he is Associate Professor, National Defense College, Bucharest (Romania), National Defense University „Carol I” and Since 2000, – Associate Professor specialized in Conflict Analysis, Decision making in crisis and the Post-soviet Space with the Department of International Relations, National University for Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest.

In October 2010 – December 2014, Dr Chifu served as a Presidential Counselor, chief of Department of Strategic Affairs and International Security, Romanian Presidency. Among others, his experience also includes Dean of the Political and social sciences, Titu Maiorescu University, Bucharest (2011); Counsellor of the Vice-president of the Romanian Senate for Foreign Policy, Security and Defense, Romanian Senate (2006-2011); Associate Professor, National Intelligence Academy, Bucharest (Romania) (2007-2008), etc.

Dr. Chifu is a Member of the Advisory Board of the Security and Intelligence Studies Magazine for Defence “Infosfera”; Reference Expert on International Relation, European Integration, Decision making in Crisis and Conflict Analysis for the Ashgate Publishing ltd. US – UK; Member of the Consultative Board of the European Centre for Energy and Resources Security EUCERS, King’s College London, as of 2010; Member of Team Europe association of experts on European Affairs, European Commission Delegation, Bucharest, as of 2007; Member of the Board of the Romanian Euro-Atlantic Society, as of October 2006; Member of the Consultative Council of the National Information Community within the Romanian Presidency, as of November 2006; President of CRISMART Romania – Crisis Management Research and Training, international association with main headquarter in Sweden, Uppsala University, Swedish National Defence College, as of 2002

Dr. Chifu conducted several dozen research projects on International relations, security policy and transatlantic relations, decision making in crisis and conflict analysis, published tens of books as author or co-author of collective volumes, as well as numerous articles on security, foreign policy, conflict analysis, decision making in crisis and international relation


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How to Cite

CHIFU, I. (2024). Forward defense – concept, plan, and action for solving russian aggression at Nato’s easternd border. BULLETIN OF "CAROL I" NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY, 13(2), 7–20.