Should the U.S. Consider a Belarusian Defense Relationship?

Abstract: Belarus has long been perceived by the United States as a client state of Russia. Signs that President Lukashenko sought to normalize relationships with the U.S. and NATO through more neutral defense posturing seems to be quickly reversing. The fallout from the Belarusian election and mass government crackdown has caused an unstable domestic situation that now threatens Eastern European security. Russia is now intervening on behalf of its own national security interests to administer control of the region and ensure its strongest military ally does not cede to the West. The United States must now explore options to either normalize the Belarusian-U.S. defense relationship, or risk the territory being in complete Russian control, further changing the security implications and defense posture in Eastern Europe. The following article explores how the United States can still seek options to normalize the Belarusian-U.S. defense relationship amid domestic tensions as a way to work in solidarity with European partners, deliberately extend the competitive posture in Eastern Europe, and reaffirm the U.S. security guarantees for its European allies.

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