“The Baltic States, NATO, and Russia”
Ron McMullen, currently the University of Iowa’s Ambassador-in-Residence, served as U.S. Ambassador to Eritrea. Ron has over 30 years of diplomatic experience and has lived, worked, or traveled in over 100 countries. In Burma he worked closely with Aung San Suu Kyi and pro-democracy groups. He helped prevent civil conflict in Fiji. He was shot at in Sri Lanka, and helped train mongooses to detect heroin. He took Hillary Clinton on a tour of South Africa’s Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. Amidst his foreign assignments, Ron served for three years as Visiting Professor at the Military Academy at West Point, where he taught International Relations and Comparative Politics. He was Diplomat-In-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin from 2010 to 2012. He has
authored many scholarly works and is a three-time recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. A native of Northwood, Iowa, he earned his doctorate in Political Science from the University of Iowa.
The Baltic states – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia – each contain large ethnic Russian minorities, share a border with Russia,
and are highly susceptible to Russian influence through media and money. These factors transform the Baltics into today’s front-line against Russian aggression. The presence of NATO forces within the Baltic states is both misunderstood by the public and contested by regional politics, yet NATO is essential to the security of the Western border against Russian expansionism.