NATO in the Arctic: Keep its role limited for now (War on the Rocks)

Related Thinks provides links to external commentary and blog posts related to the Arctic.

Published by War on the Rocks
12 October 2020
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The adage “Don’t just do something. Stand there!” could easily describe NATO’s policies in the Arctic for the last 30 years. Consequently, the alliance has taken a largely hands-off approach to the region.

Nevertheless, individual NATO members with territory or territorial waters in the Arctic (Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and the United States) have taken the initiative to advance their Arctic interests. Recently, the United States has taken a more assertive role in the region. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out Russian and Chinese Arctic behavior at the May 2019 Arctic Council ministerial meeting, the U.S. Air Force has stationed more fifth-generation fighter planes in Alaska than exist in any other location on the planet, and the U.S. Navy reactivated the Second Fleet with responsibilities for the North Atlantic. The Defense Department and individual services have released, or will release, several Arctic strategies. The U.S. Coast Guard published an Arctic Strategic Outlook in April 2019, followed by an Arctic strategy from the Defense Department in June 2019 and the U.S. Air Force in July 2020. The Navy and Army are expected to follow suit with revised Arctic strategies in late 2020 and 2021 respectively.

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