Accession Number : AD1015818

Title :   Trouble in NIFLHEIM Elements of a NATO Arctic Strategy

Descriptive Note : Technical Report

Corporate Author : Air University Maxwell Air Force Base United States

Personal Author(s) : Behrens,Mikkel N

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Jun 2015

Pagination or Media Count : 125

Abstract : NATO needs an Arctic strategy, due to the increased military significance of the Arctic. This study investigates the military significance of the Arctic by examining the Arctic context, and elements conferring military significance to the Arctic, as well as examination of geostrategic projections of the Arctic future and conflict potential. Based on this the ramifications for the NATO alliance are argued and a strategy for a return of the NATO alliance to the Arctic is recommended. The first chapter analyses the context, the Arctic as a regional security complex, the physical changes, lucrative economic opportunities by access to vast natural resources and new shipping lanes in the Arctic, as well as the technical and political challenges. The second chapter argues the military significance, by analysis of four factors: deteriorated NATO-Russia relations, changes in the Arctic environment, technologies enabling access to the Arctic, and increased Russian military presence. The third chapter lays out projections of the future Arctic, by analysis of geostrategic views of the future Arctic and conflict potential. The fourth chapter shows NATOs lack of strategy in the Arctic and declined military capability. A strategy for continued advantage in the Arctic, based on containment and restrained tit-for-tat cooperation with Russia is recommended. This based on three specific elements: geostrategic control, deterrence, and cooperation. The Arctic is changing, and mitigating risk of conflict with Russia is a challenge to the NATO alliance. A new NATO strategy for the Arctic, as argued in this study, can ensure continued advantage and stable relations with Russia.

Descriptors :   arctic regions , international organizations , marine transportation , military operations , international relations , Russia , NATO , naval operations , agreements , cold war , treaties , national security

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE