The Arctic: One Region, One Commander
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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With the release of its new Arctic Region Policy ARP, the US has taken its first steps toward engaging in the Arctic in a comprehensive way. This paper examines the current US Geographic Combatant Command GCC construct in the Arctic, including its command and control C2 structure and physical and geopolitical seams, and suggests how it could be better structured to support US strategic objectives in the Arctic and the new US ARP. The paper also examines which GCC, one of the three existing GCCs or a new stand-alone GCC, would be the best choice. Assigning USNORTHCOM as the single Arctic GCC would provide clearer lines of authority, reduce the physical C2 seams now present, and allow the CCDR to better synchronize his military efforts with non-military efforts ongoing in the Arctic, without militarizing US foreign policy in the Arctic. It would be a significant second step toward communicating to internal and external audiences that the Arctic is strategically important to the US. Finally, the paper draws the conclusion that the US cannot go it alone to secure its interests in the Arctic, but needs to leverage the capabilities of other Arctic nations to serve collective common interests and avoid duplicating effort.
- Government and Political Science
- Radio Communications