NATO Considers the revival of the Arctic and Atlantic command

U.S. Navy safety swimmers stand on the deck of the Virginia class submarine USS New Hampshire after it surfaced through thin ice during exercises underneath ice in the Arctic Ocean north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson.

BRUSSELS—The North Atlantic Treaty Organization may revive a Cold War naval command to counter Moscow’s increased submarine activity in the Arctic and protect Atlantic sea lanes in the event of a conflict, according to allied diplomats and officials briefed on the planning work.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this week in Brussels, the generals of the NATO countries, including the Chairman of chiefs of staff of the Armed forces of the United States Joseph Dunford, attended a briefing in which the option to re-introduce the post of the Supreme commander of allied forces in the Atlantic was considered.

Military experts agree that the burden of responsibility for the security of the Arctic region is increasingly falling to the United States Navy, due to the reduction of NATO’s capabilities for monitoring the region.

“We need to consider the potential threats from any direction, including the North Atlantic and the Arctic,” — said the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Peter Paul.

On 28 March the head of the European command of the Armed forces of the U.S. General Curtis Scaparrotti said that Russia has turned from a partner of the US to antagonist.

He stressed the importance of implementing a strategy of containment against Russia. “In response to Russian aggression we must strengthen our relationships with our partners, including the Baltic States, Turkey and Ukraine”, — said Scaparotti.

Original post By Julian E. Barnes, the Wall Street Journal.

4 responses to “NATO Considers the revival of the Arctic and Atlantic command

  1. So NATO has lost the capability to monitor the region, it sounds like NATO has fallen asleep! Did they really think the Soviets wouldn’t use the northern routes in an attack even though Britain was sending Canberras across the North Pole in the 50s to spy on Russia. Had it suddenly become ‘out of bounds’?

    • Exactly that Andy. The preferred flight of ICBMs in the Cold War would have been over the Arctic. NATO has definitely taken it’s eye off the ball here, and while they’ve been playing catch-up by shoring up the Eastern Flank in Poland, the Baltic States and Romania, they have neglected to notice that Russia has been militarising the Arctic. Canada’s armed forces can barely patrol their own borders, let alone the Arctic. The U.S. has forces stationed in Alaska but little in the high-north, and Norway and Denmark and similarly disposed. Things are changing though. The dire situation has been noticed by EUCOM and Gen. Scaparotti is intending to re-dress the balance. The U.S. Marines are in Norway now and it has the Russian’s spooked. Thanks for your comment as always.

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