With the warming of the polar icecap, once-frozen waters are now becoming sea lanes and potential attack routes, creating dramatic new security dangers for North America. Russia and China are brazenly encroaching on the melting Arctic seeking to exploit the region's vast resources and threatening the American homeland in ways not possible just two decades ago.
Russia, in particular has also reopened abandoned Soviet-era military installations, built new military bases and icebreakers, increased troop presence and military drills, and established advanced radar stations in its vast territory above the Arctic Circle.
However, China is not far behind. It has been increasing its presence in the Arctic as a self -declared "near Arctic" state.
These realities have created a renewed U.S. need to focus military resources and training on fighting in, and defending, the Arctic. This increased warfighting attention includes all the traditional U.S. military services, in addition to Space Force and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard is taking an especially strong interest in the region due to its mission and unique assets such as ice breakers.. However, every service needs to be increasing its expertise and investing in resources and equipment specifically suited for this harsh but critical environment..
Areas of focus include:
Role of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in Arctic defense.
Role of Air Force and Army in Arctic warfighting.
Unique challenges of Arctic domain -satellite communications, weather and other environmental challenges.
China's increasing role in the Arctic
Russia's offensive and defensive motivations and capabilities in the Arctic
The U.S Coast Guard's increasing role in Arctic
Role of NATO allies in Arctic defense
The warming of the Arctic has created a renewed U.S. need to focus military resources and training on defending and fighting in the Arctic. Russia and China are brazenly encroaching on the melting Arctic seeking to exploit the region's vast resources and threatening the American homeland in ways not possible just two decades ago. To maintain its edge on this critical northern frontier, the U.S. military needs to increase its expertise and investment in Arctic warfighting.