NATO’s War Plans For The High North. The Militarization of the Arctic; Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea

Posted: January 21, 2013 in News, war
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Since the beginning of the year [2009] the United States and NATO have repeatedly indicated in both word and deed their intention to lay claim to and extend their military presence in what they refer to as the High North: The Arctic Circle and the waters connecting with it, the Barents and the Norwegian Seas, as well as the Baltic.

Washington issued National Security Presidential Directive 66 on January 12, 2009 which includes the bellicose claim that “The United States has broad and fundamental national security interests in the Arctic region [which] include such matters as missile defense and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sealift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence, and maritime security operations.” [1] Later in the same month the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] held a two-day Seminar on Security Prospects in the High North in the capital of Iceland attended by the bloc’s secretary general and its top military commanders.

This coordinated initiative has been covered in a previous article in this series [2] and plans by the West to encroach on Arctic territory and confront Russia in the western region of the ocean have been addressed in another. [3]

Over the past month efforts by NATO member states, individually and collectively, to increase their military presence and warfighting ability in the High North have accelerated dramatically.

Sweden: NATO’s Testing Ground And Battleground

The alarming and aggressive campaign is exemplified by the ongoing 10-day Loyal Arrow 2009 NATO military exercises being conducted in Sweden, described by a major American daily newspaper as “A NATO rapid-reaction force…on a war footing in Swedish Lapland” which consists of “Ten countries, 2,000 troops, a strike aircraft carrier, and 50 fighter jets –  including the US Air Force’s F-15 Eagle…participating in war games near contested Arctic territories.”

The same source reflects that “Choosing this place for war games reflects the growing strategic importance of the Arctic, which is estimated to contain a quarter of the Earth’s oil and gas….” [4]

A NATO website offers these details:

“Ten NATO and non-NATO nations will participate in the live flying exercise LAW 09 in Sweden from 8 to 18 June 2009. Some 50 fast jets, which will be based at Norrbotten Wing, Sweden will participate in the exercise. The aim of the exercise is to train units and selected parts of the NATO Response Force Joint Force Air Component Headquarters in the coordination and conduct of air operations. Additionally, NATO Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS) aircraft, as well as other transport aircraft and helicopters, will support the exercise. Some of the participating units will be flying in from bases in Norway and Finland.

“The exercise is based upon a fictitious scenario. Within this scenario, elements of the NATO Response Force (NRF)…will be deployed to a theatre of operations. The NRF was created to provide the Alliance with an effective tool to face the new security threats of the 21st century. It is a rapidly deployable, multinational and joint force with modern equipment able to carry out the full range of Alliance missions whenever and wherever needed, as tasked by the North Atlantic Council.

“About 800-900 troops from Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey and the United States as well as NATO’s airborne early warning component will participate.” [5]

Read the full report via the Centre for research on Globalization.

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