July 5, 2022

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New ‘Resilient’ Strategy to Fight China and Russia in the Arctic, Experts Say

The United States “needs resilient people and resilient equipment” to meet mounting security and economic challenges posed by Russia and China, according to a panel of Arctic security experts.

Moscow’s vision of the Far North as “the Russian Mecca” and Beijing’s ambitious Polar Silk Road initiative present economic obstacles to the United States, the experts said.

Speaking Tuesday retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Randy Kee said the Arctic had proven to be a region “where technology is always challenged” by extremes. The severe conditions make military operations “quite demanding and quite challenging.” This remains the case now as temperatures climb and cause sea levels to rise globally, coupled with more violent weather conditions. It also makes the Northern Sea Route, which Russia claims as its own, more attractive as a shipping route to Europe, especially for China. It opens the Arctic to more mineral and natural resource exploration and exploitation, another Chinese goal of diversifying its energy suppliers.

On the security front, Kee, now with the Wilson Center, said the best way to “ameliorate the challenges is through partnership agreements” – such as NATO and NORAD with the Canadians – and keeping an airbase in Thule, Greenland. While he underlined interoperability with partners and the need for investment in research and development, he added, “exercises [are] a critical element … where we stress the force.”

Music: Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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source video: NATO

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