As the Arctic flows into the world’s ocean and maritime economy, U.S. European Command is best suited for its defense.
The most probable emergent threat to northern security emanates from a bolder, resurgent, resource-enriched Russia, currently the most assertive of the Arctic states and intent on leveraging the full economic and strategic potential of its vast northern lands and seas. The Arctic Ocean’s coastal nations are Russia, Norway, Denmark (Greenland), Canada, and the United States. Non-coastal states are Iceland, Finland, and Sweden. Most of these are European, and the non-European Arctic states are NATO members with close historical, cultural, and strategic links to Europe. Only Russia’s far east, Alaska’s southern coasts, and Canada’s far western province of British Columbia abut Pacific waters. For all these reasons, a strong case can be made for U.S. European Command (EUCOM) being best suited for the defense of the Arctic.