Publication:
IRREGULAR WARFARE IN THE HIGH NORTH

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Authors
Heinola, Antti J.
Subjects
High North
Arctic
irregular warfare
special forces
Russia
Finland
Norway
Sweden
Advisors
McCormick, Gordon H.
Date of Issue
2022-12
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The strategic importance of the High North––defined in this thesis as the Arctic areas of Finland, Norway, and Sweden––is increasing. Previous research on the region focuses on assessing the often-competing interests of different nations in the High North. From a military perspective, with an emphasis on irregular warfare, this study considers how an irregular warfare approach to defending against a Russian offensive in the High North might unfold. Using data collected from various sources, the study adopts a heuristic methodology. Sources credibility has been verified by thorough searches for conflicting information and differing points of view. The analysis is conducted using historical, environmental, and doctrinal data. Based on the analysis, the thesis addresses the question: What is the most effective way to deter, or if deterrence fails, to counter a Russian offensive using irregular warfare supported by conventional capabilities in the High North? As Russian offensive doctrine is best defeated by irregular approach under some circumstances, an irregular defense and counterattack can provide an effective response if Russia chooses an irregular approach. The study finds that irregular warfare conducted by small, maneuverable units provides an effective solution to the challenge of campaigning against an aggressor in the High North. The thesis recommends developing requirements for logistics, manpower, and command and control for irregular warfare in the High North.
Type
Thesis
Description
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Department
Defense Analysis (DA)
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Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
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Copyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
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