Defending Norway and the Northern Flank: analysis of NATO's strategic options
Mahon, Michael Kevin.
Parker, Patrick J.
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The purpose of this thesis was to determine an appropriate strategy for the defense of NATO's Northern Flank. If NATO fails to successfully defend this Flank, its vital North Atlantic SLOCS will be severly threatened and the rear of the Central Front will be exposed to attack from the sea. Norway's strategic location makes it the key to the defense of the region. Deterrence, the defense of Norway, and the protection of the Atlantic SLOCS are the fundamental goals of NATO in the region. Under current conditions NATO must meet two basic objectives to achieve these goals--the Alliance must provide reinforcements to Norway very early in a crisis and it must control the Norwegian Sea to maintain the war effort after the outbreak of hostilities. Four strategic options were considered in this analysis: expansion of deterrence, increased prepositioning, a defensive barrier, and forward defense. Of the four strategies, forward defense is recommended because it is the only strategy that adequately addresses the basic objectives
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