STRUGGLE IN THE HIGH NORTH: USMC IN NORWAY AND THE CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN ROLES, MISSIONS, AND DETERRENCE AMID GREAT POWER COMPETITION
Lang, Alex M.
Russell, James A.
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While climate change continues to reduce Arctic ice coverage, Russia’s expanding Arctic territorial claims and military buildup raise security concerns for Arctic states, specifically Norway, and have renewed NATO’s interest in the region. The Marine Corps has a longstanding role in the High North of Norway, contributing to the deterrence of Soviet aggression during the Cold War. During the same period, the Marine Corps balanced its additional rapid deployment requirements by increasing interoperability with Norway through annual exercises and pre-staging equipment for a quicker response capability. Currently, the Marine Corps is undergoing a deliberate shift to a maritime force focused on the Indo-Pacific amid great power competition with China. This thesis explores the Marine Corps’ future role in collective defense against Russia via NATO and its relationship with Norway. The research considered Russian and NATO interests in the Arctic and how lessons from the Marine Corps’ historic balancing of requirements of the Cold War apply toward emerging challenges. This thesis recommends utilizing aspects of the Marine Corps’ future operating concept to strengthen Norway’s and, by extension, NATO’s ability to deter Russian aggression in the High North.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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