Ever since Russia seized control of Crimea in late February 2014, the U.S.’ and NATO’s attention has been on the threats posed by Russian forces to the territorial integrity of the Alliance. For years, experts on Russia’s foreign and security policies have warned that Moscow has a strategy to exert control over much of the Arctic and exploit its vast resources. For more than a decade, the Kremlin has been engaged in a sophisticated, multi-faceted campaign that employs a wide range of diplomatic, legal, economic and military tools to assert and even expand its claims to the Arctic. Moscow has repeatedly sought to get international recognition for its claims to vast swathes of the Arctic, often without evidence and using the flimsiest of legal arguments. NATO and the U.S. need to make it clear that they will contest the Kremlin’s efforts to dominate the Arctic. I have written commentary on this topic for RealClearDefense here.
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