NATO Must Shore Up Control of a Key Maritime Chokepoint

Defense One – One of NATO’s geographic advantages—control of the lands around a key maritime chokepoint—may be in peril. For decades, alliance forces have used nearby bases to keep tabs on Russian submarines, surface ships, and aircraft transiting the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom, or GIUK, Gap, which consists of a 200-mile stretch of ocean between Greenland and Iceland and a 500-mile gap between Iceland and Scotland. But strong independence movements in Greenland, the Faroe Islands southeast of Iceland, and Scotland could soon jeopardize this position. 

Why NATO Needs a Standing Maritime Group in the Arctic

CIMSEC – Since the Cold War, the U.S. has maintained a steady presence in the Arctic—specifically the European Arctic, or High North—primarily through nuclear submarine deployments while relying on NATO allies in the region for logistical support. However, melting ice caps, an increase in commercial maritime activity, and ongoing territorial disputes necessitate stronger NATO cooperation in the region to achieve a deterrence posture against Russia and safeguard maritime security. Deterring Russian aggression is important in all European bodies of water, and the Arctic will increasingly face the same maritime security issues as other parts of the world, including illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by China and the movement of migrants and refugees by sea.