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Why does NATO strengthen its military presence in the Arctic

18.01.2019 13:19

Stasy Dementieff

Electronic Warfare Exercise Ramstein Guard will take place in Norway from 18 to 23 January 2019. According to an official press release from NATO official website this exercise is organized as a part of Multifunctional Electronic Warfare Рrogramme (MFEW) implemented by the US Army since 2015. It is aimed to provide the armed forces with jamming devices capable to suppress not only radiotelephone (mobile and satellite) link but also satellite radio-navigation system signals. It was announced by Colonel Gregory C.Griffin, Joint Regional Security Stack program manager.  

It is also specifies that in recent years the emphasis was placed on two aspects: defensive (jamming devices designed to disturb the signals of remote-controlled IEDs that create a safe zone around personnel and military equipment) and signals intelligence. Twelve week-long exercises within MFEW were planned throughout the last year across NATO nations in order to maintain command, control and information transfer between units to overcome interference that would impact on the Alliance’s ability to detect and monitor veiled threats.

Electronic warfare theme is widely discussed in mass media for a long time. NATO leadership is deeply concerned about their infrastructure of tactical link vulnerability to Russian Electronic warfare strategy. That is why NATO is seeking ways to protect their own communications from more ingenious and stronger opponent.  From the US and its allies point of view, the truth is that Russia is ahead of NATO in many fields, for example, in the development of the Arctic.  

NATO leadership tries to involve neutral countries in confrontation with Russia, in particular Norway, and to turn this Nordic country into a new foothold for their “Arctic games”. Actually, the number of NATO-led exercises in Norway has increased significant. Among them Сold-Response, Dynamic Mongoose, Arctic Challenge, Trident Juncture that is the largest military exercise ever held in the country and finally the upcoming exercise Ramstein Guard.

In this regard, let me remind that in 1992 it was Thorvald Stoltenberg, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and one of the founders of the system of international cooperation in the Arctic, who stated the need for bilateral cooperation between Norway and Russia.   

It seems that his son, NATO Secretary General, has its own views and prefers to conduct a dialogue from a position of strength.  I’d like to stress that Norway doesn’t realize that their country is just a US political instrument used by NATO to strengthen its presence in the Arctic region.