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U.S. military told how to get the initiative in the Arctic

Calling the Arctic a complex geopolitical region in the context of “great power competition,” the Pentagon laid out its views on improving the combat readiness and combat readiness of its troops stationed in Alaska and assuming operations in harsh polar conditions.

The document, called “Strategy for Dominance in the Arctic”, describes in detail what should be changed in the military structure to seize the initiative in the circumpolar zone. It touches on the changes that have taken place in the Arctic region in recent years.

In particular, it is noted that as a result of global warming and melting of the ice, huge territories with natural resources in large quantities have been opened. In addition, crossing routes have emerged that allow rapid delivery of goods from Asia to Europe, bypassing the Suez Canal (whose blockage has recently confirmed the vulnerability of this location).

All this, according to the authors of the strategy, points to the need for the U.S. to dominate the Arctic region, which “will preserve peace and prosperity. As Washington will allegedly “suppress territorial disputes between other Arctic countries.”

In addition to the importance attached to Alaska in terms of organizing and carrying out missile defense of the continental U.S., Washington believes that it is very convenient to project military power from here to Russia, which aggressively holds the palm of primacy over the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

According to the Pentagon, our country now unconditionally owns the NSR, having deployed its military bases there, where there are S-400 long-range anti-aircraft missile systems, which are covered by Pantsir-S gun and missile systems and Bastion anti-ship short-range and long-range missile systems.

The presence of these bases in Russia, providing, among other things, comfortable accommodation of personnel in the harshest conditions, according to the U.S. side, makes it impossible for any U.S. army forces to access these areas. That is, in the Arctic, Russia has created the so-called A2/AD — “access denied zone”, which is not to the liking of the Americans, and why they rushed to create various projects to return the competitiveness of their armed forces in the Arctic region.

The essence of the American proposals is that the troops, which are at the disposal of the military command in Alaska, could be trained to act in the Arctic zone, arming them with the corresponding types of “frostproof” equipment. The funniest thing in this document is the call to mobilize the representatives of the armed forces of the local population accustomed to extreme conditions. The authors of the document believe that natives living in Alaska will be able to teach the US military to act properly during harsh winters without exposing themselves to the risk of frostbite and other troubles.

I wonder what the command in Alaska has been doing all this time, the two battle groups stationed in that enclave? It is known that the U.S. keeps the First Stryker Mechanized Brigade and the Fourth Airborne Brigade there. Both are part of the 25th Infantry Division, the command, and control of which is located in Hawaii. Earlier, at the time of the Soviet Union, there was an entire infantry division (6th Infantry Division) stationed in Alaska, which was supposed to build up a defense in case of Soviet aggression. So, if you believe in “Strategy of Dominance”, all this time the U.S. armed forces did not have the skills necessary to act in the harsh conditions of the Arctic?

They have come to their senses only now when Russia has built a system of military security along the whole length of the Northern Sea Route and follows all international agreements — in its own “zone of responsibility” and over its shelf?

Thinking about other Pentagon projects, such as the F-22 Raptor, or the DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyer, or “littoral ships” that were decommissioned after 6-7 years of service instead of the declared 25, one can not help thinking that the “Strategy for Dominance in the Arctic” is just another military fairy tale. It is a fiction, made up to spend big money, and the effectiveness of the project will be estimated years later when it will be possible to make up another tale, why the declared objectives have not been reached. Military corruption, now otherwise.

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