A new publication by the Atlantic Council ---
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 Eight countries have territory or an exclusive economic zone that extends into the Arctic: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States (the so-called Arctic Eight). This study focuses on the other Arctic countries besides Russia and the United States, the regional great powers. Iceland is not included as it has no military forces or defense strategy. This report assesses the defense policies of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden as they apply to the Arctic, and the important role of domain awareness as a foundational concept in those strategies.1 This report’s first section sets the stage for the assessment that follows. Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its militarization of the Kola Peninsula, and its opposition to the liberal international order forced Arctic states to revisit their defense policies. Some focused attention on the Baltic Sea. Others focused on territorial defense. Still others focused on the Arctic. By 2021, however, each state had a relatively well-defined defense policy for the Arctic. This report’s second section details each policy’s content, trends over time within each country, and areas of convergence or divergence across countries. The report then places the concept of domain awareness within the context of Arctic defense strategies. Each country’s defense strategies emphasize Arctic domain awareness to some extent, though there are few consistent patterns when we compare strategies beyond utilizing more unmanned or remotely manned systems. The report concludes with recommendations on acquiring and using manned and unmanned systems, data links, distributed basing, and military exercises to ensure a secure and stable Arctic.