A Norwegian and Russian Arctic Campaign Analysis

54 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2014

Date Written: October 2014


As climate change accelerates the melting of ice, sea control competition looms over the abundant Arctic region. In this paper I conduct a military analysis of a sea control campaign between two Arctic neighbors — Norway and Russia. I seek to answer three questions. (1) If sufficiently motivated, is the Russian military capable of executing a fait accompli seizure of Norwegian waters in the Arctic? (2) If so, what could the Norwegian military do to confront this aggression? (3) What lessons does this scenario reveal about naval warfare in the missile age and the challenges of military operations in an Arctic environment? I find that Russia would be capable of seizing Norwegian waters for commercial exploitation. Nonetheless, despite Norway’s limited naval power projection capabilities, it could exact significant costs on the Russian fleet through the use of air power and submarines. The analysis concludes with lessons for power projection in an Arctic environment.

Keywords: arctic, Norwegian navy, Russian navy, sea control, missile combat, submarine warfare

Suggested Citation

Pauly, Reid, A Norwegian and Russian Arctic Campaign Analysis (October 2014). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2014-28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2512335 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2512335

Reid Pauly (Contact Author)

Brown University ( email )

Box 1844
Providence, RI 02912
United States

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