Washington is Quietly Reinforcing Europe’s Northern Flank

Norwegian soldiers, U.S. Marines, Dutch and U.K. Royal Commandos do an integrated air insert during a training event for Exercise Cold Response 16, March 3, 2016, around the city of Namsos, Norway.

Norwegian soldiers, U.S. Marines, Dutch and U.K. Royal Commandos do an integrated air insert during a training event for Exercise Cold Response 16, March 3, 2016, around the city of Namsos, Norway. (U.S. Marine Corps / Master Sgt. Chad McMeen)

 

 

Much is being done to counter Russian ambitions in the High North, and yet much more remains to be done.

The recent stream of senior U.S. defense officials to Nordic countries underlines American concerns about potential friction in northern Europe, and Washington’s efforts to boost defense and deterrence there. Defense Secretary Ash Carter stopped in Norway in early September, while his deputy Bob Work, who has been to the region three times over the last two years, paid an early-October visit to Finland’s capital, Helsinki. Shortly thereafter, Air Force Secretary Deborah James made her own trip across the region. (Go back to last year, and Senate Armed Services Committee chair John McCain was in Norway and Sweden to discuss regional security.)

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Pentagon: ‘Revanchist’ Russia seeking path of aggression

Work spoke at the Norwegian-American Defense Conference at the National Press Club, where he hailed Norway’s commitment to global peace and security, U.S. Department of Defense reports.

Europe and, by extension, NATO, faces challenges from 360 degrees, the deputy secretary said. To the east, west and north, it faces a “resurgent and apparently antagonistic Russia,” while from the south and from within, terrorism and violent extremism are concerns. Continue reading

US Considers Military Buildup in Iceland After 10 Year Absence

The US Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work visited Iceland earlier this week and inspected the section of the Keflavik International Airport that used to serve as the hub of the US military presence on the island. Continue reading

World Powers Are Preparing for Space Warfare

The entire network of U.S. military and intelligence satellites may soon be controlled through a single command center, jointly operated by the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.

There are high-level discussions now taking place about the command center. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told Breaking Defense those involved in the discussion include White House officials, the National Security Council, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, the Air Force Secretary, and Strategic Command and Space Command.

“All the pieces are there,” he said. “We just need to make sure all the authorities are clear, and that’s the difficult part.” Continue reading