Foredrag: NATO and the North Atlantic

Mandag 30. oktober 2017 hadde vi gleden av å lytte til foredraget «NATO and the North Atlantic» av oberst John Andreas Olsen. Olsen er for tiden forsvarsattache i London og har en lang og imponerende militær karriere. Les mer om dette på Wikipedia.

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Foto: OMS 

Introduksjon til foredraget:

The North Atlantic remains essential to the commerce and trade that sustain the economic prosperity of all nations sailing in these waters. It is vitally important that the Alliance remains resolute and that its members and partners continue to contribute their fair share in securing and protecting the transatlantic bridge: the North Atlantic Ocean is NATO’s lifeblood.

Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defences, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict.
Vice Admiral James G. Foggo

The American, British and Norwegian subject matter experts chosen for this study offer six recommendations:
o renew NATO’s maritime strategy
o reintroduce Extensive Maritime Exercises and Sustained Presence
o reform NATO’s Command Structure
o invest in High-End Maritime Capabilities and Situational Awareness
o enhance Maritime Partnerships
o prepare for Maritime Hybrid Warfare

Under finner du et resyme av foredraget.

NATO and the North Atlantic

NATO AND THE NORTH ATLANTIC: REVITALISING COLLECTIVE DEFENCE

Colonel John Andreas Olsen OMS, 30 October 2017

Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defences, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict.

Vice Admiral James G. Foggo

The American, British and Norwegian subject matter experts chosen for this study offer six recommendations:

o renew NATO’s maritime strategy
o reintroduce Extensive Maritime Exercises and Sustained Presence
o reform NATO’s Command Structure
o invest in High-End Maritime Capabilities and Situational Awareness o enhance Maritime Partnerships
o prepare for Maritime Hybrid Warfare.

The book’s main conclusion is that NATO must put the North Atlantic Ocean back on its agenda. NATO must have command of the sea. In response to growing Russian capabilities, significant military modernisation and ambitious strategic intent, NATO must strengthen its capability and sustainability, upgrade contingency plans and establish a command structure that can meet the challenges of tomorrow. The United Kingdom should have a leading role in this regard: politically, militarily and conceptually.

1 This submission refers to RUSI Whitehall Paper 87, ‘NATO and the North Atlantic: Revitalising Collective Defence,’ edited by John Andreas Olsen and published March 2017. The opinions and conclusions expressed in this study are those of the editor and authors. They do not represent the official position of any government or institution.

NATO and the North Atlantic1

The North Atlantic – the ocean that connects North America and Europe – is a central part of NATO’s area of responsibility. It follows that NATO must retain the capability to secure freedom of manoeuvre across the sea and to keep the waterways between the continents open for reinforcement and resupply of materiel and personnel in times of peace, crisis and war. Thus the

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Alliance, as the guarantor of national sovereignty and territorial integrity, must be prepared to counter any potential threat to the North Atlantic Ocean.

NATO’s renewed interest in, and commitment to, its transatlantic maritime link is in no small part due to Russia’s increasingly provocative rhetoric and behaviour over the past decade. Russia is introducing new classes of conventional and nuclear attack submarines and is modernising its Northern Fleet through the addition of long-range, high-precision missiles. The totality of its modernisation programme adds up to a step-change strengthening of Russian maritime capability in support of an anti-access strategy that could challenge NATO’s command of the high seas and, potentially, hold Europe and North America at existential risk. This represents the re-emergence of a strategy that many in the West assumed had dissipated in the aftermath of the Cold War.

Figure 1 is an illustration of the Russian bastion defence envelope, indicating the patrolling area of the Russian strategic submarines in which Kremlin seeks sea control of the inner bastion and sea denial of the outer bastion.

The Russian Bastion Defence Concept

Figure 1: The Russian Bastion Defence Concept

RUSI’s Whitehall Paper 87, ‘NATO and the North Atlantic: Revitalising Collective Defence,’ explores the renewed importance of the North Atlantic Ocean to NATO’s security through the lenses of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway in particular.

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These three NATO members form the territorial rim around the North Atlantic and its peripheral seas. All are maritime nations that have historically taken prime responsibility for security in the region and together with Iceland they form the front line to a resurgent Russian maritime capability. The US is the most powerful country in the world and the United Kingdom the strongest military power in Europe. Norway’s long coastline creates an enormous expanse of territorial waters and economic zones, and more than 80 percent of its ocean areas are located north of the Arctic Circle. Norwegian territorial rights cover an area seven times larger than its mainland territory. Consequently, Norway is a key actor in maintaining peace, stability and security in the north and the maritime domain has always played a central role in Norwegian security politics. These three counties, with support from the rest of the northern region, must take the lead to ensure that NATO and its partners devote sufficient resources to this aspect of NATO’s area of responsibility.

The subject expert authors address three research questions:2 why is the North Atlantic once again of immediate geostrategic importance; what are the enduring and new challenges in this maritime domain; and how can NATO members ensure sea control in the event of a crisis or armed conflict? They seek to decode the ‘new normal’ by focusing on the strategic developments in the North Atlantic from the early period of the Cold War until the present day. To revitalise NATO’s ability to execute collective defence and deterrence against the backdrop of a resurgent Russian navy, they examine NATO’s policy, strategy, operations, contingency plans, standing forces, command and control mechanisms, responsiveness, bi- and multilateral cooperation, and exercise and training programs. They also re-examine pre-positioning arrangements, current initiatives, and future investments in weapon platforms and capabilities.

This Whitehall Paper makes clear that NATO has taken the first step toward re-establishing defence and deterrence through forward bases on its eastern flank and that it is now time for the Alliance to adopt a more comprehensive approach by addressing the broader maritime domain as well, with an emphasis on the strategically important North Atlantic Ocean. The study extends the discussion, connecting NATO’s Eurocentric focus on air and land forces in the Baltic States with the transatlantic maritime domain, including undersea cables, by exploring political, strategic and operational aspects of defence and security.

In short, the book constitutes a discourse on how to maintain and sustain maritime supremacy in an increasingly complex, contested and challenging environment, presenting multiple views of how NATO members can respond both politically and militarily. While many elements of the maritime

2 List of authors: Professor Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director-general of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI); Heather A. Conley, senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia and the Arctic, and director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); Svein Efjestad, policy director general for security policy in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD); Dr. John J. Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS; Vice Admiral Peter Hudson, former commander of the NATO Maritime Command at Northwood; Dr. Peter Roberts, senior research fellow for sea power and maritime studies at RUSI; Professor Rolf Tamnes, the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) and Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR). In addition to this, former SACEUR General Philip M. Breedlove has written a foreword.

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contest in the North Atlantic bring back memories of the Cold War, the authors make clear that the new situation differs greatly in both quality and quantity of forces and armaments involved.

Recommendations

NATO countries are far superior to Russia should they muster their combined economic and military resources in a unified effort. NATO has repeatedly demonstrated unity and resolve at its summits in Wales (2014) and Warsaw (2016). Several members have increased their defence budgets to meet new demands and NATO has responded to increased Russian military activity through forward- deployed ground forces in the Baltic region and Poland in particular.

This Whitehall Paper suggests that it is time to broaden NATO’s strategic aperture to include the North Atlantic. The main conclusion emerging from this study is that NATO must return to these waters. The North Atlantic must yet again be recognised as an operational space in its own right as well as a continuous and interdependent transatlantic theatre of operation. There is no substitution for NATO being the prime structural driver for improving credible deterrence and capable defence, and within the Alliance the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway have a special role to play in strengthening the defence of NATO’s northern flank due to their geographic locations and capabilities. Although the defence of the North Atlantic and its maritime flanks must emphasize maritime forces, it must be a truly full spectrum (joint) effort.

1) Renew NATO’s Maritime Strategy

The Alliance must revise and update its Maritime Strategy. The current version does not reflect the dramatic changes in the security environment that have occurred since it was published in 2011, ranging from Russia’s military actions in Ukraine to the re-emerging contest for maritime supremacy in the North Atlantic. NATO’s new strategy should be a framework for a new and deeper understanding of the North Atlantic and its relevance to transatlantic security. The new strategy must acknowledge the necessity of managing the full spectrum of tasks, from peacetime reassurance to maritime hybrid warfare – including the vulnerability of undersea cables across the North Atlantic – but emphasise deterrence and collective defence. The new strategy should address evolving capabilities and newly formed initiatives rather than seek a revolutionary change to operations in the maritime domain. The strategy must fully take into account that the transatlantic link is one of NATO’s key strategic enablers for peace and prosperity and that the defence of NATO’s northern region and maritime domain can benefit greatly from integrating operations from three key positions: the United Kingdom, Norway and Iceland. A new maritime strategy must explain how a credible defence of the North Atlantic concerns all parts of Europe, not only the maritime countries.

2) Reintroduce Extensive Maritime Exercises and Sustained Presence

More extensive training and focused Article 5 exercises, founded on formalised collective contingency planning, are imperative to communicate cohesion, strength and determination and

Comparing and contrasting the recent past with the contemporary situation, the following centres on the way forward, offering six recommendations. Although the authors have different views on the specifics, they provide a set menu for responding to a growing threat to the ocean that physically and metaphorically binds North America and Europe together.

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thus to achieve effective defence and deterrence. NATO’s military headquarters should be given a more prominent role in the overall exercise activities in the region. Members should link national exercises, including US exercises with major surface and sub-surface combatants, to NATO exercises. The High Visibility Exercise (Trident Juncture), to be hosted by Norway in 2018, offers an excellent opportunity to test a comprehensive and combined effort and to take stock of contingency plans and capabilities. Maritime forces must train differently and continuously be evaluated by task force assessment teams to ensure quality, responsiveness and relevance. While extensive and realistic training and exercises are important, a sustained presence is crucial to demonstrate commitment and to ensure maritime situational awareness in the region.

3) ReformNATO’sCommandStructure

The current NATO command structure is not appropriate to countering present-day strategic challenges and requirements, as it was designed for out-of-area operations, not deterrence and collective defence. NATO’s credibility depends on a command structure that can lead large joint and multinational forces to defend NATO’s territorial integrity, in addition to tasks such as crisis management, cooperative security and maritime security. A reformed command structure should reintroduce geographic areas of responsibility and ensure strong links with relevant national operational headquarters. One solution consists of increasingly dual-hatting selected national headquarters to carry out specific tasks or activities during peacetime, crisis and war. Rather than invest in new infrastructure, the first step should be to enhance the existing Maritime Command (MARCOM) in Northwood (North London) and link it with US maritime competences. Now charged with the defence of the Atlantic, this improved command could also serve as a hub for military consultation among those states that would be most affected by, or involved in, Allied military planning and operations in this maritime domain. An enhanced MARCOM, a ‘North Atlantic hub’ for multinational full-spectrum efforts, would require additional authority and capacity to rebuild the Alliance’s capability to generate credible plans for blue-water operations, and include joint operational plans for surrounding countries.

4) Invest in High-End Maritime Capabilities and Situational Awareness

A strong maritime posture in the North Atlantic depends on high-end tailored warfighting capabilities. Since Russia is deploying long-range precision weapon systems, NATO’s ability to position forces to exposed areas might be seriously restrained. NATO needs interoperable naval forces capable of establishing and maintaining all-domain access on short notice. NATO should develop a coherent and combined approach to anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations for the North Atlantic that harnesses and exploits not only naval and air forces, but also expertise from land forces and domain knowledge in cyber, electronic warfare, aerospace, technology, industry and intelligence. Maintaining the technological edge is critical. More forces must also be prepared and available for the battle of the seas and littorals, which would require both reinvigorating the standing naval forces and providing for follow-on response forces. Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States are about to expand their ISR capabilities for operations in the maritime domain and in the northern region; this presents an opportunity for other NATO members to join that effort. Improved situational awareness and information sharing are vital to maintain knowledge about Russia’s intentions and capabilities.

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5) Enhance Maritime Partnerships

Since Russia is on the verge of establishing long-range anti-access capabilities that could affect all parts of Europe, any security approach must include both the Baltic region and the Norwegian Sea. Cooperation with selected partners, such as Finland and Sweden in the Baltic Sea, strengthens the Alliance. These nations’ presence, capabilities, intelligence and profound understanding of the northern region, and their relationships with Russia, play a central role in maintaining security in the North Atlantic. It is therefore critical that NATO continue to operate, train and exercise as seamlessly as possible with key partners through multinational and bilateral agreements. Interoperability is the key to the strength of partnership among likeminded nations. NATO members and partners must continue to ensure that they can operate as a single force when needed. To do so, NATO should build on US naval partnership concepts to unlock even greater potential for integration and cooperation among NATO forces.

6) Prepare for Maritime Hybrid Warfare

NATO must primarily give priority to high-end collective defence and deterrence in the North Atlantic, but there are other low-end threats that must also be taken seriously. NATO needs to exercise various maritime hybrid warfare scenarios, including reactions to attacks on high-value targets at sea and under sea. Such operations differ strongly from high-intensity blue-water operations, but could potentially have a paralyzing effect. Taking preventive measures are just as important as response options. To counter hybrid maritime threats and attacks in the North Atlantic, NATO should build intellectual capital, develop tactical and technological counter measures, improve and coordinate information sharing and strategic messaging, work with partners and stakeholder organisations, train and exercise full-spectrum, leverage coast guards and law enforcement and increase steady-state maritime presence. If NATO members are to remain ‘stronger together,’ the Alliance must face these new challenges head on and with one shared vision to ensure the continued security and economic vitality of the North Atlantic.

Conclusion

NATO must relearn some of the maritime concepts that dominated the Cold War period, while acknowledging that the present security environment differs greatly from that of the earlier period. The listed measures offer a comprehensive and sustainable approach for maritime supremacy in the North Atlantic to protect national sovereignty and territory in accordance with international law. There is a growing consensus in NATO that it needs to move in this direction. MARCOM has taken several initiatives to strengthen the maritime posture in the North Atlantic, to improve deterrence and collective defence, but it needs more resources to meet the new security challenges.

The North Atlantic remains essential to the commerce and trade that sustain the economic prosperity of all nations sailing in these waters. It is vitally important that the Alliance remains resolute and that its members and partners continue to contribute their fair share in securing and protecting the transatlantic bridge: the North Atlantic Ocean is NATO’s lifeblood.

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NATO and the North Atlantic» av oberst John Andreas Olsen. Foto: OMS
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