Mind the Gap


(Defense One)

Aerial of Thule Air Base, Greenland, photo by JoAnne Castagna, Public Affairs/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Thule Air Base, Greenland

Photo by JoAnne Castagna, Public Affairs/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

by Scott Savitz

July 15, 2021

One of NATO's geographic advantages—control of the lands around a key maritime chokepoint—may be in peril.

For decades, alliance forces have used nearby bases to keep tabs on Russian submarines, surface ships, and aircraft transiting the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom, or GIUK, Gap, which consists of a 200-mile stretch of ocean between Greenland and Iceland and a 500-mile gap between Iceland and Scotland. But strong independence movements in Greenland, the Faroe Islands southeast of Iceland, and Scotland could soon jeopardize this position.…

The remainder of this commentary is available at defenseone.com

Scott Savitz is a senior engineer at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation.

This commentary originally appeared on Defense One on July 15, 2021. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.