U.S. and Canadian Cooperative Approaches to Arctic Security

by Suzanne M. Holroyd

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Of the five countries adjacent to Arctic waters, the Soviet Union borders about 50 percent of the entire Arctic perimeter. The Soviet Northern Fleet operates out of the Kola Peninsula, one of the largest military basing areas in the world. It is learning a great deal about the environment and has adapted its submarine designs accordingly. Canada and the United States have cooperated in meeting the air threat through NORAD, the North American Air Defense Command, now being modernized. However, naval cooperation is complicated by sovereignty concerns. Both countries are paying more attention to underwater detection capabilities. In an era of extreme budget pressures, the two countries should examine options for working together to monitor subsurface activities. Information-sharing would be an essential part of any joint monitoring plan, requiring a reorganization of information flow channels.

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