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Monday, April 22nd, 2024

Legislation seeks to address Arctic region security

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U.S. Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Elaine Luria (D-VA) recently joined U.S. Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Angus King (I-ME) in introducing legislation that focuses on assessing Arctic region security while also establishing Department of Defense (DOD) resources there.

The Arctic Security Initiative Act of 2021 details the DOD’s execution of an Arctic region security assessment and establishment of an Arctic Security Initiative (ASI) focusing on individual service-specific strategies for the Arctic.

“The Arctic is an increasingly vital hinge that connects Europe to the Indo-Pacific,” Gallagher said. “More than ever, the U.S. needs a comprehensive plan to combat increased Russian and Chinese aggression in the region. This begins with ensuring we have the logistics, infrastructure, and force posture we need to defend our interests in the High North.”

The ASI concentration would involve modernizing forces and enhancing dedicated presence in the Arctic; improving logistics, infrastructure, and prepositioning war materials; establishing dedicated wargames and exercises supporting Arctic operations; and bolstering Arctic cooperation with America’s allies and partners.

Luria said the Arctic is where the future of military conflict and free trade will be decided.

“We need to better understand the resources needed to compete with Russia and China in this theater,” she said. “The Arctic Security Initiative recognizes we cannot continue to ignore the critical importance of the Arctic and the need for American leadership.”