As required by Section 1071 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (P.L. 115-232), the Department of Defense Arctic Strategy updates the previous 2016 DoD Arctic Strategy. This update includes a classified annex. Specifically, the 2019 DoD Arctic Strategy updates DoD’s strategic objectives for the Arctic region, in light of DoD’s renewed assessment of the evolving Arctic security environment and the release of the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS).
Rooted in NDS goals and priorities, the updated Arctic strategy outlines DoD’s strategic approach for protecting U.S. national security interests in the Arctic in an era of strategic competition. DoD’s desired end-state for the Arctic is a secure and stable region in which U.S. national security interests are safeguarded, the U.S. homeland is defended, and nations work cooperatively to address shared challenges, according to the strategy’s Executive Summary.
Protecting U.S. national security interests in the Arctic require the Joint Force to sustain its competitive military advantages in the Indo- Pacific and Europe, identified in the NDS as key regions of strategic competition, and to maintain a credible deterrent for the Arctic region. The Defense Department must be able to quickly identify threats in the Arctic, respond promptly and effectively to those threats, and shape the security environment to mitigate the prospect of those threats in the future.
“A secure and stable Arctic region benefits the United States and necessitates a rulesbased order, reflecting Arctic nations’ respect for national sovereignty and constructive engagement to address shared challenges. The network of U.S. allies and partners with shared national interests in this rules-based order is the United States’ greatest strategic advantage in the Arctic region, and thus the cornerstone of DoD’s Arctic strategy. DoD cooperation with Arctic allies and partners strengthens our shared approach to regional security and helps deter strategic competitors from seeking to unilaterally change the existing rules-based order,” as stated in the strategy.
The 2019 DoD Arctic Strategy outlines three strategic ways in support of the desired Arctic end-state:
• Building Arctic awareness;
• Enhancing Arctic operations; and,
• Strengthening the rules-based order in the Arctic.
Download the 2019 DoD Arctic Strategy here.