US Shakeup in Europe Adds to Focus on Arctic

US increasingly active around Norway

US shifts from Germany have led to talk of a European reset. While Poland had been hoping for more attention, the US attention seems to be further to the northwest, around Norway, where activity looks to be centering on the Arctic.

Drills, ship visits, and increased presence in and around Norway are underscoring that this is the first substantial US interest in Norway since the Cold War. Russia is recently showing more interest in the Arctic, and the US sees Norway as a foothold to do the same.

As temperatures warm, the Arctic is opening up, with easier access to natural resources, and perhaps just as importantly, new trade routes for shipping. Several nations are scrambling to get some control over all of this, which has seen Russia again active after years ignoring the Arctic, and the US following them.

Russia has an advantage, with a huge Arctic presence geographically, and a military with some experience operating there. The US sees this as a challenge to meet, and Norway’s proximity to Russia makes it a convenient base of operations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.