For a little over a year, a significant part of analysts of the American special services have been very actively engaged in the Arctic and only it. They are examining with utmost attention all the threats to US national security emanating from this region. The experts operate under the direction of the respective services of the Directorate of the Director of National Intelligence. To solve this problem, a special strategic council was created in the management structure so that specialists could constantly exchange information. Such an increase in intelligence activity in the Arctic occurs for the first time since the end of the Cold War. True, the composition of the council and the specific areas of its activities, as is customary in the special services, are not officially announced.
POLAR ACTIVITY OF THE WHITE HOUSE
Concern for the northern region arose in America for a long time and not by chance. Overseas administrators and politicians are extremely worried about Russia's actions in the Arctic, which forms its northern borders. The same concern for overseas leaders, especially in uniform, causes and China.
Russian and foreign experts argue that the change in the motivation of Washington’s activities in the Arctic is due to purely economic interests: gaining access to oil and gas and other natural resources.
According to American experts, under the bottom of the northern seas is about 15% of world oil reserves, up to 30% - natural gas and many other minerals.
All this explains America’s far from idle interest in this region, in which the interests of the Arctic countries, and above all Russia and America, may clash.
The Arctic is of major strategic importance to the naval component of the US nuclear triad. From combat positions in the north-east of the Barents Sea, American SSBNs can hit a significant part of strategic facilities in Russia, since the shortest trajectories for ballistic missiles from the Eastern to the Western hemisphere run through this region.
September 2 The Pentagon reported that for the first time in its entirety history The movement of five Chinese warships in the Bering Sea, between Alaska and Russia, was tracked. According to military officials, the ships moved in international waters towards the Aleutian Islands, but did not pose a threat to the United States.
According to the American media, in their analytical work related to the Arctic, experts from the American intelligence services use data from American reconnaissance satellites and deep-sea sensors, as well as information from the newly improved Canadian listening station at the North Pole and the tracking systems of the Norwegian intelligence "Maryata", which is currently undergoing modernization.
According to the American press, the National Agency for Geospatial Intelligence, which in the UN dictionary is called the National Agency for Graphic and Cartographic Work (NAGAW), has been drawing up new maps and maps of waterways and territories in the Arctic region for two years. Agency director Robert Cardillo told reporters that his department intends to "expand and accelerate" this work. He also noted that other federal structures involved in cartography help his department compile maps of the Bering and Chukchi Seas, as well as the Beaufort Sea washing the northern regions of Canada and Alaska.
One of the representatives of the American intelligence community, who, on condition of anonymity, agreed to inform American journalists about the growing interest of the White House in the Arctic, said: "We are seeing a lot of things that we haven’t seen 10 years ago." Some changes in the Arctic landscape are already recorded on the detailed digital maps that NAGTF announced during the three-day visit of Barack Obama to Alaska. Obama, the press notes, became the first president of the United States to visit the Arctic Circle.
The published maps show the runways of military and civilian airfields, areas of oil exploration, seaports, sea borders of various countries, as well as ship and vessel routes. According to specialists, NAGKR plans to publish 3D detailed maps of Alaska for the 2016 year, and for the whole of the Arctic - for the 2017 year. This is done, as the American press writes, under the motto of solving the problem of tracking the processes of melting sea ice and changing the line of glaciers. However, journalists argue that the main focus of American intelligence is building up the Russian military potential in the High North, implemented by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
ARCTIC PRINCIPLES OF AMERICA
On January 9, 2009, US President George W. Bush signed the NSPD-66 / HSPD-25 double directive on ensuring external and internal national security of the United States under the general name “Politics in the Arctic Region”. Its political section states that "the United States has broad fundamental interests in the Arctic to ensure national security and is ready to act in this direction independently or in cooperation with other states to ensure the protection of these interests." These interests include providing missile defense and early warning of a missile attack on the United States, the deployment of land and naval assets for strategic deployment of military contingents to the Arctic, strategic deterrence of a likely enemy, naval operations in the Arctic theater of war, and ensuring freedom of navigation in the Arctic seas and flights aviation in the airspace of the Arctic.
America’s internal security must be ensured by preventing possible terrorist attacks or other criminal activities in the Arctic that adversely affect US security in the region.
On the basis of the provisions of the Bush directive, already under Barack Obama, in October 2009, the US Navy, which plays the main role in ensuring American superiority in the Arctic Ocean, published the Arctic Road Map. In fact, it outlined a five-year plan for increasing the scale of operations in marine theaters in the Arctic. One of the goals of this plan was to provide the US military with systems weapons, means of detection, communication and control, as well as other military and civilian infrastructure in the north. The “card” provided for the modernization of sea-based missile defense systems to protect against ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as the development of forces and means to combat submarines and control the coastal Arctic zones.
It also contained a plan for the creation of an operational-tactical compound to study the effects of climate change to solve the US military strategic tasks and conduct offshore operations in the Arctic. As noted in the "map", the Navy will be in the area of special attention to constantly monitoring US security threats, exploring the capabilities of America’s competitors in the Arctic, analyzing the actions and motivations of all state and non-state applicants for this region. It also noted that an important part of the activities envisaged in this document should be the organization of military research in the Arctic.
Obama was able to formulate his own doctrine for the Arctic only at the beginning of his second presidential term. 10 May 2013, he approved the document entitled “National Strategy in the Arctic Region”. The priorities of the 13-page document include the strengthening of defense and actions to strengthen national security in the region, as well as the creation of infrastructure to support them, work on environmental protection, cooperation with other Arctic states both bilaterally and through multinational organizations as the Arctic Council, to manage activities in the region in order to reduce the likelihood of conflicts. The Arctic Council consists of eight countries - Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, USA, Finland, Sweden. However, other states, starting with the countries of the European Union and ending with Japan, China and India, have their own interests in the Arctic. It is clear that the United States is claiming to be the leader in the Arctic.
In addition, the strategy calls for more active ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Participation in this Convention, according to the White House, would strengthen the US position in disputes with applicants in the Arctic.
Under Barack Obama, the Pentagon expanded its air defense systems and facilities, intercepting Russian strategic aviation patrolling the Arctic. It is planned to increase the presence of a nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea fleet The USA, which is practicing operational operations in the Arctic. In addition, it is planned to increase the number of US intelligence satellites that control this region. Discussions are continuing on plans to build atomic icebreakers to support offshore operations in the Arctic.
NORTH PENTAGON STRATEGY
In November, 2013, the US MoD published a document entitled “Arctic MoD Strategy”, which states that the Pentagon adheres to a generalized interpretation of national security challenges that are associated with various activities, including mining, commercial activity, research and military operations. The main objectives are the maintenance of stability and security in the Arctic, the protection of national interests and the establishment of cooperation with other countries in the field of security. At the same time, the document confirmed the readiness of the US Armed Forces in case of need to act without allies, if this is required by the protection of national interests. One of the variants of such actions is named with “responsible control over the Arctic region”. This means nothing more than the intention of the United States to declare itself the last resort in solving Arctic problems.
The document states that the Pentagon will not limit itself to purely military activities in the Arctic, but will support the State Department's initiatives to maintain stability and cooperation in the military and economic spheres in the region, as well as conduct scientific research. The efforts of the Defense Ministry will be aimed at finding mutually acceptable solutions to the problems of this region with interested foreign partners. In addition, the US Department of Defense intends to carry out continuous interaction with federal agencies and participate in search and rescue activities, in the aftermath of natural disasters, and in providing humanitarian assistance to the affected countries.
However, the main part of this document reflects the very specific military plans of the Pentagon in the Arctic. The strategy spells out such activities as the active participation of the US military in various military exercises and the accumulation of experience in conducting combat operations in the Arctic. Given the expansion of the Arctic waters, it is assumed that by 2020, the US Armed Forces should be prepared for operations in the Arctic. The strategy also states that by the year 2030 there should be an increase in the forces and means to protect the air, sea and land borders of America in the Arctic zone.
The task of collecting and analyzing the necessary information the Pentagon plans to involve NATO countries. In addition, it is planned to qualitatively improve the efficiency of information support and warning systems and systems for all structures operating in the Arctic. The Ministry of Defense is entrusted with the task of monitoring the aerospace, sea, land and cyberspaces in the Arctic zone. At the same time, development of automated control systems, communications, reconnaissance and surveillance systems adapted to the polar conditions is envisaged, which will ensure the use of high-precision weapons and control of combat operations in real time.
The Pentagon also intends to develop the infrastructure and the necessary systems and tools to ensure security in the Arctic in accordance with changing conditions. To reduce costs in this area, the military department intends to use state, commercial and international structures as efficiently as possible.
To maintain stability in the Arctic region, the MoD will strengthen the agreements already reached on military cooperation with allies and partners, as well as develop trusting relationships with all countries of the Arctic region.
The Pentagon’s solution of all the tasks specified in the strategy is associated with certain risks, and above all with the uncertainty of the consequences of changing climatic conditions in the Arctic, as well as with current restrictions on defense spending. The document emphasizes that the ongoing reduction of the military budget will not allow to allocate significant financial resources to the development of the military infrastructure of the Arctic and the icebreaker fleet. And this will significantly slow down the military development of the Arctic.
The new strategy of the Ministry of Defense once again confirmed the importance of the Arctic as a region where armed conflicts may arise in the future. However, it indicates that in the short term the risk of military confrontation in this region is rather low. An important difference between the Pentagon’s new strategy in the Arctic and previous documents of this kind is the intention to strengthen trust between the military structures of the United States and other countries in this region, including Russia.
It should be noted that, based on this 24 strategy last February, the US Navy developed the Arctic Naval Road Map 2014-2030, which specifically spelled out what the Navy will do to ensure America’s superiority in this region during this period.
This document is an updated version of the 2009 roadmap of the year. Major additions relate to climate change that has occurred in recent years in the Arctic. The "map" emphasizes the importance of expanding the presence and enhancing the capabilities of the US Navy in the Arctic theater.
It is not yet clear how the enormous US efforts to seize the Arctic zone will end. Pentagon fighters are only trying to become qualified specialists capable of fighting in fierce frosts. But the soldiers, sailors and pilots of Russia, which is the main opponent of America in the Far North, have long known how to fight in the icy expanses.