Newsletter: Balancing Security Politics

Joint training during exercise Cold Response 2020. (Photo: Emil Wenaas Larsen / Forsvaret).
Dear reader. With American bomber planes on Norwegian soil, and the USA and Canada’s announcing upgrading their joint air defense, this week is largely one of security politics. At least that diverts our attention from the apparent everlasting pandemic we live with at present.

The USA, Russia, Canada, Norway. All Arctic states with strong ideas and interests in security policy issues. All countries that leave their mark on our newsletter most weeks.

This week is no exception. Sables are rattled and inconsistencies are drowned by action rally shouts about deterrence and rearmament.

“Secrecy is a vital part of any country’s defense and security policy”, High North News Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm writes from the back of a motorhome in Sortland, Norway. (More about just that later.)

“Yet the level of secrecy is nevertheless also crucial for trust between authorities and the inhabitants of a country”, he continues in this week’s commentary.


The Commander of the U.S. European Command informs us that cooperation with allied partners is crucial for credible deterrence, and that the American bombers currently deployed in Norway contribute to just that.

“The missions show U.S. commitment to its allies and partners and the credibility of the air forces to address a more uncertain global security environment”, says Commander of the U.S. European Command Tod D. Wolters.

US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau say they now agree on a joint modernization of NORAD, their shared aerospace defense command. They also launch an extended Arctic dialogue between the USA and Canada.

Russian acquisition under scrutiny

The Norwegian Armed Forces, on the other hand, announce that they are looking into the Russian acquisition of the Norwegian company producing huge ship engines to a series of Norwegian coast guard vessels – as well as the country’s brand new state-of-the-art surveillance ship Marjata.

A lot of security politics on the table this week, in other words.

The future in the Arctic

There are many insecurities in the balance when the future of the High North is to be decided. Researchers have attempted to predict how it will go utilizing four historic epochs:

The Dark Ages, the Age of Discovery, the Romanticism, and the Renaissance. Which future will be ours? The Report “Arctic 2050” is an interesting analysis worth noticing.

It does perhaps not look too bright for Russia when its government debt increased by USD 73 billion in 2020.

No week without Corona news

The pandemic does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, and many companies struggle. In Norway, the parliamentary Finance Committee has proposed a new crisis package of NOK 40 million to save the tourist industry in Svalbard.

And in the Canadian hamlet Arviat, there have been 86 Covid-19 cases registered since 22 January. This week, a state of emergency was announced.

You can read all this and much more at High North News. Next week, we have something extra interesting coming up, so stay tuned!

Enjoy the final February weekend and feel free to share our newsletter! 
Warm regards,
Trine Jonassen,
News Editor, High North News