1st Edition

The Balance of Power Between Russia and NATO in the Arctic and High North

    The resurgence of Russian power in the Arctic and High North will be a key consideration for NATO planners. The Alliance’s northern flank represents both a potential vulnerability due to its relative isolation and an area in which NATO enjoys options for horizontal escalation in a conflict. Moreover, as the effects of climate change create opportunities for both navigation and resource extraction, peacetime control over the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and a contest to establish effective administrative control in this area are likely. Disagreements regarding the degree of Russia’s jurisdiction over the NSR could, for example, simmer into a form of sub-threshold competition. The purpose of this Whitehall Paper will be to examine the balance of power between NATO and Russia in this critical region in order to establish the level of ambition that the capabilities being developed by Russia can support.

    Introduction, Chapter I: The Strategic Context, Chapter II: The Balance of Capabilities in the Subsurface Domain, Chapter III: Russian and NATO Surface Capabilities in the High North, Chapter IV: The Balance of Power in the Air, Chapter V: Russian Land and Amphibious Capabilities in the Arctic, Conclusions, Appendix 1: Salvo Combat Models for Surface Warfare, Appendix 2: Submarine ASW Interactions


    Sidharth Kaushal is a Research Fellow, Sea Power at RUSI. His research covers the impact of technology on maritime doctrine in the 21st century and the role of sea power in a state's grand strategy.

    He holds a doctorate in International Relations from the London School of Economics, where his research examined the ways in which strategic culture shapes the contours of a nation's grand strategy.