The image shows Norwegian KNM Steil during Arctic Hawk exercise 2019 Photograph: Hedvig Antoinette Halgunset/Norwegian Armed Forces
Research Project

Revitalizing Transatlantic Maritime Security

2018 - 2019 (Ongoing)

This project will generate concrete policy proposals, particularly in the maritime domain, and look at ways for the United States and Europe, and Norway in particular, to adapt their military division of labor both to improve the Alliance's military effectiveness and to show to domestic audiences that all allies and partners gave "skin in the game". It will also work to help shape the Alliance’s maritime strategy (last updated in 2011), which is slated for an overhaul.

European and transatlantic security is increasingly jeopardized by a resurgent, revanchist, and more capable Russia. The Russian strategy, it seems, is to split unity within the West: both in Europe and across the Atlantic.

At the same time, US President Donald Trump, and several other US senior security voices, have repeatedly criticized the uneven burden sharing in NATO, indicating that failure to address this may undermine the very solidarity underpinning the Alliance.

In this environment, it is increasingly important for the United States and its European allies and partners to demonstrate a more equitable and adapted division of labor in the military domain. This will be important both in demonstrating to Russia the common resolve and commitment of the allies, and by demonstrating to the American and European populaces that this division of labor is fair and thus sustainable.

For most European allies it will take time to reach the pledged defense budgets of 2% of GDP.

An important question therefore is what else Europe can do to contribute to transatlantic security?

This project will generate concrete policy proposals, particularly in the maritime domain, and look at ways for the United States and Europe, and Norway in particular, to adapt their military division of labor both to improve the Alliance's military effectiveness and to show to domestic audiences that all allies and partners gave "skin in the game". It will also work to help shape the Alliance’s maritime strategy (last updated in 2011), which is slated for an overhaul.

The project will take stock of the main gaps in NATOs combined maritime capacities. We will assess current maritime force structure, planned procurement and upgrades through the alliance to 2030. These data will be compared to similar developments in the states perceived as potential challengers, mainly Russia and China. This will enable us to identify the main capability gaps and main challenges for NATO’s collective maritime defense during the next decade. This gap analysis will identify critical shortcomings, and to point to measures to rectify them.

The study will also seek to bring forward creative ideas as how to fill these gaps, by smart investments, private-public partnership or by applying new technological or operational solutions. We will emphasis ideas where Norway and the United States both could contribute, or benefit from the solutions. We aim to identify critical gaps in capability and to produce ideas and concept that may close those gaps. Such concepts can also be fed into ongoing processes, such as the development of NATO’s maritime posture.