Arctic White Paper Approved

Army Gen. Charles Jacoby, US Northern Command boss, and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp signed the Arctic capability assessment working group white paper that outlines potential US security requirements for the region. “We’ve done a capabilities gap assessment principally in the areas of communications, domain awareness, infrastructure, and presence,” Jacoby told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday when discussing the document. He and Papp signed the white paper later that same day in Washington, D.C. Jacoby said the document contains recommendations “that might lead to prudent investments to position us for [the] eventual opening of the Arctic.” Under the Pentagon’s newest unified command plan, NORTHCOM is the advocate for Arctic capabilities. Jacoby said the “Arctic is a unique domain” requiring the US military to possess “special capabilities and capacities” to operate there effectively. “With the opening of the Arctic, there is sure to be commercial and economic interests,” he told the committee. “Historically, those are followed closely by security interests and we will seek to stay ahead of the challenge . . . and make sure that the Arctic is explored and the resources exploited in a collaborative, peaceful way.” (Jacoby’s prepared testimony)