The Military Importance of the Northern Flank: A Dutch View
Discussing the military importance of the Northern Flank I would like to confine myself to the territory of Norway and the contiguous sea areas. From a command point of view, Denmark and the Baltic Approaches belong to NATO’s North, but geographically and strategically they are clearly a part of the Central Sector. It is impossible to reduce both areas to the same strategic denominator; obviously the geographic situation and the configuration of Norway give it a very special strategic significance with regard to the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the GIUK Gap, the North Sea and the Baltic Approaches. It is important, then, since it provides outlets to the ocean and vital SLOCs, as well as to important concentration and deployment areas of naval forces. And it is also a fact that Norway is within striking distance of all the countries around the North Sea, that is of NATO’s heartland.
KeywordsNorthern Flank Deployment Area Warsaw Pact Naval Force Ally Reinforcement
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