U.S.-Nordic Defense Industry Cooperation: Adding Value to the Transatlantic Partnership
Should Europe’s Nordic countries forge a stronger defense-industrial partnership with the United States? Michael Mohr and Erik Brattberg believe so. Closer ties will strengthen Nordic-Baltic defense capabilities, boost regional energy security and enhance the overall security of the Arctic and the rest of Europe.
By Erik Brattberg and Michael Mohr for Center for Transatlantic Relations (CTR)
The evolving security situation in Europe has underlined the importance of transatlantic defense cooperation. The ongoing ambitious initiative to boost transatlantic trade links—the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—has so far excluded “defense” from the negotiation mandate. Defense industrial relations are, however, a core component of the transatlantic partnership. The time has therefore come to use the momentum for enhanced trade to include deepened defense industry cooperation in the transatlantic agenda. Here, the Nordic region, with its open and liberal defense industry, can play a crucial role. For the United States, the Nordic case is worthy of special attention. U.S.-Nordic defense cooperation has the potential to strengthen Nordic-Baltic defense capabilities, regional energy security and maritime security in the Arctic as well as U.S.-European security in general. Forging a stronger U.S. -Nordic defense industrial partnership could also be seen as a vehicle for promoting transatlantic defense integration.
Practical examples could include U.S. participation in procurement of weapons platforms and enablers and military research and development. Cyber security is one obvious area where more U.S.-Nordic cooperation could bring added value. Nordic countries are at the fore-front of many cyber issues and have plenty to offer there as well. A joint U.S.-Nordic cyber project could also serve as a forerunner for future common projects in other areas. Another industry sector with high potential for U.S.-Nordic collaboration is maritime security, an area that also relates directly to the High North.
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