[Strategic Intel] NATO to expand naval base in Britain to deal with increasing Russian sub threat

The NATO alliance will upgrade a naval facility in Britain as Russia bolsters its undersea activities in the North Atlantic.

Included in the proposals to upgrade Allied Maritime Command in North London is the addition of 100-200 staff.

Also, an Atlantic command that was shuttered in the wake of the Cold War will also be reactivated, most likely at an East Coast naval facility such as Norfolk in the United States.

Russian sub activity threatens to undermine or even disrupt Allied naval operations, some NATO officials believe.

“They are able to hold much of NATO maritime forces, as well as much of NATO critical infrastructure, at risk from their maritime forces,” said one official.

Newer and upgraded Russian submarines are quieter and harder to detect, forcing NATO to expend more resources to locate and track them. For Britain, aging Vanguard-class nuclear submarines are becoming easier to detect. [source]

(Analyst comment: Russia cannot hope to compete, dollar-for-dollar, with NATO, and so President Putin has decided to leverage his limited resources by investing more in newer, quieter, harder-to-detect submarines. They are far cheaper than aircraft carriers and many surface combatants and, again, require outsized NATO and U.S. resources to track. Currently, Russia operates about 60 full-sized submarines; the U.S. operates 66, but the addition of NATO member submarines and surface combatants gives the alliance a distinct advantage.)

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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