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Please join Forward Defense and the Transatlantic Security Initiative, housed within the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, for the latest event in the Commanders Series, “North Star: The First Department of the Air Force Arctic Strategy,” featuring a conversation with Department of the Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein, and Chief of Space Operations General John W. Raymond. The event took place on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. via Zoom webinar.

The Department of the Air Force’s senior leaders visit the Council as the US Department of Defense builds upon its strategy for the region released last year. As the department with the largest presence in the Arctic, from multiple bases in Alaska to space domain awareness assets in Greenland, the Department of the Air Force has increasingly emphasized the geostrategic significance of the Arctic and its services’ crucial role for defense and security in the region.

This event, featuring the Secretary of the Air Force and two members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serves to launch the Department of the Air Force’s Arctic Strategy, the first department-specific strategy for the region. During the public discussion, these senior leaders present the key components of this strategy, share how it relates to strategic trends and challenges in the Arctic, and discuss how air and space capabilities can be employed in the unique Arctic operating environment to enhance defense and security in cooperation with the United States’ closest allies.


Secretary Barbara M. Barrett
Department of the Air Force

General David L. Goldfein, USAF
Chief of Staff
United States Air Force

General John W. Raymond, USSF
Chief of Space Operations
United States Space Force

Moderated by

Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky
Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project, Harvard University;
Vice Chair, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council;
former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs

Miss the event? Read the recap

New Atlanticist

Jul 22, 2020

As Arctic warms up, US Air Force launches Department’s first strategy for confronting threats

By Larry Luxner

Driven by rising temperatures and melting ice, the vast Arctic region is changing—and so are the military priorities of the United States and its two biggest adversaries: Russia and China.

China Defense Policy

About the Commanders Series

The Commanders Series, generously supported by Saab, is the Atlantic Council’s flagship speakers’ forum for senior military and defense leaders. The series provides a platform to discuss current strategic issues with an impressive audience drawn from across Washington’s policy community, including think tanks, media, industry, embassies, and the US government. In 2020, the Atlantic Council has hosted Commanding General of Army Futures Command, GEN John Murray, Chief of Staff of the Army GEN James McConville, Commander of US Transportation Command GEN Stephen Lyons, and Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen Joseph Lengyel.

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world.