The North Atlantic has historically played a critical role in the great power conflicts of the 20th Century, serving as a strategic bridge between the United States and Europe during both World Wars and the Cold War. For this reason, sea power has long been a core element of NATO’s deterrence posture. However, as the world enters the ‘maritime century’ – a period transformed by trade and communication across the world’s oceans – emerging technologies and a rapidly changing global political landscape have begun to reshape the maritime security environment in the North Atlantic.

The reemergence of great power competition is forcing NATO to reinvest in capabilities for the maritime domain, where it has historically held a razor thin advantage. Faced with mounting tensions between Russia and the Alliance and an increasingly sophisticated Russian navy, the United States and NATO must rebuild and adapt their strategy and capabilities to secure the strategic link between the United States and Europe in the increasingly contested North Atlantic region.

Magnus Nordenman, a noted expert on NATO and security in Northern Europe and the former director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council, joined us to discuss these important issues, which are also highlighted in his recent book, The New Battle for the Atlantic: Emerging Competition with Russia in the Far North. In a conversation moderated by Oriana Pawlyk, Magnus was joined by LCDR Steve Wills, USN (Ret.), an expert in US Navy strategy and policy at the Center for Naval Analyses, Rachel Ellehuus, the deputy director of the Europe Program at CSIS.