Scotland: A Touchstone for Security in the High North?

Main Image Credit Saxa Vord radar station, in northernmost Scotland, was reactivated in the face of renewed competition, 2018. Courtesy of Alamy / Mick Durham

An independent Scotland will have a major stake in Arctic security, but it will face many challenges in matching its capabilities with its ambitions.

Scotland’s geostrategic significance to the High North is being overlooked in debates about the potential impacts of ‘Scexit’, as well as wider discussions about the changing Arctic security environment. Duncan Depledge and Andreas Østhagen address this oversight by drawing attention to Scotland’s historic role in contributing to the defence of NATO’s ‘northern flank’ and analysing how this is being resurrected in response to new challenges emerging in the High North. They conclude that there are some specific challenges that policymakers should address as the independence debate continues: most importantly, the potential for a ‘gap’ to be created in the regional security architecture of the High North.

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