Naval War College Review


In the Punic Wars, Hannibal surprised and strategically dislocated the Roman legions by attacking them with his war elephants as he made his way across what had been considered to be an insurmountable geographical barrier, the Alps. In a similar fashion, recent developments in Soviet Arctic mobility and logistics give the Soviets the capability to inflict strategic surprise on the West. Although there is no evidence that the Soviets intend to implement the strategic plans or concepts of operations discussed here, they do possess substantial capabilities in the Arctic which could threaten the United States and Canada. U.S. and Canadian strategists must consider these capabilities in determining our territorial defense plans and our Arctic defense forces.