NORAD's base at Cheyenne Mountain.
America and Canada may be threatened by cruise missile attacks due to the Russian Navy deploying warships on Arctic sea lanes, NORAD and Northern Command commander Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy said, according to the The Maritime Executive
O’Shaughnessy’s remarks came in a July 23 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
He commands the bi-national North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and NorthCom, based at Peterson Air Force Base.
As Arctic ice recedes, maritime actors will find new avenues of approach to North America, he said.
Navigating the Arctic requires specialized training and equipment, and Russia is designing difficult-to-defeat hypersonic cruise missiles for its fleets, The Executive reported. “When I look at the cruise missile threat,” O’Shaughnessy said, “I see that as one of the biggest threats we face.”
reported in May, “[T]he Arctic is now warming faster than any place on earth, and its protective barrier of sea ice — which once kept commercial and military ambition in check — is melting away.”