On the Ice with Marines Preparing for War in the Arctic

We’re in a Norwegian valley, high above the Arctic Circle. It’s late afternoon in early March and a group of more than a dozen infantry Marines are standing around two chaplains, one American and the other Norwegian. It’s windy, cold. The Marines hold laminated prayer cards in dense gloves, and some are shifting back and forth to stay warm. A radio chatters in the background with reports from the front.

“That symbol – that cross – came to signify that Rome could force people to obey out of fear, obedience out of fear of being raised upon that cross,” a Marine chaplain said. “And Christ says, 'I will destroy the fear of death and dying. I myself will be raised upon that cross in order to evoke life and hope.'”

Article Five of the NATO agreement – if one is attacked, all are attacked – is a provision that binds these NATO countries together. The last – and only – time it has been invoked was in the aftermath of 9/11 when “NATO rallied in support of the USA,” according to Vice Adm. Doug Perry, commander of Joint Force Command-Norfolk. Decades later, he said the alliance is now more relevant than ever because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Snow falling in a forest by Annie Spratt is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com

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