Iceland—In yet another European election Icelanders flocked to the polls to decide their nation’s future.

Could the result spell trouble for NATO and U.S. interests in the Arctic?

First some background.

In the Second World War, the Allies had a strategically vital base in the small island nation. The Allied supply convoys from North America to Britain skirted Iceland.  In the Battle of the Atlantic, German U-boats were a menace.  The joint base in Keflavik, thus, became essential to the Allies for it housed surveillance and anti-submarine aeroplanes.

Keflavik Naval Air Station (NAS) retained its importance during the Cold War.  The threat, submarines, was the same, but they were now Soviet and packed with nukes.

The Cold War ended, but Russia remained an adversary.

So, it was unexpected when in 2006 the base closed.

But an agreement signed last year between the US and Icelandic governments reverted the closure.  In return for the presence of US troops on Iceland, the island nation will continue to enjoy the protection of the U.S. military.