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For many, the Arctic seems so remote that it may as well be on the moon. But the United States is very much an Arctic nation, and the security implications of climate change effects on the region are significant.
A new report from the Center for a New American Security, and a hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives this week, provide much-needed attention to this critical issue, particularly in light of the lead-up to the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Both the report, and testimonies by Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., USCG (Ret), U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic, and Mr. Andrew Holland, Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate at the American Security Project, shed light on the importance of numerous emerging security challenges in the Arctic, including climate change. Details and links to both are listed below. (more…)
Christian Le Mière, Senior Research Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and Jeffrey Mazo, Research Fellow for Environmental Security and Science Policy and Managing Editor of Survival at IISS, have just released a new book titled: Arctic Opening: Insecurity and Opportunity. It appears to be a promising read and a great addition to the literature surrounding the rapidly changing situation up in the High North. (more…)
Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis, former head of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander of NATO, recently wrote a good piece on how the United States should address security issues in a rapidly-changing Arctic. He starts by acknowledging the impact of climate change, and what that means for security in the “high north”: (more…)
In a recent CNN interview by Jason Miks, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland, went into great detail about the changing geopolitical conditions in a melting Arctic and the distinct role of the United States in the region. Iceland, an Arctic nation which recently rebounded from a severe economic shock, can certainly teach us something about balancing domestic and international security priorities (Iceland’s security is also entirely handled by the U.S. military, so its perspective on this issue is quite consistent with that of our armed forces in the region). (more…)
Less visibly, U.S. and Russian interactions over a rapidly-changing Arctic are getting interesting. The U.S. and Russia have shared the Arctic since the former purchased Alaska from the latter (in its Imperial form) in 1867, but the effects of climate change may lead the two powers into uncharted waters, both literally and figuratively. (more…)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Stockholm, Sweden to meet with Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt, and to attend the Arctic Council’s Ministerial Meeting. Yesterday, May 14th, Secretary Kerry made remarks with Prime Minister Reinfeldt that included a very strong statement on the security risks of climate change. His remarks follow the release of the White House’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region, that also included points on the risks of climate change to the region. The full remarks and video of the event are here, and the points on security are below: (more…)