Strategic Competition in the Arctic
Published in: European Security & Defence/Maritime Defence Monitor, Combined Special Issue, pages 36-41 (October 2022)
Posted on RAND.org on May 23, 2023
The Arctic's strategic significance has been largely overlooked since the closing days of the Cold War. As that confrontation subsided into history, militaries across NATO shifted their focus to new battlefields, allowing the Arctic to fall off the top of the map. However, emerging geopolitical dynamics and the changing physical environment of the Arctic are both contributing to its increased strategic importance. In this article, we begin by briefly characterising the Arctic and its military significance, followed by a brief review of its military history. We then explore key drivers behind today's strategic competition in the Arctic, and how different nations are approaching that competition. Finally, we present some closing remarks and integrated insights.