The United States and its Arctic partners suspended cooperation with Russia at the Arctic Council in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. The prospect of returning to the council's business as usual seems very far away.
China has declared itself a “near-Arctic state,” a designation it invented to push for a greater role in Arctic governance. Although the U.S. sees China as a potentially destabilizing force, engaging with China in the Arctic does not have to be a win-or-lose proposition. There are opportunities to cooperate—on climate change, for example, or pollution control.
Security in the Arctic requires continuous effort to maintain, particularly in periods of transition—from climate change to demographic shifts to economic opportunities and risks to geopolitical dynamics. As an Arctic nation, it is the United States’ responsibility to take steps toward enhancing regional security.
China has become a player in the Arctic region, engaging in economic, scientific, cultural, diplomatic, and military activities. What security risks do China's investments pose, and what could the United States and its partners do to mitigate undesirable Chinese involvement in the region?
Historically in the Arctic, regional tensions have been resolved before turning into major crises. With the Arctic gaining more attention in recent years, are existing governance mechanisms enough to handle future diplomatic challenges?
The expectation of a seasonally ice-free Arctic by mid-century has sparked interest in Arctic opportunities and risks. This paper presents a framework for obtaining more timely and salient information to guide decisions relevant to operational and infrastructural horizons.
Conditions in the Arctic region are evolving, driven by such factors as climate change, economics, and geopolitics. What are the risks that come with these changes—and how could governance in the Arctic adapt to mitigate them?
Climate models project that a seasonal shipping route via the North Pole may open by mid-century. This paper examines estimates of the route's opening, scenarios for its commercial and logistical development, regional geopolitics, and environmental and socioeconomic consequences.
Greenland's resources and geographic position would confer economic and strategic value to the United States. But its postcolonial history and unique governance regime complicate the prospect of direct ownership.
Potential incidents in the Arctic could endanger safety, security, and environmental integrity. Regional cooperation and governance will influence demands on the maritime transportation system and the U.S. Coast Guard. By making the right investments, the United States can prepare for future problems in the region.
It is becoming more important to determine how to operate in the Arctic, given changing climate conditions and the potential for increased activity that may demand more frequent U.S. government presence. Identifying gaps in capabilities now could help the U.S. Coast Guard mitigate future challenges.
Over the last few decades, the U.S. and Russia have often found common ground on Arctic affairs, at least in such areas as search and rescue and environmental integrity. The Arctic has the potential to remain resistant to tensions building elsewhere.
The Arctic is more accessible than it once was, but it's still a formidable place to travel. An emergency involving a cruise ship or a downed plane could stress the search-and-rescue system. But modest investments and planning measures can make a big difference.
Russia's rebalancing toward China is particularly important in the Arctic, a region in which Russia has great ambitions, but also struggles with major vulnerabilities. Russia needs China as an investor, as a technological partner, and as a key consumer of energy to support its flagging, energy-dependent economy.
The United States should continue with its policy of engagement with Russia within Arctic institutions. This is the only way to keep building on a track record of successful agreements that make the Arctic safer for all.
Russia possesses the world's most Arctic shoreline, water, and operating resources. But the United States is also an Arctic nation, even if much of the American public tends to under-appreciate this special status.
Canada and the United States are paying more attention to underwater detection capabilities. In an era of extreme budget pressures, the two countries should examine options for working together to monitor subsurface activities.