Arctic Region

  • Journal Article

    The Opening of the Transpolar Sea Route: Logistical, Geopolitical, Environmental, and Socioeconomic Impacts

    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.

    Sep 9, 2020

  • A C-130J Hercules from the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, sprays fire retardant ahead of the leading edge of the Thomas Fire, Dec. 13, 2017, photo by Master Sgt. Brian Ferguson/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Environment, Geography, and the Future of Warfare

    Some of the most significant environmental and geographic trends that could affect U.S. national security and the future of warfare are rising global temperatures, the opening of the Arctic, sea level rise, extreme weather events, water scarcity, and increasing urbanization.

    May 11, 2020

  • Icebergs and ice in the Arctic Sea, photo by Explora_2005/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Today's Arctic Diplomacy Can't Handle Tomorrow's Problems

    The international structures that have helped address many Arctic problems through negotiation and cooperation are insufficient for the military and security challenges brought on by climate change. A new forum is needed to address military and security issues in the region.

    Jan 29, 2020

  • Snow-covered mountains rise above the harbor in Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 15, 2018, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Engaging with Greenland

    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.

    Sep 23, 2019

  • View from the end of the Ilulissat Icefjord to the town Ilulissat at the Disko Bay in western Greenland at midnight in July, photo by renelo/Getty Images

    Testimony

    Climate Change and U.S. Security in the Arctic

    The Arctic's ongoing changes in climate pose both challenges and opportunities. These are influenced by technology, economic, and other factors. Why does climate change in the Arctic matter? And what does the United States need to do about it from a security perspective?

    Sep 19, 2019

  • Testimony

    Anticipating Policy Options for Addressing U.S. Arctic Hurdles: Addendum

    Document submitted on June 19, 2019, as an addendum to testimony before the House Transportation and InfrastructureCommittee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on May 8, 2019.

    Jun 20, 2019

  • Blog

    Iran, Prison College Programs, Fentanyl: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Iran's nonstate partners, lessons from a prison college program, what a fentanyl ban in China means for the U.S. opioid crisis, and more.

    May 24, 2019

  • U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Shannon Eubanks pulls herself out from the Arctic Ocean during ice rescue training Oct. 3, 2018, about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoL/U.S. Coast Guard

    Testimony

    Policy Options for Navigating Potential Arctic Scenarios

    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.

    May 8, 2019

  • Abbie Tingstad summarizes testimony presented before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on May 8, 2019.

    Multimedia

    Anticipating Policy Options for Addressing U.S. Arctic Hurdles

    An overview of testimony by Abbie Tingstad presented before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on May 8, 2019.

    May 8, 2019

  • A Russian nuclear icebreaker cuts a path through the Arctic photo by SeppFriedhuber/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Not to Compete in the Arctic

    The Arctic defies simplistic views of geopolitical friends and foes. The United States and its allies do not necessarily agree on key issues, while U.S. strategic competitors might find common ground with America. The United States could fine-tune its defense policy tools in the Arctic to ensure that its actions do not hamper relations with allies and shore up the position of adversaries.

    Feb 27, 2019

  • Aerial view of the horizon and sea ice at the ice floe edge at midnight, Baffin Island, Canada

    Testimony

    Climate, Geopolitics, and Change in the Arctic

    Climate change is increasing worldwide interest in the Arctic, where the physical impacts of the change are being felt sooner and more intensely than in other regions. But climate is just one of many key factors that will influence the Arctic's geopolitical future.

    Nov 26, 2018

  • Russian nuclear ice breaker heading to the North pole through pack ice, aerial shot from helicopter

    Testimony

    Russia’s and China’s Evolving Roles in the Arctic

    Two changes have altered the geopolitical environment in the Arctic over the past five to ten years. Russia continues to increase its assertiveness in the region. And non-Arctic states, including China, have begun to play a larger role. What new challenges and opportunities do these developments pose to Canada and other Arctic states?

    Nov 26, 2018

  • Journal Article

    NATO's Return to the North Atlantic: Implications for the Defense of Northern Europe

    NATO allies and partners are refocusing on the maritime dimension of deterrence in the North Atlantic and Northern Europe in response to Russian assertiveness and deployment of new naval capabilities. They need to better integrate defense plans.

    Nov 9, 2018

  • The Christophe de Margerie (R), an ice-class tanker fitted out to transport liquefied natural gas, is docked in Arctic port of Sabetta, Yamalo-Nenets district, Russia March 30, 2017

    Commentary

    Cooperation in the Arctic Likely to Continue—For Now

    Risks for serious tensions in the Arctic during the 2020s are likely to be overstated. Key players in the Arctic appear likely to continue working together to enhance the economic potential of the region and resolve conflicts before they emerge, as opportunities in the Arctic continue to grow.

    Jul 12, 2018

  • Report

    The Future of Arctic Cooperation in a Changing Strategic Environment: Insights from a Scenario-Based Exercise Organised by RAND and Hosted by NUPI

    This Perspective summarises the results of a table-top exercise on factors that could upset Arctic cooperation in the 2020 decade. While this exercise confirmed the solidity of cooperation, it also identified "wild cards" that could create tensions.

    May 8, 2018

  • A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew conducts vertical replenishment training with the crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Maple in Southeast Alaska's Western Channel

    Report

    U.S. Coast Guard Faces Capability Gaps in the Arctic

    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.

    Apr 11, 2018

  • Arctic waters

    Q&A

    Policy Challenges in the Arctic: Q&A with Abbie Tingstad

    Abbie Tingstad discusses how the opening of the Arctic by climate change could strain relationships among Arctic nations, how these changes will affect indigenous communities, and what to make of Russia's military buildup in the region.

    Oct 6, 2017

  • Dissertation

    Search and Rescue in the Arctic: Is the U.S. Prepared?

    Explores the U.S. capability to handle the Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) Agreement, a landmark treaty that gives the U.S. responsibility for conducting SAR in a slice of territory that surrounds Alaska and stretches to the North Pole.

    Jun 19, 2017

  • Ice Camp Sargo in the Arctic Circle was the main stage for ICEX 2016, an exercise designed to research, test, and evaluate operational capabilities in the region

    Commentary

    What Does 'America First' Look Like in the Arctic?

    The shift in U.S. climate policy away from greenhouse gas reduction is significant for the Arctic, which is experiencing global warming at an accelerated rate. And a recent executive order will pave the way for expanded oil and gas drilling. How will these changes shape the Arctic in years to come?

    May 25, 2017

  • The sun sets on Ice Camp Sargo during Ice Exercise 2016 at the Arctic Circle, March 8, 2016

    Report

    How to Maintain Arctic Cooperation with Russia

    Despite tensions between Russia and the West, Arctic cooperation has remained intact. But America should prepare for changes that may alter Moscow's incentives. These include rising interest in Arctic resources and greater maritime access due to climate change.

    Mar 2, 2017