Icebreaking is important for maintaining polar presence amid increasing global interest in the Arctic and Antarctic. Only two U.S. cutters are capable of operating in heavy polar ice, and both have limited life spans. What should the Coast Guard consider as it builds new icebreakers?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.