Arctic Region


  • Commentary

    Arctic Governance Is in Trouble. The Antarctic Could Be Next

    The war in Ukraine has shattered the myth that the polar regions are somehow immune from global geopolitics. If Arctic governance is in trouble, the Antarctic could follow.

    Dec 7, 2022

  • Essay

    What Does China's Arctic Presence Mean to the United States?

    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.

    Dec 29, 2022

Explore Arctic Region

  • U.S. Marines conduct multilateral training alongside the Netherlands Royal Marines, German Sea Battalion, and Belgian Paratroopers in Norway, February 21, 2019, photo courtesy of 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company/U.S. Marine Corps


    The U.S. Military Needs to Build Arctic Capabilities and Capacity

    By making substantial investments in Arctic platforms, equipment, infrastructure, and training, U.S. military forces will be better able to shape the Arctic security environment, helping to deter potential threats and protect U.S. interests in a region that is tightly linked to overall U.S. interests.

    Dec 21, 2023

  • The 23rd Space Operations Squadron, Det. 1 is located more than 700 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Photo by Airman Jonathan Whitely


    Enhancing Security in a Changing Arctic

    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.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Willow drifts by an iceberg, August 23, 2011, photo by PO3 Luke Clayton/U.S. Coast Guard


    Arctic Capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces

    The United States has considerable interests in the Arctic and is one of just eight countries with territory in the region. How do U.S. armed forces' capabilities differ from those of other countries operating there, including Russia, China, and allies?

    Nov 1, 2023

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Armed Forces Capabilities in Arctic Region Pose National Security Risks, Need Strengthening

    The United States needs to strengthen its ability to protect its Arctic interests as the region becomes a more active security environment. Key areas for improvement include communications, infrastructure, training, equipment, tactics and the ability to scale presence.

    Nov 1, 2023

  • A USCG helicopter hovers above Coast Guard Fast Response Cutter Donald Horsley


    Priorities for the Safety and Security of the Maritime Environment

    With 95,000 miles of shoreline, the United States is a maritime nation. This Perspective summarizes key existing and emerging maritime safety and security topics for policymakers, and highlights considerations for technological modernization and strategic partnerships.

    Sep 6, 2023

  • A U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat on a waterway in a coastal area.


    The Safety and Security of the U.S. Maritime Environment

    The safety and security of the United States is directly tied to the safety and security of its maritime environment. This video explores opportunities and threats in this space, which are constantly evolving because of changes in economics, geopolitics, society, demography, and other factors.

    Aug 24, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe: ARC0008 The Evolving Security Environment in the Arctic

    This evidence addresses the Arctic's changing environment, characterised by climate change and militarisation, and its impact on the UK.

    Jul 20, 2023

  • A fishing boat off the coast of Pond Inlet, in the Canadian Arctic, August 15, 2019, photo by Kay Nietfeld/Reuters


    The Arctic Is Our Last Global Commons—Let's Manage Its Fisheries Properly

    It is time to create a multilateral Arctic fisheries management plan before a moratorium on fishing in Arctic high seas sunsets in 2037. Agreements can lead to economic and food security for partners; a lack of coordination will lead to conflict, environmental degradation, and overfishing. The clock is ticking.

    Jun 30, 2023

  • The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752) breaks through Arctic ice.

    Journal Article

    Strategic Competition in the Arctic

    Emerging geopolitical dynamics and the changing physical environment of the Arctic are both contributing to its increased strategic importance.

    May 23, 2023

  • Andenes, Norway, <a href=


    What Is Next for the Arctic Council in the Wake of Russian Rule?

    Norway recently took over chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Russia under conditions never before experienced by the organization in its 27-year history. Despite the current uncertainties, there could be ways to move past the stalemate between Russia and the other council members.

    May 15, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Scottish Affairs Committee: Scotland's Role in UK Defence of the North Atlantic and Arctic Amid Rising Geopolitical Tensions

    The aim of this evidence is to analyse the UK's national security priorities in the North Atlantic and the High North and how to develop Scotland's role as an asset in the pursuit of these priorities.

    Apr 4, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Norway's Next Long-Term Defence Plan: An Allied Perspective

    As Norway contemplates the priorities for its next Long-Term Defence Plan (LTP), it finds itself in a Europe, a NATO, and a global environment that have all changed markedly since the last iteration of the Plan was released in 2020.

    Mar 28, 2023

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    Vanishing Trade Space: Assessing the Prospects for Great Power Cooperation in an Era of Competition — A Project Overview

    To what extent can the United States still cooperate with China and Russia even in this era of strategic competition? This report, the first of a four-part series, presents the overarching findings of a study that explored this question.

    Feb 20, 2023

  • nasa, johnsonspacecentermediaarchive


    Assessing the Prospects for Great Power Cooperation in the Global Commons

    This report, part of a four-part series, describes the potential for U.S. cooperation with China or Russia on global commons issues, including freedom of access to space, countering violent extremist organizations, and promoting global stability.

    Feb 20, 2023

  • USCGC Kimball encountered a People's Republic of China Guided Missile Cruiser approximately 75 miles north of Kiska Island, Alaska, September 19, 2022, U.S. Coast Guard photo


    Great Power Competition Is on the Arctic Agenda

    Despite its military problems in Ukraine, Russia remains a formidable potential adversary in the Arctic. And there is a growing realization that China is not going away in the Arctic, bringing both of the United States' strategic competitors into Alaska's backyard. Can great power politics be checked at the door of the Far North?

    Feb 16, 2023

  • Periodical


    RAND Review: January-February 2023

    This issue explores the inadequacies of the current system of space governance; China's presence in the Arctic; abortion in the U.S. post-Dobbs; and the security and technology challenges related to Taiwan's domination of the microchip industry.

    Jan 6, 2023

  • Members of China's research team setting up an ocean profiling float near the icebreaker Xuelong in the Arctic Ocean, August 18, 2016, photo by Wu Yue/Xinhua/Alamy


    China's Growing Role in the Arctic

    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?

    Dec 23, 2022

  • A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet makes its approach for takeoff at Thule Air Base, Greenland, March 13, 2022, photo by Staff Sgt. Carlos Ferran/U.S. Air Force


    Should Greenland and Denmark Become Part of NORAD?

    As tensions with Russia rise to levels not seen since the Cold War, NORAD may need to detect and counter increasing numbers of aerial intrusions. One way to strengthen NORAD's capabilities: Invite Greenland and Denmark to join the command.

    Sep 16, 2022