When the Ice Melts: Developing Proactive American Strategy for the Eurasian Arctic
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB
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The confluence of environmental, energy, and economic issues associated with Arctic ice recession warrants proactive American strategy to account for increased human activity within the Eurasian Arctic region. This paper examines the time frame associated with sea ice recession, the availability of oil and gas resources shared by Norway and Russia, the potential time and cost savings associated with utilization of the Northern Sea Route NSR, and the hazards induced by Arctic operations. The paper considers Norwegian and Russian Arctic strategies and juxtaposes them with current American policy to derive recommendations for American strategy pertaining to the Eurasian Arctic. To envision the Eurasian Arctic in 2025, America should seek a free flow of global trade along the NSR, a minimal international military presence in the Arctic, an economically stable Russia, a strong Norwegian partner, and an improved international cooperation on environmental and maritime safety issues. Recommendations include accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, modified engagement with Russia, support for Norwegian regional leadership, and increased utilization of multilateral forums to address environmental, safety, and security concerns.
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics