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Can We Just Get Along Already Canadian Arctic Sovereignty is American Security

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Technical Report

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School of Advanced Air And Space Studies Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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The indications of climate change and increased access to resources are making the Arctic an area of growing strategic significance. The recent history of the region, however, denotes a regime of peaceful conflict resolution and adherence to international law. In line with the spirit of cooperation, the Arctic is also showing an improving level of governance through the Arctic Counsel. Canada is an integral part of the Arctic regime and displays great level of interest in its northern region. The only boundary disputes Canada has in the North are with its closest ally, the United States. The most complex disagreement is centered on the legal status of the Northwest Passage, which Canada claims as internal waters, while the US assesses it as a strait used for international navigation. Over the years, Canada has steadily invested in its Arctic maritime surveillance and control capabilities. The US, on the otherhand, shows a much lower degree of interest and investment in security means for the region. In the context of North America, a Northwest Passage under the full control of Canadian law is in the interest of both countries. The best way to achieve security around the North American Arctic waters would be through a bilateral agreement between Canada and the United States. Such an agreement could leverage the strengths of both countries and allow for optimum use of resources. By recognizing or not contesting the Canadian claim of internal waters, the United States would increase its homeland security and Canada would achieve its sovereignty goal.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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