The Changing Arctic Landscape: Opportunities and Challenges
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
Pagination or Media Count:
As the Arctic ice cap continues to recede, more and more of the regions waters are becoming navigable to commercial, open-water vessels. At its current rate, we could experience the first ice-free Arctic sometime in the 2030s with a shipping lane over the North Pole by 2040. With this newfound access comes a renewed interest in the opportunities the Arctic presents. The abundance of oil, gas and other resources contained within its seabed, the shorter transit routes between the Atlantic and the Pacific, changes fish migration patterns and increased tourism all serve to attract Arctic and non-Arctic nations to the region. As the nation with the largest territorial claim, Russia has traditionally maintained a heavy presence in the Arctic and has invested heavily in ice breakers, submarines and new infrastructure over the last decade to prepare for the new waterways that are opening. The United States on the other hand has not. The United States now finds itself in an uphill battle to construct the ice breakers and military infrastructure it will need to explore the region, safeguard mariners and the environment, and ensure our national security should it ever face a military challenge in the region.
- Government and Political Science