Accession Number:

ADA573497

Title:

Breaking the Ice: Potential U.S.-Russian Maritime Conflict in the Arctic

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2012-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

141.0

Abstract:

While war in the Arctic appears unlikely at present, this thesis analyzes why an escalation of territorial and resource disputes in the Arctic, up to and including the use of force, cannot and should not be ruled out. The thesis examines the political, economic, and military interests of the main Arctic powers -- Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the United States -- to set the scene for an assessment of the factors that could make for cooperation or conflict. Advocates of a Pax Arctica involving regional cooperation underrate the more pragmatic and competitive factors underlying international relations and the actual limits of international institutions and economic interdependence in restraining behavior in an anarchic system. The potential for U.S.-Russian maritime conflict in the region is genuine. Based on the methodology established for this analysis, it can be reasonably assessed that conflict in the Arctic is likely. No time horizon can be determined, however, because much depends on decisions made or not made by these same Arctic powers in the coming decades.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Geography
  • Defense Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE