Changing Arctic: A Strategic Analysis of United States Arctic Policy and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL
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As the Earth sets new record highs in temperature almost every year, the Arctic could begin experiencing ice free summers as early at 2013. With a new ocean opening up, the Arctics future is unclear. Many fear that this will lead to a race for the oil, natural gas, and minerals that the Arctic is expected to hold. Shipping in the Arctic is increasing exponentially, supranational energy companies are drilling for oil, and national militaries are conducting operations in the Arctic. Will this lead to a militarization of the Arctic like the Cold War, or will the international community work together to peacefully interact in the region The United States has been described as a reluctant Arctic nation however, the physical, political, and economic environment is changing in the Arctic and this will eventually force the United States to address a full spectrum of issues that it has so far avoided. The United States has begun to create policy that will govern how it will operate in the Arctic, but the physical capabilities to permanently operate there do not yet exist. As government budgets shrink, answering these questions will get harder. This thesis examines the changing Arctic and conducts a strategic analysis of U.S. Arctic policy and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. All Arctic nations, with the exception of the United States, are party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS. As a world leader, the United States must ratify UNCLOS and use it as the foundation for its greater Arctic national strategy.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law