Canadian Unilateralism in the Arctic: Using Scenario Planning to Help Canada Achieve Its Strategic Goals in the North
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Climate change and global warming could open up the Arctic to unprecedented energy and resource development and maritime traffic as temperatures rise and the ice recedes. Each of the Arctic nations has made domestic and foreign policy statements on the Arctic, with each stating that they are prepared to do what is necessary to defend their interests in the region. The Arctic Council is instrumental in promoting dialogue and cooperation in the region and all of the Arctic nations have agreed to manage their differences under a spirit of cooperation. If the security situation in the region should deteriorate, however, can Canada act unilaterally to protect its sovereignty in the region This paper examines Canadas current national security strategy and national defense strategy for the Arctic using scenario planning as an evaluation tool. Four scenarios are developed and evaluated to illustrate the security aspects of four plausible futures that vary in terms of international cooperation and resource development. The results show that, with the exception of inter-state armed conflict in the region, the Government of Canada and Canadian Forces together with other government agencies will be able to deal with an unconventional or transnational threat in the Arctic. Arctic surveillance capabilities such as RADARSAT are critical to Canadas ability to monitor its vast Northern territories and respond to any menace to its sovereignty. Canadas participation in NATO and NORAD and its relationship with the United States allow it to accept considerable risk in the region regarding inter-state conflict. To mitigate this risk and balance tension with Russia, Canadas Arctic foreign policy rightfully emphasizes international cooperation through the Arctic Council, and has as its first priority the resolution of Arctic boundary disputes as quickly and peacefully as possible.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations