Today, melting ice is opening the Arctic to economic exploitation. Inevitably, geopolitics has followed, with countries as far from the Arctic as China, India, and Singapore expressing interest in the region. Russia has significantly stepped up its military activity along their Arctic shore and in the Arctic Sea.
In April, 2015, the United States will take over as the chair of the Arctic Council. However, it is not clear that the American government, either in Congress or the Administration, has put together a coherent plan for how to lead the Arctic Council. Although there has been a great deal or reports and plans put forward, there has been very little actual
On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Andrew Holland, ASP’s Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate, testified before the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats. The hearing, “The United States as an Arctic Nation: Opportunities in the High North” took place in 2200 Rayburn House Office Building.
ASP’s report, “America’s Role in the Arctic” is built on Holland’s testimony, and a paper he wrote for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, entitled “National Security in a Rapidly Changing Arctic – How a Lack of Attention to the Arctic is Harming America’s Interests.”
The report concludes by offering five concrete examples for how Congress can more effectively address an opening Arctic:
1. Ratify the UN Law of the Sea Convention, so that the United States can fully participate in negotiations to determine borders in the Arctic;
2. Increase funding for U.S. military presence by either the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Coast Guard in order to secure our sea lanes and provide for disaster response;
3. Make a final decision on whether to approve and regulate offshore oil drilling,
4. Elevate Admiral Papp’s role to a permanent Ambassador-level position and
5. Raise the Arctic’s profile by regularly participating in Arctic-focused events.
Download the whole report, “Americas Role in the Arctic: Opportunity and Security in the High North” or read it on Scribd below.