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  • Issue Brief posted July 7, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis, Lisa Curtis Eight Essential Issues for the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw

    The 2016 NATO Summit will be held on July 8 and 9 in Warsaw. This is a critical time for the Alliance. In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine, forcefully changing the borders of Europe for the first time since 1945. This invasion jarred many in Western Europe and the U.S. who had viewed Russia through rose-colored glasses even after the invasion of Georgia in 2008. Today,…

  • Issue Brief posted June 16, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis NATO Summit 2016: Time for an Arctic Strategy

    The upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, offers an opportunity for the alliance to finally focus on a region it has long ignored: the Arctic. Economic, oil and gas, and shipping opportunities are increasing in the region—as are Russian military capabilities. Even so, NATO does not have an agreed Arctic strategy. The U.S. should use the July summit to place the Arctic…

  • Commentary posted January 21, 2016 by Daniel Kochis Refocusing U.S. Arctic Policy in 2016

    The U.S. currently chairs the Arctic Council, the primary intergovernmental forum for addressing issues concerning the Arctic region, yet 68 percent of Americans have never even heard of it. Small wonder. U.S. Arctic policy, what little of it there is, is adrift. The President’s State of the Union address, all 5,437 words of it, didn’t mention the word “Arctic”…

  • Issue Brief posted January 8, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis, Brian Slattery Top Five U.S. Policy Priorities for the Arctic in 2016

    2016 will be an important and challenging year for the Arctic region. It marks the final year of the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. In July 2016, NATO will hold a major summit in Poland that offers an opportunity for the Alliance to focus on the Arctic. Russia is expected to invest heavily in the Arctic region even with the fall in crude oil prices. To ensure…

  • Commentary posted September 23, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Time for America to Get Serious about Its Arctic Policy

    Washington is waking up to the fact that America is an Arctic nation. But, like a doomed polar expedition, the administration seems to be aimlessly wandering in the policy tundra. President Obama's recent trip to Alaska only raises more questions over whether the White House really has a serious Arctic agenda. Shifts in the global climate are making the Arctic regions…

  • Backgrounder posted April 1, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Steven Groves, Daniel Kochis, Brian Slattery True North: Economic Freedom and Sovereignty Must Be at the Heart of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council

    The United States takes over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Canada on April 24 during the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada.[1] Holding the chairmanship offers the U.S. an opportunity to shape the policy agenda in the region. The U.S. should focus its chairmanship on establishing achievable goals. To this end, the U.S. should…

  • Commentary posted March 19, 2015 by Peter Brookes Putin pushes envelope in Arctic

    If there is one thing you can say about Russian President Vladimir Putin, it’s that while he’s not always straightforward about his whereabouts (for 10 days), he’s straightforward about geopolitics. Indeed, about a year after carving Crimea from Kiev, Moscow is making waves in the ice floes at the top of the world in the Arctic with massive military maneuvers. Putin’s…

  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2014 by Luke Coffey Russian Military Activity in the Arctic: A Cause for Concern

    While the West has primarily been focused on Russia’s recent actions in eastern Europe, Moscow has continued with its plans to militarize the Arctic. Russia’s strategic goals in the Arctic are to secure current and potential energy resources located in the region and to maintain military superiority above the Arctic Circle. Although the threat of armed conflict among the…

  • Commentary posted November 7, 2014 by Daniel Kochis Where's the Site of Russia's Next Land Grab? Hint: It's in the Arctic

    Russia is poised to make another land grab.  This time it’s an island.  But don’t get too alarmed.  The island’s in the Arctic.  No one lives there. And it may not even be an island at all. But that hasn’t kept the Moscow media from trumpeting the discovery of a new “island,” which Russia is now claiming as its own.   The small piece of land lies north of Siberia in the…

  • Backgrounder posted June 26, 2014 by Steven Groves Accession to Convention on the Law of the Sea Unnecessary to Advance Arctic Interests

    Much has been said in recent years about a “race” or “scramble” to secure resources in the Arctic Ocean as polar ice recedes, inevitably leading to conflict in the region. But reality paints a very different picture. Over the past decades, Arctic nations have worked together to advance their shared goals for the region, and relations among the United States and other…

  • Commentary posted October 28, 2013 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. America is leaving itself out in the Arctic cold

    It’s the grand prize in a globalized world — owning the shortest trade route between Asia, Europe and North America. In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out to grab that prize. Determined to map the Northwest Passage, he organized the best outfitted expedition in the history of polar exploration. Hulls were reinforced with iron planks for icebreaking. Each ship had…

  • Issue Brief posted August 28, 2013 by Luke Coffey Priorities for President Obama’s Visit to Sweden

    President Barack Obama will visit Sweden on September 4 en route to the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. The timing of this visit is important. The decision to visit Sweden was announced after the White House cancelled the U.S.–Russia summit, scheduled for September, due to a lack of progress in the U.S.–Russia bilateral relationship. Also, like his meeting at the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 2, 2013 by Brian Slattery, Luke Coffey Strengthen the Coast Guard’s Presence in the Arctic

    The Arctic region is becoming increasingly important to U.S. national interests. Ice in the Arctic has reached the lowest level since records began in 1979, opening up new possibilities for maritime trade, tourism, and natural resource exploration. Consequently, more actors than ever before will be operating in the Arctic region. This reality will present both…

  • Issue Brief posted January 24, 2013 by Luke Coffey Hagel, Kerry, and Brennan Senate Confirmation Hearings: U.S. Policy on Arctic Security

    In the coming weeks, the United States Senate will begin the confirmation process for three key Administration positions: Senator John Kerry (D–MA) for Secretary of State, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE) for Secretary of Defense, and White House chief counterterrorism advisor John Brennan for director of the CIA. All three have been prominent backers of President…

  • Issue Brief posted August 15, 2012 by Luke Coffey Arctic Region: U.S. Policy on Arctic Security

    The Arctic region is home to some of the roughest terrain and harshest weather found anywhere in the world. Arctic ice is increasingly melting during the summer months, causing new challenges for the U.S. in terms of Arctic security. For example, the decreasing presence of ice will mean new shipping lanes opening, increased tourism, and further natural resource…