As the ice in the Arctic continues to melt, countries are staking claims and preparing for economic and military development in the region. This “new frontier” has promise of prosperity, yet is rife with geopolitical risk as competition for its resources heats up between world powers like the US, Russia, and China. In this episode, we give a little background on recent developments in the Arctic and the political structure governing the region. We then look at the military, energy, and economic factors affecting the Arctic
Current governing method
Currently, cooperation and interaction among the Arctic states is facilitated through the Arctic Council. They each claim territory of about 200 miles from the nautical coast. If the ice continues to melt, much of the unclaimed territory in the center could become habitable and prove to be a wealth of resources — but also a source of conflict.
Growing Geopolitical Tensions
As the Arctic continues to shrink due to global warming, so does the intensification of geopolitical tension between the world powers like the United States, Russia, and China over the new opportunities such as new trade routes and land.
As result, Russia continues to build new bases and fortify strategic outposts within its territory around the Arctic.
As a response, the U.S. deployed Marines in Norway, the first time since World War II that foreign troops have been allowed to be stationed there.
For more information regarding the economy and militarization of issues related to the Arctic, listen to our episode.
Look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:
- CSIS Maritime Futures, November 2017
- It’s Time to Draw Borders on the Arctic
- Frozen Arctic
- CSIS Arctic Report, January 2017