Geopolitics of the Arctic

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The Arctic is experiencing rapid and extraordinary economic, environmental, political, and security transformation, presenting new opportunities for international cooperation but also the potential for regional competition and even conflict. The melting of the Arctic ice cap is now exceeding previous scientific and climatic predictions. The increasingly ice-free Arctic waters and technological advancements have created greater accessibility to the Arctic region. New commercial opportunities for natural and mineral resource extraction, destination and transshipment of goods and materials, fisheries activities, and eco-tourism will fuel economic growth in the Arctic. Increased human and commercial activity in this remote region, however, is on a direct collision course with the fragile Arctic ecosystem and poses a daunting array of security challenges, including search and rescue, oil-spill prevention and response, environmental remediation, and border protection. As the region takes on greater economic and strategic importance, the Arctic requires increased prioritization and strong leadership, investment to boost limited infrastructure and strategic capabilities, and enhanced cooperation and coordination among Arctic nations. This course provides an in-depth examination of geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics of the Arctic region, with attention to the U.S. strategic interests in the Arctic and the Russian economic development and security strategies in the region. The course material consists of a series of reports, events, and multimedia tools produced by the CSIS Europe Program on a wide range of topics including security challenges, international cooperation, economic drivers, and environmental concerns.

4 episodes available. A new episode about every 70 days .