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Arctic Region Case Study

Decent Essays
The two most important US national security interests in the Arctic region at this time are preserving the freedom of the seas and providing energy security; both of which are vital. This essay will highlight these two areas to showcase some of the challenges and the desirable end state conditions with each. The Arctic region is receiving increased global attention due to the fact that sea ice is shrinking thus opening up the possibilities for the expansion of sea travel (both shipping and tourism), increased energy resources availability (gas and oil), and larger commercial fishing areas (expansion into High Arctic Ocean). The North-West Passage (NWP) and the Northern Sea Route (NSR) are currently the two main shipping routes in the Arctic Region. The Arctic region has great prospects for oil and gas resources as well. In light of the fact that currently all fishing “takes place exclusively in territorial waters and in the EEZs of the five Arctic coastal states”, it’s not likely that the fishing areas will change in spite of the shrinking ice. This assumption is based on the depth and temperature of the High Arctic Ocean. The first US national security interest is preserving the freedom of the seas within the Arctic region. The “boundaries of the Arctic region are not clearly…show more content…
The region is now a focal point due to the “eagerly anticipated Arctic economic bonanza.” This is because the area “holds 22% of the world’s undiscovered unconventional oil and natural gas resources” and this will cause “competitiveness of the resources in the area.” These resources are Russia’s “most important hydrocarbon resource.” The US must prevent Russia “from dominating the region in terms of economics or security.” Ensuring energy security in the Arctic region will require significant political cooperation; fortunately the US assumed chairmanship of the Arctic Council in
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