Arctic Ownership

Backgrounder: China’s Arctic Strategy

XueLong, cc Bahnfrend, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Xue_Long,_Fremantle,_2016_(4).jpg

Beijing isn’t letting geography get in the way of it establishing a robust presence in the next great frontier of geopolitical competition.

The Bering Strait: A New Chokepoint for Great Power Competition

The attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) rests in the Arctic Ocean after surfacing through three feet of ice during Ice Exercise 2009 on March 21, 2009. The two-week training exercise, which is used to test submarine operability and war-fighting capability in Arctic conditions, also involves the USS Helena (SSN 725), the University of Washington and personnel from the Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tiffini M. Jones, U.S. Navy. (Released), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USS_Annapolis_ICEX.jpg

The Northern Sea Route through the Arctic will alter global trade flows and in doing so create new geopolitical chokepoints. Chief among them is the Bering Strait, where US, Russian, and Chinese interests converge.

Greenland and the Arctic ‘Great Game’

CC Thomas Leth-Olsen, Flickr, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The blunt manner of President Trump’s pitch to buy Greenland might have been ridiculous, but the geopolitical rationale behind it certainly isn’t.

Greenland: A New Frontier of Great Power Competition

Greenland, cc Flickr Greenland Travel, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In opening its doors to foreign investors, an independence-minded Greenland could be ushering in a new era of geopolitical competition in the Arctic.

China’s Evolving Arctic Policy: Two Geopolitical Threats

XueLon, cc Flickr Bernard Spragg. NZ, modified, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

With an expanding icebreaker fleet, land purchases around the GIUK gap, and perhaps even a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the near future, China is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Arctic.

The Ice Dragon: China’s Arctic Policy

ARCTIC OCEAN (March 19, 2011) Sailors and members of the Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station clear ice from the hatch of the Seawolf-class submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) as it surfaces above the ice during ICEX 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien/Released)

What’s behind China’s longstanding geopolitical interest in the Arctic region?

Russia in the Arctic: Friend or Foe?

cc Flickr Christopher Michel, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Russia is making great strides in the Arctic. Should other Arctic Council states be concerned?

The Kuril Islands: Power Projection and Resource Protection

Sea_of_Okhotsk_map, cc Wikicommons Ras67

The disputed Kuril Islands have a key role in Putin’s vision of an empowered Russia.

Militarizing the Arctic: Is Canada Ready for a Literal Cold War with Russia?

ArcticGuide, cc Flickr Mike Beauregard, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Canada’s military preparations in this key strategic region have paled in comparison to Russia.

US to Take the Arctic Council Reins, But Where Will it Steer?

Canada Arctic cc Flickr InAweofGodsCreation

The United States is set to take over chairmanship of the Arctic Council, but will tensions over Ukraine block any real progress in the region?

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