Race to the North: China's Arctic Strategy and Its Implications   [open pdf - 4MB]

"The Arctic, during the Cold War a locus of intense military competition between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, is rapidly reemerging as a geostrategic flash point. As accelerating climate change melts the Arctic's perennial sea ice, littoral as well as peripheral actors are preparing to exploit emergent economic and strategic opportunities in the High North. Although the possibility of armed conflict over Arctic resources has been somewhat discounted, a fair amount of saber rattling in recent years among the 'Arctic Eight'--the United States, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden--has given rise to the notion that circumpolar security actors may be priming for a 'new kind of Cold War' in the North. Russia, for example, has warned that countries could be at war within a decade over resources in the Arctic region. While a substantial body of literature has addressed the issue of Arctic sovereignty disputes and the potential for conflict between the circumpolar states, much less attention has been devoted to the 'globalization' of these affairs. Non-Arctic states, including China, India, and Italy, as well as the European Union collectively, are making preparations to exploit a seasonally ice-free Arctic, thus complicating the Arctic's already fragile security environment. As the Finnish foreign minister stated in 2009, 'The Arctic is evolving from a regional frozen backwater into a global hot issue.'"

2012 Shiloh Rainwater
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Naval War College Review: http://www.usnwc.edu/Publications/Naval-War-College-Review.aspx
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Naval War College Review (Spring 2013), v. 66 no. 2, p. 62-82
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