Author: Ken Osterkamp

  • A Canadian Arctic Policy for the Indo-Pacific

    The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is a great resource on that nation’s relationships and objectives in the region. One of the issue areas they track is Strategic Asia, and they occasionally check in on Arctic issues as they did in 2018 with a four-part series on China’s Polar Silk Road. The author of that series, Sebastian Murdoch-Gibson, also did a…

  • 2022 National Security Strategy Released with Strong Emphasis on Arctic Region

    The National Security Strategy is a report mandated by Section 603 of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-433). The report is due every four years, but in reality the deadline is treated in a somewhat elastic manner. Previous reports were released in 1987-88, 1990-91, 1993-2000, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2015, and 2017.…

  • A Timeline of US Arctic Security Policy

    During the Obama and Trump administrations there was concern in some quarters about a stagnation of US Arctic policy, even as other nations were stepping up their interest and activities in the region – including a doubling in 2013 of the number of Arctic Council observer states that included China. Fast-forward just a few years and the situation…

  • White House releases 2022 National Strategy for the Arctic region

    Hot of the press, the White House has released its 2022 National Strategy for the Arctic Region. The fifteen-page strategy outlines four pillars: Work on the pillars will be guided by five principles A brief fact sheet was also provided which explicitly acknowledged increased competition with Russia and China in the region: “This strategy, an update of its 2013 predecessor,…

  • Alaska steps up support of US Arctic policy

    Alaska was famously described by Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell in 1935 as “The most strategic place on earth.” Alaska-based assets have been particularly active lately in supporting the Arctic policy of the United States. Last month the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony to become the newest Department of Defense regional center. Alaskan Command on…

  • Book review: The Routledge Handbook of Arctic Security

    First published in 2020 and newly available in paperback, The Routledge Handbook of Arctic Security is an edited collection of essays on Arctic security topics by an array of academics and researchers, the majority of them from Norway. In recent years Routledge has published quite a few good titles on economic, environmental, and security policy in the Arctic, and this…

  • Visualizing Arctic policy actors

    Over a decade ago John Allen Paulos, Professor of Mathematics at Temple University and author of multiple books on the intersection of numbers and narratives, published an intriguing article in the New York Times wherein he observed, “In listening to stories we tend to suspend disbelief in order to be entertained, whereas in evaluating statistics we generally have an…

  • Biden elevates Arctic policy with Ambassador-at-Large

    On August 26, 2022, President Biden moved Arctic policy higher on the national agenda with the announcement of a new ambassador-at-large position for the Arctic region: “The Ambassador-at-Large for the Arctic Region will advance U.S. policy in the Arctic, engage with counterparts in Arctic and non-Arctic nations as well as Indigenous groups, and work closely with domestic…

  • Arctic Chiefs of Defence Forum convenes for the first time since 2014

    On hiatus since Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, the Arctic Chiefs of Defense Forum – less Russia – convened in St. John’s, Canada, on August 8, to discuss cooperation among the nations. Russia indicated in January it wanted to resume these meetings after assuming its second two-year chair of the Arctic Council last year. This was short-circuited by…

  • Emphasis on the Arctic in new Russian naval doctrine

    Rob Huebert, associate professor at the University of Calgary and a senior research fellow with the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, writes in the August 4, 2022, High North News – “Russia’s new 55-page naval doctrine places significant emphasis on the Arctic outlining the country’s priorities in the region and mentioning the Arctic across 22 pages.” In a…