JRL NEWSWATCH: “Realism in the Arctic” – The National Interest/ Kenneth Yalowitz, Ross A. Virginia

Arctic Map

“The United States and Russia have disagreements on many issues, including the organization of the international system. No ‘reset’ in relations is in sight but there is a need to put a floor in the relationship and work on possible areas for cooperation. The Arctic can be one.”

“… The Arctic is [Russia’s] highest priority strategic national interest …. Arctic oil and gas resources are essential to Russia’s economic future as is the defense of its territory along its … Arctic coastline. Key military assets protect … second-strike nuclear capability based on the Kola Peninsula. Russia has refurbished Soviet-era air and naval installations and built new ones, augmented troop presence and conducted extensive maneuvers, installed modern radar and electronic warfare capabilities and developed a new overarching Arctic military command. Moscow argues these are defensive measures to deter possible Western threats to Russian sovereignty and protect the Northern Sea Route and its Arctic resources. … part of … Putin’s broader narrative about hostile U.S. and NATO intentions … and … U.S. hegemonic aspirations. The United States sees the Arctic as a low-risk conflict zone but with concerns … [that] Russian military augmentation goes beyond defense and aims to neutralize NATO naval forces operating in the North Atlantic approaches to Russia. The United States has responded with … military maneuvers[] [and] plans to add six icebreakers … [A]t last year’s Arctic Council Ministerial, Secretary of State Pompeo introduced hard security issues … sharply criticiz[ing] the Russian military buildup and charg[ing] Russia and China with aggressive intentions in the Arctic. …”

Click here for: “Realism in the Arctic; The United States and Russia have disagreements on many issues, including the organization of the international system. No “reset” in relations is in sight but there is a need to put a floor in the relationship and work on possible areas for cooperation. The Arctic can be one.” – The National Interest/ Kenneth Yalowitz, Ross A. Virginia