The National Strategy for the Arctic Region focuses on security, environment, and international cooperation. But with retreating sea ice creating opportunity as well as potential conflict, the US is seen as lagging.
The Obama administration on Friday unveiled its National Strategy for the Arctic Region – three broad priorities it plans to pursue, as opportunities open to drill for oil and gas, harvest minerals, and increase other forms of economic activity at the top of the world.
The priorities in the 13-page document include beefing up defense and other national security activities in the region, as well as the infrastructure to support them; working to safeguard the region's environment; and working with other Arctic nations one on one and through multicountry organizations, such as the Arctic Council, to manage activities in the region in ways that reduce the potential for conflict. In addition, the strategy calls for a push for ratification of the UN's Law of the Sea Treaty, which failed to clear the Senate last year.
Participation in the treaty regime would give the US standing in disputes that might arise with nations that have ratified the treaty over conflicting claims of sea-floor sovereignty.
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