This issue of the Russian Analytical Digest examines Russia’s Arctic policy. The three authors consider different aspects of this policy and approach to the Arctic. Elana Wilson Rowe provides an introduction to the politics of the Russian North, and outlines the tension between an ‘open’ and ‘closed’ North. Marlene Laruelle discusses the impact of demographics on the Russian Arctic and immigration to and emigration from this region. Dmitry Gorenburg analyses Russia’s military and security strategy in the Arctic.
In response to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the National Research Council appointed a committee operating under the auspices of the Naval Studies Board to study the national security implications of climate change for U.S. naval forces. In conducting his study, the committee found that even the most moderate current trends in climate, if continued, will present new national security challenges for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. While the timing, degree, and consequences of future climate change impacts remain uncertain, many changes are already underway in regions around the world, such as in the Arctic, and call for action by U.S. naval leadership in response.
The terms of reference (TOR) directed that the study be based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios and other peer-reviewed assessment. Therefore, the committee did not address the science of climate change of challenge the scenarios on which the committee's findings and recommendations are based.
This report addresses both the near- and long-term implications for U.S. naval forces in each of the four areas of the terms of reference (TOR), and provides corresponding findings and recommendations. This report and its findings are recommendations are organized around six discussion areas--all presented within the context of a changing climate.
Climate change in the Arctic is expected to make the region a lot busier as new strategic resources are becoming available. The Russian Federation is a key player in this context having put forth a comprehensive Arctic strategy. Russian policy towards the so-called High North, however, is oftentimes not seen in its entirety and has received a plethora of criticism in the Western media and foreign policy community. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of Russian actions in the High North by providing a succinct overview of Russian policies in the region and identifying the fundamental rationale behind them. The paper concludes that Russia’s Arctic policy is not only a lot more nuanced but also not very different from the policies conducted by other riparian states. [ABSTRACT]
The accelerating pace of climate change, increasing competition over resources, and new territorial claims demand that greater attention be paid to the Arctic. As the most immediate and serious threat to the region, minimizing the environmental impact of climate change and resource development must be the top priority, according to a report from the Carnegie Endowment, the University of the Arctic, and Dartmouth College. [DESCRIPTION]