US: National Strategy for the Arctic Region (May 2013)

By Polar Research and Policy Initiative

On 10 May 2013, the White House released the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. In doing so, the US joined Canada, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Russia and Sweden in articulating the strategic priorities of the US in relation to the Arctic. In its preparatory phase, the Obama Administration solicited input from Alaska Natives, the State of Alaska and others. As its Executive Summary notes:

This strategy is intended to position the United States to respond effectively to challenges and emerging opportunities arising from significant increases in Arctic activity due to the diminishment of sea ice and the emergence of a new Arctic environment. It defines U.S. national security interests in the Arctic region and identifies prioritized lines of effort, building upon existing initiatives by Federal, state, local, and tribal authorities, the private sector, and international partners, and aims to focus efforts where opportunities exist and action is needed. It is designed to meet the reality of a changing Arctic environment, while we simultaneously pursue our global objective of combating the climatic changes that are driving these environmental conditions.

The Strategy identifies three key priorities:

  • Advance United States Security Interests
  • Pursue Responsible Arctic Region Stewardship
  • Strengthen International Cooperation

It also outlines the following principles that guide its approach:

  • Safeguard Peace and Stability
  • Make Decisions Using the Best Available Information
  • Pursue Innovative Arrangements
  • Consult and Coordinate with Alaska Natives

For the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, see here.

For the press release issued by the White House, see here.