The Arctic is opening. Global warming is leading to seasonal sea-ice retreat, which in turn opens hitherto impassable shipping routes and new areas for resource exploitation. Such changes are elevating the Arctic's geostrategic value and stoking inter-state competition. The admission of five Asian states as Arctic Council observers in 2013 underlines the increased importance of the High North in global politics. And as the sea ice retreats, so military forces are redeployed northwards, raising the prospect of conflict.
Christian Le Mière and Jeffrey Mazo bring much-needed sobriety to the discussion of change in the Arctic, outlining the possibilities of and limits to economic opportunities in the High North while providing a detailed examination of the political and military changes this might bring. Their analysis provides an invaluable guide as the region transforms from a parochial concern to a global interest.
About the Author:
Christian Le Mière is Senior Research Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the co-author of Regional Disorder: The South China Sea Disputes and was previously the editor of Jane's Intelligence Review.
Jeffrey Mazo is Consulting Senior Fellow for Environmental Security and Science Policy and Consulting Editor, Survival at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of Climate Conflict: How global warming threatens security and what to do about it (IISS: 2010).