Foreign Policy Blogs

Arctic

The Economist Publishes Special Report on the Arctic

The Economist Publishes Special Report on the Arctic

On newsstands this week is The Economist’s special report on the Arctic. The region merits special attention because “no longer distant or inviolable,” the Arctic “has emerged, almost overnight, as a powerful symbol of the age of man.” With analyses on climate change, science, politics, natural resources, ...

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In 2012 Budget, Canada Discontinues Trips for Foreign Ambassadors to the Arctic

In 2012 Budget, Canada Discontinues Trips for Foreign Ambassadors to the Arctic

On Thursday, the Canadian House of Commons held a 24-hour session to vote on the 2012 federal budget. After members listened to the over 800 proposed amendments, they finally voted in favor of passing the budget. It will now move on the the Senate, where it will almost inevitably pass. One ...

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Arctic Drone Possibly in the Works for Canada

Arctic Drone Possibly in the Works for Canada

North American Arctic nations are busy researching new developments in northern technology. As I mentioned recently, the U.S. is trying to develop a “Knight Rider” vehicle for Alaska. Now, Northrop Grumman, the American defense company, is trying to sell a modified version of its Block 30 RQ-4B Global Hawk, ...

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Hillary Clinton Discusses Black Carbon and Arctic Council in Norway

Hillary Clinton Discusses Black Carbon and Arctic Council in Norway

Last weekend, Hillary Clinton traveled to Norway for two days as part of her ongoing trip to Scandinavia, the Caucuses, and Turkey. In Norway, she first went to Oslo, where she had dinner with Norwegian Foreign Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. He said to the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, “I’ve spoken with ...

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U.S. Northern Command Seeks Semi-Autonomous Arctic ATV

U.S. Northern Command Seeks Semi-Autonomous Arctic ATV

In April, the U.S. Army’s Northern Command released a request for information (RFI) for a semi-autonomous all terrain vehicle dubbed “KODIAK.” The request for information is merely that, as no money has been allocated for the actual development of such a vehicle. KODIAK should be able to withstand temperatures ranging ...

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Shell Posed to Begin Drilling This Summer in Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

Shell Posed to Begin Drilling This Summer in Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

Third Time’s a Charm for Shell On May 25, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) August 2011 decision to permit Shell to drill in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off Alaska’s north shore. The Native Village of Point Hope and the Inupiat Community ...

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No longer world’s biggest oil producer, Russia focuses on offshore development

No longer world’s biggest oil producer, Russia focuses on offshore development

According to data from the Joint Organization Data Initiative, Saudi Arabia has surpassed Russia as the world’s largest oil producer, a position which the latter country held for six years. The Middle Eastern kingdom’s oil production rose to a 31-year high last year, while Russia’s dropped. As Matthew Hulbert writes ...

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Senate to consider UNCLOS ratification for the first time since 2007

Senate to consider UNCLOS ratification for the first time since 2007

The Cable reports that President Barack Obama and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) are behind a renewed effort to have the Senate ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Kerry, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, has been trying to set up hearings since last year, but Senator ...

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Canada’s Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships Delayed Three More Years

Canada’s Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships Delayed Three More Years

The Royal Canadian Navy’s plans to acquire six to eight ice-capable Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) are facing yet another obstacle. On Tuesday in the Canadian House of Commons, the 2012-13 Reports on Plans and Priorities were tabled. The reports sum up the expected revenue, expenditures, and projects of each government agency ...

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Lloyd’s of London report examines risks for companies operating in the Arctic

Lloyd’s of London report examines risks for companies operating in the Arctic

Lloyd’s of London, the British insurance company, and Chatham House, a London-based think tank, have released a report together entitled, “Arctic Opening: Opportunity and Risk in the High North.” The report states that four key industries will be the “biggest drivers and beneficiaries of Arctic economic development.” They are: ...

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Canadian and American military exercises reveal gap between countries in Arctic capabilities

Canadian and American military exercises reveal gap between countries in Arctic capabilities

Canada: Operation Nunalivut The Canadian Forces have just commenced one of their annual sovereignty exercises in the Arctic, called Operation Nunalivut. 150 Canadian Forces personnel from the Navy, Air Force, Army, and Canadian Rangers are participating. This year, the exercises are taking place around Cornwallis Island and ...

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International Polar Year 2012 conference underway in Montreal

International Polar Year 2012 conference underway in Montreal

I’ve just returned from the first day of proceedings at the International Polar Year 2012 conference in Montreal. Entitled “From Knowledge to Action,” the conference features panels, plenaries, action forums, indigenous exchange forums, and poster sessions about the current state of the poles. Reflecting the conference’s title, speakers are ...

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China wins Swedish support for Arctic Council permanent observer status

China wins Swedish support for Arctic Council permanent observer status

On Monday, a deputy Chinese foreign minister, Song Tao, announced that Sweden, the current chair of the Arctic Council, supported his country’s bid for permanent observer status in the multilateral organization. He stated, “China applauds Swedish support for China to be an observer to the Arctic Council.” Tao was speaking ...

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Arctic chiefs of defense agree to closer search and rescue cooperation

Arctic chiefs of defense agree to closer search and rescue cooperation

On Thursday and Friday, the chiefs of defense from all eight Arctic states met at a Canadian military base in Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador to discuss forging closer ties up north.  This was the first time that generals from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the U.S. ...

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Senator Mark Begich holds roundtable on Alaskan deepwater port

Senator Mark Begich holds roundtable on Alaskan deepwater port

Alaska Senator Mark Begich (Dem.) hosted a roundtable yesterday at the University of Alaska Anchorage to consider building a deepwater port in Alaska. According to a press release from Senator Begich’s office, among the dozen participants were Rear Admiral Tom Ostebo, Commander of the Seventeenth Coast Guard ...

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