Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pentagon Releases Strategy for Arctic -

Pentagon Releases Strategy for Arctic - As a shrinking northern ice cap sets the stage for increased competition over natural resources, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday released the Pentagon’s first “Arctic Strategy,” intended to safeguard American security interests and the region’s environment.
Speaking at an international security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mr. Hagel described the challenges facing the world as rising global temperatures shrink the polar ice and as Russia, China and other nations compete for economic opportunities and influence in the region.
He noted that tourism, shipping and commercial fishing might gravitate toward new Arctic sea routes, but he underscored in particular what could happen as nations vied for the region’s vast quantities of oil and gas.
“A flood of interest in energy exploration has the potential to heighten tensions over other issues,” Mr. Hagel said. Multilateral security cooperation will be a priority, he added, as “this will ultimately help reduce the risk of conflict.”