The Arctic: Has America Been Left In the Cold?

  • Captain Scott E. Langum

The Arctic is changing. U.S. policies and resource allocation must also change. On September 3, 2015, President Barak Obama became the first sitting President to travel above the Arctic Circle. The purpose of his trip was to raise awareness of regional issues created by climate change. This administration has advanced U.S. Arctic interests compared to its predecessors. However, there is still a long road ahead fraught with political and logistic challenges that must be resolved. As environmental conditions and technological advances have increased man’s ability to operate in the Arctic, the need for persistent presence has increased proportionally. Operational implications of these emerging missions have affected not only the USCG, but the Department of Defense and a plethora of other governmental agencies as well. As a nation, the U.S. currently does not have the physical nor the political resources to support national security objectives. However, by focusing on the four greatest areas of strategic interest economic expansion, international diplomacy, national security strategy, and the projection of power across the full range of military operations, one can begin to prioritize areas within the national strategy for resource allocation increases.