Wednesday, July 24, 2013


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U.S. Coast Guard to unveil Arctic strategy

Posted by Christopher Lagan, Monday, May 20, 2013

A small-boat crew from Coast Guard Cutter Juniper is underway in Pond Inlet, in Nunavut, in the Arctic, Aug. 30, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cynthia Oldham.

The U.S. approach to the Arctic region must reflect our values as a nation and as a member of the global community. We will approach holistically our interests in promoting safety and security, advancing economic and energy development, protecting the environment, addressing climate change and respecting the needs of indigenous communities and Arctic state interests. – National Strategy for the Arctic Region.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp receives a briefing on Arctic conditions. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s value to the nation resides in our proven ability to protect those on the sea, protect the United States from threats delivered by sea and protect the sea itself. Our unique authorities, capabilities, competencies and partnerships as a military, law enforcement, regulatory and humanitarian service are central to that value proposition. We are recognized worldwide for our ability to execute these diverse maritime missions over vast geographic areas and under the most challenging and demanding conditions.

As we prepare for the future, the emerging maritime frontier of the Arctic is significantly expanding our operating area. Last September we observed the lowest sea ice extent in recorded history, and there are vast areas of open water where there used to be ice. Activity in the most remote reaches of Alaska continues to evolve and grow, including planned drilling operations in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, foreign tankers using the northern sea routes which transit through the Bering Strait and Sea, and small cruise ships pressing even further into the Arctic. As the receding ice invites increased human activity in commercial and private ventures, there is increasing demand for the Coast Guard to ensure the safety, security and stewardship of the nation’s Arctic waters.

Satellite data reveals how the new record low Arctic sea ice extent, from Sept. 16, 2012, compares to the average minimum extent over the past 30 years. Credit: NASA/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio.

We must think and act strategically.

Tomorrow, I will release the U.S. Coast Guard Arctic Strategy to guide our efforts in the region over the next 10 years. This strategy is based on nearly 150 years of Coast Guard experience in maritime operations in the Arctic region, since the U.S. Revenue Cutter Lincoln first arrived in the new U.S. territory of Alaska in 1867.

The U.S. Coast Guard Arctic Strategy documents our intent to pursue three key objectives: improving awareness, modernizing governance and broadening partnerships.

Beyond these objectives, we will continue to build upon our Service’s long heritage of leadership in the Arctic, working with Federal, state, local and territorial partners to ensure maritime governance in the region.

Semper Paratus. Stand a taut watch.

Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard

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Anonymous said...

Be Your Own Leader

Canada recently took over the leadership of the Arctic Council and will be succeeded by the U.S. in 2015. With back-to-back chairmanships, it gives both countries an opportunity to increase cooperation on initiatives that could enhance the development of a shared North American vision for the Arctic. The U.S. has significant geopolitical and economic interests in the high north and have released a new national strategy which seeks to advance their Arctic ambitions. While the region has thus far been peaceful, stable and free of conflict, there is a danger of the militarization of the Arctic. It has the potential to become a front whereby the U.S. and other NATO members are pitted against Russia or even China. In an effort to prevent any misunderstandings, there are calls for the Arctic Council to move beyond environmental issues and become a forum to address defense and security matters.


Anonymous said...

The U.S. and EU have agreed to launch negotiations on what would be the world's largest free trade deal. Such an agreement would be the basis for the creation of an economic NATO and would include trade in goods, services and investment, as well as cover intellectual property rights. There are concerns that the U.S. could use these talks to push the EU to loosen its restrictions on genetically modified crops and foods. In addition, the deal might serve as a backdoor means to implement ACTA which was rejected by the European Parliament last year. A U.S.-EU Transatlantic trade agreement is seen as a way of countering China’s growing power and is the foundation for a new global economic order.

Anonymous said...

It is important to keep in mind that the move towards a North American security perimeter is being done without congressional or parliamentary approval. There is no reason to trust that our governments will strike any kind of balance between security and freedom. That is why it is imperative that we demand more transparency and input. With a joint action plan expected to be released soon, it is my hope that Canadians and Americans will reject any perimeter security deal that reduces privacy rights and further puts our sovereignty at risk.

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