Mark Nevitt, retired Commander in the Unites States Navy and Truman National Security Project Defense Council Member, laid out five key questions to consider when determining the future of the Arctic in an article for Just Security. 

“The day-to-day news cycle focuses on critically important national security issues, such as North Korea saber rattling, the ongoing Russia investigation, or whatever else happens to be the national security topic du jour. This flood of daily national security news makes it difficult to take a step back from the day-to-day news cycle and look at the broader security and geopolitical trends that are taking place—but that is exactly what climate change and its corresponding security impacts demand.”

“Consider but one example of climate change’s impact on the world: its outsized impact in the Arctic. Mariners since the 15th century have been fascinated by the Arctic region’s geography with an eye toward discovering shorter trade routes between Europe and Asia, and this 15th century dream is now becoming a 21st century reality. Climate change is opening navigational waterways and renewing the possibility of natural resource extraction (the Arctic is home to an enormous source of oil and gas reserves). Indeed, as of this writing, the cruise ship Crystal Serenity is successfully making another voyage of the fabled Northwest Passage, the largest cruise vessel to make such a journey in human history.”

“In determining what all this means for the future of Arctic security, there are five key questions that demand consideration given their outsized influence on future Arctic security issues…”

Read the full article here. Views expressed are his own.