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Environment

The Arctic Challenge

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMarch 25, 2010 8:15 PM

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As I noted in this review of Cleo Paskal's new book, "the northwest passage looms large in geopolitics." Paskal argues that the the U.S. and European Union are allowing short term economic interests in the Arctic to threaten their long-term security interests. It's one of the more provocative assertions she makes in Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map. On that note, an article in Foreign Affairs last March was titled:

The Great Game Moves North: As the Arctic Melts, countries vie for control

The author, Scott Borgerson, wrote:

The next few years will be critical in determining whether the region's long-term future will be one of international harmony and the rule of law, or a Hobbesian free-for-all.

So I found it curious when, in a recent post at The New Security Beat, Geoff Dabelko wrote:

Remarks at a recent spate of Arctic climate and security discussions suggest officials in Washington view the geopolitical and trade issues more as "challenges" than "crises."

That seems fair enough. But depending on how those issues are handled, might the challenges soon become crises?

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