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The Arctic Is Now: Economic and National Security in the Last Frontier

Author: Captain Melissa Bert, USCG, 2011-2012 Military Fellow, U.S.Coast Guard
January 2012
American Foreign Policy Interests

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Abstract

With an estimated 30 billion barrels of oil, 220 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, rare earth minerals, and massive renewable wind, tidal, and geothermal energy resources, the economic potential of the Alaskan Arctic can be measured in the trillions of dollars. Although the other Arctic nations are parties to the Law of the Sea Convention and are already developing their nations' Arctic resources, the United States has failed to ratify the convention or develop a plan for the region. Now is the time for the Obama administration to advance a comprehensive Arctic strategy that addresses both governance and acquisition requirements, or it risks further harm to the nation's economic and national security.

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