Words by Katyn G.
The term “global warming” is not without its confusion and detractors, as well as enthusiasts and advocates. The Defense Department, however, is making plans for the ever-changing climate as part of their foreign policy and aid development plan.
In a recent address, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made it be known that the United States was developing a plan for action in the ever-thawing arctic zone. Known appropriately as the Arctic Strategy, Secretary Hagel asserted that he would be calling for peace and prosperity, rather than overt conflict over potential resources. The President has asserted his support and belief in the Pentagon’s stance in the Polar territory, seeing the economic growth as promising though needing to be met with moderation and not rapidity.
The thawing of major pieces of land has created a new promise and hope in economic development. First, there is the increase in the amount of shipping routes that could be utilized as a way to create new trade patterns. It also promises new growth in commercial growth as well. There is also the hope that new allegiances and alliances will be made based upon this financial potential.
The thawing of this region, however, is not without its drawbacks. Though Russia and other artic regions have promised cooperation, there is a chance that conflict could arise. The Pentagon has marked the risk as low and considers the Arctic a rather unthreatening potential military hazard. The Russians, however, will be expanding their base territory in the region but sighted through President Vladimir Putin that the relationship between the US and Russian militarily continues to grow stronger. The US military must walk the fine line between growth and threat in the region, according to Defense officials. Any movement could be perceived as a potential threat, thus creating an unnecessary conflict.
Military growth in the region will likely be a necessity that will require care and time. It will also carry with it a large price tag. Financial worries are not something that is being avoided. Secretary Hagel himself noted that there would be an expense in building ships, vessels, and vehicles worthy and able of sustaining the elements in this region. He also noted that this would not be done in a mater of months but rather, a matter of years. If financial hits continue in defense spending, however, the plans could take a back seat to other, more pressing issues than the Arctic Strategy.
Military experts and theorists are watching the Arctic Strategy and tracking changes. Relatively new to public awareness, it is time and finances that will be the determinant in how the policy works and the potential problems that are created.