Future of the U.S. Coast Guard's Arctic Policy

GMA 460L - Senior Seminar Research Lab

The Arctic has become an emerging region of importance on the international stage. Climate change in the region has led to the diminishing of perennial ice, opening the Arctic for nations to capitalize on the untapped resources held in the area. Actions from the Russian Federation have only increased as they have become the most dominant force in the Arctic. The People’s Republic of China, while not being an Arctic state has also increased their presence in the Arctic in recent years. Implications from international actors in the Arctic has led to increased interest by the United States and the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard’s old and outdated icebreaking fleet needs an upgrade to supplement the Coast Guard’s increasing role. Proper acquisition of funding for the Polar Security Cutter program and future assets is needed. Recommendations for the expediting of the Polar Security Program and the development of the United State’s own nuclear-powered icebreaker is needed to meet the ever-increasing demands of the Arctic environment.