How America Can Step Up Its Leadership Role in the Arctic

April 21, 2015  |  The National Interest

The United States takes over leadership of the Arctic Council, an eight-country forum for Arctic cooperation, starting April 24, 2015? In an editorial, co-authored by Ross A. Virginia, Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center and Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, with colleagues from University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Wilson Center and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, the authors suggest that the complex geopolitical environment and tense atmosphere in Russian relations with the West should not impinge on future Arctic cooperation. 

"Arctic issues are beyond the scientific understanding and management capacity of any single country, and cooperation is essential in the face of enormous challenges there," the authors write. 

They point to a set of recommendation in a recently released report - the culmination of meetings since October 2014 of Arctic experts, government representatives, and NGOs - as a way forward for the Arctic Council, as the US assumes leadership. 


James F. Collins, Ambassador (ret.) is Diplomat in Residence and Senior Associate of the Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Michael Sfraga is Vice Chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Ross A. Virginia is Director of the Insittute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center for International Understanding nd Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science at Dartmouth. Kenneth S. Yalowitz, Ambassador (ret.) is a Global Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Wilson Center.

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The Washington Post

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Kennan Institute, Wilson Center