The Arctic Institute Reaction to U.S. National Strategy for the Arctic

In response to the release of the U.S. National Strategy for the Arctic Mihaela David, Fellow at The Arctic Institute, said:

“The U.S. National Strategy for the Arctic region represents a good faith effort at articulating policy priorities, but without a clear budgetary plan, this strategy becomes nothing more than a lengthy wish list. In the absence of a comprehensive implementation strategy and a long-term plan to invest in Arctic infrastructure and capabilities, a true U.S. Arctic strategy remains as elusive as a mirage on the Arctic ice-sheet.”

“The strategy does not lay out specific initiatives or projects that might be pursued to achieve the various objectives identified within. It remains to be seen if the administration is willing to back up its strategy with adequate fiscal resources.”

“There is no mention of specific plans to upgrade the inadequate and outdated icebreaker fleet; to build physical infrastructure such as deep-water ports; or to invest in facilities and equipment for the Coast Guard's operations in Alaska's northern region. No budget information is included, nor a timeline for implementation.”

“What the strategy does succeed in doing is signal to U.S. citizens, other Arctic states, and the international community that the U.S. acknowledges its roles and responsibilities in the Arctic, that it thinks strategically about the future of the region, and that the administration intends to make Arctic policymaking more of a priority than it has in the past.”

“If in the next decade the administration fails to streamline the implementation process and provide the fiscal resources to support its policy objectives, the result will be a fragmented, unfocused, and inadequate policy through which the U.S. cedes leadership in the region and forgoes many of the opportunities that other Arctic and non-Arctic states will be prepared to seize,” concluded David.  

Mihaela David, Washington, D.C., +1 518.491.8398 
Malte Humpert, Washington, D.C., +1 202.656.6258