Last week, the US became chair of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum for the eight Arctic nations and observer nations as distant from the Arctic as India and Singapore. Most Americans think of Alaska when they think about the Arctic but do not fully appreciate how important the Arctic is to our nation's future. For many decades, the Arctic was primarily a frozen haven for indigenous peoples, polar bears, seals and submarines. But as the Arctic warms at a rate twice that of the rest of the planet, it is becoming more and more accessible to human activity — and that will affect the world's geopolitics and its climate. A region where most assets had been frozen is rapidly become a dash for resources, access and influence.