Arctic Security Working Group

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Retreating Glaciers Open Lucrative Arctic Sea Route For Russian Traders

by Lawson W. Brighamvia Newsweek
Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is the Arctic national waterway of the Russian Federation, stretching some 3000 nautical miles and seven time zones across the top of Eurasia.

Unconstrained Foreign Direct Investment: An Emerging Challenge to Arctic Security

by Mark E. Rosen, Cara B. Thuringervia CNA
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Arctic Ocean is a vast maritime region which is bordered by six states that are now coming to appreciate their enormous hydrocarbon, mineral, and other natural resource potentials. Other states outside of the Arctic have also taken note of the Arctic’s vast and unexploited deposits, especially China. The Arctic is essentially a closed-sea and all human activity, even environmental accidents on land, can have serious environmental impacts on the other littoral countries because of ocean currents and climactic conditions.

Analysis and Commentary

China Is Seizing The Geopolitical Opportunities Of The Melting Arctic

by Mark E. Rosen, Commander David Slaytonvia The Hill
Monday, October 30, 2017

As the Arctic melts it is transforming from an icy waste ruled by polar bears to perhaps the most valuable global venue for natural resources including oil, natural gas and a variety of minerals.

New Russian Tanker Makes One of the Fastest Arctic Crossings

quoting Lawson W. Brighamvia Live Science
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Russian ship just made one of the fastest crossings along an Arctic shipping route without the help of a chaperone icebreaker ship, in part because the ship itself functions as an icebreaker and in part because of diminished Arctic sea ice, likely as a result of climate change.

The Arctic Waterway To Russia’s Economic Future

by Lawson W. Brighamvia The Wilson Quarterly
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The economic stakes are high and there are several challenges and uncertainties around the bend, as Russia tries to make the most of its northern gateway to global markets.

Analysis and Commentary

Arctic Security Poses Icy Chess Game With Russia, China

by Alice Hillvia The Hill
Friday, May 19, 2017

In Fairbanks, Alaska, last week, the United States passed the Arctic Council gavel to Finland. Started over twenty years ago, the council brings together the eight Arctic nations to tackle common problems in the region before they get out of hand.

Former CNO Roughead on Arctic Strategy, Future US Navy Capabilities

featuring Admiral Gary Rougheadvia Defense and Aerospace Report
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Adm. Gary Roughead, USN Ret., former chief of US naval operations and current Robert and Marion Oster Distinguished Military Fellow at the Hoover Institution, discusses US Arctic strategy and future US Navy capabilities with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian. The interview was conducted at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Jan. 23, 2017, following a panel discussion on US arctic strategy.

The military thinks bolstering its presence in the Arctic is necessary, but that may not be enough to make it happen

featuring Admiral Gary Rougheadvia Anchorage Daily News
Friday, January 27, 2017

An otherwise complete military strategy for the U.S. Arctic is on hold during the transition between presidential administrations, but Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan shared what he knows of its contents — including concerns about growing Russian aggression in the region.

Polar Code heralds a new era of safer navigation in Arctic waters

by Lawson W. Brigham
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A historic milestone was reached on New Year's Day 2017 when the International Maritime Organization's Polar Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters came into force. The "Polar Code," as it is widely known throughout the maritime world, is designed to improve marine safety and enhance protection of Arctic peoples and polar marine environments. It is a groundbreaking marine governance regime for the Arctic and southern oceans. The code establishes a set of mandatory and voluntary international standards for new and existing commercial ships and passenger vessels (all 500 tons or more) operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters.

Analysis and Commentary

The Arctic Is The First Stop In The United States Reset With Russia

by Mark E. Rosenvia National Interest
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Throughout the primaries President elect Donald Trump asserted that he wanted to have a more constructive relationship with Russia. Trump correctly asserted that President Vladimir Putin was not someone that the United States could pretend didn’t exist because he both loves his country and is enormously popular with his own people.


The Arctic Security Working Group is no longer active as of January 2018. This page will not be updated with future posts.

Robert and Marion Oster Distinguished Military Fellow
Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow
W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow
George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and National Security Affairs, Emeritus
Senior Fellow
Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow

The Challenges and Opportunities of Arctic Security, Water Security and Climate Issues

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Arctic security, geo-political and geo-strategic challenges with Russia have reemerged, China is seeking a broader regional role all while NATO and our allies are being tested by a more assertive Russia and an increasingly confident China.  Changes in global climate, mid latitude glacial degradation and the diminishing Arctic ice cap will make the Arctic more accessible in coming years and water security a front and center issue, potentially amplifying the geopolitical challenges we see today.


Cooperation 66 Degrees North

Thursday, May 8, 2014 to Friday, May 9, 2014
Tromsø, Norway

Cooperation 66 Degrees North is a two-day Arctic maritime and security forum. It is partly funded by the Norwegian Barents Secretariat and designed to enhance communication, cooperation, and collaboration across political, economic, and security sectors throughout the circumpolar region and beyond. In particular, it focuses on fostering frank discourse about security, safety, and operational/legal challenges in the maritime and offshore sectors of the High North.

Arctic Security Initiative meeting.

Arctic Security Initiative meeting

Monday, August 19, 2013

On August 15, the Arctic Security Initiative convened a Technology Working Group of policy and technical experts to discuss the continuing challenges of operating in the Arctic, one of a series focused on how best to help policy makers understand both the importance and the challenges of the US Arctic region.

Arctic as observed by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E

The Opening Arctic - Challenges and Opportunities

Monday, June 10, 2013

The most significant physical event on our planet since the end of the Ice Age is taking place today: the opening of the Arctic. Activity in the high north will increase. Fish stocks will migrate, and pursuing fishing fleets will thus move farther north. Access to natural resources will expand. New maritime shipping routes can reduce shipping times and costs and accelerate ties among commercial centers. Indigenous populations will be affected profoundly and rapidly.

USS Honolulu submarine and polar bears on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, near

The Hoover Institution’s Arctic Security Initiative

Monday, May 6, 2013

In an ongoing effort to solve the problems of a changing Arctic, the Hoover Institution brought together military, diplomatic, and scientific experts to engage in a series of discussions to address the strategic and security implications of increased activity in the Arctic. This series of discussions and workshops with scholars and experts identified ways in which to shape a safe, secure, and prosperous Arctic.

Meeting of the Arctic Security Initiative.

Arctic Solutions

Friday, November 16, 2012

To identify solutions for dealing with the changing Arctic, the Hoover Institution and the Brookings Institution have brought together military, diplomatic, and scientific experts to engage in a series of discussions to address the strategic and security implications of increased activity in the Arctic. The series of discussions will identify opportunities for shaping a safe, secure, and prosperous Arctic.


The changing global climate and the diminishing Arctic ice cap have made the Arctic more accessible now and in the foreseeable future.

When combined with economic and political developments, the changing Arctic is the most significant physical global event since the end of the last Ice Age. An unresolved strategic territory, the increased activity suggests that the region could become the subject of intensive negotiations and possible friction and confrontation relating to resources, ocean access, and sovereignty. In light of those changes and challenges, the Hoover Institution Arctic Security Initiative has been put in place to address the strategic and security implications of increased activity and to identify opportunities for shaping a safe, secure, and prosperous Arctic.