Arctic & Antarctic

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Milosz Reterski

In defending its vital interests in the Arctic, the United States lacks a critical tool: mighty nuclear-powered icebreakers that would solidify its economic and strategic role in the region. Russia is surging ahead in this area, and the United States must catch up.   

Joseph Chinyong Liow

The economic potential of the Arctic is undoubtedly considerable, and that has heightened Asian interest in the region. Because these are perilous times for the Arctic environment, though, the exploration (and exploitation) of the area needs to be done sustainably.

Stuart Reid and Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

Stuart Reid, senior editor at Foreign Affairs, sits down with Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland.

Scott G. Borgerson

The Arctic is rich in natural resources and lies at the epicenter of a rapidly changing climate -- and it is time the United States paid more attention to the region.

Reading List,
David G. Victor

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on climate change.

Essay, Mar/Apr 2009
David G. Victor, M. Granger Morgan, Jay Apt, John Steinbruner, and Katharine Ricke

Global warming is accelerating, and although engineering the climate strikes most people as a bad idea, it is time to take it seriously.

Essay, Mar/Apr 2008
Scott G. Borgerson

Thanks to global warming, the Arctic icecap is rapidly melting, opening up access to massive natural resources and creating shipping shortcuts that could save billions of dollars a year. But there are currently no clear rules governing this economically and strategically vital region. Unless Washington leads the way toward a multilateral diplomatic solution, the Arctic could descend into armed conflict.

Essay, Summer 1984
Evan Luard

There are disturbing indications that a major international dispute may be about to emerge over an important but little known area of the world's surface: the Antarctic.

Essay, Fall 1981
Lincoln P. Bloomfield

On October 4, 1957 the Soviets dazzled the world by launching the first earth-orbiting space vehicle--Sputnik. In response, the United States organized the manned moon landing, made its children learn the new math, and presented the United Nations with a draft treaty of rules to keep earthly rivalries--and nuclear warfare--from outer space. The space age brought forth intensive new competition between the superpowers. But paradoxically it was also an extraordinarily creative period of international rule-making, covering not only outer space but also other environments no one country had yet grabbed--Antarctica, the high seas, the seabed, the continental shelf and slope.

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