Existing security framework and economic incentives likely to defuse any conflict in the Arctic
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With an increasingly globalized world comes a globalized economy. Inherent in such an economy is a security element, which serves to deter states from actions that run contrary to the greater economic good. When coupled with the military deterrent provided by the US, it is all but inconceivable that Russia, or any Arctic state would engage in military activity in the region, which goes beyond a simple show of force.
This suggests that the existing security apparatus in place in the Arctic is sufficient to meet both current and future requirements. That apparatus is built around the sovereign authority of the Arctic Five states, and is bolstered by the Arctic Council. The Council provides not only a forum for mutual discussion and understanding, but also encourages consistency in Arctic policy development and enforcement. Backing it up is the legislative framework of UNCLOS, which provides the legal backbone from which to seek resolution of maritime boundary disputes. The globalized economy provides an additional deterrent to irresponsible actors, primarily through the actions of risk-averse investors who will sell off investments and thus rob the actors of much needed capital.
"The Implications of Ice Melt on Arctic Security
." Defence Studies
. Vol. 11, No. 2 (June 2011): 297-322. [ More (6 quotes) ]
Despite the rhetoric, disputes over Arctic resources are unlikely to devolve into conflict as states have to date been operating in a cooperative manner and there are sufficient international forums and structures (including UNCLOS) in place to manage disputes if they should occur.