Imbalance of attention poses greatest threat to Arctic stability
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That does not mean, however, that there is no threat of conflict over the Arctic. The danger, in fact, comes from an imbalance of attention. While the United States has largely ignored the Arctic, Russia and non-Arctic powers, especially China, have actively sought to find new geopolitical advantages in the melting ice. As the Arctic develops, it is clear there is a disparity of attention to the region, with some countries seeing it as central to their national affairs, while others, particularly the United States, pay little more than lip-service to their status as an Arctic power. It is this imbalance, and the uncertainty about the priority that the United States places on Arctic affairs, that could cause international misunderstandings or even conflict. This imbalance is apparent in the rush to resources, the promotion of new international trade routes, and—especially—the military power available in the Arctic.