Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out Russian and Chinese activities and intentions in the Arctic, shocking his fellow foreign ministers at the biannual meeting of the Arctic Council, the premier regional forum for Arctic matters.
Pompeo disturbed a norm that had held since the council’s 1996 founding. For over 20 years Arctic states have attempted to compartmentalize Arctic cooperation on scientific research, environmental protection, fisheries management and search and rescue protocols — avoiding hard-power competition in military security and trade.
Pompeo’s speech peeled back the veneer of cooperation to expose the underlying great power competition that has been building for the past five years. Continue Reading →