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Arctic Yearbook 2012
State of the Arctic Strategies and Policies – A Summary
lacking in many fields”, there is, however, no mention of climate change as regards the
implementation of the Policy. In order to implement the US objective to “continue to play a
leadership role in research throughout the Arctic region”, President Obama issued a
Presidential Memorandum in the summer of 2010 “that assigns responsibility for Arctic
research to the White House National Science and Technology Council” (Farrow, 2010).
Although the US “Arctic Region Policy” was approved and released by the Bush
Administration as one of its last documents, it itself as well as the above-mentioned and a
few other documents of the Obama Administration indicate that in the early-21
century the
Arctic region is steadily emerging as a new important area in US foreign policy. This was
pointed out and emphasized by State Secretary Hilary Clinton in her interview in Newsweek
(2009/2010) calling the Arctic as an emerging area in US foreign policy with “a matrix of
All in all, despite the high emphasis on national (and homeland) security the US Arctic
Region Policy can be interpreted as a response to the recent significant environmental,
geopolitical and geo-economic change(s) in the Arctic.
Comparative Study of the Priorities and Objectives
This part of the article is a comparative study based on the priorities/priority areas of the
Arctic strategies and state policies of the Arctic states: either they are explicitly mentioned or
highlighted above as priorities or major objectives, or they are implicit in my interpretations
based on the above-mentioned substantial sectors or areas, of the strategies. Based on the
priorities/priority areas and major objectives it is possible on one hand, to draw up a holistic
picture of the national interests of the Arctic states on the Arctic as well as Arctic and
Northern affairs, and on the other hand, to compare them between each other, and also to
outline differences and similarities in the Arctic strategies and particularly their priorities.
Here I concentrate on the latter.
For the comparison I use eight inwards and outwards-oriented indicators: 1) first,
sovereignty and comprehensive security including on one hand, state (territorial and
maritime) sovereignty and national security, security-policy and defence, and on the other
hand, comprehensive - human, environmental and climate – security; 2) second, economic
and business development including all kinds of economic and business activities (e.g.