Arctic Warming and Eurasian Grand Strategies

In May 2013, several Asian countries obtained the status of “permanent observer” at the Arctic Council, the body that gathers the eight countries bordering the Arctic. These new “observers” are China, India, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan (Russia Today, Northern exposure, May 15, 2013). This rush of Asian (some of them tropical and equatorial) countries to the Arctic is one of the most important dimensions of the current global race to the Arctic region (see Valantin, “Arctic, the New great game”), triggered by the combination of the rapid warming of the North and the global competition for natural resources (Klare, The Race for what’s left, 2013). The new grand strategies ruling over this race to the Arctic, which combine national …

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The Arctic Power Race: the New Great Game

This post opens a new series dealing with the Arctic, its environmental change and its evolving geopolitics and security. The Arctic death spiral, or “Melting is coming” Thanks to the widespread rapid melting of Arctic sea ice during the 2013 summer season, a Chinese freighter crossed the famous Northwest passage, shortening its journey from Dalian, China, to Rotterdam, by more than two weeks in August 2013. Between 22 and 26 September, the Nordic Orion, a bulk freighter going from Vancouver, Pacific Canada, to Finland, used the same passageway. It was transporting coal. The opening of this mythical passageway in summer over the last few years is the result of the way global warming is massively impacting the whole Arctic region. …

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 19 December 2013 – Pivot, center and epicenter

Editorial – Pivot, center and epicenter – First of all, let me wish you all a Merry Christmas, and send this wish especially to those who are prey to war and disaster, whatever their faith. This week, the epicenter or the pivot for the turmoil of change seems very much to be located around the …

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 12 December 2013 – Russia, the Arctic and … Syrian uncertainties

Editorial – Russia, the Arctic and … Syrian uncertainties – If you were looking for a new tense area to monitor, here it is: the Arctic. We had known it was coming for a few years, but now it is definitely on the agenda, besides, mainly, the Middle East, North East Asia and a struggle for …

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly No129, 5 December 2013

Editorial – A window of opportunity to regain some legitimacy? What do Hansen’s new study on the inanity of the current goals of the international community to mitigate climate change and the Council of Europe report regarding the terrible impact of austerity measures on European citizens have in common? The answer is legitimacy, or rather …

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No119, 26 September 2013

Horizon Scanning for National Security – Batman’s Gotham City with an international twist? The world is being profoundly reshaped: China’s global land grab, the battle for the Arctic and the importance of extreme environments for resources, a fast changing unsettled Middle-East, the importance of Central Asia, the return of a pre-World War I type of capitalist world, …

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No100, 16 May 2013

Horizon Scanning for National Security No100 – Redrawing the global strategic and geopolitical map: From the Syrian civil war and its impact on the region and beyond, with its many uncertainties, moving alliances and dilemmas, to the China-Japan unrelenting tension over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, through the rush for the Arctic, without forgetting the European quagmire and its multi-faceted apparently slow-moving polarization, this is actually the global political and strategic map that is being redrawn. How it will look like is still shrouded in the fog of war … or rather of wars, crises, and battles, present and, unfortunately, to come.

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No91, 14 March 2013

Horizon Scanning for National Security No91: The Actors and the System: Powerlessness? If we were to estimate the power of the actors by their ability to stabilize the system, they would not fare very well, and this, in itself, is a signal that tensions will most probably continue to rise and escalate in intensity as well as widen in scope. One of the interesting question would thus be: How long can this system withstand the pressure until it breaks?

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No88, 21 February 2013

Horizon Scanning for National Security No88

Extreme Environments Security

In its Global Strategic Trends – Out to 2040, the UK Ministry of Defence, Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC), underlined that “resource and the environment” was one of the major dimensions shaping the future. Notably, the highly likely growing resource scarcity would lead to strengthened interest in what they call “Extreme Environments” – i.e. the …

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