SUPPORT US

Responding to Global Challenges: the Arctic and terrorism - still some room for complacency?

RespondingtoGlobalChallengesMontage.jpg

Image credit: Department of National Defence

Policy Update

by Natalia Loukacheva

Global pressures are becoming ever more visible in the Arctic. Not only in the area of climate and other environmental effects that have turned the region into a barometer of global change, and got special focus at the recent COP 21 meeting in Paris, but other factors are also coming to bear. Last year vividly showed that the international terrorism threat had really turned into an outstanding global problem. Watching the first steps in mobilizing the whole civilized word’s efforts to fight this deadly threat, one cannot help thinking whether climate and other changes in the Arctic could potentially lead to bringing the terrorism threat to the ‘top of the world.’

Are we in Canada, and, generally, in all Arctic states securely safe from this growing challenge? Is terrorism a thing that can attack the Circumpolar world only from the South, not from the North? Doesn’t the global approach to fighting terrorism imply that we should look around in all directions? Is this urgent?

Changes in the Arctic bring about two relevant trends: First, our northern borders, previously securely protected by harsh climate band sea ice, are becoming porous. Therefore, they become increasingly vulnerable if we leave our border control and defense infrastructure in the Arctic static. Second, economic activity in the land and sea areas of this region is growing and is expected to expand further. The damage to these activities could produce very strong public, economic, political, ecological and other repercussions, and this is exactly what the terrorists may seek.

We need to look at the problem both nationally and internationally.

Canada should intensify thinking and discussing this matter, as well as the practical steps that can be taken. We need a strengthened border monitoring, surveillance and control in the Arctic. We may need to work in a different way with our indigenous peoples to raise their involvement and awareness in this respect in addition to rangers’ patrols, programs and engagements. Our security services should be duly alerted. Canada should become a natural leader in addressing possible terrorist threats in the Arctic.

We may also think about the strengthening cooperation with our Arctic neighbors. Why not bring the matter of terrorism in the north to the Arctic Council? Of course, now the Council deals only with the issues of environmental protection and sustainable development. But isn’t this a worthy subject – to try to re-assess and expand the Council’s mandate and make it even more relevant to current challenges that are very much different from the 1996 when the Council was established?
Another platform to bring the issue could be a meeting of the Arctic States’ Chiefs of Staff. Canada has successfully pioneered this important platform which, unfortunately, was temporary suspended because of disagreement with Russia on Ukraine. However, the need to collaborate on this matter with all Arctic nations remains.

These issues should also be high on the agenda of the newly created Arctic Coast Guards forum which once again united all eight Arctic nations on security matters.

The urgency of a fresh look and of practical actions comes from the simple fact that at least now this is prevention, rather than reaction. We can and must seal the Arctic from any terrorist activity. The earlier we do it, the better. Terrorism now is our common challenge everywhere. The Arctic cannot be an exclusion to this perception.

Natalia Loukacheva is a Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Canada Research Chair in ‘Aboriginal Governance and Law’ and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern British Columbia.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
UPCOMING EVENTS


No events are scheduled at this time.


SEARCH
EXPERTS IN THE MEDIA

Passport? What passport?

by Martin C. Barr (feat. Andrew Griffith), Laval News, June 29, 2022

Oil production test looms for OPEC heavyweights Saudi Arabia, UAE

by Editorial Staff (feat. Ellen Wald), S&P Global, June 29, 2022

Eric Nuttall & Amrita Sen - Oil & Energy Update

by Eric Nuttall (feat. Amrita Sen), Nine Point Partners, June 29, 2022

All talk, no traction

by Maura Forest and Andy Blatchford (feat. Robert Huebert), Politico, June 29, 2022

U.S. pushes for Russian oil price ceiling. Feasible?

by Matt Levin (feat. Ellen Wald), MARKETPLACE, June 28, 2022

Russia Ukraine Update

by Susan Bonner (feat. Andrew Rasiulis), CBC Radio One, June 28, 2022

Un sommet de l’OTAN pour tenir tête à la Russie

by Marie Vastel (feat. David Perry), Le Devoir, June 26, 2022

A geopolitical alternative system of co-operation for nations

by Staff Reporter (feat. Swaran Singh), The Zimbabwe Mail, June 26, 2022

Analyst says high oil prices spurs little drilling

by Lee Harding (feat. Kevin Birn), Western Standard, June 26, 2022

It’s time for Canada to get serious about defence

by John Ibbitson (feat. James Fergusson and Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 25, 2022

Trudeau meets with Rwandan president, expands diplomatic mission in Kigali

by CBC Newsroom Staff (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Newroom, June 24, 2022

With New Threats Looming, Canada Commits Billions to Air Defense

by News Desk (feat. Andrea Charron), New Express News, June 24, 2022

Drop in oil prices is not a quick fix for global inflation

by Editorial Staff (feat. Amrita Sen), The National, June 24, 2022

Highs and Lows of the Spring Sitting

by Peter Van Dusen (feat. Andrew Griffith), Prime Time Politics, June 24, 2022

Oil Incurs Second Weekly Loss As Analysts Differ On Inflation, Demand

by Ship and Bunker News Team (feat. Amrita Sen), Ship And Bunker, June 24, 2022


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email