The Geopolitics of a Thawing Arctic

January 4, 2013

James Rogers, writing in the journal of the Royal United Services Institute (subscription required), identifies the United Kingdom as a potential pivot state that can assert leadership over a growing “Arctic crescent” as that ocean thaws and opens to seasonal traffic in the coming decades.

The UK has served as the protector of the North Atlantic for centuries – first during its own eras of hegemonic dominance, then in partnership with the United States.  The old  G-I-UK line (for Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom) was the name given to the virtual fence line that was supposed to pen the Soviet sub force.  Rogers forsees a similar role for Britain in an Arctic Era – commanding the western exit of the Northern Sea Route as the US focuses its forces on the Western Pacific in its much discussed pivot, thus containing the Mackinderian Heartland in the jaws of an Anglo-American pincer.

This is a very interesting article and if a free version becomes available, I will link to it.


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