Arctic Yearbook 2014
about the High North. It is high time that military security needs and concerns are addressed as
an integral and legitimate part of the Arctic agenda.
There are different means to reach this objective, and under present conditions an ad hoc method
is preferable to an attempt to put it directly on the Arctic Council agenda. The establishment of
an informal forum of the senior officials from those ministries that handle security policy in the
Arctic Council member states could be an important first step.
In the spirit of Arctic cooperation and trust, the first task of such a senior officials forum should
be the comprehensive examination of security military issues above the Arctic Circle. A first
substantive step might be to evaluate the feasibility of introducing politically binding confidence
and security-building mechanisms (CSBMs) into the region. All the Arctic states are also
members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and as such are
committed to sophisticated CSBMs measures that even cover their Arctic areas. Arctic specific
measures should be contemplated for the broad and very unique Arctic security environment.
These are not new ideas but the need to introduce this security dialogue into the Arctic agenda
has gained urgency with rapid international and regional geopolitical change. Last but not least it
is arguable that the smaller Arctic partners have most to gain from stronger institutional capacity
and expanded political agenda for the Arctic, so the initiative should perhaps be theirs.
1. David A. Welch. (2013, December). The Arctic and Geopolitics. CIGI paper. 6.