Today, the Obama administration released a report highlighting progress made by the federal government in the Arctic during 2014. In recognition of the Arctic’s importance to the nation, the President released The National Strategy for the Arctic Region in May 2013. This Strategy addressed a wide range of issues in the Arctic, including: national security, transportation, renewable and non-renewable energy development, increased maritime traffic, environmental stewardship, and research. The President followed the Strategy with an Implementation Plan in January 2014, which directs federal departments and agencies to complete specific milestones for the National Strategy over the next 10 years. To maintain transparency in Arctic activities, the Administration is releasing an annual report that demonstrates progress on the goals that were laid out in the Implementation.
The Arctic has critical long-term strategic, ecological, cultural, and economic value. It is imperative that we continue to protect our national interests in the region. These interests include: national defense; sovereign rights and responsibilities; maritime safety; energy and economic benefits; environmental stewardship; promotion of science and research; and preservation of the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea as reflected in international law.
Mark Stroh is Director for Strategic Communications and Assistant Press Secretary for the National Security Council.