The inclusion of China, India, Japan, Singapore and Italy as permanent observers in the Arctic Council has increased the international status of this forum significantly. This chapter aims to explain the background for the increased international interest in the Arctic region through an analysis of the general security situation and to identify both the explicit and the implicit agendas of the primary state actors. The region contains all the ingredients for confrontation and conflict but the economical potential for all the parties concerned creates a general interest in dialogue and cooperation. The so-called ‘scramble for resources’ might be competitive but it will most likely be on commercial terms.
Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, 2013, Vol 15, Issue 2, p. 16-30