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Alaska 2020

Rudy Atencio

U.S. Congressional PRM Washington District 3 (2020)

Harvard University (extension studies 2017)

Background:

In 1996 The United States and its allies began to coordinate through international treaties cooperative efforts should an environmental issue arise in the arctic. In 2011 the U.S. along with, its northern allies including Russia, signed the Agreement on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic referred to as (AAMSRA) while also signing the Agreement on Cooperation on Maritime Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response or (ACMOPRA) in 2013. Every two years the U.S. rotates its chairship, whereby our obligation as chair is due this year (AACA 2017).

Analysis:

Mr. President, in this analysis two main options for dealing with what is an increasing alarm for our national security’s interests, economic diversification of Alaska, and Alaskan native’s interests are of grave concern (AACA 2017). The melting Ice in the Arctic waters of the Chukchi Sea located on Alaska’s most western border with Russia, serves as a trade, choke point, capable of maneuvering billions of dollars in revenue. This raises the potential for both diversifying the economy in Alaska outside of resource extraction, while also posing the potential for conflict engagement with Russia in the form of military engagement, spying, and international tariffs (Milner 2013). A recommendation for securing trade routes in this region should be issued immediately while also providing aid to Alaska’s native populations on the Chukchi coast, including, Russia’s most eastern border with Alaska for the following reasons.

First, article 7 of (ACMOPRA) allows for the mobilization of multilateral monitoring units should adverse environmental impacts arise due to pollution, while article 13 of the (AAMSRA) mobilizes the National Guard in order to conduct search and rescue operations if such an event occurred (AACA 2017). This could pose a veiled threat to our national security in that Russia, or any other signer could seize an opportunity by mobilizing military units into the region surrounding a natural disaster or missing persons, leaving our natural resources and homeland security vulnerable to foreign intrusion, spying, and the imposition of trade tariffs by the domineering state (Gourevitch 1978). Secondly, it is in Alaska’s best interest to secure food supplies should over-fishing or pollution threaten their sustainability.

Option 1: Introducing NGO’s while also monitoring, foreign cleanup missions.

Alaskan Native communities share an interest in having backup food stocks available, should a foreign state begin resource extraction of fishing, or natural resources in the region (AACA 2017). A potential threat is possible for emerging trade routes, national security, sustainability, food supplies and the Alaskan ecosystem. Embedding intelligence gathering units under the rouge of food aid, for Alaska, should fisheries come under direct threat from over-extraction and pollution, could discretely generate intelligence about the others side, while also stabilizing food provisions in those constituencies. The caveat being that Russia might perceive NGO’s as a provocation for gathering intelligence as those tactics have been used in the past as CIA information gathering tools. Similarly, we might predict that a foreign enemy could use our multilateral agreements, by seizing an opportunity to spy on our borders through veiled clean-up missions (Downs 1988).

Option 2: Secure all trade routes by increasing the presence of the National Guard:

I would recommend infusing a military presence like the national guard which conducts “search and rescue operations”, due to increasing tides as global warming threatens low lying coastal areas thereby avoiding using an instrument of war like the navy which might raise conflict instead (Gourevitch 1978).

Increasing the presence of the national guard would also secure trade routes in the region, meanwhile controlling fishing intrusions while beefing up security. Using the navy could be perceived as provocative or hawkish behavior and lead to a miscalculation. One should be cautious of being overconfident as this might contribute to undermining our safety. However, it would secure lucrative trade routes in the region. An effective negotiator could also be useful as this could avoid a “game of chicken” (Frieden 2016), whereby military engagement by either party might undermine our national security (Kahneman 2007).

Conclusion:

Currently, the house and senate are ruled by republicans, who are likely to be swayed in support of protectionism for trade routes favoring international trade (Milner 2011). Hybridization of the two options using both foreign aid and military presence in the form of the national guard and NGO’s, could help appease the needs of republicans creating an administrative win-win negotiation. Finally, Global integration is not always a safeguard for potential tariffs, conflicts, or intrusions, meant to undermine national or economic stability (Rodrik 2001).

References:

Agreement on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic. (2011). Retrieved from https://oaarchive.arctic-council.org/bitstream/handle/11374/529/EDOCS-2068-v1-ACMMSE08_KIRUNA_2013_a...

Agreement on Cooperation on Maritime Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response. (2013). Retrieved from https://oaarchive.arctic-council.org/bitstream/handle/11374/531/EDOCS-3661-v1-ACMMDK07_Nuuk_2011_SAR...

Agreements - Arctic Council. (2017, May 25). Retrieved from https://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/our-work/agreements

Downs, C. (n.d.). Negotiating Development Assistance: USAID and the Choice between Public and Private Implementation in Haiti. Edmond A. Walsh School of Foreign Policy, Georgetown University, (117).

Frieden, J. A., Lake, D. A., & Schultz, K. A. (2016). World politics: Interests, interactions, institutions. New York: Norton and Company.

Gourevitch, P. (1978). The second image reversed: the international sources of domestic politics. international organization, 32(4), 881-912. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

Kahneman, D. (2007). Why Hawks Win. Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, LLC , 158, 34-38. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

Milner, H., & Tingley, D. (2011). Who Supports Global Economic Engagement? The Sources of Preferences in American Foreign Economic Policy. International Organization Foundation, 65(1), 37-68. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23016103

Milner, H., & Tingley, D. (2013). Introduction to the Geopolitics of Foreign Aid. Retrieved from https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/26796/pages/all-course-readings

Rodrik, D. (2001). Trading in Illusions. Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, LLC, 123, 54-62. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

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