Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 356

356 Arctic Yearbook 2015 the extraction of so far unexploited natural resources as well as the use of new shipping routes in the Arctic Ocean became more profitable. With it also came serious challenges to the environment, an increased need for solid capabilities to conduct SAR operations and to minimize threats by oil-spills, terrorism, trafficking, illegal migration and organized crime (Wezeman 2012: 14). At the same time the slow, but constant increase in the presence of military forces and capabilities continued to be excluded from a broader Arctic security discourse and thus fully in line with the logic of ‘Securitization’ (Buzan et al. 1998: 23 ff.), no extraordinary measures were taken to ‘desecuritize’ potential and traditional military threats to the region, simply because they were not ‘securitized’ in the first place. As the Ukrainian crisis seems now to indicate, cooperation solely on economic, environmental and human security appears vulnerable to geopolitical spillover effects. Having not tackled traditional security seriously enough in the past, now even seems to bring cooperation on non-traditional security under stress as the Arctic gets drawn deeper and deeper into a sub-plot of tensed geopolitics. Meanwhile, also the new US Arctic Council chairmanship’s agenda continues to stick very closely to the council’s original mandate and specifically disregards issues of traditional military security (Kerry 2015). From sub-plot to proving ground: lessons-learned from a tensed Arctic security environment As the Ukrainian crisis has shown, there are four major lessons to be learned from the recently tensed Arctic security environment: 1. No immunity from spillover effects: Even if conflict emerging within the Arctic is ruled out, the region is not (and never was) immune from spillover effects from outside the region. 2. Preserve cooperation in the economic, environmental and human dimensions of security: Since military cooperation with Russia is currently suspended, even more efforts should be put into the conservation and strengthening of the economic, environmental and human security dimension. The continuation of cooperation between Norway and Russia in the sphere of SAR seems to be an already very positive signal in this regard (Johnsen 2015). 3. Strengthen civil society and indigenous people: As many government-to-government and especially military-to-military contacts are currently completely suspended, special emphasis should be put on cross-border co-operation between research institutions, civil society actors and indigenous peoples who seem much less affected by the current crisis (e.g. Bailes & Heininen 2012: 108 f.; Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program 2015). Strengthening these contacts could contribute to negating stress in other security dimensions or between different security actors. 4. Future strengthening of the military security dimension: The military security dimension could for example be strengthened by military cooperation such as proposed by Thorvald Stoltenberg7 (2009), by the implementation of CSBMs (Schaller 2014) or by establishing proper rules of engagement and higher levels of people-to-people contacts (Bergh 2014; Wezeman 2014). While all Arctic states should work hard to preserve what they achieved in the past, at the moment, the burden seems to be on Russia to send the first, genuine signals of relaxation in the relations with Schaller