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Lisa Murkowski

11/19/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/19/2019 09:11

Murkowski Stresses Need to Equip DoD With Tools to Support Arctic Defense Strategy

11.19.19

In honor of what would have been U.S. Senator Ted Stevens' ninety-sixth birthday, U.S. Senator Murkowski (R-AK) raised attention to an issue that was significant to him-the importance of the Arctic and a strong national defense to Alaska and the nation. Senator Murkowski highlighted her legislation she introduced with U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) to create a new Department of Defense (DoD) Regional Center for Security Studies for the Arctic, which would be named in Senator Stevens' honor.

The center, as Murkowski explained, would advance defense readiness, develop Arctic awareness, and improve allies and partner capabilities. With the growing prominence of the Arctic in global geopolitical and strategic affairs, Murkowski stressed the urgent need to give DoD the necessary tools and support to foster research and dialogues that will be critical to our nation's national security. The primary goals of the Ted Stevens Arctic Security Studies Center would be to find solutions for the greatest security challenges of the Circumpolar Arctic region while promoting greater engagement to addressing the challenges that lay ahead.

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The DoD currently has five academic Regional Centers for Security Studies which cover the regions of Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Near East-South Asia, and Northern Hemisphere. The centers aim to support defense strategy objectives and policy priorities through a unique academia forum and to foster strong international networks of security leaders.

Speech Excerpts:

  • 'Today we think about that role that Senator Stevens envisioned for Alaska in terms of our role in protecting and defending the country but also our broader, more global role and responsibility.'
  • 'The overarching goals of this study center is to find solutions for the greatest security challenges of the circumpolar Arctic region and to help promote greater understanding of the Arctic. We know we've got to do more, as well as facilitate greater engagement and potential solutions for the many challenges we know lie ahead.'
  • 'The Arctic presents an opportunity to expand the DoD regional center model, to study the rapid changes in communications, technology, environment, and societies in remote, sparsely populated areas with underdeveloped infrastructure.'
  • 'We see Arctic security emerging as an area of threat as well as interest as it certainly remains the likely spill over conflict area should confrontations occur within Europe or Asia. So great scholarships plus international and interdisciplinary engagement from an Arctic center would help advance defense readiness, develop Arctic awareness, and improve allies and partner capabilities to support multinational security cooperation across the circumpolar Arctic.'