DOD Announces Center to Collaborate on, Advance Shared Interests in Arctic Region

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  • The Northern Lights can be seen above Ice Camp Sargo during Ice Exercise 2016 in the Arctic Circle, March 11, 2016. | Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Yanez

  • Camp Sargo housed participants of Ice Exercise 2016, a five-week exercise designed to research, test and evaluate operational capabilities in the Arctic Circle. | Photo By: Adam Bell, Navy

  • The submarine USS Hartford surfaces near Ice Camp Sargo during Ice Exercise 2016 in the Arctic Circle, March 19, 2016. | Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Thompson

The Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies will be the sixth such regional center for the department, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said during a briefing today at the Pentagon.

"The Ted Stevens Center will provide a new venue to collaborate across the U.S. government and with our allies and partners to advance shared interests for a peaceful and prosperous Arctic," Kirby said. "Defense Department regional centers are international academic venues for bilateral and multilateral research, communication and training, with the goal of building strong, sustainable, international networks of security leaders."

The center's focus will support U.S. Interim National Security Strategic Guidance and will work with partner nations to ensure that a stable, rules-based order in the Arctic will benefit the United States and all Arctic nations, including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

Like existing Defense Department Regional Centers, the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies will fall under the oversight and management of the undersecretary of defense for policy.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said the center will facilitate close partnerships between the U.S. and Arctic nations with shared values.

"The center will support the U.S. Interim National Security Strategic Guidance direction to work with like-minded partners and across the interagency to pool our collective strength and advance shared interests," Austin said. "It will address the need for U.S. engagement and international cooperation to strengthen the rules-based order in the region and tackle shared challenges such as climate change."

Other regional centers include the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany; the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii; as well as the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, and the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, all three of which are in Washington D.C.

Right now, no location has been chosen for the new arctic center.