Date(s) - 01/16/2019
9:00 am - 10:00 am

SureStay Plus Hotel Airport Plaza - by Best Western

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Please RSVP for this upcoming National Security Forum Program

SureStay Airport Plaza
(Best Western)
1981 Terminal Way – Reno, NV

“Crisis in the Arctic?”

Man vs. Nature and Man vs. Man

A Presentation and Discussion With

General Joe Shaefer

January 16, 20189  9:00 am at the Sure Stay by Best Western Airport Plaza 

“Certainly, America has got to up its game in the Arctic. There’s no doubt about that,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said during a visit to Alaska in June. “The reality is that we’re going to have to deal with the developing Arctic, and it is developing.” (Washington Post, “The New Arctic Frontier, Story by Dan Lamothe, Nov. 21, 2018)

Most of us don’t give much thought to the Arctic region. Neither do our nation’s top diplomats or senior military planners. This is a strategic misstep on three different levels according to our esteemed NSF presenter, Joseph Schaefer (BGEN (ret), USAF)

  • Life on Earth: Unlike Vegas, what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. Arctic sea ice prevents heat in the ocean from warming the overlying atmosphere. This helps to keep the Arctic cold and allows it to be the moderating effect to keep earth’s climate in balance. But heat can escape from areas of thin ice. The Arctic atmosphere then warms, which immediately influences the global circulation of Earth’s entire atmosphere.
  • Economic: Some nations think, “Forget the climate hocus pocus. It is to our benefit to have as little protective ice cover in the Arctic as possible.” In this case Russia and China, in particular, will benefit if parts of the Arctic region can be kept free of ice for as much of the year as possible in as wide a swath as possible. The Russian “Northern Sea Route” would save billions in shipping costs and transit times between Europe and China, with Russia acting as the toll collector and China, which calls this the “Silk Road on Ice” the financier.
  • Political/Military: Russia is placing all its chips on changes in the Arctic region. The new Northern Fleet Joint Strategic Command and the intense military buildup in the area is ample evidence of this. Will Russia enforce its hegemony with military force? Will it bankrupt itself in the process, making it even more dangerous? Will China now create a different Nine-Dash Line east and north of the Korean Peninsula to meet up with Russia territorial waters — or negotiate the exchange of contiguous Siberian territory in exchange for forgiveness of debt?

In our upcoming NSF program, Joe will explore these issues in depth and suggest responses that the U.S. and other nations may take diplomatically and militarily in preparation and response to the inevitable showdown in the Arctic.

For those with a strong interest in the topic, I highly recommend the recent National Security article entitled “The New Arctic Frontier” by Dan Lamothe in the Nov. 21, 2018 Washington Post as advanced reading before Joe’s presentation. This article summarizes the current challenges and illustrates the topic with some very insightful graphs and photographs. An illustration from that article depicting the arctic region is shown below.

Link to WP article: The New Arctic Frontier

A full breakfast will be served ($20 Members, $30 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII Veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee, and conversation. Breakfast service and registration open at 7:45 a.m.

Please RSVP below. Membership forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking HERE. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.


Bookings are closed for this event.