Real Clear Defense provides a look at the increasing likelihood that Antarctica will become a region of great power competition. Their conclusion,
“Antarctica can no longer rely on its distance to protect itself from the calculus of states. Trends including great power competition, expansion both of and into the grey zone by many actors, the fragility of international law, and mounting resource crises all mean that long-held assumptions around Antarctic geopolitics are being challenged. Meanwhile, its harshness and physical distance are posing less and less of an obstacle to interested parties. After centuries of international neglect, Antarctica’s isolation may have set the stage for a hard pivot in global interest. Discarding these holdover assumptions will be important to recalibrate our understanding of the region’s strategic relevance. Without reform to the Antarctic Treaty system, and great powers assuming collective responsibility, Antarctica could even become a potential catalyst for outright conflict.”
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