Terrorism, climate change seen as Arctic security threats

My old friend Jane George wrote a story in the Nunatsiaq News about the panel where I presented my paper at the Northern Research Forum a little over a week ago. As she says, "The discussion was intended to focus on broader security issues, but speakers ended up talking more about the threat of terrorism and what this means to the circumpolar world." No one seemed too interested in discussing my take on cultural security and how it applied to indigenous peoples struggles for rights and recognition. Instead, the discussion got completely sidetracked on talking about the threat of terrorism. Actually, it wasn't so much the speakers that got sidetracked as the audience (at least Oran Young tried to get things back on track). The panel, including Ron Huebert, generally pointed out that there really wasn't much of a terrorism threat because there aren't many real targets in the North, not many people, and the region doesn't really have high visibility. But Huebert did point out that it could become an issue because the Arctic could be perceived as an easy point of access for terrorists. Really, I think it's all much ado about nothing. But maybe I'm just grumbling because no one asked a question about my presentation, and I didn't get mentioned in the newspaper. :-(

Posted on September 29, 2004 and filed under Academic.