The Foreign Service Journal, May 2021

24 MAY 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL FOCUS David Balton has been a senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Polar Institute since 2018. He previously served as deputy assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries in the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, attaining the rank of ambassador in 2005. There, Ambassador Balton was responsible for coordinating the development of U.S. foreign policy concerning oceans and fisheries, overseeing U.S. participation in international organizations dealing with these issues, and managing U.S. foreign policy relating to the Arctic and Antarctica. Previously he served in State’s Office of the Legal Adviser for 12 years and for six years as director of the Office of Marine Conservation at State. ON ARCTIC DIPLOMACY Advancing U.S.Diplomacy in theArctic Despite challenges posed by Russia and China, the Biden administration has a chance to further constructive, cooperative relations among nations concerned with the Arctic. BY DAV I D BALTON D uring the Cold War, attention paid to the Arctic focused primarily on national security matters. Beginning in the mid-1990s, governments broadened their gaze to consider the economic potential—and the environmental chal- lenges—of the region. Particularly in the last decade, as a warming climate ushered in profound environmental changes in the region, Arc- tic governments and residents have scrambled to stay ahead of emerging issues. Coastlines are eroding, sea ice is vanishing, and permafrost is thawing. These phenomena and others are already causing seri-