Murkowski, Sullivan Introduce Bill to Create Department of Defense Arctic Security Studies Center

New Center to be Named “Ted Stevens Arctic Center for Security Studies”

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation, alongside U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), creating a new Department of Defense (DoD) Regional Center in the Arctic, specifically Alaska, named in honor of the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. If enacted, the Ted Stevens Arctic Center for Security Studies would be the first DoD Regional Center in the Arctic. The DoD currently has five academic Regional Centers which cover regions which include Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Near East-South Asia, and the Northern Hemisphere. The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies located in Hawaii is named after the late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye. The centers aim to support defense strategy objectives and policy priorities through a unique academic forum and to foster strong international networks of security leaders.

“Ted Stevens knew the importance of the Arctic and a strong national defense to Alaska and to our nation. With the growing prominence of the Arctic in global geopolitical and strategic affairs, now is the time to give the DoD the tools it needs to foster the research and dialogues that will be critical to our nation’s national security,” said Senator Murkowski. “No leader invokes bipartisanship, strategic focus, and support for peaceful multilateralism in the Arctic better than Ted Stevens. It is my hope that through a center for security studies, Ted’s spirit will permeate another generation that will lead America – and the world – into the coming Arctic century.”

“I am pleased to cosponsor this legislation authorizing the creation of a Department of Defense regional center in the Arctic,” said Senator Sullivan. “Since statehood, Alaska’s congressional delegation has worked tirelessly to educate Congress and the Defense Department on Arctic issues. This Arctic center will ensure that our military can further study security challenges in the region and pioneer creative solutions to address these issues. It is only fitting that this center be named after the late Senator Ted Stevens, one of the fiercest advocates for Alaska’s crucial role in national security, and a man who devoted his life to advancing the interests of our state.”

Click here for full text of the bill.

Regional Centers:

  • Offer executive-development strategic-security studies, research and outreach in outreach programs that foster long-term collaborative relationships;
  • Develop and sustain relationships and communities of interest among security practitioners and national security establishments, especially in defense, throughout the region, and;
  • Enhance enduring partnerships among the nations of the region. 

Background: Senator Murkowski is considered the leading expert among her Congressional colleagues on Arctic issues and has worked continuously to raise awareness of the Arctic. At the beginning of the 114th Congress, Senator Murkowski and Senator Angus King (I-ME) formed the Senate Arctic Caucus, to advance issues important to the Arctic and to the people who live there. Murkowski is the U.S. Representative to the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region. Murkowski has also led the charge to recapitalize and expand America’s fleet of Polar Security Cutters (AKA icebreakers).

Related Issues: Defense