Maritime Stability Operations – China: Bullying Their Way Into the Arctic

Maritime Stability Operations – China: Bullying Their Way Into the Arctic -The US Geological Survey estimates that the Arctic holds approximately 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil which is about 13 percent of global estimates and 30 percent of the Earth’s undiscovered natural gas.[i] This increase in regional shipping and resource mining may cause regional instability in the Arctic as China, Russia, and the United States and its Arctic State partners compete to ensure their interests are attended to in this newly marketable portion of the Arctic.

[i] Lino, Marissa, 2020, “Understanding China’s Arctic activities.” Accessed March 1, 2021.

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Maritime Stability Operations: A Foreign Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Case Study

Photo by: Ensign Joseph Painter U.S. Navy

Maritime stability operations are a subset of larger stability operations which take advantage of the freedoms that operating from the sea and operating under maritime law provide.  Maritime stability operations are divided into two types, steady state and crisis response.  Steady state stability operations are typically conducted by geographic combatant commanders in the form of exercises, port visits, or peace operations.  Crisis response stability operations come in the form of civil support operations, Foreign Humanitarian Assistance (FHA), and disaster response.  Whether operations are conducted by U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard units, alone or along with allied maritime forces, each agency follows a list of tenets set forth for maritime stability operations planning.  This case study presents a FHA crisis response mission which was small in scope but demonstrates planners effectively and efficiently employing the tenets of maritime stability operations to ensure mission effectiveness.

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