Date of Graduation

Fall 2023


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

John Rose


The thawing Arctic is subject to increasing activity, attention, and a renewal of interests in the region from around the globe. National interests have compelled strategic planning in the Arctic region and are connected to global geopolitics. A concept of grand strategy is distilled from theories of past authors, understood within the modern context. That concept includes a terminological framework consisting of interests and threats to inform an ends, ways, and means design of strategy, composed of all instruments of state power, blending policy with strategy, and across the peace-war continuum. Then fundamental precepts of existing U.S. grand strategy are presented within that grand strategic framework as derived from Congressional and Executive understandings. Next, contemporary Arctic strategy is similarly studied, and qualitative connections between Arctic and U.S. grand strategy are discussed. I conclude that the U.S.’s Arctic strategy is conceptually inseparable from and instrumental towards its grand strategy. The Arctic regional strategy must be subordinately connected to objectives outside the region. Existing U.S. Arctic pronouncements demonstrate ambition for high levels of attention, loosely understand the connection between regional interests and grand strategic objectives, are disjointed and uncoordinated from each other, fail to utilize a coherent set of terminology of strategic theory, and risk falling prey to distractions and diversions. Even so, current programs regarding the region are mostly appropriate.


U.S., Arctic, grand, national, strategy, policy, security, defense, China, Russia

Subject Categories

American Politics | Defense and Security Studies | International Relations | Military and Veterans Studies | Other International and Area Studies | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Political Theory


© Benjamin S. Murray

Open Access