Borgerson ‘8 (Scott, International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, March/April, “Arctic Meltdown: The Economic and Security Implications of Global Warming” http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/63222/scott-g-borgerson/arctic-meltdown)
Washington cannot afford to stand idly by. The Arctic region is not currently governed by any comprehensive multilateral norms and regulations because it was never expected to become a navigable waterway or a site for large-scale commercial development. Decisions made by Arctic powers in the coming years will therefore profoundly shape the future of the region for decades. Without U.S. leadership to help develop diplomatic solutions to competing claims and potential conflicts, the region could erupt in an armed mad dash for its resources.