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Remapping the American Arctic


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Maps play an important role in shaping national policy, and in shaping society’s consciousness and support. But they can also reinforce ideas of relative unimportance by leaving key areas off, or having areas appear as mere incidental inclusions, which can subconsciously constrain developments in foreign policy. Indeed, it is perhaps no surprise that many Americans still fail to recognize the United States as an Arctic nation when the majority of U.S. maps place Alaska in a small inset box, relegating it to a secondary geographic status despite Alaska’s critical role in U.S. national security, from missile defense to the interception of Russian strategic bombers.

Alaska’s Second-Class Map Status 

Thanks to Alaska, the United States is one of eight nations in the world with territory within the Arctic Circle. But in its latest poll of American attitudes toward the Arctic, the Arctic Studio noted that nearly half of respondents expressed strong disagreement with the statement “The United States is an Arctic nation.”:snip:



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