Competing claims among Argentina, Chile, and Great Britain in the Antarctic: economic and geopolitical undercurrents
Lanker, Russell G.
Bruneau, Thomas C.
Tollefson, Scott D.
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The Antarctic continent holds a vast economic potential in both renewable and non-renewable resources. Therefore, the sovereignty of the continent, and in particular the Antarctic peninsula and Weddell Sea areas, has been a key issue between the two Southern Cone nations of Argentina and Chile for hundreds of years. Currently these two nations, along with Great Britain, have overlapping claims in the region. This thesis examines the geopolitical and historical claims of these and other nations, along with the current and potential mechanisms that are designed to regulate the region. It will also evaluate the potential for conflict in the future over the disputed region and examines current U.S. interests. It concludes that the United States should make every effort to maintain the current Antarctic Treaty System. The Antarctic continent is unique not only because of its vast starkness and relative isolation, but also because of its special multinational governing regime and its potential economic significance. It is the only continent upon which no nation is sovereign. There are seven nations which have territorial claims to sectors of the continent and three of these overlap. Each nation has its own justification for occupation of the continent, however, these reasons can be categorized into two main groupings: fulfillment of geopolitical goals, or economic aspirations
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