This May, Dr. Adam Lajeunesse, Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Canadian Arctic Marine Security and faculty at StFX’s new Mulroney Institute of Government, was invited to lecture to the NATO Defence College in Rome, Italy.
The Defence College is a military academy attended by senior officers from the forces of the various NATO countries. Its aim is to enhance alliance cooperation and educate officers in international military, political, social, and economic affairs.
For two years, Dr. Lajeunesse has been teaching in the College’s Regional Issues senior course, focusing on the High North. His lectures cover Canadian defence policy, circumpolar relations, Russian economic trends, and Chinese interest in the region.
These classes are taught jointly, and Dr. Lajeunesse is regularly partnered with Mr. Svein Efjestad, policy director at the Ministry of Defence, Norway.
An improved understanding of the Arctic and its geostrategic importance is becoming increasingly important for both Canada and the NATO alliance, Dr. Lajeunesse said. As climate change reduces the region’s ice cover the circumpolar area is seeing more shipping, economic development, and military activity. Many NATO states are discovering a newfound interest in the region, with nations such as Germany, Britain, France, and others forming new Arctic foreign policies or pushing for increased participation in forums such as the Arctic Council and Arctic Circle.