Alaska: the NEW Frontier for International Politics?
While simultaneously being the state with the largest amount of land, some of the richest resources and a very centered location in North America’s connection to the Eurasian landmass, Alaska has the potential to be the stage of US-Russia, or even US-China, relations. On top of this, Alaska is the United State’s gate to the Arctic and all of the geopolitical tension it is currently holding. The Institute for Politics and Society has decided to interview the Honorable Kevin Meyer, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State of Alaska to grasp a better idea of how he views the current political climate around the globe and how the state of Alaska wants to be a leader within US foreign policy.
Throughout the change of federal administration from the Donald Trump Presidency to Joe Biden’s administration, Mr. Meyer pointed out that Alaska has seen mixed effects to which he seemed quite neutral about. On one hand, Meyer does not appreciate the Biden administrations’ efforts to limit climate change to the degree that it limits Alaskan private businesses’ ventures. Mr. Meyer honed in on the individualistic nature that is a proud feature to Alaska in the history of its admittance into the Union. At that time, the federal government decided that Alaska was resource-rich and could take care of itself as a state economically and be a benefit to the other contiguous states. Thus, the current Biden administration upsets many Alaskans whenever it limits their personal interests.
On the flipside of this, Mr. Meyer could appreciate the White House’s focus on the military build-up in Alaska when concerning foreign adversaries across the Pacific Ocean. Meyer deliberately stated that Alaska does not worry about said adversaries; however, a military presence in Alaska reassures the state that its precious yet vast resources are secure.
Concerning the recent administration change, Mr. Meyer acknowledged that Alaska did indeed vote for a second term with Donald Trump as president. Thus, Mr. Meyer showed an understanding that Alaska currently holds a small population and that most Alaskans voted for Trump mainly for his resource extraction policies – policies that bring Alaska lots of economic activity. Nevertheless, Mr. Meyer does not join some of his fellow party members in saying the mail-in ballots caused election fraud. However, he had instituted that Alaska would not allow full mail-in ballots for the federal and state elections of 2020. Ultimately, Mr. Meyer signalled that he is open to the Biden administration and hopes that it will keep Alaskan interests at heart.