The United States became an Arctic country by virtue of purchasing Alaska from Russia in 1867. For a variety of reasons, discussed in this work, the Arctic used to be a focal point for the US during the Cold War, but later on this country paid much less attention to the region, including somewhat dubious awareness of America actually being an Arctic state. The aim of this article is to present some opportunities and challenges posed by governing the Arctic, and in particular a brief outline of the U.S. approach towards the region through its track record in the span of about last two decades, until the year 2015. It also attempts to present the expectations connected with American chairmanship of the Arctic Council, as well as the reasons for the country’s inability to ratify one of the fundamental international instruments, i.e. the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS.