Its only a matter of time before heads collide over the issue of resources and sovereignty in the melting regions of the arctic.
Russia was the first to stake its claim in this great Arctic gold rush, in 2001. Moscow submitted a claim to the United Nations for 460,000 square
miles of resource-rich Arctic waters, an area roughly the size of the states of California, Indiana, and Texas combined. The UN rejected this
ambitious annexation, but last August the Kremlin nevertheless dispatched a nuclear-powered icebreaker and two submarines to plant its flag on the
North Pole's sea floor. Days later, the Russians provocatively ordered strategic bomber flights over the Arctic Ocean for the first time since the
Not to be outdone, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced funding for new Arctic naval patrol vessels, a new deep-water port, and a
cold-weather training center along the Northwest Passage. Denmark and Norway, which control Greenland and the Svalbard Islands, respectively, are also
anxious to establish their claims. Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, said that Canada would open a new army training centre for
cold-weather fighting at Resolute Bay, and a deep-water port at Nanisivik, on the northern tip of Baffin Island. The country is also beefing up its
military presence in the far North with 900 Rangers. Mr Harper announced that six to eight new navy patrol ships would be built to guard the Northwest
Passage sea route in the Arctic. Canada intends to create a 500-strong Army unit - four companies of 120 troops apiece - for Far North operations
Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, head of the Russian military’s combat training directorate, told the news agency RIA Novosti that Moscow is preparing to
“increase the operational radius of the Northern Fleet’s submarines” and otherwise amplify the activity of Russia’s armed forces in the
Arctic.“We have a number of highly professional military units in the Leningrad, Siberian and Far Eastern military districts, which are specifically
trained for combat in Arctic regions,” Shamanov was quoted as saying. Russia would create new border guard facilities and modernize nearby
airfields, said Popov, the former chief commander of the Northern Fleet. Russia does not envisage creating either a new Military District or opening
new bases, but it sets out a case for reinforcing the Federal Security Service (FSB) controlled Border Troops by establishing a coast guard service to
patrol Russia's Arctic borders.
The Danish government announced that it would expand its permanent military presence in the Arctic. The plans involve the establishment of a regional
joint-service command in the Faroe Islands, in the North Sea, and the expansion of an existing military base in Greenland.
On July 14, 2008, the Russian Navy announced that its fleet has "resumed a warship presence in the Arctic." These Arctic naval patrols include the
area of the Spitsbergen archipelago that belongs to Norway, a NATO member. Russia refuses to recognize Norway's right to a 200-nautical-mile
exclusive economic zone around Spitsbergen. Russia deployed an anti-submarine warfare destroyer followed by a guided-missile cruiser armed with 16
long-range anti-ship cruise missiles designed to destroy aircraft carriers.
Norway revealed that it was moving it Operational Command Headquarters from the south of the nation at Stavanger north to Reitan outside Bodo, "thus
making Norway the first country to move its military command leadership to the Arctic." Four Scandinavian countries together with Iceland could form
a Nordic military alliance to protect their interests in the Arctic.
The United States has Thule Air Base in Northern Greenland, its northern most base. Based there is the 821st Air Base Group. Alaskan Command (ALCOM)
is a military command of the United States armed forces located in state of Alaska. ALCOM combined forces include more than 16,000 Air Force, Army,
Navy and Coast Guard personnel, and 3,700 guardsmen and reservists.
This thread is to be constantly updated with any new developments relating to this topic, discussion of when, where and who might come out the winner
in the event of such a war and so forth anything related to this topic. should be very interesting to see what happens..
[edit on 24-8-2009 by TheCoffinman]
[edit on 24-8-2009 by TheCoffinman]