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Militarization in a Melting Arctic

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posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 06:40 AM
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The fervor with which many who claim that the arctic is cooling down is matched by the intensity of preparations, by superpowers and other countries to provide military clout over a neglected area of the world.

The Northwest Passage, when it becomes a standard shipping route for global trade, will alter everything... ports, canals, etc.

Here is what America is planning:


An “Arctic roadmap” by the Department of the Navy details a five-year strategic plan to expand fleet operations into the North in anticipation that the frozen Arctic Ocean will be open water in summer by 2030.

[...]

“This opening of the Arctic may lead to increased resource development, research, tourism, and could reshape the global transportation system. These developments offer opportunities for growth, but also are potential sources of competition and conflict for access and natural resources,” says the 33-page document, signed by Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, vice-chief of Naval Operations.

[...]

the U.S., in addition to the planned naval re-armament, is to station 36 F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets — 20 per cent of its F-22 fleet and what many consider the best overall fighter jet in the world — in Anchorage, Alaska.

www.ottawacitizen.com...


Canada's tentative response:


The Harper government has announced over the last several years the creation of a military training centre in the Arctic, economic aid to the region, as well as the construction of a new port, an icebreaker and a fleet of Arctic patrol ships. Work is under way on the various projects, but in many cases it will take years before they are ready.


Two other concerned nations with territory in the north:


The Norwegians and Danes, by comparison, have spent the last 15 years re-arming with a very combat-capable and Arctic-capable navy and air force, he said. The Norwegians recently spent $7 billion on the most expensive class of ships that they’ve ever built. The five frigates are designed for high-Arctic operations with an air superiority capability and state-of-the-art U.S. Ageis combat systems.


And. China:


Even the Chinese, he said, are building two to three new ice breakers that will give them an icebreaking fleet larger than the Americans and, “pretty well … larger than ours.”


No mention of what Russia plans in this article, but you can bet they'll have dogs in this fight. After all, they planted a flag on the sea bottom, claiming a large chunk as their own.

What does all this mean?

It means that governments are taking a melting ice cap in the arctic seriously... regardless of the controversy about global warming.




posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 07:42 AM
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Then if its melting why are they building ice breakers?

But true the race for dominance, sovereignty, of the NW passage is as old as Kipling's Great Game.


I hope war never breaches NA shores.



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 07:54 AM
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Originally posted by whiteraven
Then if its melting why are they building ice breakers?


Because it is melting gradually. The extent of summer melts vary a bit year by year, but the trend is towards greater amounts of open water. During the winter months, new ice will still form, requiring ice breakers to keep container ships and oil tankers moving through the Northwest passage.


The best website for keeping tabs on the yearly cycle is the National Snow and Ice Data center in Boulder Colorado.



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 08:07 AM
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Nice paintings.

I think Harper must know that the NWP race is on again. Not that it ever really stopped. Unlike most of the other classes the Elite are well educated and they do have a good sense of history as it pertains directly to their survival as well as to the family position. So from the elite point of view the NWP is still of recent interest.

During the cold war I heard rumours of US/Canada undertaking great interest in the Arctic.

I remember reading about the warm period as recorded by European historians and I believe that we may be entering into something kin to that period although we are now messing with the weather systems.

lol

Anyhow peace brother.



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by whiteraven
Nice paintings.


Thank you



I think Harper must know that the NWP race is on again. Not that it ever really stopped. Unlike most of the other classes the Elite are well educated and they do have a good sense of history as it pertains directly to their survival as well as to the family position. So from the elite point of view the NWP is still of recent interest.


It certainly is of interest to the PTB. The route is a huge shortcut to the Pacific, especially from northern Europe and vice versa. There are only two alternatives... the Panama canal and the treacherous route around South America near Antarctica. Huge cost savings transporting cars, food, oil, etc.

It's a dream centuries old. Here's a website that shows the route, and, if you browse the site, it gives the history (as you mentioned above).


During the cold war I heard rumours of US/Canada undertaking great interest in the Arctic.


For sure, and Russia is still very interested, as you can imagine, since their own arctic regions are melting.


I remember reading about the warm period as recorded by European historians and I believe that we may be entering into something kin to that period although we are now messing with the weather systems.


If you look at the link above, it likely describes early interest in the Passage. I enjoyed clicking through the pages. Very colourful and instructive website.


Anyhow peace brother.


Likewise.



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 10:52 AM
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Speaking of the Panama Canal, it seems that the potential new shipping lane through the arctic is already making waves:


The opening of the Northwest Passage has had no direct commercial consequences this year, at least not in terms of its use by merchant shipping. However, just a few days after the ESA released its photo montage, the World Trade Organization released a report that among other things warned of the risks in the Panama Canal expansion project. A few days after that, President Torrijos called off a scheduled meeting with a group of international bankers with whom he had intended to discuss canal expansion financing during his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly summit

www.thepanamanews.com...



The focus is already shifting.

Both the NE & NW Passages are fast being recognized as the preferred trading routes.

Russia, no doubt, has it's eyes firmly fixed on the NE passage, where it already has ports and infrastructure to facilitate the movement of freight from those northern ports.

Canada is also eyeing the possibility of either building on existing ports on its northern shores or providing new facilities.



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 01:44 PM
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Thanks for the link.

Very interesting reading I had forgotten about Cabot and John Ross.

WR



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 04:58 PM
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Read books on Admiral BYrd trip to antartica and neu schwabenland ,By now they may already be having full fledged cities underground since this activity has been going on for a long time.



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 05:33 PM
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Alright U.S stay out of this. :p This is Canada's and Russia's territory.



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by whiteraven
Then if its melting why are they building ice breakers?

But true the race for dominance, sovereignty, of the NW passage is as old as Kipling's Great Game.


I hope war never breaches NA shores.


Can you read ? It said melting - not melted - groan....



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by Shrukin89
This is Canada's and Russia's territory.


*cough* Alaska *cough*

Then there's Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland(?), Britain (Northern Scotland?). I may be reaching, but there's a few other countries with a dog in this fight.

I'm going to look into this.



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 06:04 PM
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Ok, according to wikipedia, there are 5 big dogs all barking at each other:

Russia, USA, Canada, Norway and Denmark.

There's tensions all around simply because everyone wants as much as they can get, not just for the shipping lane, but for the natural resources available once the ice recedes.



posted on Nov, 29 2009 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by audas

Originally posted by whiteraven
Then if its melting why are they building ice breakers?

But true the race for dominance, sovereignty, of the NW passage is as old as Kipling's Great Game.


I hope war never breaches NA shores.


Can you read ? It said melting - not melted - groan....




lol

dictionary.reference.com...



[edit on 29-11-2009 by whiteraven]



posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 09:35 AM
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China steps up to the plate regarding the thinning arctic ice and the imminent opening of seaways through Canadian waters.


Without any territory in the region, China will have access only to resources in the Arctic's international waters – and to the seabeds beneath them, as more and more polar ice gives way. But geologists believe there are resources there, lying outside the territorial claims of sovereign Arctic countries.

The new study, "China Prepares for an Ice-Free Arctic," by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, says China stands to make significant gains from a seasonally ice-free Arctic: shorter, cheaper and more secure shipping routes; possible access to undiscovered oil and gas; and the prospect of collaborating with Arctic countries to extract resources from the ocean floor.

www.thestar.com...


The expectation that the opening of the NW Passage would bring huge profits to shipping is a no-brainer. The fact that arctic countries will want to exact compensation for passage through territorial waters is also a no-brainer. But, then again, we have the usual sabre-rattling to go along with it:


Shorter shipping routes, even if only seasonal, could prove a significant benefit for China, which overtook Germany in January as the world's largest exporter.

But the Stockholm report also warns that geopolitical disputes could arise over the right of passage as well as over extraction rights. It cites one paper, by a senior colonel from the People's Liberation Army, saying the resolution of such disputes "by force" can't be ruled out.


Lovely... just lovely.

:shk:

sp

[edit on 1/3/10 by masqua]



posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 09:51 AM
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Since Chretien was PM, the Government has been increasing the size and frequency of "sovereignty" exercises that focus on what would be done if the Danes or Russians started exploiting resources in the area. The exercises are two fold, one to train the troops on the ground and to flex a bit of snow muscle to keep the Dane's out. The Canadian Forces combined operations base in the north has been discussed for nigh on twenty years but has never come to fruition. And unless someone pulls a rabbit out of somewhere
probably won't happen during this Government (they've been too busy watching the Olympics to do any work).



posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by Grimur
The Canadian Forces combined operations base in the north has been discussed for nigh on twenty years but has never come to fruition. And unless someone pulls a rabbit out of somewhere
probably won't happen during this Government (they've been too busy watching the Olympics to do any work).


Truth.

Can you say prorogation without verbal stumbling by now too?


Waffling on important issues are the norm while this government focusses on 'Family Issues' and their wonky 'War on Crime'. I despise populist posturing.

We've some serious situations developing in our northern Canadian waterways and we'll either get on top of it or leave it to a few Canadian Rangers with antiquated .303's sitting on shore. (not that they're not formidable, it's just that .303 bullets won't penetrate ship hulls
)



posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 10:02 AM
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The fact of the matter is regardless of the damage to the environment, governments are militarizing the arctic due to the large quanities of oil that could be found there.

CNN: Survey: Arctic may hold twice the oil previously found there


In new findings, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Arctic may be home to 30 percent of the planet's undiscovered natural gas reserves and 13 percent of its undiscovered oil.



posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by BlackJackal
The fact of the matter is regardless of the damage to the environment, governments are militarizing the arctic due to the large quanities of oil


Granted. As the old ice thins and the new ice becomes manageable, the race will be on to exploit the resources which the area holds.

Unquestionable.

The concern on this topic, though, it not the environmental impact (which I agree should be an issue as well) but (as you say) the militarization of the area and the chances of conflict rising out of it. Antarctica has long been carved up by interested nations even though it has been primarily for research. This is not the case in the arctic, though.

The world is just waking up to the potential for a melting arctic and scrambling for power over sea lanes and sea beds.

[edit on 1/3/10 by masqua]



posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 10:29 AM
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Thanks for bringing this up masqua! It should be on everyone's radars, because as you have mentioned; there will be a lot of players flooding the arctic armed to the teeth in the coming years. With nations armed forces being in such close proximity to one another, it is a recipe for disaster. Countries with territorial holdings within the region have a right to access the natural resources and to navigate the opening sea lanes in peace.

However, that is wishful thinking when it is discovered one has more access than the other or more resources, other nations are going to get upset. Jealousy and greed can bring this future drama to blows among the world powers if we fail to proceed with caution on this one. It seems we have 30 years or so to work out agreements, treaties, and possibly forming an international body to arbitrate this potential international nightmare before us. Hopefully, the world powers get down to business on working this out, because they have plenty of time. I shall keep an eye on this one.


[edit on 1-3-2010 by Jakes51]



posted on Mar, 1 2010 @ 10:51 AM
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Since ATS is dedicated to conspiracy theories, may I point out the obvious? The most powerful nations on Earth are located well north of the equator. A slight rise in global temperature would be an inconvenience, but not fatal to their economies or population. (Unlike, say Africa or South America.) Is it possible that they have reached the conclusion that global warming is desirable? Vladimir Putin is on record as having said: "Global warming would be good for Russia." Not only would Russia and Canada benefit agriculturally, but European nations, the United States and China would gain access to the resources currently inaccessible under the polar ice cap. In other words, is global warming INTENTIONAL?

[edit on 1-3-2010 by DJW001]



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