New Cold War: Russia to Patrol "their" Arctic.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by SmithsRail, Mar 27, 2009.

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  1. Russian FSB to patrol the Arctic.

    Very interesting, a fair few nations claim the Arctic as being theirs.. how will this pan out?
  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Messily, I think, although I think it will take a while to do so.

    Crack troops? Cracked more like it. Who on earth would volunteer to do this duty? Penal Bns, anyone?
  3. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    This relates (I think) to the Russian claim to a chunk of outlying seabed as being part of 'their' continental shelf. Issues are gas and oil & possible future ice-free navigation perhaps. Don't blame them for trying it on really, let's see what US & Canada have to say. I seem to remember that a demarcation is due sometime from the UN (which may deprive us of Rockall and give it to the Irish).
  4. Canadian defence policy as set out by the Tories:

    obviously a number of these have been scaled back but in essence, Canada has enough of a presence not to be too worried about this. The Russians may like to pontificate about how tough they are in the cold, but the Rangers are bloody Inuit! And remember, that part of the Canadian Arctic is called Nunavut and is administered by the Inuit.
  5. Lose Rockall, I rather doubt it, Gordon Brown needs a victory, he'll act like it's his Falklands :)
  6. plus even the royal navy can see off the might of the irish navy
    though may lose a ship by ramming rockall :roll:
  7. Let's just hope the Icelandic (cod) trawlermen don't decide to join the Irish. :)
  8. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    You think we might lose a lump of uninhabited rock? Are we that short of periwinkles and molluscs that Rockall has become a strategic landmark? :)
  9. Climate change is forcing Nato to consider expanding its operations into the 'high north'.

    Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, commander-in-chief fleet and commander of Nato's allied maritime component command, told the International Institute for Strategic Studies the move was the subject of "considerable debate".

    An ice-free Arctic is currently envisaged before the middle of the 21st century and some estimates suggest it could occur as soon as 2013.

    The implications for shipping, which could develop a shorter route to south-east Asia, are significant. Arguably more so in strategic terms, Adml Stanhope argued, is the region's energy resources.

    "There is considerable debate about what role there is for Nato in the high north," he told the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

    Russia has already planted its flag on the Arctic seabed amid disputes over which parts of the region can be defined as being on its continental shelf.

    Adml Stanhope suggested the opening-up of the Arctic could lead to the renewal of difficulties with Russia.

    "There will be a lot of issues downstream of that, some of which might develop into areas of tension," he added.

    "We have to recognise of the nations [closest to the high north] all except Russia are members of Nato. So we just need to be aware everybody has varying views about how much tension or not there will be."

    Adml Stanhope, who will become the first sea lord this summer, said immigration, piracy, the dangers of nuclear proliferation and arms trafficking had shifted Nato's importance towards the maritime sphere.

    The organisation lacks a conceptual basis around which to structure its afloat operations, however. "We have no in-date framework for current operations," he said.

    But work has now begun on such a document as Nato expands its maritime operations further and further afield. An operation to Australia designed to show Nato's naval capability to the region is underway and a separate deployment is expected to arrive off the coast of Somalia within the next 48 hours.
  10. China and the Arctic: The Awakening Snow Dragon
    Publication: China Brief Volume: 9 Issue: 6
    March 18, 2009 06:19 PM Age: 10 days
    Category: China Brief, Economics, Foreign Policy, Military/Security, China and the Asia-Pacific, Featured, Home Page
    By: Joseph Spears

    Chinese Icebreaker Xue Long (Snow Dragon)

    China is very dependent on international shipping for its economic development. Any changes to world shipping routes will have a direct impact on China’s economy and potential trade with respect to both imports and exports. The Arctic Ocean is in a state of rapid flux that scientists have not seen in recent times. The Arctic is changing rapidly and this will have a profound effect on global shipping routes. This article is based on the writer’s experience in what a changing Arctic might look like and the possible impact on China’s future. This article is by nature a horizon scanning prediction based on an understanding of shipping theory and practice. Shipping by its nature is secretive and the open source literature on this subject for commercial reasons is sparse. It is hoped that this article will provide the reader with some perspective and context to deal with these changes in the Arctic.

    Over 50 percent of the sea-ice cover in the Arctic Ocean in the last two summers has disappeared. This reality—a melting arctic—is outstripping the predictive climate models. An open Arctic Ocean presents a unique opportunity for China and international trade generally. Commercial shipping is the lifeblood of international trade with over 90 percent of the world’s international trade carried by commercial shipping. With or without a great global recession, shipping will continue to be the thread that keeps the world economy operating—whether the cargoes are bulk commodities, oil or manufactured goods. China is dependent on foreign trade and 46 percent of its GDP is shipping dependent [1]. Any event that affects shipping will have a measurable effect on the Chinese economy, and the changing physical landscape of the Arctic region will certainly have a major impact on China’s economic future.

    The search for the Holy Grail of a Northwest Passage through the Arctic from Europe to China for trade drove exploration and the “discovery” of the New World for centuries. This article, the first of a series, will examine the future scenarios for new commercial shipping routes across the top of the world—one of the world’s last frontiers. During the Cold War the Arctic was the center of action for subsurface activity. The use of polar routes revolutionized air travel in the last century and the advent of new shipping routes will do the same for commercial shipping in this century. These new routes, because of significant distance and fuel savings, could produce a seismic shift in world trade patterns and the nature and form of commercial shipping. China is 4000 nautical miles closer to the European Union and the East coast of North America sailing through the Arctic Ocean, and currently there are no vessel size restrictions and other regulations unlike in the Suez or Panama Canal. There are presently no fees for Arctic routes. In addition, the smaller ecological footprint of reduced fuel costs per ton-mile might also be an added incentive for the development of an Arctic route. Arctic shipping could be another aspect of the new green wave that is sweeping the shipping industry, as more attention is being paid to the environmental impact of shipping including fuel efficient and emission reduction of commercial shipping.[tt_news]=34725&tx_ttnews[backPid]=25&cHash=1c22119d7c

    The arctic a major trading route? Looks like a lot of East Asian trade could come through here. Safer then the South China Sea and cheaper to transport it to the USA and EU.

    Another sea route for NATO to patrol and protect?
  11. It won't be him that does anything about it.
  12. Thanks stacker1 for posting a link to my website on Rockall. If anyone would like more information on my expedition in aid of Help for Heroes, please contact me. Similarly, it would be great if you could spread the word via ARRSE.
  13. The Russians have tried to build infrastructure to support artic expansion before but it didn't last that long.
    Abandoned Russian Polar Nuclear Lighthouses
  14. Hardly really a story truth to tell. The FSB guard the borders of Russia - so what. The KGB and its predecessors always controlled the Border Troops, including ships.
  15. Xue Long's pretty much got it's paws full in the opposite hemisphere. It's the sole resupply vessel for the Chinese Antarctic research stations and is about to begin a joint Taiwanese/PRC research project in Antarctic waters. LINK.

    Not to say they can't build another to resupply the Arctic station, but Spears' article seems to be a bit Chicken-Little at the moment.