Northwest Passage Canada vs the USA

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by armchair_jihad, Nov 6, 2006.

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  1. America saw it first!

  2. Canada and The Queen

  3. Denmark will fight you for it

    0 vote(s)
  4. The Inuit so pay up white boy!

  1. Global Warming is creating the fabled North West passage of yore and with it some major Security and Commercial issues. Shipping will be able to access Asia very quickly, major Oil, Gas and mineral resources can be exploited - money is to be made.

    The United States contends that the Northwest Passage, though owned by Canada, is an international strait with free passage for all, like other straits around the world. U.S. officials say they are following a long-standing position in favor of keeping straits free to all navigation and want unimpeded movement of U.S. ships.

    Canada counters that it has sole jurisdiction over the Northwest Passage and wants to enforce its own laws on ships in the Arctic waters. Canadian officials argue that their authority over the myriad channels and straits that make up the legendary route from the Atlantic to the Pacific is the best way to minimize unsafe ships and accidental spills in the pristine North.

    The issue has suddenly come alive because climate change is reducing the Arctic ice pack that prevents regular shipping through the passage.

    Usually, however, the two countries have ignored their differences, agreeing that icebreakers do not need permission to pass and refusing to acknowledge the regular traffic of undersea nuclear submarines that use the passage.

    In full including graphic and sniffy assessment of Canadian enforcement capabilities.
  2. Time to dust off the UK vs US war plan thread..
  3. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    There's a big difference between a definition of "straits" and jurisdiction over it. All vessels have the right of innocent passage through the Malacca Straits but legal jursidiction lies in the hands of the nations who own it - Malaysia and Indonesia. So this is less a discusion over jurisdiction - clearly Canadian - and more about the right to transit in the face of Canadian objections, should there ever be any.

    I suspect the issue for the US is really a military one - preventing the Canadians from closing the NW Passage to US warships when it suits them. The Canadians will be more concerned about pollution etc.

    Mind you a nice deep water port in the north might do wonders for the economy - see Singapore.
  4. Fight fight fight fight............
  5. There is a private one being built - I cannot find where I have hidden the article, the Canadian Govt sold it really cheap - defunct fishing port and rail head, to some Yankee zillionare. It will undoubtedly be a major junction in the future.
  6. Don't underestimate the Canucks' ability or intent to deal with issues of this kind, in spite of the Washington Post's dismissiveness. Remember the "Turbot Wars" - more of a "Turbot Confrontation" really - in 1995?

    Despite having all their .50 cals quarantined because of a barrel defect, they still managed to put some shots across the bows of a couple of Spanish trawlers, board one and cut the nets off more with an oversized stanley knife attached to the bows of their fisheries protection vessels.
  7. They won a few friends over here doing that. The Cornish trawlers were flying Candian flags for a while after that and were even visited by the High Commissioner. At least Ottowa has the balls to stand up to illegal fishing!
  8. The Septic gobment seems hell bent on souring relations with just about every country in the world. What's up wiv 'em?

  9. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    To be fair to the yanks this is an issue that affects the RN and the UK generally as well. Its not the US/Canada thing, its more a principal of free navigation. If the Canucs win on this then it sets a nasty precedent on other straits. The USN and RN are fairly robust on this and regularly exercise their rights in disputed waters. Much of the shooting between the US and the Libyans was because of disputed rights in the Gulf of Sirte.

    The right of free passage of straits is vital to the free flow of trade around the world. Imagine the Malacca Straits or Gibraltar closed to merchant ships.
  10. F-ing Ell, Bugsey says
    "The Septic gobment seems hell bent on souring relations with just about every country in the world. What's up wiv 'em?

    And I'm agreeing.
    Better take a powder and lie down.