The North-West Passage- the strategic implications?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by auscam, Jan 3, 2010.

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  1. First post in the grown-up forum...

    If, as is speculated/predicted, the NWP becomes navigable long enough and reliably enough, what commercial/military/political repercussions might attend it? I know nothing about strategy, but I can't help wondering if the NWP might become as significant as the Suez and Panama Canals or even more so, that's why I've asked here to prompt opinions from the geopolitically aware amongst you.

    (I haven't posted links, because I'd have had to put them in the separate thread, which nobody would bother with)
  2. I'm not completely au fait with oil and gas exploitation but the opening up of the NWP and a receeding icecap surely makes this more likely. I'd expect a bit of a bunfight over resources in this part of the world. Russia planted a flag on the seabed by submarine not so long ago; I'd expect the Canadians, Danes (Greenland), US (Alaska) and possibly Norwegians (Svalbard and Jan Mayen?) to be taking more of an interest in asserting their sovereignty and presence in this region before too long.

    The cynic in me says Russia may do very well out of it - Medvedev and Putin certainly know the vital importance of energy exports after they funded a certain resurgence during the Putin years, and they are likely to be less restrained than others in getting there first.
  3. I imagine that various Cold War bases are being quietly assessed for re-activation as we speak. I know from experience that the WW2 airstrips in the northern half of Australia are still usable; smugglers use them regularly.
  4. In my opinion, it all depends on global warming. I had a quick look (google) for how many times it has opened up before but failed miserabley, I know it has though.
    It will be interesting to see this time next year how many educated people still believe in global warming.
  5. It should be an interesting development. I would think the Northwest Passage will be more important than Suez and Panama in shipping terms, being the fastest route between Europe and Asia. Obviously the territorial claim by Canada, that it is their Internal Waters will be hotly contested. And as for the Russian submarine planting a Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole in the hope of securing the Arctic's oil and mineral rights. :roll:

    Let the battle commence!
  6. Deleted for not having thought it through properly. Why is it that, no matter how often-or how carefully-you re-think and re-type a post, it looks dumb only after you've clicked 'submit'?

    Anyone else? Eh?
  7. Ooh, get you with the double entendres! You are Benny Hill, and I claim my $9! (my keyboard only has a Kangarouble symbol)
  8. I'm worth more than that, according to my mum.
  9. You should always listen to your mum. What does she say about the NWP? (note the subtle, yet seamless attempt to get the thread back on track)
  10. It was a good film but whats a raid on Canada in the 7 years war 1759 got to do with the cold war, Spencer Tracey was not very good as Maj Rogers and it never mentioned about the canabalistic eating of the indian children when the Rangers ran out of food
  11. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    From some Canadian Artic expert, I heard being interviewed in 2009, the ice though receded is still way too unpredictable to make the NWP a reliable safe route for regular shipping.

    The cost of ice and weather proofing ships for operations in those areas would offset any profits from time advantages.

    There's also the whole issue of potential polution and enviromental impact on a previously relatively unspoilt area.
  12. Well I do know that at least some thought is being given by RN to the attendant possibilty of a Russian warm water port coming into being as a result of the withdrawing ice which accompanies the opening of the North West Passage.
  13. Pity the West has been fooled into throwing its naval strength away.