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  1. #1
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Wrestling for Artic resources, Russian style

    This could get interesting.


    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's defense minister says the military will deploy two army brigades to help protect the nation's interests in the Arctic.

    *

    Serdyukov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Friday the brigades could be based in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk or other areas.

    Russia, the U.S., Canada, Denmark and Norway have been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, believed to hold up to a quarter of the Earth's undiscovered oil and gas.

    On Thursday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia "remains open for dialogue" with its polar neighbors, but will "strongly and persistently" defend its interests in the region.
    http://news.yahoo.com/russia-deploy-...123709564.html

    Hmmm. From 2010

    Russia will not create an Arctic military force irrespective of any territorial disputes that may develop in the energy-rich region, said the Russian envoy to the eight-nation Arctic Council.

    “Forming special Arctic troops is not on the Russian agenda,” Anton Vasilyev told a news conference on Monday. “But we did indeed plan to strengthen the materiel of the forces responsible for security, primarily in ensuring the safety of navigation at sea.”
    http://rt.com/news/arctic-russia-no-militarisation/

    From 2009

    Russia signalled its determination to win the race for the Arctic's mineral wealth yesterday by announcing plans to establish military bases along its northern coastline.

    A new national security strategy includes plans to create army units in Russia's Arctic region to “guarantee military security in different military-political situations”.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5989257.ece

    A Backgrounder

    Rising tensions

    While the Antarctic is a non-militarised scientific and nature reserve, the Arctic includes the territory and inhabitants of eight states. Of the five states fronting the Arctic Ocean, Russia has by far the largest coastline, more than 17,500 kilometres long, and the largest Arctic population. As much as 20% of Russian GDP derives from north of the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Ocean and its shores are by no means the highly militarised zone of confrontation they were during the Cold War, but climate change, proceeding at a much higher rate in the Arctic than in the rest of the world, and the retreating ice cap, are giving it a new strategic importance. The region is now economically as well as militarily significant. In 2009 the US Geological Survey estimated that this area, where some maritime boundaries remain at issue among the coastal states, contains some 30% of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and about 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil, mainly offshore under less than 500 metres of water. The undiscovered natural gas is mainly concentrated in Russia. These estimates suggest that Russia is likely to end up with the largest share of Arctic resource wealth and that its strategic control of natural-gas resources is likely to be strengthened in the future.
    http://www.iiss.org/publications/sur...tic-stability/

    See also
    http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/land-te.../index-eng.asp
    and
    http://www.usarak.army.mil/alaskapos...r18Story11.asp
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  2. #2
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    US and Russia stir up political tensions over Arctic

    Heavy-hitting US politicians enter debate about the future of the far north, fuelling concerns about a new cold war
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...ensions-arctic

    US, Canada, Russia, Denmark and Norway are becoming embroiled in disputes over boundaries on land and at sea
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...torial-dispute
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  3. #3
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Tension is building in the Arctic, where countries are vying for valuable natural resources
    More oil, natural gas and mineral deposits can be accessed now because of climate change
    There have been territorial disputes over the underwater land where these deposits rest
    The Arctic is now seeing naval and military activities it hasn't seen since the Cold War
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americ...ars/index.html
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Russia will order three nuclear and six diesel icebreakers by 2020 to allow passage along its Northern Sea Route as the country seeks to tap Arctic oil and gas reserves, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
    Read more: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/busine...#ixzz1YuIes3Ez
    The Moscow Times

    Moscow - Russia will increase its military presence in the Arctic - a region NATO should stay out of, a senior Kremlin official said Tuesday.
    'Our northern border used to be closed because of ice and a severe climate,' said Anton Vasilev, a special ambassador for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    'But the ice is going away we cannot leave 20,000 kilometres unwatched. We can't leave ourselves in a position where we are undefended,' Vasilev said, in an interview with the Interfax news agency.
    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/ne...EU-to-stay-out
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    China is to build its own airfield in Antarctica, media reported Monday, as Beijing continues to expand its footprint in the most remote corners of the globe.

    The airstrip will be built to assist China's four research stations on the frozen continent, the Beijing Evening News said, without giving details such as runway length or capacity.
    http://news.yahoo.com/china-build-an...003402266.html
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  6. #6
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Not military in nature, but an Indicator that both Poles seem to be in play.

    PERTH Australia - China and Russia have thwarted an international attempt to create the world’s largest ocean sanctuary in Antarctica as both nations eye the region’s rich reserves of fish and krill.

    The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) wound up a 10-day meeting in Hobart, Australia on Friday without the consensus needed for a deal to conserve and manage the marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean. While Russia blocked conservation proposals for a fourth consecutive time, China’s refusal to back the international plan came as a surprise to many delegates after previous statements of support for conservation and marine protection.
    http://news.yahoo.com/china-russia-t...162056300.html
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    Default As Arctic Ice Melts, US Military Adapting Strategy, Forces

    As Arctic Ice Melts, US Military Adapting Strategy, Forces

    Entry Excerpt:



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

  8. #8
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    Ah…another defacto Russian annexation—this time in the Artic—they had announced this week they had expanded their security zone to 500kms—way way past the international legal norm and way way past the UN stated zones for all five nations involved in the Artic.

    Looks like they are trying to “legalize” their annexation.

    AND the four other nations say not a single word or complain----asleep at the wheel appears to be the Western foreign policy these days in reference to Russian military moves.

    MFA Russia ✔ @mfa_russia
    #Russia submitted revised application to the #UN seeking expansion of its Arctic shelf border http://goo.gl/4S9SJC pic.twitter.com/CiGettjKUO
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-04-2015 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Copied from the current Ukraine thread

  9. #9
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Proactive vs Reactive

    Two Russian companies are going to develop a heavy class of drone for monitoring the Arctic shelf, the press service of one of the companies announced at the Russia Arms Expo 2015.
    A new heavy drone weighing 1.5 tons with a flight range of up to 4,000 kilometers (which is enough to fly from the Russian shore to the North pole and back again twice) will be created within the joint project of two Russian engineering companies – the drone developer ‘Tiber’ and RTI Aerospace Systems.
    http://www.rt.com/news/314860-russia...-arctic-drone/



    Russia and China in the Arctic: Is the US Facing an Icebreaker Gap?
    Among other things, Russia will introduce the design for a new super-nuclear icebreaker by the end of 2015.
    http://thediplomat.com/2015/09/russi...cebreaker-gap/

    WASHINGTON -- As China and Russia boost their military presence in the resource-rich far north, U.S. intelligence agencies are scrambling to study potential threats in the Arctic for the first time since the Cold War, a sign of the region's growing strategic importance.

    Over the last 14 months, most of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have assigned analysts to work full time on the Arctic. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently convened a "strategy board" to bring the analysts together to share their findings.
    https://www.adn.com/article/20150907...rease-presence
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  10. #10
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Chessboard at the North Pole

    Interesting article in it's entirety. Seriously, this is actual journalism.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/russ...ol-arctic.html

    Call it a new cold war: Russia, China and the United States all vying for influence and control in a part of the world that, this time, is quite literally cold.

    With more than half of all Arctic coastline along its northern shores, Russia has long sought economic and military dominance in part of the world where as much as $35 trillion worth of untapped oil and natural gas could be lurking. Now China is pushing its way into the Arctic, announcing last month its ambitions to develop a "Polar Silk Road" through the region as warming global temperatures open up new sea lanes and economic opportunities at the top of the world.
    At play is between one-fifth and a quarter of the world's untapped fossil-fuel resources, not to mention a range of mineable minerals, including gold, silver, diamond, copper, titanium, graphite, uranium and other valuable rare earth elements. With the ice in retreat, those resources will come increasingly within reach.
    Motive established. Moving on...

    At a December meeting of climate scientists in New Orleans, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared that the Arctic as we've known it is now a thing of the past. Coining a new phrase — the New Arctic — they described the uptick in ocean surface warming and decline in sea ice since 2000 as unprecedented in the past 1,500 years. The Arctic, they wrote, "shows no sign of returning to [the] reliably frozen region of past decades."
    Interesting scientific blog, with historical and update maps. http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/ice-age/

    Russia isn't alone. Finland, the United States and Canada have also proposed significant infrastructure investment within their respective Arctic zones. Norway's state energy company is pursuing exploration activities in the far reaches of the Barents Sea even as its sovereign wealth fund considers divesting from fossil fuels. In January the Trump administration announced plans to open up much of the U.S. outer continental shelf to offshore drilling, including areas off the north shore of Alaska.

    But it's the emergence of China — a nation with no territorial claim to the Arctic — as a rising polar power that has the potential to shake up the competition for resources and influence in the region. With its economic and naval power on the rise, China has begun underwriting Arctic development projects despite its lack of territory there, underscoring the region's growing global importance.
    Posts of relevance
    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...d.php?p=204270

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...d.php?p=204819


    More on that fluctuating ice.

    Arctic sea ice extent for December 2017 averaged 11.75 million square kilometers (4.54 million square miles), the second lowest in the 1979 to 2017 satellite record. This was 1.09 million square kilometers (420,900 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average and 280,000 square kilometers (108,100 square miles) above the record low December extent recorded in 2016. Extent at the end of the month was below average in the far northern Atlantic Ocean and Barents Sea, slightly above average in western Hudson Bay, and continued to be below average in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. Near-average conditions prevailed along the eastern coast of Greenland and in the Sea of Okhotsk.
    More maps and data here
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-27-2018 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Edit old link removed
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  11. #11
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    From a German site -

    The 2017 sea ice minimum extent was reached on 2017-09-05. Sea ice extent is now increasing again.
    https://seaice.uni-bremen.de/arctic-sea-ice-minima/

    As a reference point, the USN plan from 2014.
    USN Arctic Roadmap 2014-2030
    http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/files/...admap-2014.pdf

    Scientific America weighing in on the above
    The document said the Bering Strait was expected to see open conditions about 160 days a year by 2020, with the deep ocean routes of the Transpolar transit route forecast to be open for up to 45 days annually by 2025.
    The document includes dozens of specific tasks and deadlines for Navy offices, including calling for better research on rising sea levels and the ability to predict sea ice thickness, assessment of satellite communications and surveillance needs, and evaluation of existing ports, airfields and hangars.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...tic-from-2025/

    Hyperlink & summary.
    Rear Adm. Stuart Munsch, Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5B), delivered the following remarks during the 7th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations at the Naval Heritage Center in Washington, D.C., July 18 [2017]
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  12. #12
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    Default *Indicator*

    US military officials and policymakers are devoting increased attention to the potential for conflict with a near-peer competitor, and they've pursued a number of operational and equipment changes to prepare for it.
    Among the latest moves is the roll out of more cold-weather gear among the US Army and Marine Corps, underscoring the military's growing concern about its ability to operate in extreme environments outside the Middle East.
    For the last several years, the Army has been looking to update its gear for extreme environments, mainly jungles and the harsh cold. Included in that search was a new cold-weather boot and a cold-weather clothing system that could be adjusted for various temperatures.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/th...cid=spartandhp
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  13. #13
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    The sun won’t rise at the North Pole until March 20, and it’s normally close to the coldest time of year, but an extraordinary and possibly historic thaw swelled over the tip of the planet this weekend. Analyses show that the temperature warmed to the melting point as an enormous storm pumped an intense pulse of heat through the Greenland Sea.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/to...cid=spartandhp

    From the previously mentioned blogsite -
    This probably has a lot to do with the splitting of the Polar Vortex due to a sudden stratospheric warming event a while back. I'm grateful for a bit of winter, finally, in my neck of the European woods, but not too happy about the consequences for the Arctic. The cause of all this heat and ice being pushed away from the northern coast of Greenland is an atmospheric set-up that during summer we'd be referring to as a Reverse Dipole (low pressure over the Canadian side of the Arctic, high pressure over the Siberian side).
    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2018/02/index.html
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  14. #14
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    Default Moderator at work

    I merged Adam G's latest post, renamed the thread and copied in a number of posts readily i'd as referring to Arctic / Polar matters.

    There are a number of posts on another thread which may have more information 'Watching Russian Air & Sea Activity':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=18956
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-27-2018 at 02:28 PM. Reason: 23,398v
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