3/30/2012 Re-post Russia in the High Arctic
Editor's note: A few days ago we noted that Russia was getting more militant about its claims in the High Arctic. We thought this view from last summer interesting. After review it seemed back than that Russia was willing to gather geological "evidence" for its claim to virtually the entire Arctic ocean ( which they want to call the "Russian Sea"), and sue in a UN tribunal for their expanded Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) under the International Convention on the Law of the Sea right up to the 12 mile limit of Canada and the U.S. Back when this post was published Russia seemed content to exploit our weakness in High Arctic science capabilities and rush us to judgement before the UN before we could counter their "evidence". As reported last week now it seems like they are willing to use muscle to take our territory. Why is this? Our Navy may still be the most technologically advanced, and powerful in terms of throw weight of ordinance but its numbers are too small and it is too globally engaged to go it alone in the dozens of trouble spots where it is engaged around the world. Our enemies are now coordinating and our naval posture looks weak. We are in trouble, we can no longer be the big brother to the English speaking world.
Thankfully, in the China seas disputes Japan has been building up naval forces and their Navy is now more powerful that Great Britain's which one ruled the waves. Namazu's call for a united English speaking naval union with all participating nations engaged in Naval/ Coast Guard build ups is making more sense to us daily. Take a moment and revisit Ivan in the High Arctic.
Naval Interest: IVAN IN THE HIGH ARCTIC: Ivan already wants to rename the Arctic Ocean the "Russian Sea" but at least the Bear, unlike the Dragon is trying to perfect its claims under existing international law. A Russian Icebreaker departed MURMANSK, Russia on August 4, 2012 and subsequently met, as planned, a second Russian Icebreaker in Norway where today they are supposed to depart for the high arctic. Their mission is to explore the high latitude boundaries of the Mendeleev Ridge. If Russia can prove that this ridge is part of their continental shelf existing international law gives them the right to incorporate at least some of it into their Exclusive Economic Zone EEZ.
OPINION: Russia can afford to devote two major ice breakers to scientific research in support of territorial claims. As noted in an earlier blog last week, the United States has over one thousand miles of Arctic coast line and only one functional major ice breaker. If Russia claims to within 12 miles of our coast, how do we counter their science?
Everyone is concerned about our shrinking and increasingly expensive fleet of aircraft carriers, but our shortage of the more mundane Coast Guard Icebreakers may cost us the oil revenues, and oil itself that could keep carrier task forces going. When will the United States wake up and realize that we are a maritime nation, maritime power because we are maritime dependent. We have to be strong across the board to survive; a strong Navy, strong Coast Guard, crackerjack NOAA fleet, and large versatile Merchant Marine.