NEAR FUTURE MILITARIZATION OF THE ARCTIC
Editor's note: 5/18/2015 Russia has continued to increase its presence and activities in the High Arctic. Since this was first published Canada has revised its estimate of future High Arctic shipping downward, and experienced a failure in attempting to establish a far northern naval fuel depot. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to experience budget woes , an ice breaker shortage, and had a partially flawed experiment in maintaining a summer long air presence out of Barrow, Alaska. Even Russia seems to have slowed down a bit as oil prices have dropped making difficult and expensive to extract Arctic oil less attractive. None the less the Bear has reopened some Cold War era arctic military installations, has successful drilling operations, presses forward with its legal claim to own the Arctic Ocean and shows every indication of militarizing the arctic as soon as it is a bit more convenient. Despite conflicting information coming out of government sources global temperatures are not climbing, ice is increasing. Noble Drilling Corporation, on contract from Shell oil experienced two failures at getting drilling units into the High Arctic with breakdowns and accidents keeping their equipment in Alaska below the Bering Sea. Noble and Shell continue to make plans for High Arctic Drilling but so far seem intent on utilizing foreign flagged used equipment, indeed the at one drill ship that already had mechanical failure before even making it to the Bearing strait. Despite all that, we believe the observations and analysis in this post from more than a year and a half ago remains basically accurate the only real change is in the pace of Arctic militarization. It continues and any serious rise in oil prices could speed it up again.
The Bear is already there. We've been telling you that for over two years. The Bear is shifting existing naval assets north, reopening some old Cold War air stations, operates more ice breakers than anyone and is spending to be the first seriously armed power on the Arctic Shore line. Canada is reacting, they are actually discussing arming their Coast Guard. America is at least thinking and writing about the need for a persistent Coast Guard presence in the Arctic. Of course Texas asked for the same thing on the Rio Grande but they are still waiting. Denmark may get in the act soon. But the Bear wants it all and is prepared to take it. We have been telling our readers about it for over two years but the general media is finally starting to notice. Check out these links to some new general media coverage of the developments.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told his military leadership they should build up their forces in the Arctic as a priority. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25331156
Similar article from the TIMES OF INDIA: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-12-11/europe/45077342_1_arctic-sea-novosibirsk-islands-arctic-claims
Canada Claims the Pole: http://thediplomat.com/2013/12/did-canada-just-claim-the-north-pole/