RUSSIA IS INCREASING ACTIVITY IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE!

Like this article?

USS Annapolis in Arctic

Most people do not pay attention and do not care about the Arctic Circle. On top of that, the US has control of only a small portion. The thing is, the region is rich in resources that could help run this nation and others. Russia has started growing its presence there, while the US still has no grasp on it. China is also starting to push into the region, as well.

take our poll - story continues below

Should Brett Kavanaugh withdraw over sexual misconduct allegations?

  • Should Brett Kavanaugh withdraw over sexual misconduct allegations?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to AFF updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

How much area does the US control

ADVERTISEMENT - STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Here, via an article on the website of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), is how much area the US controls in the Arctic region.

Four million people live in the Arctic Circle, and half of them are in Russia. The United States occupies just 4 percent of the land above the Arctic Circle, compared with the 80 percent of that land belonging to Russia and Canada, according to an analysis in March by the Center for a New American Security.

“Americans’ understanding of the Arctic is often limited to the small community of Barrow, Alaska, population 4,000, which is nestled along the ice-crusted coastline on the Chukchi Sea,” the paper states.

Barrow’s remoteness is almost incomprehensible for most Americans. To illustrate that point, the Coast Guard noted in its 2013 Arctic strategy that the coastal town is 504 miles to the closest coffee chain. Gasoline is delivered only once per year to Barrow’s only gas station. The northern Alaska outpost is, in short, a world apart from official Washington.

ADVERTISEMENT - STORY CONTINUES BELOW

The challenge for Murkowski and other advocates of increasing resources in the Arctic is reminding lawmakers and Americans alike that the United States is, in fact, an Arctic nation. Murkowski’s strategy has been to promote increasing resources directed at the Arctic as a national — rather than an Alaskan — imperative.

“If an icebreaker is viewed as a boat for Alaska, we’re never going to see an icebreaker,” Murkowski says. “It needs to be viewed as a national asset.”

Militarization of the Arctic region

Here is what is happening in the Arctic region, via the same article.

ADVERTISEMENT - STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Even before its incursion into Ukraine, Russia began paying closer attention to its military assets in the Arctic, reopening Soviet-era bases, conducting submarine patrols and flying bombers over the region, activities that, on their own, are not terribly concerning. But when combined with the situation in Crimea, it is drawing closer scrutiny.

The United States and the other Arctic nations have resolved disputes through vehicles like the Arctic Council, a consensus governing body, and the Law of the Sea Convention. Building up defenses in the Arctic would be counterproductive to those diplomatic efforts.

David Balton, deputy assistant secretary of State for oceans and fisheries, says the United States still is able to cooperate, at least for now, with Russia despite the new tensions.

“There is a question what high levels of tension means for our ability to cooperate with Russia,” says Balton, who toured Alaska in August. “For now, I would say we are still moving forward. But the situation is an evolving one and I don’t know what it is going to look like a month from now or a year from now.”

Even with the uncertainty, Balton stresses that boundary disputes and other disagreements in the Arctic will be resolved as they always have been — by scientists, lawyers and diplomats, not by gunships or fighter jets.

But it’s hard to ignore an increasingly aggressive Russian military buildup there. “Prior to the current crisis, quite frankly a lot of it seemed very understandable,” Chiu says. “Under current circumstances, obviously we have to use more caution as we consider these activities, and we are.”

Heather Conley of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says she considered the militarization of the Arctic a myth just six or nine months ago. Indeed, the region was suffering from the opposite problem: a dearth of search-and-rescue capabilities. The situation, however, has changed.

“It’s hard to know where our relationship with Russia is going, but we know it’s rapidly deteriorating,” Conley says.

The hope is that, even if the United States and Russia cannot agree on most issues, cooperation in the Arctic at least will continue. Earlier this month, Murkowski brought up the escalating tensions between the two countries with her Russian counterpart at the Arctic Parliamentarians Conference, a three-day meeting in Whitehorse, Canada.

“I expressed to him that I felt it was very important that even with the tensions — and I think I used the word ‘anxiety’ — between the United States and Russia right now, that it was important that we be able to come together at conferences like this to discuss areas of cooperation,” Murkowski says. “And he, I think, clearly appreciated that when we’re talking about these issues, that cooperation exists.”

It would seem that there is a growing concern in a region filled with petroleum and natural gas. If there is any military action, the US has the Coast Guard and the police of Barrow, Alaska. There are too many US government agencies in charge to truly have any coherent US strategy.

JOIN THE TEA PARTY 3%ERS GROUP ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE!

PAUL SHANNON @ AMERICAS FREEDOM FIGHTERS

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!

PLEASE SHARE OUR ARTICLES ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA AND GO TO OUR HOMEPAGE FOR MORE REAL NEWS FOR REAL PATRIOTS! 

amazing-earth

Like this article?

Facebook Comments