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Russia Claiming The Arctic Circle
Just when you thought that all we had to worry about was terrorism, Iranian nukes, North Korean nukes, the fall of the Pakistani government and it's nukes, loose nukes, Swine Flu, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, a financial meltdown, global warming if you believe in it and whether the Cubs will ever win the World Series, another threat may loom on the horizon.
We all know that finding huge reserves of oil and gas, particularly in this environment, is extremely desirable and critical in getting the U.S. off of it's dependence on countries that are less than our friends. The only reserves that we apparently are not interested in are the ones that are already directly under our noses in ANWR and off of our coast. But that is a story for another time.
This story has to do with the fact that Russia is claiming the Arctic Circle, and the potentially huge oil and gas reserves that are hidden beneath it. What is it that gives Russia the right to do this. The flag, pictured above that it placed on the ocean floor, is it's proof of the claim. A claim that they are apparently willing to go to war to protect.
"The country’s new national security strategy identified the intensifying battle for ownership of vast untapped oil and gas fields around its borders as a source of potential military conflict within a decade.
“The presence and potential escalation of armed conflicts near Russia’s national borders, pending border agreements between Russia and several neighbouring nations, are the major threats to Russia’s interests and border security,” stated the document, which analysed security threats up to 2020.
“In a competition for resources it cannot be ruled out that military force could be used to resolve emerging problems that would destroy the balance of forces near the borders of Russia and her allies.”
The Kremlin has insisted that it is not “militarising the Arctic” but its warnings of armed conflict suggest that it is willing to defend its interests by force if necessary as global warming makes exploitation of the region’s energy riches more feasible.
The United States, Norway, Canada and Denmark are challenging Russia’s claim to a section of the Arctic shelf, the size of Western Europe, which is believed to contain billions of tonnes of oil and gas." (TimesOnline.UK)
What will the U.S. response be to this type of sabre rattling? I suppose it will be determined by who is in office at the time. Hopefully someone who is prepared to deal with it, and not just talk about it.