Russia's Cold War on the Arctic
Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2009/11/21/Arctic_Security_The_New_Great_Game In 2007, Russian explorers staked their nation's claim to the arctic region by placing a Russian flag on a seabed at the North Pole. A panel of military experts discusses the act's implications for the international community. ----- In 2007, Russia laid claim to parts of the Arctic seabed—a historic first and an act that has been challenged by Canada, the United States, and Norway. These littoral states as well as Denmark, Finland, and non-littorals such as China and Japan, have looked at the Arctic as an area for possible new transit routes, energy supplies, and fishing grounds. Growing fossil fuel needs and depleted national fisheries are forcing countries to look for new areas of resource wealth. While many are looking at the Arctic as an area of opportunity (a "frozen Saudi Arabia" as some have dubbed it), the littorals are concerned about the national security implications of a navigable sea lane or "Northwest Passage" through the Arctic and northern Canada connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. Increased military and commercial shipping traffic, environmental damage, smuggling, and trafficking, and therefore increased national expenditures of resources for monitoring and possibly reacting to such activities in the Arctic all come into play. Arctic security has been debated more and more in recent years. NATO, numerous governments, and nonprofit organizations have held discussions on the range of issues relating to the changing dynamics in the Arctic. The upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen will be yet another opportunity for nation states and parties to raise these concerns. - German Marshall Fund Representing the Labour Party, Espen Barth Eide has been the deputy minister of defense since 2005. He served as deputy minister of foreign affairs from 2000 to 2001. Mr. Eide is a member of the presidency of the Party of European Socialists (PES), the party grouping of the Social Democratic parties in the European Union and the second largest party group in the European Parliament. In PES, he is responsible for foreign affairs. General Walter Natynczyk is Chief of the Defence Staff for Canada, a position he has held since July 2, 2008. General Victor E. Renuart, Jr. is the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.