…As global warming causes the northern polar ice to recede — and one day disappear during the summer months — nations like Russia, Canada, Norway and the United States will scramble for the bountiful deposits of oil, gas and minerals hidden beneath, sparking an Arctic resource war…
But a war is exceedingly unlikely — because Russia would lose.
For one, the United States has an overwhelming and decisive advantage in submarines. U.S. subs are more advanced, there are more of them, and their crews are better trained.
It’s unlikely Arctic nations would also begin killing each other over low-key — and remote — territorial disputes.
Still, Russia wants to catch up on the Arctic front. In late June, Russian President Vladimir Putin took up the Arctic boosterism while overseeing the construction of another Borei-class nuclear submarine, of which Russia plans to have eight by 2020. ”Obviously, the Navy is an instrument to protect national economic interests, including in such regions as Arctic where some of the world’s richest biological resources, mineral resources are concentrated,” Putin said.
Canada is also getting in on the binge. On Monday, Canada’s military was revealed to be planning a billion-dollar drone buy. The drones — intended to be armed — are reportedly focused (but not exclusively) on protecting Canada’s claims to the Arctic.
The drones were last peddled by Canada’s Department of National Defence during the Libya war. With that war over, the looming Arctic war has moved in to fill the gap. What those drones will be doing out there is anyone’s guess.
Canada is also building new ships, and we shouldn’t forget about our neighbor’s plans to build stealth snowmobiles in case of an invasion of the tundra.
Since July, the U.S. Coast Guard has been conducting its largest Arctic exercise, called “Arctic Shield.” The Coast Guard is focused mainly on search and rescue operations; and responding to potential oil spills brought on by expanded drilling. On Monday, Commandant Robert Papp told a Senate panel — which had nestled into an Air Force hangar in Kodiak, Alaska — that the Coast Guard is “well-prepared” to operate in the region.