Washington’s New Cold War to Control the Arctic


(Image Source: New Statesman)

It should go without saying that the Arctic is one of the most coveted regions rich in terms resources, with fish, gas, oil, and minerals and more. A unipolar hegemon would require control of such a zone. Unfortunately for Washington, they have fallen far behind other countries like Russia, Norway, and China. As result, US hawks are now kicking and screaming, and scheming. 

Confronting Russian competence and strategic control over large parts of the Arctic Circle is among Washington’s top priorities in its bid to secure key nodes of geopolitical dominance. Indeed, if total dominion is the US grand strategy, then they are rightly worried about their eastern competition. The New Statesman reported in 2018:

“In front of the world’s media at the Kremlin, Putin quoted the 18th-century Russian scientist and polymath Mikhail Lomonosov, who had said that Russia would expand through Siberia. Putin brought this line up to date for our age: “Now Russia should expand through the Arctic,” he said.

Regarding Russia and China’s strategic and economic advances in the Arctic area, New Statesman says:

Only a few days earlier Putin had returned from the frozen wastes of Siberia, nearly 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle. He had just opened the £19bn Yamal liquefied natural gas plant. Yamal LNG was built by Novatek, Russia’s biggest privately owned gas-producer, with loans from state banks (£2.8bn), the Russian National Wealth Fund (£1.6bn) and, most significantly, £8.5bn from Chinese banks.

National Geographic adds:

This fresh interest in the Arctic—Pompeo’s and the administration’s—can be traced to bold and aggressive moves by Russia and China, both of which have made significant investments in northern gas and oil infrastructure. Russia has also greatly expanded its military forces in the Arctic, becoming, by most measures, the dominant cold-weather player. And China has declared itself a “near-Arctic state,” articulating its desire for a seat at the table in polar decision-making.

Brian Cloughley from Strategic-Culture.org reports

US Secretary of State Pompeo continues to travel the world, creating alarm, resentment and irritation almost everywhere. He maintained his lamentable reputation for crass rudeness by cancelling a meeting with Germany’s Chancellor Merkel on May 8 in order to go to Iraq, apparently to try to justify Washington’s dispatch of nuclear-capable B-52H bombers and an aircraft carrier battle group to menace Iran.


Pvt. Drew Olson, an infantryman assigned to 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, rehearses Stryker dismount techniques with his company during exercise Arctic Edge 2018 near Fort Greely, Alaska. (Capt. Richard Packer/Army)

As observed by Norbert Röttgen, head of Germany’s foreign affairs committee, “Even if there were unavoidable reasons for the cancellation, it unfortunately fits into the current climate in the relationship of the two governments.”

There were no “unavoidable reasons” for Pompeo’s boorish discourtesy, which was regarded internationally as yet another example of the arrogance that so critically influences US foreign policy. And before he insulted Mrs Merkel and the German people he managed to offend several other nations at the Arctic Council meeting in Finland on 6-7 May.

The Arctic Council is “the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, Arctic indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.” Up until now it has been a shining and all-too-rare example of international cooperation which has resulted in production of valuable environmental, ecological and social assessments.

The Arctic Institute describes the Council as “a model for global governance. It is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives, committed to evidence based decision-making, and a champion of regional peace and stability.” Of great importance is the fact that its mandate, as laid down in the Ottawa Declaration of 1996, explicitly excludes military matters.

But Washington intends to change all that. Instead of contributing to the Council’s aims of championing peace and stability, it has adopted its only too familiar stance of confrontation and patronising criticism…

Continue this story at Strategic Culture

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Source Article from https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/05/14/washingtons-new-cold-war-to-control-the-arctic/

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