The US Coast guard issued a press release last week describing the nature and reasons for increased patrol activities in Arctic waters north of Alaska:
“Changing environmental conditions and advances in technology are expanding activity in the Arctic Region. The potential for access to more efficient shipping routes is fueling [sic] demand,” said [USCG Admiral Thad] Allen, “Continued growth in commerce, tourism, and exploratory activities in the Arctic is increasing risks to mariners and ecosystems while challenging law enforcement regimes, operational capabilities, and conventional assumptions of sovereignty. The U.S. Coast Guard must be capable of protecting national interests in the Polar Regions.”
Adm. Allen was not clear what challenges to ‘law enforcement regimes’ and ‘conventional assumptions of sovereignty’ he was considering, other than those challenges being by these USCG arctic activities, including non-US waters. In the author’s opinion, however, the motives for challenging the existing regimes and conventional assumptions are clear: they are intended to further U.S. interests in (oil) exploration and assert US control over international shipping.
Some readers may not be aware that there is an active dispute between Canada and the US in respect to Arctic waters. This activity appears intended to escalate it, although happily Canada has not yet been named as the replacement for Iraq in the axis of evil.
To view the press release click here: