JRL NEWSWATCH: “Military Drills in Arctic Aim to Counter Russia, but the First Mission Is to Battle the Cold” – New York Times/ Helene Cooper

Arctic Map

“… the melting polar ice cap has opened up the Arctic, disappearing what used to be an impenetrable barrier between North America and Russia. … NATO is rushing to try to catch up. … ‘Russia is increasing its military presence in the Arctic,’ said … a [NATO] spokesman … [NATO is] ‘monitoring Russia’s Arctic buildup carefully.’ In fact, Russia has already claimed the North Pole, and in 2007 sent two minisubmarines to place a titanium Russian flag on the seabed. … Twenty percent of Russia’s gross domestic product is pulled from the Arctic, whether in minerals or through its shipping lanes. … Moscow’s military ambitions in the Arctic have also increased …. Russia has also expanded its fleet of icebreaker ships to more than 40 (the United States has only two … operational) and reopened [Arctic] military bases … shut down after … the Cold War. … a top Russian lawmaker … [said] Russian special forces were training for a potential conflict in the Arctic. …”

Click here for: “Military Drills in Arctic Aim to Counter Russia, but the First Mission Is to Battle the Cold; Moscow is moving to claim Arctic territory as barriers between Russia and North America melt. Yet still bitter temperatures pose an immediate threat to NATO troops defending icy waterways.” – New York Times/ Helene Cooper