Vanguard Magazine

Dec/Jan 2015

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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Page 13 of 47

A ARCTIC THE COMING CONFLICT Russian troops in training. PA Photos 14 dECEMBER 2014/JanUaRy 2015 Has Canada invested enough to protect our security and resource interests? In recent months, we have seen hunts for suspected Russian submarines off the coasts of Sweden and Scotland and naTO allies report more frequent intercepts of Russian aircra in the Baltic and north Seas, all while Canada and naTO partners conduct land, air and maritime operations in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea in March. Tensions might not yet have reached levels of the Cold War, but the growing Russian aggression raises questions for Canada about security and sovereignty in the arctic. The region is managed by the Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum of eight mem- ber countries – Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ice- land, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States – founded to address issues of sustainable development and environmental pro- tection, climate change, Arctic shipping and explo- ration for oil, gas and mineral resources. The Arctic Ocean, to the extent it is or is not international water, will be assessed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UN- CLOS), established in December 1982 with com- prehensive rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources. UNCLOS enshrines the no- tion that all problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be addressed on a holis- tic basis, and will make a fi nal decision on Arctic boundary claims based on proposals submitted by the Arctic states in 2013. While all eight nations have varying claims, the most contentious might be between Canada and Russia and their over-lapping assertions in the area around the North Pole. (Greenland also has a claim on the North Pole area, and Denmark just recently reasserted that position.) Russia has been the most proactive in develop- ing the Arctic region over the past century. And in response to the 2013 deadline, it mounted an extensive research expedition – the Arktika 2007 – that included a manned drifting ice station, the fi rst of its kind to reach the North Pole, and the fi rst submersible to reach the seabed to collect Henning Jacobsen is the owner of HJa Solutions, a consultancy that has advised numerous defence companies. He was an advisor to former Indian aff airs and northern development minister Jean Chrétien on arctic strategy.

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