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End Fake Peace Mentality and Treat North America as The War Zone It Is!

Austin Bay on

When the Arctic Council was formed in 1996, its member nations regarded the Arctic as a "low tension" area -- what a NATO study called a "zone of depoliticized cooperation."

As instructive background, here are the Council members: eight countries that control some Arctic territory (U.S., Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Russia) and six Arctic indigenous groups.

Denmark, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea, has major Arctic interests. Greenland is a Danish possession, and the island has an immense Arctic Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). That means Greenland has legit claims to immense Arctic mineral deposits and maritime resources.

Greenland, the world's biggest island, is also in North America, along with Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Check out the continental plate or ask a geologist.

Here's more instructive background to further discussion of accelerating Arctic competition.

Let's stipulate 9/11 ended the Faux Pax (Fake Peace with historical echoes) that followed the Cold War and its phony Peace Dividend.

 

However, as the 21st century's second decade began Chinese and Russian imperialism began a new era Great Power conflict with global stakes and nuclear weapons. Concrete examples of Beijing's and Moscow's escalating treachery: (1) China's artificial island invasion of the South China Sea (slow, calculated territorial conquest toward Singapore, with the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia en-route victims); (2) Russia's 2014 Crimea invasion and annexation; (3) Russia's 2014 invasion of Ukraine's Donbas and its all-out assault in February 2022.

Until 2010 or kinda-sorta, the Arctic "low tension" condition held.

We're in 2022. Low tension is history. In August 2019, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the reality. "We're entering a new age of strategic engagement in the Arctic," Pompeo said, "complete with new threats to the Arctic and its real estate, and to all of our interests in that region."

Pompeo named the threats: China and Russia.

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