February 26, 2021
So I’ve been watching the Artic closely for a number of years now and have told many people to watch what is going on up there. With the recent election and change in Administrations, you know that the new administration will get tested and one of those places is probably going to be the Artic. Biden is not Trump and, as long as Alaska is not threatened, he’s probably not going to do anything about it as it will take attention away from his agenda.
On top of the political turmoil in Washington, D.C., February has shown a marked increase in the sheer number of studies and articles about the situation in the Artic, so it makes me think that something is getting ready to pop up North – Russia and China won’t wait to long to make their move becauses the elections coming up in 2022 could drastically change the Biden agenda.
Today this appears:
“Arctic Bone”: U.S. B-1 Bombers Fly First Mission From Norway Over Eastern Barents Sea, “Russia’s Naval Backyard” – The Aviationist – posted 02/26/21: https://theaviationist.com/2021/02/26/arctic-bone-u-s-b-1-bombers-fly-first-mission-from-norway-over-easter-barents-sea-russias-naval-backyard/
File photo of a U.S. Air Force B-1B. In the box, the Barents Sea.
As you can tell from the map insert, this is right in Russia’s backyard and you know they aren’t happy about it.
Russia has issues right now and Putin is going to have to do something if he wants to stay in power and the “Classic” scenario is some kind of “adventurism” to stoke up the public support. Plus he would have China’s backing (quietly) as they too have designs on the Artic. China would probably welcome such a move because it would give them the opportunity to make a strategic move – probably something in the South Pacific along their “9 Dash Line”.
Just keep an eye open and don’t be surprised. Keep an eye on my page at: Doc’s Study of War – Watch The Artic
Backgound on Russia and China in the Artic – mostly from this month!
Russia and the Artic: See Doc’s Study of War – Watch The Artic
Northern Sea Route Transit Traffic Remains Modest – High North News – posted 02/12/21: https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/northern-sea-route-transit-traffic-remains-modest
Igor Sechin: New Arctic oil discoveries are world’s biggest – The Barents Observer – posted 02/16/21: Igor Sechin: New Arctic oil discoveries are world’s biggest | The Independent Barents Observer (thebarentsobserver.com)
Map: Barents Observer / Google map
From the article: “The Barents Observer is not aware of any similar sailings with larger Russian warships so close to Norway’s maritime border in the Varanger fjord anytime in post-Soviet history. Normally, the Northern Fleet’s vessels are sailing north of the Fishermen Peninsula on voyages to and from the western part of the Barents Sea.”
China and the Artic: See Doc’s Study of War – Watch The Artic
From: Northern Sea Route, Penyelesai Masalah “Malacca Dilemma” (Northern Sea Route, Malacca Dilemma) – Defence Security Asia – posted 02/03/21: https://defencesecurityasia.com/5057-2-northern-sea-route-malacca-dilemma-berita/
The Ice Silk Road: Is China a “Near-Arctic-State”? – Institute for Security and Development Policy – posted 02/2019: https://isdp.eu/publication/the-ice-silk-road-is-china-a-near-artic-state/
US bent on stopping The Polar Silk Road – Asia Times – posted 12/09/20: US bent on stopping The Polar Silk Road – Asia Times
The Dragon roams the Arctic – The Sunday Guardian Live – posted 02/06/21: https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/dragon-roams-arctic
HOW IS EUROPE VIEWING WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE ARTIC?
A view from Finland: Security and defense in the Arctic – Defense News – posted 05/12/20: A view from Finland: Security and defense in the Arctic (defensenews.com)
U.S. and Canada Must Cooperate to Defend the Arctic – USNI/Proceedings – posted 07/2020: By Paul Crespo and Jay Heisler July 2020 Vol. 146/7/1,409 : U.S. and Canada Must Cooperate to Defend the Arctic | Proceedings – July 2020 Vol. 146/7/1,409 (usni.org)
The Dragon roams the Arctic – Sunday Guardian – posted 02/06/21 The Dragon roams the Arctic – The Sunday Guardian Live
Switzerland has a role to play in the Arctic – swissinfo.ch – posted 02/07/21: Switzerland has a role to play in the Arctic – SWI swissinfo.ch
The Report: Switzerland and the Arctic – Closer Than You Think: 20201028_Switzerland-and-the-Arctic_WEB.pdf (foraus.ch)
China and Russia ‘aggressively’ targeting Canadians, CSIS director warns – MSN/Global News – posted 02/09/21: China and Russia ‘aggressively’ targeting Canadians, CSIS director warns (msn.com)
Norwegian Intelligence Service: Foreign Intelligence Activity Against Norway Remains Significant Threat – High North News – posted 02/09/21: Norwegian Intelligence Service: Foreign Intelligence Activity Against Norway Remains Significant Threat (highnorthnews.com)
Norwegian Foreign Intelligence Services: China and Russia the Biggest Threats Against Norway – High North News –posted 02/10/20: Norwegian Foreign Intelligence Services: China and Russia the Biggest Threats Against Norway (highnorthnews.com)
Denmark Boosts Arctic Defense Spending – High North News – posted 02/15/21: Denmark Boosts Arctic Defense Spending (highnorthnews.com)
Näin Ruotsi ja Suomi taistelisivat venäläisiä vastaan – Ruotsin johto esittelee avoimesti maiden yhteistä puolustusta – Translation – How Sweden and Finland would fight the Russians – Swedish leadership openly presents their common defence – Iltalehti – posted 02/16/21
Näin Ruotsi ja Suomi taistelisivat venäläisiä vastaan – Ruotsin johto esittelee avoimesti maiden yhteistä puolustusta (iltalehti.fi)
Forsvarssjef Eirik Kristoffersen: – Dialog kan føre til løsninger – High North News – posted 02/18/21 – Translation – Chief of Defence Eirik Kristoffersen: – Dialogue can lead to solutions: Forsvarssjef Eirik Kristoffersen: – Dialog kan føre til løsninger (highnorthnews.com)
The Report: Conflict Prevention and Security Cooperation in the Arctic Region
Frameworks of the Future by Walter Berbrick and Lars Saunes, Project Directors
NEWPORT ARCTIC SCHOLARS INITIATIVE 2020 SCHOLARS – U.S. Naval War College: Microsoft Word – Conflict Prevention and Security Cooperation in the Arctic Region-Frameworks of the Future Report.docx (usnwc.edu)
Russia announces multiple missiles towards Bear Gap as US Air Force bombers deploy to Norway for first time – Eye On The Artic – posted 02/18/21: Russia announces multiple missiles towards Bear Gap as US Air Force bombers deploy to Norway for first time – Eye on the Arctic (rcinet.ca)
HOW IS THE UNITED STATES VIEWING WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE ARTIC?
Reports and Strategies
Coast Guard Artic Strategic Outlook – April 2019: https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track? uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3Ab491be72-101b-46d8-83ce-625575a06b4c
Navy, Marines Tell Congress Emphasis on Arctic is Growing – USNI News – posted 03/20/20: Navy, Marines Tell Congress Emphasis on Arctic is Growing – USNI News
THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE ARCTIC STRATEGY – posted 07/21/20
ENSURING A STABLE ARCTIC THROUGH VIGILANCE, POWER PROJECTION, COOPERATION, AND PREPARATION
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY A Strategic Blueprint for the Arctic – posted 01/06/21: https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:a6478fd4-5a21-447e-97e3-641ea2450553#pageNum=
Defend America’s Arctic from China and Russia – Washington Examiner – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy – posted 02/17/21: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/defend-americas-arctic-from-china-and-russia
Army’s new Arctic strategy takes shape in Alaska’s frigid interior – Army Times – posted 02/18/21: https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2021/02/17/armys-new-arctic-strategy-takes-shape-in-alaskas-frigid-interior/
U.S. Navy Reports On Arctic And North Atlantic – Naval News – posted 02/20/21: U.S. Navy Reports on Arctic and North Atlantic – Naval News
“What we do know though is that what happens in the Arctic has a gullible impact because the region really is at a crossroads of geopolitical, economic, and even security trends. There’s economic potential because of the abundance of natural resources now with the ice melting the promise of opening maritime routes. Russia, for example, is investing heavily to improve its economic sectors along the northern coast, and at the same time, they’re militarizing the northern flank. China is in the Arctic as well, trying to expand their economic influence, and we see them positioning themselves to expand their military influence as well.”
“The Arctic is changing, which is why it’s a discussion point and a critical juncture. The U.S. is an Arctic nation and the Navy has been up there for quite a while.
“I would just like to say, for the Record, [that] they [China] are not an Arctic Nation. They’re 900 nautical miles from the Arctic Circle, although they have an Arctic Policy Document where they refer to themselves as a near-Arctic nation, but they are not.”
KEFLAVIK, Iceland (Nov. 16, 2019) A P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft assigned to both Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 and VP-26 is parked on the apron of Keflavik Air Base. VP-4 is forward deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations and is assigned to Commander, Task Force 67, responsible for tactical control of deployed maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadrons throughout Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Juan S. Sua/Released)
U.S. Force Preparations
Arctic and Special Operations: Preparing for the Next Battle | SOFREP – posted 10/27/20: Arctic and Special Operations: Preparing for the Next Battle | SOFREP
U.S. Marine Corps is preparing to fight in the extreme cold – Global Wave News – posted 11/29/20: U.S. Marine Corps is preparing to fight in the extreme cold – Global Wave News
Coast Guard icebreaker returns to Arctic for first time in 38 years – Task & Purpose – posted 12/01/20: Coast Guard icebreaker returns to Arctic for first time in 38 years (taskandpurpose.com)
Marine Corps Fielding New Cold Weather Boot in 2021 – MilitarySpot.com – posted 12/01/20: Marine Corps Fielding New Cold Weather Boot in 2021 – MilitarySpot.com
U.S. Army preparing its heavy dump trucks for extremely cold environment – DefenseBlog – posted 02/03/21: U.S. Army preparing its heavy dump trucks for extremely cold environment (defence-blog.com)
US deploying B-1 bombers to Norway to send a message to Russia – CNNPolitics – posted 02/08/21: https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/08/politics/us-b-1-bombers-norway/index.html
New U.S. Arctic strategy focuses on ‘day-to-day competition’ with Russia and China | The Independent Barents Observer – posted 02/08/21: https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2021/01/new-us-arctic-strategy-focuses-day-day-competition-russia-and-china
U.S. Marines learn how to drift armored vehicles on snow – Defense Blog – posted 02/15/21: https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-marines-learn-how-to-drift-armored-vehicles-on-snow.html
Photo by Lance Cpl. Patrick King
50-mile winds and no sunlight: Welcome to the military’s ‘Cool School’ – Task & Purpose – posted 02/16/21: https://taskandpurpose.com/culture/military-arctic-survival-school-air-force/
East Coast Navy Divers Take on a Minnesota Lake, As Service Eyes Greater Arctic Presence – USNI News – posted 02/19/21: East Coast Navy Divers Take on a Minnesota Lake, As Service Eyes Greater Arctic Presence – USNI News
From the article –
“Slack said MDSU 2 hasn’t specifically been given instructions from higher up in the Navy to prepare for any specific Arctic missions or training, but he said it’s clear what direction the Navy is going in, and MDSU 2 is among the support units the Navy would rely on if a mission were to suddenly arise.
This year’s iteration of the annual ice diving training has special significance “to be sure that if we do get called upon, that the Navy divers clear the way for the U.S. naval forces and stand ready to conduct these diving and salvage operations in any environment.”
A diving tent is set up on frozen lake during ice dive training at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minn., Feb. 16, 2021. US Navy Photo