Thursday, January 15, 2009

NATO conference on Security in the Arctic

NATO is set to hold a seminar on January 29-30 on "Security Prospects in the High North." There has been significant talk recently about the shifting strategic priorities in the Arctic, given that more and more of the Arctic is open sea in the summer. If the Arctic is open to shipping lanes and to resource exploitation, then there will inevitibly be an increased military presence.

It seems that most of the attention has focused on disputes over soverignty, with the Canadians saying the Northwest passage is theirs, while America asserts the rights of international navigation through the passage, and the Russians appear to claim sovereignty for as much as they can get their hands (or a flag) on.

NATO, at least, will offer a venue for the Canadian and American dispute to be settled.

Not sure that Rekjavik in January is the optimum time to visit, but this promises to be an interesting discussion for NATO.

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