. Military Space News .

NATO, Russia stage Arctic war games
by Ilya Kramnik
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Apr 25, 2012

In their war games, NATO and Russia are both pursuing one and the same goal. As rising temperatures are freeing larger and larger areas of the Arctic from its icy shackles, all regional key players are flexing their military muscle to score psychological points in the information battlespace, the main arena of modern diplomatic conflicts.

As global warming is thawing permafrost around the Earth's poles, the Arctic is gradually emerging from under the eternal ice as a new geopolitical arena, a focal point of interest and concern to the major world powers. The conflict of economic interests is already on the horizon and won't probably be resolved any soon, although military clashes remain an equally hazy perspective.

In the past, only scientist and journalists seemed to be concerned about the "opening up" of the Arctic. Now, politicians and the military are also turning their gaze to this region, which rising temperatures have made more accessible than ever.

The global media and especially local agencies are bristling with threats of a new Cold War in the Arctic, while major northern states are meeting to discuss regional security. One of such meetings was held by military chiefs of all Arctic powers in Canada on April 12, 13. It was attended, among others, by Gen. Nikolai Makarov, Chief of Russia's Armed Forces General Staff.

The meeting took place at a time when the icy region was buzzing with activity, with both Russia and NATO engaged in war games beyond the Arctic Circle. In March, NATO wrapped up its Cold Response maneuvers on the stretch from Sweden to Canada, with 16,300 troops engaged in this unprecedented military exercise. The war game was only clouded by a crash, when a Norwegian C-130J plane rammed into the western slope of the Swedish mountain, Kebnekaise, killing five servicemen.

The Russian military kept apace, staging their own maneuvers. Its 200th motor rifle brigade from Murmansk tested the T-80 tanks, which are believed to be best-suited for the Arctic climate, with their gas turbine engines, which are much easier to start in the cold weather than the traditional diesel ones. The Russian Northern Fleet, as well as Air Defense planes, choppers and marine aviation participated in the drills.

The Air Forces also trained in Russia's northern reaches. On April 9-15, Russia staged Ladoga 2012 maneuvers at the Karelian Besovets air base with 50 choppers and aircraft, which engaged and shot down over 150 air targets.

In their war games, NATO and Russia are both pursuing one and the same goal. As rising temperatures are freeing larger and larger areas of the Arctic from its icy shackles, all regional key players are flexing their military muscle to score psychological points in the information battlespace, the main arena of modern diplomatic conflicts.

No one wants a "Hot War." Even more so, the US, the potential northern leader, is now focused on more pressing issues in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Pacific, where it is engaged in a standoff with China. However, Arctic's natural riches, territorial disputes and expanding shipping lanes have rendered it a very lucrative region - and thus potentially a "hot" one.

The situation around maritime traffic nodes has never been simple. Such was the case with the Mediterranean, the Horn of Africa, or the Strait of Malacca. If the Arctic emerges as another junction of sea lanes it will spawn conflicts among the world powers, depending on how determined they will be to protect their national interests.

Russia is one of such ambitious northern powers, currently planning on boosting its Arctic infrastructure, for instance building twenty frontier posts to protect its polar reaches. Some of them will be erected close to nine emergency and transport ministerial centers, set up to further the development of Russia's Northern Sea Route. The rest of the frontiers will be built on the islands. A satellite system called Arktika will allow for their uninterrupted communication with the "mainland."

These frontier posts, which are to be erected in the upcoming years, will serve as Russia's bulwark beyond the Arctic Circle and will be secured by its Northern Fleet, air forces and the so-called "Arctic brigades," specially trained to operate in the polar region.

For now, Arctic conflicts are still a matter of theoretical disputes and an inspiration for computer games designers. For instance, the recent game called Naval Warfare: Arctic Circle tells a story about navies and air forces of Russia and NATO fighting for Arctic dominance. Today, major world powers are too busy wrestling with global economic crisis to let this story out of its cyber realm. But no one knows what the nearest future has in store for us.

Source: Voice of Russia

Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

New Pentagon spy agency to focus on Iran, China
Washington (AFP) April 24, 2012
The Pentagon is creating a new intelligence agency that will focus on Iran and China as it begins to pivot away from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, the New York Times reported. The newspaper said late Monday that the new Defense Clandestine Service would make use of existing agents, authorities and assets and work closely with the Central Intelligence Agency to track emerging threats. ... read more

Russia's new air defense systems: Pantsir to shield S-400

An ABM "Umbrella" with tripple lining

Congress mulls $680M for Israeli Iron Dome

Raytheon Awarded $106 Million for Aegis Radar Work

N. Korea 'missiles' at parade were mock-ups: experts

US Navy Fires Raytheon Griffin Missile From RAM Launcher

S. Korea deploys longer-range missiles against North

US seeks 'restraint' amid India missile plan

US Army Places $20.4 Million Order for AeroVironment RQ-20A Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Russia to Test Fly First Combat Drone in 2014

Mini helicopters fly autonomously

Panetta dismisses Iran claims on copying US drone

Fourth Boeing-built WGS Satellite Accepted by USAF

Raytheon to Continue Supporting Coalition Forces' Information-Sharing Computer Network

Northrop Grumman Wins Contract for USAF Command and Control Modernization Program

TacSat-4 Enables Polar Region SatCom Experiment

Raytheon to upgrade US Navy's 20-year-old analog air traffic control radars with modern, digital technology

Robots fighting wars could be blamed for mistakes on the battlefield

Singapore Gulfstreams go operational

Northrop Grumman's Common Link Integration Processing System Ready for Fielding

Obama mulls easing arms export curbs

Brazil-U.S. arms talks break new ground?

India to regulate foreign defense JVs

Finmeccanica boss under investigation for bribery: reports

NATO, Russia stage Arctic war games

Russians protest Volga River NATO hub

New Pentagon spy agency to focus on Iran, China

Panetta to begin tour of Latin America

First Atomic-Scale Real-Time Movies of Platinum Nanocrystal Growth in Liquids

Nanodot-based memory sets new world speed record

Nanocrystal-coated fibers might reduce wasted energy

High-res atomic imaging of specimens in liquid by TEM using graphene liquid cell

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement