You’ll find more quotes from Lombardo at this RT link to ‘Ice’s melting: Will Arctic become ‘a new battlefield for oil like the Middle East’?, plus the NATO Tweets demonstrating that the ‘Practice Drills’ are afoot, as is this one from Jens Stoltenberg with this message: “Good luck to all the men & women participating in #NATO exercise #TridentJuncture, starting in Norway today. We are sending a clear message that NATO stands ready to defend our nations & preserve the peace.” (not provocative, it is?)
As to Lombardo’s statement about the broken US promise not to send NATO into Warsaw Pact countries, in his ‘Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF’ Melvin Goodman, counterpunch.org, Oct. 22 writes:
“President Bill Clinton bears heavy responsibility for the initial worsening of the Russian-American relationship because of his expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a betrayal of Washington’s commitment to never “leap frog” over East Germany to seek new members in East Europe if the Soviets were to withdraw their 380,00 troops from the region. Clinton invited former members of the Warsaw Pact into NATO. President Bush worsened the situation by inviting former Soviet republics into NATO. Bush even toyed with the idea of inviting Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel convinced him of the heavy risk of such a decision. The conventional wisdom is that Putin is responsible for the worsening of relations with the West because of the Russian-Georgian war in the summer of 2008 and the seizure of the Crimea in 2014, but U.S. machinations in both Tbilisi and Kiev had much to do with Russian actions.”
In his Oct. 11, 2018 ‘Trident Juncture 2018 Is About to Kick Off: NATO’s Big War Games Near Russia’s Borders Never End’, strategic-culture.org, Alex Gorka describes the earlier buildup at length, noting that most of the training event will be held over NATO member Norway, but also over the skies and in the seas of Sweden and Finland, which nations aren’t ‘officially’ members, but that:
“At an unofficial level, Sweden and Finland have already joined NATO through other groups and agreements, such as their trilateral cooperation with the US. The militarization of Norway, as well as all of the Scandinavian Peninsula and the Baltic states is being perceived by Russia as a provocation and a threat that demands a response. The Baltic states continue to request an increased military presence on their soil. NATO is stockpiling weapons, military equipment, and ammunition in the Baltic region and Poland.
There is a backstory to the Trident Juncture 2018 exercise. In early October, US Envoy to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson said Russia had been put on “short notice,” due to its alleged violations of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty. She warned that the US might “take out the missiles” before they could be deployed if Russia did not back down.”
He names the coming NATO ‘exercises’ in Poland (Anaconda), names a few other OpNames all in the same of “military Schengen zones.
In Gorka’s Oct. 24 ‘Militarization of Arctic: Issue of Incredible Importance Not Given Due Attention to’, (…As the ice melts and thins more in 2018), he makes the case of Russia’s claim to off-shore fields.
“Russia has presented a 1.2 million square kilometers Arctic claim to the UN. Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a Coastal state may claim rights to the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles by presenting scientific proof that it is a natural prolongation of its continental margin. The Russian Coastal exclusive economic zone can be extended, giving the state exclusive rights to exploit natural resources in the seabed and the ocean. Actually, Russia sits on $8.5 trillion oil reserves.
Moscow considers the Northern Sea Route (NSR) lying east of Novaya Zemlya and specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from the Kara Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait as the water area within Russia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in accordance with Article 234 of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This article grants all littoral states the right, within their exclusive economic zones (200 nautical miles), to pass non-discriminatory laws and regulations concerning navigation in ice-field areas. The US is a signatory but Congress has not ratified the document. Washington does not recognize the Russia’s claims and seeks to internationalize the region.
The US, Canada, Denmark and Norway have their own claims. The Arctic is believed to hold more than $22 trillion worth of resources hidden beneath the ice, including 90 billion barrels of oil and 47 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. It’s only natural for states to have disputes as long as they are addressed on the basis of international law through negotiations. But the gradual escalation of tensions in the Arctic is a fact.”
Gorka chronicles some of past NATO and US naval exercises in the Arctic Circle, the increases in NATO war games escalating, and Canada’s plans to upgrade its military in aid of a dispute over the Lomonosov Ridge between Russia and Canada.
“Russia is implementing the State Policy in the Arctic Till 2020 and for a Future Perspective. The Arctic is a source of threat to Russia. US submarine-launched ballistic missiles fired from the waters near Norway would leave the Russian military less than 15 minutes to decide if an incoming object was a threat of not, where it was coming from, and how to respond. The Arctic is the only location to enable submarine-launched Tomahawks to strike the Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) bases in the Orenburg and Krasnoyarsk regions, as well as the Urals.”
And yes, he describes at length the breadth of what the Russian military has available and will use in their Arctic exploration as well as the defense of their continental margin rights in terms of hardware and even clothing. A nuclear-powered ice-breaker is under development (ptui). He finishes with:
“The gradual militarization of the region is a reality. There are two options here. One is turning the Arctic into a hotbed where a spark could kindle a big fire. The other launching a full-fledged dialogue to address security issues related to the region. Five of the Arctic Council’s eight members are part of NATO with Sweden and Finland being the privileged partners of the Alliance. It makes the issue part of the Russia-NATO relationship. Russia’s military activities in the region have nothing to do with saber-rattling but it has to protect its legitimate interests.
The events related to the US decision to leave the INF Treaty, Syria, sanctions wars and other things in focus of public attention should not eclipse this issue of utmost importance. Cooperating with each other is the only way to maintain safety and regional order in the icy region. A coordinated regional approach to Arctic governance under the framework of the Law of the Sea Convention will build confidence and prevent militarization. The time is right for the Arctic Council to turn into a security-focused forum.”
On the other hand, this made me utterly ill when I’d read it: ‘World’s first floating nuclear power plant reaches Russia’s Arctic for maiden mission’ 21 May, 2018, RT
The rationale is sooo James ‘nuclear power’ Hansen:
“According to Rosatom, small sea-borne power units are best suited for remote areas. The plants may help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are blamed for global warming. Power plants of this kind are able to operate without stopping or the need for refueling for up to five years. The vessels were created to make it possible to supply electricity to hard-to-reach regions of the huge country.”
What could go wrong?!? The article ends with:
“Greenpeace has dubbed Akademik Lomonosov the “nuclear Titanic.” Various environmental protection groups sent Rosatom a letter, calling for full and unrestricted regulatory oversight of the vessel. The floating power plant will not just generate electricity for Pevek, it will be used for oil and gas exploration as Russia is pushing development further north into the Arctic.”
#TridentJuncture on Twitter
Ah, the poetry from S.Hava @Air_4U
“All quiet in the camp tonight Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming tents in the rays of the clear winter moon as gentle night-wind through the leaves softly is creeping While stars up above w/ their glittering eyes. Keep guard for the army is sleeping” (Tweet by TridentJuncture guard Sarah Hava)
Isn’t it adorable that the logo for the exercises is a Viking ship? NATO is proud of the fact.
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)