‘A good working relationship’

by Aaron Wherry

Another leaked cable sheds light on our pitched battle with the Russians for the Arctic.

One cable drafted by U.S. diplomats in Ottawa portrays Mr. Harper as dismissing the need for a military response to Russia over the Arctic. It includes an account from a Canadian official of a January, 2010, meeting between Mr. Harper and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in which the PM said NATO has no role in the Arctic.

“According to PM Harper, Canada has a good working relationship with Russia with respect to the Arctic, and a NATO presence could backfire by exacerbating tensions,” the cable states. “He commented that there is no likelihood of Arctic states going to war, but that some non-Arctic members favoured a NATO role in the Arctic because it would afford them influence in an area where ‘they don’t belong.’ ”




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‘A good working relationship’

  1. It’s not the Russians we have to worry about, it’s the Americans.

     http://www.vancouversun.com/news/decision-canada/agreed+hold+Arctic+sovereignty+claim+during+2008+election/4774778/story.html

    • Are we going to try to raise a larger army, one that is better equipped than the US’s?  I don’t think so… 

      • It has nothing to do with ‘armies’. 

        •  Can I ask: what does it ‘have to do with”?

          • “We cannot win against the Americans. We cannot win against the Russians. And we are too civilized to shoot the Danes.”

            Dion jokingly musing about what to do about challenges to Canada’s Arctic sovereignty.

            So perhaps we need some allies against the biggest threat up there, eh?

          •  No, you’re wrong, and I think you know that.

          • No, I am not wrong and I have no idea why you’d think so. 

          • Because you are wrong. I don’t know why you’d say one thing and think another, but that is obviously the case here.

          • I have no idea what you’re babbling about, and I doubt you do either since you can’t explain it. 

          •  Emily, please, I don’t mind you lying to me, but don’t lie to yourself.  You know why worrying about the Russians is important, and you know why armies are relevant to this issue. 

          • Stop with the nonsense, and get back to the topic. 

          •  It’s not nonsense, it is the topic.  Everyone knows how important the military is to asserting our Arctic sovereignty, and how important it is to defend that sovereignty against the Russians.  It’s not even up for debate.

          •  You ally yourself with others to put your biggest threat in check. If you read the url I posted, the US is our biggest threat on this issue. So we need to ally ourselves with all the others that oppose an American takeover of the Arctic. We had such a deal, until Mackay opened his big mouth to scream about the ‘Russkies’ invading our air space….something that never happened.  Even NORAD  rebuked him for spouting such nonsense. That certainly harmed the deal we already had in place, by causing bad feelings on the committee. We could revive the deal though, if someone can duct tape  Mackay. Otherwise the Americans, who have one of the smallest amounts of Arctic coastline will end up owning all of ours.
             
            Even Harper has said there will be no ‘war’ about the Arctic, that it will all be worked out through negotiations.  Using ‘armies’ to fight over the north would simply ruin it for everyone.  No oil, no fish, no passage….plus damage to the planet.

          • You’re suggesting we create a strategic military alliance with Putin’s Russia to combat the American threat? Everyone knows that will never happen for political, social, economic, constitutional, normative, moral, existential, scientific and metaphysical reasons. Nor should it.

  2. I am going to reply here, seeing as the reply ‘boxes’ shrink so you can’t have a conversation.

    Olaf…I’m not suggesting a military alliance….get your mind off the military! 

    “Noted that Mr. Harper has said that that there is “no likelihood of Arctic states going to war,” and feels that any NATO presence in the region would be misguided, given it would “backfire by exacerbating tensions,” primarily with Russia

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harpers-hard-line-on-arctic-softens-among-us-envoys-leaked-cables/article2019906/

    • Harper also said Canada wouldn’t be in a recession, and yet it happened.  I’m not saying we will go to war over the arctic any time soon, I’m just saying that I need to make a short trip out to fill up a few barrels of gasoline and get some non-perishables.  Anyway, you know this will eventually result in battle, either on land, underwater, or in space.  But if you want to pretend that’s not going to happen, I won’t stop you.  LOL!

  3. Russian media follows arctic matters closely.  So far Russia is not keen on NATO being involved either.  They have stated that the UN will have final say over eventual re-division of the area’s mineral resources. 
     
      Many countries seeking arctic access
     http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20100330/158366754.html
     
    It will be interesting how this pans out.  The Americans have traditionally been the bullies in negotiating – Canada got screwed in the 1903 Alaska boundary dispute.  When the Americans were finished with the DEW Line, we were left holding the bag for the clean-up (on-going) and all we got was $100 million worth of credits which can be used to buy military equipment from the United States.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_boundary_dispute

    http://www.taiga.net/yourYukon/col152.html

    • Well, Russia has the largest amount of Arctic coastline, an entire Arctic fleet and cities up there, so of course it would be of interest to them. The US only has the coast of Alaska.

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