USN sub in Arctic 2011

The Real Peril in the Arctic

Dr. Ann Griffiths, 30 September 2020.

There’s an interesting article in Foreign Affairs (29 September 2020) by Robert David English and Morgan Grant Gardner called “Phantom Peril in the Arctic: Russia Doesn’t Threaten the United States in the Far North – But Climate Change Does.” It’s about “ideologically driven threat inflation” to be found in the United States in terms of the Arctic. The authors say that the current US administration “has recently embraced Arctic alarmism with a vengeance” and “has stoked fears of Russian and Chinese ‘aggression.’”

The authors debunk this alarmism and fear. They discuss the inflated fears of ‘an icebreaker gap’ and misunderstanding of what icebreakers do. They discuss the US over-estimation of Russian capability and aggressive intentions. According to the authors, “The possibility of Russia’s tiny fleet charging into the North Atlantic to attack NATO reinforcements during a major war is suicidally, apocalyptically remote.” The authors conclude that the Trump administration is so busy over-estimating and misunderstanding the Russian (and Chinese) threat in the Arctic that it is missing the real threat – climate change.

The article is worth reading.


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