The War On Arctic Terror

Hat tip goes to Kiki, who pointed out a recent article in Wired, U.S. Readies for Polar Warfare (Updated). There you have it…Canada is amping up its military presence in the Arctic and so is the U.S. In an recent announcement titled Technologies for Persistent Operations in High LAtitude Regions (POLAR), Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for new technology and operation concepts that would give our forces the advantage.

The article also points to the 2001 symposium report Naval Operations in an Ice Free Arctic that you can download as handy pdf. The obvious irony of a government that publicly states global warming is a hoax while the military is preparing for it is best exemplified by this statement…

Observed and Forecasted Arctic Change
• Submarine data reveal a 40% decrease in arctic sea ice volume. Satellite passive microwave data since the 1970s demonstrate a decrease in sea ice extent of 3% per decade. Model data suggest that a sea ice thickness decrease of 30% and an ice volume decrease between 15% and 40% by 2050.
• These trends translate into a possibility that the US Navy will be required to operate in the Arctic. The ice infested waters will restrict maneuverability and limit sensor and weapon employment. Harsh arctic conditions will cause super structure icing and limit personnel exposure times.

The document provides a serious and in-depth discussion of what is currently known and what information is needed with regard to global warming. Other gems include the last section which includes several potential future scenarios including ‘situations’ between Russia or China and the U.S. But the real interesting one…

Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation: Environmental terrorists seize a research station in the Svalbard Archipelago being used by a U.S. based multi-national corporation for mineral and oil exploration in the Arctic. The terrorists have been using explosives to destroy equipment at the station, and are threatening personnel if the corporation does not cease all activities in the Arctic Ocean. Although Svalbard is under Norwegian sovereignty, a U.S. signed international treaty prohibits military activities in the archipelago. The breakdown of hostage negotiations is followed by the execution of some of the U.S. citizens. The USS Saipan ARG and 26th MEU, which is Special Operations Capable, are conducting an exercise off Scotland. The Saipan transits to Svalbard and plans a rescue using
helo inserted special forces. EO capable P-3s flying out of Tromso, Norway conduct surveillance. U.S. military actions incite protest from the Russians.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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