Between August 6th and 28th, the Canadian Forces are staging Operation Nanook up in Canada’s Arctic: a 700-person military exercise that includes sub hunting, search and rescue, and disaster response. The operation highlights both Canada’s general claim in the Arctic region and the specific commitment of this government to asserting it, even if ambitious icebreaker plans have been scaled back.
With the prospect of large ice-free areas in the Arctic likely only decades away, it does seem as though territorial disputes over sovereignty and resources will arise. As a result, military capacity could be important. Ironically, the melting of the ice may provide access to new reserves of oil and gas: further fuelling the destruction of the unique environment north of the Arctic circle.