President Obama is not facing the real threat to Alaska and all of America

President Obama’s Alaskan climate grandstanding was a flop on its two most vital points.

Kenai Peninsula’s melting Exit Glacier that he used as “proof of human-caused climate change” has been melting since trail markers were staked at its snout in 1815 during the Little Ice Age maximum and before industrialization.

The U.S.-led Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER) in Anchorage supposedly “ended with a joint declaration calling for more international action to tackle climate change,” but didn’t.

China and India leadersChina Central Television (CCTV) reported, “According to a U.S. Arctic Press and Public Affairs Officer, China and India did not sign the statement.” That sends Obama a troubling signal for the Paris summit, and China sent him a more pointed message: The Wall Street Journal Asia broke the story that while Obama talked, China operated five warships off the Alaska coast in the Bering Sea. No media reported the incredible fact that there are no U.S. military bases on the thousand-mile Alaska coast within the Arctic Circle.

Fox News underlined the importance of the Arctic conference: “Forty percent of the world’s oil and natural gas reserves lie under the Arctic. Melting ice also would lead to new shipping routes, and Russia wants to establish a kind of Suez Canal which it controls. More than a Cold War, Russia may be preparing for an Ice War, and the Pentagon is taking note.”

Getting to the oil and gas takes a fleet of behemoth icebreakers. While in Alaska, Obama announced he would speed up the acquisition of icebreakers. Obama’s unimpressive Arctic fleet has only three icebreakers, two of them moored for years in need of repairs, and the other used only in open-water icebreaking.

The U.S is coming to the Arctic game forty years late, said Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who had just informed a May Senate appropriations committee hearing that the U.S. military Arctic defense policy is falling short. Russia is militarizing the Arctic, and the U.S. is not prepared.

The U.S. is trying to play catch-up with Putin’s Russia, which already has forty Arctic-capable icebreakers, 25 of them nuclear powered.

A month ago, The New York Times reported that “Russia formally staked a claim Russia flag northto a vast area of the Arctic Ocean, including the North Pole…. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the claim would expand Russia’s total territory on land and sea by about 1.2 million square kilometers, or about 463,000 square miles.”

The dire warnings about climate change that Obama gave Alaska and the GLACIER conference seem blind to geopolitical change. Military realities face Obama, but is he facing them?

And this man is leading us against Vladimir Putin, who has activated his Northern Fleet – two-thirds of the entire Russian Navy – as a strategic military command, and assigned a 6,000-soldier Russian Arctic warfare unit to the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya with next generation fighter aircraft in addition to advanced S400 Triumf anti-aircraft systems.

And an Arctic military reconnaissance drone base 420 miles off mainland Alaska just went operational. What will it see?

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About the Author: Ron Arnold

Ron Arnold

Ron is a free enterprise activist, author, and newspaper columnist. He pioneered methods to expose the money and power of Big Green in nine books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles. He mentors promising activists and writers as a civic duty.

  • Frederick Colbourne

    In his novel Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy described the work of Soviet icebreakers way back in 1984.

    It makes sense for Russia to have lots of icebreakers because they own so much of the Arctic coast, not broken up by islands as is the Canadian Arctic coast. And the Russian Arctic is more populated and developed than the North American Arctic.

    As for the US Arctic coast, you really have to look at a polar map projection to see how little coastline the US has in the Arctic. Look deeper and you will see that the populated parts of the US Arctic coast is negligible.

    The chief role of the United States therefore does not depend at all on the extent of US territory in the Arctic but on the role of the US as a superpower able to ensure that its allies and neutrals do not lose out as a result of Russian activities.

    US interests are geopolitical rather than founded on the economic resources of the Arctic. In this endeavour, China could count as an ally because its interests in the Arctic coincide with those of other countries, such as the US, that have no significant presence in the Arctic.

    Overall, the populated and developed Arctic coasts are mainly Russian. Other countries have an interest in ensuring that the international waters offshore and airways remain open to international traffic and they are not militarized.

    What I see problematical with the new found US interest in the Arctic is that it may be a prelude to militarization of an ocean where US national interests are minuscule.

    But what’s new about that. We have not heeded the warning of President Eisenhower that the US military-industrial complex has its own objectives that do not necessarily coincide with US civilian objectives.

    First, the President ought to define the threat. Unfortunately, when you examine his speeches you find mostly artful use of words and rhetorical devices. Hot air as we used to call it.

  • emmaliza

    The book “The New Cold War” indicates Putin sees himself as the new Peter the Great, intent upon making Russia a great power. He is unfortunately copying the old USSR in sources of funding, dependence upon oil and gas exports. He doesn’t appear to have read Gaidar’s books aimed at Russian people’s future. Will he run out of money before oil rises in price again? He is obviously miles ahead of Washington’s rulers in planning for the future of his citizenry. Obama is more destructive to the US citizen than Putin could ever be, as his goal of destroying affordable, dependable energy is the fastest way to return to feudalism and early death for the average person.

  • Do you notice Emmaliza, that if you carry the conversation all the way to its conclusion with the hard Green-Left, they always end up with a return to marginal subsistence?

  • Dano2

    The logical fallacy used with the glacier is sad. The world’s glaciers are in decline and the loss is accelerating. Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are in decline. Arctic ice is in decline. No one else is serious about drilling in the Arctic and have pulled out.

    The evidence refuting this article is overwhelming.

    Best,

    D