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Monday, 02 September 2013 19:55

The doctrinal views of the USA and Canada on Arctic exploration

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The Obama administration consistently stepping up efforts to consolidate the leading role of the U.S. in the development of the Arctic region.

Special attention is paid to the formal legal basis of U.S. strategic interests in the Arctic, the development of a national security strategy in the Far North , clarifying the political and economic priorities in the region, as well as a comprehensive assessment of the possible consequences of the ratification of the UN Convention on the country's Congress on the Law of the Sea.

The basic document governing the activities of the national interests in the Arctic , was a directive of President Barack Obama's "New U.S. Arctic strategy " , signed by the head of state January 9, 2009 . In accordance with it is supposed to strengthen the U.S. presence in the region by demonstrating sea power , to guarantee the freedom of navigation and overflight of air transport, as well as provide the ability to deploy a missile defense shield him and warning systems, missile and nuclear attack .

The Obama administration unveiled May 10 sec. , the " National Strategy for the Arctic Region ", in which , inter alia, states: "The United States is the Arctic states , which has a broad and serious interests in the Arctic region. They are associated with the need to ensure national security , protect the environment , responsibly manage resources take into account the needs of indigenous people , to support research and to strengthen international cooperation on a wide range of issues. "

This paper provides three main areas of activity - " to promote the interests of U.S. national security ," " the responsible management of resources in the Arctic region " and " the strengthening of international cooperation in the region ." The text of the strategy also says that the United States is planning to apply for an extension of the continental shelf of the Arctic . The Obama administration interested in more than 600 nautical miles off the northern coast of Alaska. To implement these plans, the White House intends to seek ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Senate of the U.S. Congress , which will allow representatives of the country's appeal to settle territorial disputes International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg.

The development and refinement of the doctrinal views of the conceptual framework for the study of American strategy in the Arctic assigned to the Commission by the U.S. Arctic Research (US Arctic Research Commission). As part of its activities , among other things , produced a rationale for increased funding for research related to the development of promising oil fields in the Arctic region, including for the prevention of non-oil environmental disasters. In addition, experts from the Commission in the current year, a report in support of the legislative initiative of the U.S. Congress about the need for improved mapping software that country adjacent to the Arctic marine area in order to present to the UN Commission on the shelf of a relevant application to own a piece of the Arctic territories.

Arctic Research Commission works closely with the special inter-ministerial group analysis and assessment of the situation in the Arctic, operated by the U.S. Department of State . This group includes representatives of the Pentagon, the Ministry of the Navy United States Coast Guard ( Coastguard ) from the Department of Homeland Security and the Minerals Management Service of the Ministry of Agriculture . At the present stage of the expansion of offshore U.S. territories is a priority of the American leadership . Its solution depends on the speedy ratification of the Congress of the United Nations Convention on the Law of 1982 (this would create a legal basis for filing an application to the UN Commission on the shelf ) . According to U.S. experts , the accession of offshore territories will increase the total area of the United States at 4.1 million km2. In addition , the United States will be able to claim natural resources total $ 1.3 trillion, including oil reserves offshore Alaska , estimated at 650 billion dollars.

Particular attention is drawn to the American leadership delimitation of the continental shelf and the need to phase out of all the countries on the development of natural deposits until the completion of activities on differentiation . The current position of the United States on the delimitation of the borders of the Arctic shelf is characterized by the fact that the White House did not accept any of the options to define the borders of the Arctic shelf , available today, Arctic states . U.S. counting on the area extending to 600 nautical miles (965 km) from Alaska to the North Pole . At the same time , according to the Washington, DC, at the North Pole free up a "neutral territory" area of approximately 3,000,000 km2 , where the use of natural resources can all subjects of international relations.

In addition to the existing disagreements on the delimitation of the claims being made as to Russia in terms of the use of the Northern Sea Route (NSR ) and to Canada for the use of the Northwest Passage (FFP ) . The American expert community with the support of the U.S. administration puts forward the thesis of the need to maximize the "internationalization " of the Northern Sea Route as well as FFP , meaning by this the opportunity of free use of these marine highways.

In particular , the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies, on the instructions of the State Department issued a report , " U.S. strategic interests in the Arctic : current challenges and new opportunities for cooperation." This paper analyzes the international situation in the Arctic, of the American leadership to secure its interests in the region and provides guidance on the implementation of the main directions of the national Arctic policy in the future. The authors conclude that the recent political developments , especially the Russian- Norwegian agreement on the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Barents Sea , strengthen the international isolation of the United States in the North and threaten not only the dominant country in the region, but also the possibility of the participation of Washington in solving the problems of the Arctic.

In such circumstances, the U.S. administration is recommended to implement a set of measures directed at both short and long term. In the short term, is proposed:

  • ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and to apply for the establishment of the United States supplies part of the Arctic continental shelf;
  • intensify contacts with the countries with interests in the Arctic, both in the framework of international and regional organizations , as well as on a bilateral basis.

In addition, points to the need for capacity building for integrated and full use of the Northern Sea Route. American experts suggest to solve this problem through:

  • construction of a new icebreaker fleet , the safety of navigation on the NSR by expanding the scope of the Navy and coastguard services , equipping them with the latest equipment and technology;
  • creating the necessary infrastructure for the functioning of the Northern Sea Route;
  • holding regular exercises and training for emergency response and disaster relief , rescue at sea, including in conjunction with other Arctic states.

In the long term, experts of the center considered appropriate for implementation of the following measures:

  • development of a strategic plan for development of the Arctic;
  • conducting joint command U.S. forces in the area of North America set of measures of operational and combat training, in particular in conjunction with the Sun of other countries;
  • exploring the possibility of an alliance with Russia 's manual with the MP at the expense of American investment in infrastructure construction in the Russian territory , including deep-sea port of large vessels.

American analysts give priority to ensuring the future of Arctic shipping in the Northern Sea Route , as, in their opinion, the Northeast sea passage along the coast of Canada in the short term will not be a major international shipping routes due to heavy ice conditions and the lack of necessary aids to navigation software.

In this approach, implemented in the Norwegian-Russian agreement , can be used in deciding on the shoreline between Russia and the United States in the Bering Sea. The same principle can be settled by the US-Canadian territorial dispute in the Beaufort Sea.

The policies of the United States in the Arctic is aimed at strengthening the dominant position in the region , obtaining direct access to the Northern Sea Route and a number of Canadian and Norwegian polar areas, as well as to curb the growth of Russian influence in the region by discouraging the legal consolidation of the Russian Arctic shelf neighborhood.

In order to achieve a dominant position in the Arctic region , Americans use an integrated approach , seeking to ensure that their advantage is active in the diplomatic , scientific, technological and military fields.

In the field of diplomacy as the best way of achieving the objectives of the United States considered " maximum internationalization" of issues related to the Arctic , involving in the process of its section of its potential allies and seeking to ensure the legitimacy of their participation on the basis of international law.

In science and technology priorities are the construction of additional infrastructure and carrying out in the region of the complex of diverse research. As part of the expansion of infrastructure in the Arctic region , the U.S. Congress has proposed the building industry in the state of Alaska a new seaport in the immediate vicinity of the Northwest sea passage.

The airports of the State of Alaska provides installation of new navigation and radar equipment. For these needs the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency plans to spend about $ 1.14 billion. The U.S. administration welcomed the prospects of laying a new pipeline from the oil fields of Alaska to Canada and then to the U.S. territory. In addition, the possibility of increasing the U.S. icebreaker fleet , but so far these plans finally approved. In the area of research is currently the most pressing issues for Americans include the exploration of natural resources, as well as exploring the boundaries of the shelf and the ice conditions in the Arctic. In particular, the ice-breaking coastguard forces involved in providing scientific expedition BEST in the northern Bering Sea , aimed at mineral exploration and evaluation of changes in ice conditions , and the management of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA) has been studying the Arctic ice program "Arctic ice bridge (Arctic Ice Bridge) and "Polar Flight " (Polar Flight).

In order to strengthen the monitoring of climate change in the polar latitudes, in cooperation with NASA , " Northrop Grumman Space Technology " started to build a new artificial Earth satellite - NPOESS (Natural Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System). Total to 2024 is planned to run four of these satellites.

During the development of the Arctic basin as a possible theater of operations of the U.S. Navy stepping up implementation of measures of operational and combat training of the Arctic Ocean Region ( AOR ) . Navy Submarine Forces pay much attention to working out methods of finding and tracking in the arctic latitudes and difficult ice conditions . In the future, the White House will focus on the deployment of reconnaissance and monitoring of the situation in the Arctic.

One of the main activities of the U.S. Navy in the AOP is to provide a means of data collection, analysis and transmission of operational hydrographic information for the operation of its submarine fleet. Particular attention is paid to the development of a database on shallow areas of the Russian sector of the Arctic , the creation of mobile tactical subsystems hydrographic support capable of promptly secretly deployed directly in the planned areas of combat employment of forces.

Feature of public policy in Canada's Arctic is that this country is first formed the most comprehensive conceptual framework to promote their national interests in the region. In fact , back in 1996 it was the only State willing to implement its foreign policy in the Arctic basin , creating an appropriate regulatory framework, organizational structure and reflecting the national interests of a model of international cooperation. An example of such a model was formed on the initiative of the Canadian Arctic Council , the rules and the peculiarities of which have been adopted by other Arctic states by default.

Declarative framework of the current foreign policy of Canada's international cooperation in the Arctic and the High North was laid June 8, 2000 in a statement the Foreign Ministry , which was addressed to the official representatives of the government of Denmark , Iceland, Norway, Russia , the USA, Finland and Sweden. According to this document the Canadian leadership is committed to total globalization of economic and political processes in the region , excluding concessions and confrontation methods developed during the " Cold War."

Currently in Canada, the main body responsible for the formulation and implementation of the doctrinal views of the country's interests in the Arctic region is the Federal Council on the Arctic. He transferred to the high powers in addressing regional issues , and all involved in the process of scientific research , oil and gas , as well as military organizations are accountable to that body.

Produced according to the General Council of the Federal Program of Canadian politics in the Arctic and the High North policy of this country in the region is determined by four strategic directions:

  • bringing the standard of living of the people living in the northern territories , in line with the rest of the country and indicators of sustainable development in the Arctic;
  • ensuring the full and absolute sovereignty of Canada in the North;
  • the integration of the so-called circumpolar region into a managed global system;
  • improving the safety of the country and each citizen in the North.

Canadian guide is aimed at significantly strengthening its position in the region in the near future due to the phased implementation of projects aiming at the expansion of offshore economic zone of the country in the Arctic. In Canada, consider that for a comprehensive national security interests in the region, it must have the water area between the North Pole and its Arctic archipelago.

In describing this approach , it should be noted that the political leadership of the country adheres to the option " sector " section of the Arctic region - boundaries extend from the tips of the national territory directly through the meridians to the North Pole . The Arctic in this section limits is divided into unequal parts sectors . In this case, Russia is the largest part (about 5.8 million km2) , followed by Canada , then Denmark, Norway and the last place - the United States.

Disputing their rights to the continental shelf , Ottawa, however, states that the courts will allow other countries to follow freely in the waters of FFP provided prior to the parties concerned to request and receive from Canada permission. In 1997, it announced the straits between its northern islands ( the Northwest Passage ) territorial waters , does not agree with what Washington, who insisted on their international status.

In addition to territorial disputes with the United States from Canada claims to remain in Denmark. The parties can not agree on the ownership of an uninhabited island Hans , which allows control of FFP . In addition , according to the Canadian specialists in the waters of the island are deposits of minerals.

Canada along with Denmark seeks to prove that the Lomonosov Ridge ( claimed by both Russia ) docked with the Canadian Ellesmere Island and Danish Greenland. To this end, these countries organize complex research expedition to the area of the Greenland Sea , during which they learn the seabed and take samples of the soil.

The military component of the CDF in the region of Canada considers the guarantor of stability and the protection of national interests in the implementation of the Arctic projects. Ottawa tries to strengthen its regional military capabilities not only the right way - buildup of forces , but also indirectly , through promoting the establishment of expert communities in the Arctic nuclear-free zone. According to the country's leadership, in the case of the successful implementation of this project, the role of its armed forces in the Arctic could rise significantly due to a sharp decline in the capacity of such weighty players in the " division of the Arctic " as Russia and the United States .

While Canadians are aware that the idea of a nuclear-free Arctic will face strong opposition from the nuclear powers , and especially the Russian Federation, however, they tend to spread as widely as possible through the initiative of international and non-governmental organizations . In April 2012 the Canadian research community , " Rideau " ( Ottawa) published a report , " Non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Arctic ," which predicted the possible catastrophic scenarios in the Arctic , down to the regional conflict involving nuclear weapons .

However, the most powerful argument developers of the document consider the potential for contamination of the Arctic waters radioactive waste. Given the relevance of the theme of environmental safety for the majority of priarktichekih high likelihood that it will become one of the key factors that will help to create the conditions for the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Arctic.

In order to increase its presence in the Arctic, the country's leadership announced its intention to build a deep- sea port of the eastern gate of the Northwest Passage in the village Nanisivike ( Fr. Baffin Island, Nunavut ) . Another large-scale project in the Canadian sector of the Arctic Ocean is laying across the Northwest Passage bottom fiber length of 16 thousand kilometers between the cities of Tokyo (Japan ) and London (UK). The project cost is U.S. $ 1.2 billion.

To justify the nationality areas of the continental shelf in the Arctic Geological Survey of Canada carries out scientific researches in the study of the Arctic Ocean. Currently, work is being done in the area of . Borden . The main goal of the research is to gather scientific evidence accessories underwater Alpha and Mendeleev ridges of the North American continental platform for the legal justification of Canadian claims to expanding the boundaries of the exclusive economic zone in the Arctic region.

In recent years, increasing attention from foreign countries attracts Arctic - a region of huge concentration of raw materials , which has serious military strategic importance. So , every year in the Arctic committed three or four campaign attack submarines of the U.S. Navy and the Royal Navy , including one or two in the area of the pole. Weekly takes at least three flights of aircraft based patrol aircraft. Each year, the plans of NATO and national plans to perform about ten major events of operational and combat training. The most significant of these military exercises "Northern Territory ", " Red flzg - Alaska ," " Ayseks " (USA) , " JDC Winter ," " Northern Viking ," " Cold responsum ," " Cold Challenge ," " Arctic Tiger " "Valves Borealis " (NATO). At the same time forming a joint U.S. military base in Alaska, Elmendorf Air Base modernized , Ayelson , airfields Barrow and Nome, deploys tracking system for surface and underwater conditions in the Arctic seas , and a new point -based Coast Guard in paragraph Barrow , Canada is building port in Nunisieik creates a military training base in Resolute .

Fedoseev А.

Foreign Military Review, №6 , 2013, p. 3-9

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