Author Topic: Russia is fortifying the Arctic  (Read 92 times)

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Offline SirJohn

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Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« on: February 02, 2017, 12:01:01 pm »
Russia has been increasing its military spending by double digits for years, and is now moving heavily into the Arctic, building bases, building nuclear powered icebreakers and ice resistant naval ships, stationing troops and aircraft including fighters. All of this is in support of its broad claims to enormous swaths of territory which could contain oil and gas fields. Canada also claims some of that same territory, but in the last ten years, despite all Harper's talk, we have done pretty much nothing in the way of enhancing our claims over that territory, or in defending it. We have no warships or civilian ships capable of traversing the Arctic, including submarines, no troops, other than some local military armed with rifles, and no plans to spend a dime on anything new.

So I guess we will have to rely on the Russians' good will - and Donald Trump.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/putins-russia-in-biggest-arctic-military-push-since-the-fall-of-the-soviet-union
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

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Offline JMT

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 12:03:05 pm »
Hey, we have lots of plans.

In all seriousness, the Americans are even less equipped for an arctic war than we are, other than their under ice capability.  The only thing that keeps us safe is the fact that Russia couldn't win an overall conflict with the US.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 12:06:02 pm »
Putin seems like a guy who will try whatever he thinks he can get away with. I don't know what US capabilities are in Alaska, but I know we have basically no ability up there, and guys like Putin will take what they can easily walk away with. Look at China. You'd think no nation would have the gall to build some islands in the middle of the sea and then declare that their territory extends for two hundred miles all around them, practically up to the coastlines of neighboring countries, but they did and they are. Why? Because they can.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline JMT

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 12:11:29 pm »
We've come to a situation where anyone with any power will just try to push and see how far they can get.  No one actually wants to confront another power, but they want to see how far they can get before a confrontation.

Online wilber

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 01:11:44 pm »
The Americans have their part of the Arctic pretty well covered. Over 20,000 military stationed in Alaska, including two air wings with F-22's, F16's, C-17's and E-3's. Plus an Air National Guard wing operating C-130's and helicopters. Also two army combat brigades with support groups.
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Offline JMT

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 01:21:48 pm »
The Americans have their part of the Arctic pretty well covered. Over 20,000 military stationed in Alaska, including two air wings with F-22's, F16's, C-17's and E-3's. Plus an Air National Guard wing operating C-130's and helicopters. Also two army combat brigades with support groups.

Sure, they have the air well covered.  Even we have the air well covered with FOBs for the F-18s (well enough for what we need, anyway).  They have absolutely no capability on land or in the water when compared to the Russians.

Offline ?Impact

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 01:51:57 pm »
The Americans have their part of the Arctic pretty well covered.

There is significant difference climate wise between Alaska and Nunavut. That has also led to far superior infrastructure in Alaska, even without the military presence.

Online wilber

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 02:05:11 pm »
Quote
Sure, they have the air well covered.  Even we have the air well covered with FOBs for the F-18s (well enough for what we need, anyway).  They have absolutely no capability on land or in the water when compared to the Russians.

They have two combat brigades and support groups more than we do and the capability to move a lot more up there if necessary. Their aircraft are actually stationed up there. Two squadrons of F-22's at Elmendorf and two of F-16's at Eielson plus their other air assets. They are already in theatre if something happens. They may not have surface ships to match the Russians in heavy ice but their navy outmatches the Russians in every other way.
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Online wilber

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 02:09:20 pm »
Quote
There is significant difference climate wise between Alaska and Nunavut. That has also led to far superior infrastructure in Alaska, even without the military presence.
So? That doesn't solve our problem. Does get pretty chilly on the north slope though. Gets damn cold in Fairbanks as well.
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Offline Blueblood

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2017, 03:57:37 pm »
Quote
Sure, they have the air well covered.  Even we have the air well covered with FOBs for the F-18s (well enough for what we need, anyway).  They have absolutely no capability on land or in the water when compared to the Russians.

They have two combat brigades and support groups more than we do and the capability to move a lot more up there if necessary. Their aircraft are actually stationed up there. Two squadrons of F-22's at Elmendorf and two of F-16's at Eielson plus their other air assets. They are already in theatre if something happens. They may not have surface ships to match the Russians in heavy ice but their navy outmatches the Russians in every other way.

Air superiority is a big deal.  Not going to be a good time for the ships if they don't have air protection.  Partly a reason they don't make dreadnaughts anymore.

Offline JMT

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2017, 04:06:14 pm »
Their aircraft are actually stationed up there.

I'm in favour of us doing that, but not in any large numbers.  Each of the 4 FOBs should always have a pair of F-18s at it.  that would mean that on any one day, 1 - 2 would be in service.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2017, 08:58:56 pm »
I'm in favour of us doing that, but not in any large numbers.  Each of the 4 FOBs should always have a pair of F-18s at it.  that would mean that on any one day, 1 - 2 would be in service.

Don't worry. Harper will be putting in new bases and lots of new capabilities. Protecting the north is important to him, after all!

Oh wait....
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline JMT

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2017, 09:06:38 pm »
Harper figured out that the military doesn't win elections, unfortunately.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2017, 12:30:34 pm »
Don't worry. Harper will be putting in new bases and lots of new capabilities. Protecting the north is important to him, after all!

Oh wait....

Yes, if it wasn't going to gain him anything he had no interest. And, in fact, it cost him all sorts of bad publicity, whether it was who we turned prisoners over to in Afghanistan, or lousy, screwed up competitions, or politicians riding helicopters. He basically washed his hands of the military and ignored its needs. Much like Trudeau is doing.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline JMT

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Re: Russia is fortifying the Arctic
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2017, 01:02:12 pm »
I think that a Trump presidency makes it so that Trudeau can't ignore the spending side.