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Challenges in Arctic, Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1566

Essay

The main challenge that is affecting global governance is the tension in the spreading global norms as well as an international system, whose foundation dates back to 1648 during the Westphalian peace, which led to the division of the world to create more than two hundred sovereign nation-states. The question that arises towards the international organizations like United Nations is to what extent are they willing and able to interfere with the sovereign sphere of country states in order to apply universally agreed principles? Some nations tend to feel that they are more powerful than other nations hence interfering with their sovereignty. Especially the developed countries that have a powerful military tend to instill their policies and beliefs on countries that are seen as not fit. For example, a recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia proves how powerful countries can flex their weapons to maintain their beliefs and protect their sovereignty from being affected by other nations. Ever since the invasion of Ukraine, countries are now spending a lot of money to purchase weapons and create equipment for protection. Countries are now recruiting more individuals in the army and training more people to prepare them for any war that could occur in the future. Around the world, tensions are rising, where there is a disagreement about the policies of the west with those of the east part of the world. Taiwan is on the verge of being invaded by China, while the Arctic has many countries that are interested in it. Countries that are not linked to the Arctic want to explore the land for its resources and utilize the trade route from the area (Lajeunesse, 2015 pg. 1, para 1). The Arctic is part of Canada; hence the nations need to protect their sovereignty despite the area despite it attracting many nations to explore. Canada should use military means to protect the area and guard the waters around the arctic. This paper will provide evidence on how Canada can use the military-strategic level to overcome the challenges being experienced in the arctic.

Deploying “The Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships” is a strategy that can be used to patrol the region and control the traffic. The Canadian government, over the years, has procured developed ships that are capable of operating in an area covered with ice. For example, “the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS)” were purchased in 2007 to increase the ability of the navy to operate in the Northwest Passage. Since the ice is melting at a higher rate in the area, Canada should deploy more ships for patrol because the traffic in the area will increase, and there might be illegal goods being transported through that corridor. Constructing the Nunavut military port is an effective option for ensuring that the transportation in the area is enhanced. However, lack of equipment seems to be a greater issue affecting the area. Lack of adequate workforce is also another issue affecting the area because of the high cost of living in the northern region—the high cost of living limits people from settling in those areas hence the reason for limited human resources. With the Nunavut military port, the economy of the region will expand greatly. The issue is that a military refueling station that was supposed to be constructed 13 years ago has not been made. In 2007, the Nanisivik deep water port and armed Arctic patrol vessels were supposed to be made (The Canadian Press, 2020, para 1). Even though the first Arctic patrol vessel was given to the navy after different cost overruns and delays, the port cannot be ready till 2022. The travel difficulties experienced in the Arctic are because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The port was supposed to have an airstrip and be staffed for a year, but the plans were dropped because the initial budget had doubled from $116 million to $258 million (The Canadian Press, 2020, para 6). The  port would increase the economic activities of the region and offer more employment opportunities. Navy to operate in the Northwest passage. Since the ice is melting at a higher rate in the area, Canada should deploy more ships for patrol because the traffic in the area will increase, and there might be illegal goods being transported through that corridor. The Nanisivik program and the AOPS have been delayed because of the covid-19 pandemic; hence the process project should be completed within a short period (The Canadian Press, 2020, para 5). In case of the traffic increase dramatically, a greater presence will be needed to police, assist vessel traffic, and monitor.

To solve the transportation problem, such as clearing the ice, Canada should use poler icebreakers for its operations. In Canada, the federal government is building two heavy icebreakers that will be used by the Canadian Coast Guard to conduct its operations in the High Arctic. The vessels, which are 150 meters long, can be able to navigate through the heavy ice for almost nine months and also carry out scientific research in the region. Having the two heavy icebreakers is important because it will permit the Canadian Coast Guard to be in the arctic for one year. With icebreakers in the fleet, it is easier for the Canadian Coast Guard to clear the way for other ships that will be conducting patrol or even collecting scientific information for conducting research in the area. Having the Polar icebreakers can be a game-changer for the marine industry in Canada because it will enhance the construction industry. Also, Canada will have a stronger presence in the region. The economy of the region will be improved because Canadian shipyards will be competing to build the ships. Around 300 jobs will be created when building one vessel in every shipyard. Approximately 2,500 jobs can be created in the marine industry (Sevunts, 2021 para7). Having two icebreakers will solve the issue of maintenance while safeguarding the arctic throughout the year. With two icebreakers, one can conduct patrol while the other can go under maintenance. The communities also will have great reliability and flexibility for the delivery of cargo and foods, which may help minimize the high cost of living. Canada should deploy more poler icebreakers in the water to increase the patrol hours.

Canada has a Northern Watch project which was announced to the public first in 2008. The project focused on underwater and surface surveillance technologies such as electric field sensors and acoustic magnetic to monitor various activities using marine navigation radar, electronic intelligence receiver, automatic identification system, and electro-optical systems (Lajeunesses 2015 para 7). This project is found in the Gascoyne inlet, which is a natural checkpoint through the arctic. Through the systems put in place in the arctic, it is possible for the Canadian military to identify both subsurface and surface vessels passing through the Northwest Passage. Even though identifying surface marines is easier in the area, Canada has been faced with challenges in identifying sub-marines in the area. The country has been reporting various submarines from foreign nations passing through that arctic without permission. This is a potential threat, and Canada should monitor the activities beyond the checkpoint of the region through space-based surveillance. The RADARSAT II is the satellite for Canada, and it has great capabilities for identifying ship movements while cross-referencing its information with that from the AIS systems. The system is effective because it can collect information and create a clear image of the earth during the day or night and through different types of interference such as smoke, haze, or cloud cover. The use of drones and aircraft are also methods of increasing surveillance in the area.

Conclusion

Over the years, Canada has worked tirelessly to ensure that the sovereignty of the Arctic is recognized by other nations. Canada has put policies in place to help in protecting its territories and waters. The country has invested heavily over the years to purchase equipment such as ships to bolster the power of its forces. Canada has enhanced its communication, ways of conducting drills, and ways of conducting patrols throughout its waters in the Arctic. Through ships like the poler icebreaker, it is easier for the nation to conduct the patrol in the waters at any given time. More challenges will be faced by the nation, especially due to changes in the environment, making the area more accessible to different nations. Canada should invest more resources in the area to ensure that the area is protected.

References

Global News. 2020. New delay in construction of Nunavut military port blamed on coronavirus pandemic – National | Globalnews.ca. [online] Available at: https://globalnews.ca/news/7246218/nunavut-military-port-coronavirus/ [Accessed 26 May 2022].

Government of Canada. n.d. Arctic and offshore patrol ships. [online] Available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/procurement/arctic-offshore-patrol-ships.html  [Accessed 26 May 2022].

Lajeunesse, A., 2015. The Canadian Armed Forces in the Arctic: Purpose, Capabilities, and Requirements. Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

Lasserre, F., 2022. Canadian Arctic Marine Transportation Issues, Opportunities, and Challenges. The School of Public Policy Publications, 15.

McFarland, K., 2019. A Warmer Arctic Presents Challenges and Opportunities. [online] New Security Beat. Available at: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2019/04/warmer-arctic-presents-challenges-opportunities/  [Accessed 26 May 2022].

Scruggs, G., 2019. Advice from the Arctic: 4 Key Development Challenges Facing the Far North.

Sevunts, L., 2021. Canada to build two polar icebreakers for High Arctic operations. [online] RCI | English. Available at: https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2021/05/06/canada-to-build-two-polar-icebreakers-for-high-arctic-operations/  [Accessed 26 May 2022].

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