Poles Apart : Russia's Activities to Advance Polar Sovereignty Claims
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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Over the past decade and more, Russia has expanded the type, size, scope, and duration of its activities and investments in the Arctic and in the Antarctic. Those activities and investments have been appropriate to the locale and the governing treaty regimes. Natural resource extraction, economic investment, military power generation, and extending effective control to the extent of claimed territorial boundaries in the North. Scientific research, extending and multiplying manned research outposts, and surveys of natural resources in the South. Russiaappears to be engaged in uncoordinated and unlinked activities between the Poles, and without a unifying purpose. When characteristics of their activities and investments are properly described and categorized, they can be binned in a manner to reveal the likely underlying motivation and rationale. This paper examines the Western Liberal Order bases for state territorial claims and the extension of state sovereignty, and it examines the classic customary international law basis for the same types of claims, and bins Russian investment and activities to reveal the underlying purpose. That underlying purpose is to strengthen and advance, and defend if necessary, territorial claims and potential territorial claims either through legal process or by the exercise of state power. This purpose is the same in both Polar Regions.The paper concludes with a few brief recommendations for US action that will stop the US retreat from the Polar Regions and invest in activities that will lessen the strength of future potential territorial claims.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law