Forbidden Territory

The Arctic
In 2005, the canadian military launched Exercise Frozen Beaver…
 
Eleven soldiers flew in helicopters to HansIsland, a hunk of rock off the coast of Greenland that's long been claimed by both Denmark and Canada. When they landed on the half-square-mile outcropping, the troops planted a Canadian flag, ripping down the Danish colors that had been flying there since 1984.
 
Once they got home they mailed the confiscated flag to the Danish ambassador in Ottawa. It was the opening shot in what has become a fusillade of bizarre military posturing over the Arctic.
 
Among the most recent — and weirdest — incidents: Russian scientist Artur Chilingarov used a small submersible to plant a Russian flag encased in a titanium capsule on the Arctic seafloor some 13,000 feet under the North Pole.
 
"If someone doesn't like this, let them go down themselves," he said. "The Arctic has always been Russian." In fact, all five nations with Arctic borders — Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the US — have engaged in at least some saber rattling over the frozen territory. And it wouldn't be happening without global warming.
 
Roughly 386,000 square miles of Arctic ice melted in 2007 alone, opening the fabled Northwest Passage for the first time in recorded history. The melt also made the billions of barrels of oil thought to be under the Arctic suddenly seem within our grasp.
 
Some are calling it the Cold Rush. But what has gone unnoticed amid the international clamor is that the Arctic battle has implications that reach far beyond the top of Earth.

The squabbling will be a prelude to — and even set the tone for — eventual sovereignty claims on the moon. At the same time that it was making Arctic claims,
Russia announced plans for manned lunar missions by 2025 and a permanent base there by 2032.
 
Japan might beat them to the punch with a 2030 base. Both will be able to stop over and share a glass of Tang with US astronauts, who are supposed to start setting up shop in 2020.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)
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