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East vs. West in the Arctic Circle by Jochen Bittner

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Figure 2: Trans-Arctic Sea Routes
Figure 2: Trans-Arctic Sea Routes
(Image by U.S. GAO)
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TRAVELING through the chilly landscape around the arctic city of Murmansk, Russia, it  becomes clear that this barren region is,  a strategic centerpiece in President Vladimir V. Putin’s vast armory. The area around the pole is not divided up among its adjacent states. Its waters are claimed by Russia, as well as by three NATO members: America, Denmark (via Greenland) and Canada. Many of these claims overlap.  For the US, ratifying the Law of the Sea would be one splendid pre-emptive strike. Russians and the West should bear in mind how easily political uncertainties can become rigid convictions. Confidence-building measures — treaties, regular dialogue, joint commissions on global challenges — helped defuse one Cold War.The world can’t expect Mr. Putin to take the first steps, so it’s up to America to show sobriety and to avoid giving Russia any pretext for military action. 

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)

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