The international struggle for military supremacy in the Arctic has just risen to absurd new heights.
Following the collapse of the arms control regime that for decades aided the US’s tenuous grip on power in the region, the US, Russia and China are now engaged in a winner-takes-all struggle for control of territory north of the Arctic Circle.
And as Russia moves to defend its territory (Russia and Canada have the most territory inside the Arctic Circle), the Russian army is reportedly preparing to upgrade the equipment on the anti-aircraft regiment of its Northern Fleet with its new state-of-the-art S-400 missile defense systems.
The upgrades will create what RT described as a “missile defense dome” able to stop a flurry of NATO missiles.
And that’s not all: Russian anti-aircraft troops and members of the radio corp. are in the Arctic undergoing what has been described as a “radical retraining” regimen. Ultimately, all military units will be equipped with Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missiles. These are the same missiles that Turkey recently agreed to purchase from the Russians, engendering some ill-will with other NATO members (like France) which saw Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400s as a kind of betrayal.
Of course, the Trump Administration slapped tariffs and sanctions on the Turkish economy, as well as businesses and certain senior government officials (Two months ago, Trump ended trade talks with Turkey in a huff (while raising tariffs on Turkish steel to 50%).
A visit to the White House last month by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “took a dark turn” in the middle of a morning meeting when Erdogan forced everybody in the Oval Office (including President Trump) to watch a propaganda about the Kurds.
For years now, Russia has been boosting its military presence in the Arctic, building and repairing bases and airfields, while deploying its newest hardware and holding military drills, which it claims are organized in response to increased NATO training activity in the area.