On the Arctic Watch: Why we need to protect Canada’s sovereignty and security in the Far North: Jeff Collins for Inside Policy – MLI

On the Arctic Watch: Why we need to protect Canada’s sovereignty and security in the Far North: Jeff Collins for Inside Policy – MLI

by ahnationtalk on January 18, 2022224 Views

“If someone were to invade the Canadian Arctic, my first task would be to rescue them,” stated Canada’s then chief of the defence staff, General Walt Natynczyk, in 2009. The general’s quip captures one of the most salient defence capability tasks of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the Arctic today: search and rescue. At nearly four million square kilometres, the Canadian Arctic is equal to 40 percent of Canada’s landmass. Yet, at 100,000 inhabitants, it is home to fewer people than Prince Edward Island, a province not even one half of one percent the equivalent in size.

It is this vastness and sparse population that makes securing the region and ensuring Canadian sovereignty there such a challenge. Fortunately today’s security challenges are more of the constabulary variety – from providing adequate search and rescue coverage, to monitoring for pollution, overfishing, and trafficking – as opposed to classic “higher order” threats like the naval arms race taking place in the South China Sea. These challenges are reinforced by the non-military multilateralism found in the Arctic Council, the region’s preeminent inter-governmental body composed of all eight circumpolar states: Canada, the US, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia.

Read More: https://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/what-we-need-vs-what-we-have-assessing-canadas-defence-capabilities-in-the-arctic-jeff-collins-for-inside-policy/

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