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Posts Tagged ‘Cold War’

‘Ice Wars’ heating up the Arctic

July 17, 2011 Comments off

cnn

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Scrambling for a piece of the Arctic pie

Editor’s note: CNN correspondent Kaj Larsen recently visited the Arctic to observe the U.S. naval exercise known as ICEX. His experience is part of the CNN documentary “Ice Wars,” which will air at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on CNN Presents.

(CNN) — On a small, floating piece of ice in the Beaufort Sea, several hundred miles north of Alaska, a group of scientists are documenting what some dub an “Arctic meltdown.”

According to climate scientists, the warming of the region is shrinking the polar ice cap at an alarming rate, reducing the permafrost layer and wreaking havoc on polar bears, arctic foxes and other indigenous wildlife in the region.

What is bad for the animals, though, has been good for commerce.

The recession of the sea ice and the reduction in permafrost — combined with advances in technology — have allowed access to oil, mineral and natural gas deposits that were previously trapped in the ice.

The abundance of these valuable resources and the opportunity to exploit them has created a Read more…

Gorbachev Warns of Egypt-Style Russian Revolt

February 17, 2011 Comments off

By GREGORY L. WHITE

wsj.com

MOSCOW—Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said he is “ashamed” with the way Russia is run today and warned the Kremlin could face an Egypt-style uprising.

Nearly two decades after his reforms led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mr. Gorbachev denounced Russia’s “ruling class” as “rich and dissolute,” in an interview published Wednesday in Novaya Gazeta, the opposition newspaper of which he is part-owner. “I’m ashamed for us and for the country,” he said.

He lambasted the Kremlin for eroding the free media and elections that he introduced in the 1980s, and warned that its grip on power could be threatened.

“If things continue the way they are, I think the probability of the Egyptian scenario will grow,” he said in a separate radio interview released Tuesday, referring to the popular rebellion that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak last week. “Here it could end even more Read more…

NATO Saw Potential For Russian Tactical Nuke Use, Cable Says

February 16, 2011 Comments off

NATO in 2009 judged that the Russian armed forces remained ready to use tactical nuclear arms to respond to low-level or other military conflicts, the Associated Press reported yesterday (see GSN, Feb. 14).

In general, the alliance assessed that Russia’s military was prepared to deal with no more than a medium-level conflict in the nation’s western sector, according to a diplomatic dispatch from the U.S. mission to NATO made public by the transparency organization WikiLeaks. Two large-scale Russian military drills conducted in 2009 were handicapped by personnel shortfalls and outdated technology, the document said (Slobodan Lekic, Associated Press/Google News, Feb. 14).

“(Russia is) still relying on the use of tactical nuclear weapons, even in local or regional conflicts,” the Xinhua News Agency quoted the dispatch as saying.

NATO’s conventional military edge is thought to be a key reason for the nuclear power’s continued holding of an estimated 2,000 battlefield nuclear weapons within Russian borders. Comparatively, the United States is believed to have only 200 nonstrategic nuclear arms fielded in five NATO states.

Washington has announced it wants to begin talks within one year with Moscow on negotiating a pact that would limit the two sides’ tactical nuclear weapons. The former Cold War antagonists recently enacted the New START arms control pact, which caps each sides’ deployed strategic nuclear arsenal at 1,550 (Xinhua News Agency/People’s Daily Online, Feb. 15).