Military Review

Battle of the Arctic. Why are the US plans doomed to failure and what are the admirals afraid of?

The US continues to claim the Northern Sea Route. Responding to the introduction of new Russian rules of movement along the Northern Sea Route, Washington said that in the summer of 2019, some "significant operations" would be conducted in the Arctic.

Why the Northern Sea Route demanded new rules?

In March, 2019, the government of the Russian Federation announced the introduction of new rules for the passage of the Northern Sea Route for foreign warships. According to the new law, any passage of a warship of another country along the Arctic coast of the Russian Federation should be coordinated with the Russian authorities.

Foreign states now need to notify Russia of the passage of ships on the Northern Sea Route 45 days before it begins. And this notice is mandatory. But the new rules do not boil down to the notification - there must be a Russian pilot on board any foreign warship who will lead the ship along the Arctic coast of Russia.

The fact that Russia will tighten the rules for moving along the Northern Sea Route, it became known in the summer of 2018. A year ago, in August 2018, the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergey Shoigu, stated that in modern conditions the Arctic spaces had become an object of economic and military-strategic interests of several countries of the world. In this regard, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation was faced with the task of ensuring the protection of Russian national interests and the inviolability of Russian borders in the Arctic.

Battle of the Arctic. Why are the US plans doomed to failure and what are the admirals afraid of? Then, in November 2018, the head of the National Center for Defense Management of Russia, Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, announced that in the near future the Russian Federation would limit the possibility of passing foreign warships along the Northern Sea Route. And only then, after the statements of high-ranking military officials, the relevant decision of the Government of the Russian Federation was made. Before new rules were adopted, specialists from a number of departments analyzed possible ways to improve Russian laws regulating Arctic shipping.

Actually, the Russian leadership was pushed to such a decision by the actions of other countries, primarily the United States of America, which increasingly began to state their claims to the Arctic. Americans can understand - for them, the Northern Sea Route is the shortest route to Europe, and this is only in terms of the advantages of the Arctic in shipping. In addition, the United States perfectly understands the military-strategic potential of the Arctic space, its importance for building deterrence plans, under which the Pentagon disguises its aggressive aspirations towards Russia.

As usual, in the USA they hide behind certain “international interests”, considerations of the “safety of international maritime shipping”. In fact, everything is much more prosaic - the United States has its eye on the Russian Arctic and strongly pushes the idea that the Arctic spaces allegedly do not belong to a country that goes to the Arctic seas with its shores and has the largest Arctic coast, but some kind of “world community”. But the Northern Sea Route runs directly along the sea borders of Russia and it simply cannot but be under Russian control, since any other state of affairs will simply jeopardize the security of the Russian state.

At the end of February, 2019, shortly before the Russian government introduced new Arctic shipping rules, the commander of the US Navy in Europe and Africa, Admiral James Foggo (in the photo) made a very speaking statement, the essence of which was that will not allow the approval of the Russian and Chinese domination in the Arctic. In this case, the admiral could not resist the direct attempt on Russian interests in his speech.

The Russians “consider the Arctic to be their property”, although this is an international territory. This is nobody's water. All countries of the Arctic Council should have free access to them, and we are a member of it,

- emphasized Admiral James Foggo.

These words of the American naval commander are the best confirmation of the correctness of the Russian government, who introduced new rules of navigation in the Arctic, as they vividly illustrate the fact that the US has aggressive plans for the Arctic space and sea communications in the northern seas adjacent to the Russian coast.

The operation on "freedom of navigation" is planned to be carried out through the participation of the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer stressed that the Arctic operations will begin in the summer - autumn of the 2019 year. The commander of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller, said that the marines will be trained in Alaska on a scale previously unseen. These statements alone force Russia to take a closer look at the security of its Arctic frontiers.

The United States refers to its right to walk the Northern Sea Route.

Strictly speaking, the United States of America has claims on Arctic shipping not only to Russia, but also to its closest neighbor and ally in the NATO bloc - Canada. From Ottawa, Washington is demanding to ensure the extraterritoriality of the Northwest Passage. However, the Northwest Passage has not yet experienced the effects of global warming - it is shackled by multi-year ice, which is beyond the power of not only American but also Russian icebreakers.

But for the United States, the right to navigate the Arctic is a matter of principle. In order to defend this right, the American leadership declares the possibility of holding a so-called in the Northern Sea Route area. “Free navigation operations”.

Lawyer Ilya Reiser, who has been researching the legal aspects of Russia's presence in the Arctic for a long time, draws attention to the presence of a certain legal conflict.

- Does the United States really have any reason to claim free passage in the Arctic seas?

- The question is quite complex, which lies in the field of international maritime law. The UN Convention on Maritime Navigation really provides for the right of free peaceful passage through the Arctic and it is worth understanding that part of the Northern Sea Route lies in the economic zone, where free navigation is allowed. But another part of the Northern Sea Route passes in Russian territorial waters, and since the Northern Sea Route is a single trunk line, foreign ships will or will have to go through Russian territorial waters.

- That is, Russia still has the right to regulate shipping in the Arctic seas?

- There is the 155 federal law “On Inland Marine Waters, the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone of the Russian Federation”. And in accordance with the law, the territorial waters of Russia include waters whose shores fully belong to the Russian Federation. By the way, the legislative regulation of shipping in the Arctic seas has a long-standing history - the instruction appeared back in 1893, according to which “all bays, bays and raids of the Russian coast of the Arctic Ocean and the entire White Sea south of the lines connecting the entrance capes fall under the sovereignty of Russia.”

- But after all, the existing legal conflict allows the courts of the United States and other states to still claim passage through the Northern Sea Route?

- Russia really does not have the formal right to take control of the entire Northern Sea Route, but then the freedom of navigation along individual sections of the sea route is of no fundamental importance for the United States, Great Britain, China or any other state. Since it is almost impossible to pass the Northern Sea Route without affecting the territorial waters of the Russian Federation. It means that in any case Russia will have to take permission. And not only permission. Without Russian navigation, passing through the SMP is an extremely difficult and risky task.

American Admiral Paul Zuckunt, in 2014-2018 The US Coast Guard commandant admitted that, during his service, his biggest nightmare would be to be stuck in an American warship in the North Ocean with a bleak prospect of calling Russian icebreakers for help. For the United States, such a development of events would indeed be a real shame, since it would show the whole world the US’s unpreparedness for Arctic shipping and its dependence on Russia.

In addition, there is also such a nuance as ensuring environmental safety. In accordance with international law, as attorney Ilya Reiser notes, Russia is responsible for protecting the environment in its coastal zones, including in the Arctic. Uncontrolled passage of vessels along the Northern Sea Route will entail unavoidable environmental risks. Therefore, it is quite possible to create a couple of national parks in coastal zones and for this reason alone, do not allow foreign vessels to pass through these sections of the Northern Sea Route without permission from the Russian authorities.

What prevents the US from being present in the Arctic

For the presence in the Arctic space, the United States of America has one more serious obstacle, which is not directly related to Russian control over the Northern Sea Route. The United States does not have a full combat fleet ice class. Therefore, when the US Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, spoke about the need for an operation on freedom of navigation in the northern seas, he cunningly put it mildly. After all, there is simply no one to lead American warships along the Northern Sea Route.

The US has the only medium-sized icebreaker USCGC Healy. Launched in 1997, this icebreaker is the largest US Coast Guard vessel. Over twenty years of service, he has repeatedly won awards from the American leadership for participating in numerous operations in the northern seas. The vessel accompanied scientific and rescue expeditions, and the 5 of September 2015 of the year became the first unaccompanied American vessel to reach the North Pole.

But the USCGC Healy is booked until the end of this year. This means that in the near future he can no longer take part in the posting of American warships in the Arctic. And although not all sections of the Northern Sea Route are covered with ice, in the case of an operation on freedom of navigation, American ships (or a ship) will have to overcome the ice in any case. But what to do in this case? American ships will not be able to overcome the ice without outside assistance, which means they will have to turn to the very Russia, for the sake of freedom from control of which it is planned to carry out an operation in the northern seas.

Many experts rightly point out that the true permission for navigation in the northern seas is not issued by state structures, but by the ice itself. And indeed it is. If the country does not have the ability to provide shipping through ice-covered sections of the northern seas, then what kind of “free navigation” in the Northern Sea Route can we talk about? And while Russia has tremendous experience in Arctic shipping and has high-class icebreakers and navigation systems, the United States has incomparably lower capabilities. And before declaring ambitions, it is first necessary to create all the necessary conditions for translating the desired into reality.
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  1. Dmitry Potapov
    Dmitry Potapov 5 August 2019 05: 02
    The situation is very similar to the situation in the Strait of Hormuz, which belongs to Iran and through which oil is transported from the SA, only if it happened on the NSR, it is unlikely that the United States will be able to assemble a coalition, and even if it turns out all the worse for it (the coalition).
    1. Destiny
      Destiny 5 August 2019 06: 34
      Quote: Dmitry Potapov
      recalls the situation in the Strait of Hormuz that belongs to Iran

      Sorry, the Strait of Hormuz does not belong to Iran. And the NSR is ours!
      1. Destiny
        Destiny 5 August 2019 07: 36
        And who doesn’t succeed in geography, but gentlemen, minusers? The Strait of Hormuz is NOT the internal strait of Iran! Victims of the USE, do you even know where it is? wink
        1. JD1979
          JD1979 5 August 2019 10: 20
          Quote: Destiny
          And who doesn’t succeed in geography, but gentlemen, minusers? The Strait of Hormuz is NOT the internal strait of Iran! Victims of the USE, do you even know where it is? wink

          We know that the exam exam also knows that there are no neutral waters, and ships go through the waters belonging to Oman and Iran, and the latter can calmly prohibit passage through its terras. water.
          PS: I doubt very much that you went somewhere further than the nearest puddle with crucian carp.
          1. Destiny
            Destiny 5 August 2019 10: 32
            Based on international law of the sea or the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, The Strait of Hormuz is an "international strait"because it is the only gate between the Persian Gulf and the open sea. In all such straits all vessels are entitled to transit, and the countries adjacent to the strait should not deny this right of transit and should inform all relevant officials of any danger that could threaten ships or aircraft passing through the strait. According to international laws and conventions, the right of transit cannot be suspended.
            I hurried for you, a lot of sacrifice, and not only the exam ...
            1. JD1979
              JD1979 5 August 2019 11: 38
              Quote: Destiny
              I hurried for you, a lot of sacrifice, and not only the exam ...

              In the event of a threat, any country has the right, under the same international laws, to self-defense and closure of terror. water Go do your homework.
            2. ccsr
              ccsr 6 August 2019 11: 05
              Quote: Destiny
              According to international laws

              There are none in nature.
              Quote: Destiny
              and conventions

              But this is just a treaty or agreement between states, and which is not binding if it is contrary to national security or domestic laws, which the United States has clearly demonstrated to us when leaving the INF Treaty.
              So Iran can block the movement of all ships of the world in its territorial waters, and no one can do anything with them, because otherwise it will have to start a war against this country. Do you think someone is ready to do it now?
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. Oleg Zorin
        Oleg Zorin 5 August 2019 10: 32
        It’s more correct to say that it is impossible to pass through the NSR bypassing our waters. But the essence is captured correctly.
    2. Kostyar
      Kostyar 5 August 2019 06: 38
      Here the Americans shook their lips ....
      As well as the most "Main", Russia overturns !!!
      (and for the umpteenth time in a row)
      1. Terenin
        Terenin 6 August 2019 00: 08
        ... in Washington, announced that in the summer of 2019 they will conduct some “significant operations” in the Arctic.

        Well, to you, sea cowboys with kind eyes (pictured), the Russian Ministry of Defense speaks black to Russians - notify them 45 days in advance and spend some (other, non-verbal, yellow-blue, deflated, striped-star ...) "significant operations " crying
  2. andrewkor
    andrewkor 5 August 2019 05: 48
    Not, but cho, let them spar straight across the Pole, like Shparo (pun, however), as in the photo for the article.
    You can go along Alaska, Greenland, even shorter.
    I can also indicate the routes: go through the forest, for example!
  3. parusnik
    parusnik 5 August 2019 06: 47
    What did I like in the article by Ilya Reiser.
  4. bald
    bald 5 August 2019 06: 51
    For some reason, China pays more attention to all this. The states are used to bending their fingers and yelling into a megaphone, and behind the screen ... And China is a puncher, with the speed of a rabbit, and learns (adapts) quickly. So they can dirtiest the Arctic with their presence and "Fertilizers".
  5. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 5 August 2019 07: 07
    in Washington said that in the summer of 2019 they will spend in the Arctic “Significant operations”.
    As I understand it, Russia is simply obliged to be scared (in the American opinion) of "significant operations" and to accept the rules that the Americans will write. With the American admirals and politicians, everything has been clear for a long time, but still they should have at least some limit of rationality? The "exceptional" starred to the limit, despite the fact that only in the last year they were sent to hell by North Korea, Venezuela, Turkey, Iran ... Europe is already looking askance. Probably want more and with a kick.
  6. kartalovkolya
    kartalovkolya 5 August 2019 08: 00
    Where do they go, because in the NSR area it is colder than in Norway and the "diapers" will instantly freeze to their asses! Another "nonsense" from the cycle like "annoy the Russian bear", but they seem to, unlike Bill Clinton, do not know the Russian proverb: "... do not wake up smartly while it is quiet ..."!
  7. Sadam
    Sadam 5 August 2019 08: 16
    why don’t you write that the Americans plan to release 3 icebreakers in the 24th-27th year with a deadweight of 33k. budget under 2 billion. our biggest 50years of victory deadweight 27k
    1. vredlo
      vredlo 5 August 2019 16: 56
      why don’t you write that we have the Arctic and the company on the way, there are also 33 and a half, only we have already launched 2, and they have plans, if you’ve come to expose, don’t stop
      1. The comment was deleted.
      2. Sadam
        Sadam 5 August 2019 19: 17
        answered but for some reason they erased ((probably not so patriotic. sorry
  8. nikvic46
    nikvic46 5 August 2019 08: 22
    My attitude to the Arctic is known. Nevertheless, I don’t understand the Americans. We don’t climb the Canadian north. I’d better not say anything about the development of the Arctic. I am opposed to solving such issues in one lifetime.
  9. DimanC
    DimanC 5 August 2019 08: 48
    Here's what's interesting to me: on the maps of the USSR there were so-called. the "polar possessions of the USSR", which simply began on the meridians of the northern borders (conditionally Murmansk-Chukotka) and, like a piece of watermelon, extended to the very North Pole. It was a pure formality or really analogous to our inland waters. And where have these polar possessions gone today?
    1. shinobi
      shinobi 10 August 2019 08: 14
      There it is. Moreover, officially re-recognized by the UN as Russia. It’s just that starting in the late 90s the United States did not consider it necessary to mask its claims to other people's property and could not understand at all that the time when Russia was afraid of them, if any, had ended.
  10. d4rkmesa
    d4rkmesa 5 August 2019 09: 04
    If the Americans decide to go along the Northern Sea Route, they will have to bypass the Northern Earth and New Earth from the north, which is quite difficult, otherwise they will have to cross territorial waters. On Severnaya Zemly - there’s just about 24 miles a strait, if I measured it correctly. Stacked. )
  11. DimDimych
    DimDimych 5 August 2019 09: 23
    Americans can be understood - for them, the Northern Sea Route is the shortest route to Europe, and this is if we talk only about the advantages of the Arctic in shipping.

    They have other goals !!!

  12. Tolik_74
    Tolik_74 5 August 2019 09: 43
    Russians “consider the Arctic as their property”, although this is an international territory. It's nobody's water
    The Omeryganofsky vayaka made fun of, said, as he pulled into an empty barrel. Clown
  13. Chaldon48
    Chaldon48 5 August 2019 11: 22
    Our planet is round, which means that the Americans, in cooperation with the Canadians, could well organize their northern sea route, almost the same length and no one would interfere there.
    1. vredlo
      vredlo 5 August 2019 16: 59
      there are lds against it, if I don’t confuse something
      1. Chaldon48
        Chaldon48 6 August 2019 00: 23
        You might think that we don’t have them, why, then, an atomic icebreaker? Canadians have no developed infrastructure, and there’s nothing to say about icebreakers. Here they open their mouths on someone else’s pie. Let the path be international, that is, American, but let the Russians serve it and preferably for nothing.
        1. vredlo
          vredlo 12 August 2019 07: 20
          the thickness of the ice is different, they have many years, it melts in the summer
  14. Operator
    Operator 5 August 2019 11: 51
    Why give the opinion of a stupid as the butt of Ilya Reisner? laughing

    According to article 19 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of ​​1982, a commercial vessel or warship of any state has the right of peaceful passage through Russian territorial waters in the Arctic Ocean (a strip of 12 wide nautical miles from the coast of the Russian Federation) subject to the following conditions (paragraph 2):

    "The passage of a foreign ship is considered to violate the peace, good order or security of the coastal state if it carries out any of the following activities in the territorial sea:
    a) threat or use of force against sovereignty, territorial integrity or political
    the independence of a coastal state or in any other way in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations;
    b) any maneuvers or exercises with weapons of any kind;
    c) any act aimed at collecting information to the detriment of the defense or security of a coastal state;
    d) any act of propaganda aimed at encroaching on the defense or security of a coastal state;
    e) the rise in the air, boarding or taking on board of any aircraft;
    f) airborne landing, boarding or taking on board any military device;
    g) loading or unloading of any goods or currency, embarkation or disembarkation of any person, contrary to customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations of the coastal state;
    h) any act of intentional and serious pollution contrary to this Convention;
    i) any fishing activity;
    j) conducting research or hydrographic activities;
    k) any act aimed at interfering with the functioning of any communication systems or any other structures or installations of a coastal state;
    l) any other activity not directly related to the passage. "

    In order to monitor compliance with paragraph 2 of Article 19, a state exercising sovereignty over territorial waters has the right to set deadlines for notification of peaceful passage of ships and ships for preliminary verification of compliance with the terms of the Convention and to refuse passage in case of expected violations, as well as to disembark a pilot team or a ship to monitor the actual compliance with these conditions (at the expense of the host).
    1. Chaldon48
      Chaldon48 6 August 2019 00: 36
      How not to remember the proverb: "It was smooth on paper, but they forgot about the ravines." Something "partners" remember about all this only when their nose starts to itch.
  15. Jack O'Neill
    Jack O'Neill 5 August 2019 14: 35
    Khe-khe, here I have a piccha lying around on this topic.)
  16. Likvidator
    Likvidator 5 August 2019 19: 50
    Well, the Arctic can be owned by someone who knows the forwards and the movements of ice, wind, etc. .. That is, those who have studied the Arctic for a long time ..And only the Russians did it!
    So gentlemen, better not poke around!
    1. atalef
      atalef 5 August 2019 19: 55
      Quote: Likvidator
      Well, the Arctic can be owned by someone who knows the forwards and the movements of ice, wind, etc. .. That is, those who have studied the Arctic for a long time ..And only the Russians did it!
      So gentlemen, better not poke around!

      Nothing in the photo of a state boat? belay

      Reporting on the US submarine voyages in the Antarctic and the Arctic in the period preceding the ice-skating expeditions of the Skate nuclear submarine, the author of the book “Under the Ice to the Pole” prefers not to touch on the true purposefulness of these voyages. However, the fact that these navigations were organized by the command of the naval forces and that combat boats participated in them leaves no doubt about the goals of the Pentagon leaders.

      In 1946 – 1947, a large Antarctic expedition was organized and conducted under the code name Operation Hyjump. As Calvert notes, this expedition was the first of a large series of post-war Antarctic expeditions organized by the US Navy command. The study of the possibility of using submarines in ice conditions was continued in the 1947 year by the Borfish submarine. The tests were carried out at the edge of the Arctic pack ice in the North Pacific. The US military did not stop icebreaking boats the following year. [9]

      In the summer of 1948, the Karp diesel-battery submarine equipped with an echo-meter was sent to the Arctic. The test was conducted in the Bering Strait. In 1952, the Redfish submarine, also equipped with an echo-meter, entered the Arctic.
      On 30 of July 1958 of the year, the Skate went on an Arctic campaign, becoming the second after the Nautilus American submarine, which passed under the North Pole and was the first submarine in the world to sail on it. For this trip, the ship received the Navy Unit Commendation Award.
      1. Chaldon48
        Chaldon48 6 August 2019 00: 40
        So submarines for this and build to do what you want, even when it is not possible.
      2. Svat
        Svat 15 August 2019 04: 32
        Ay-ah-ah, that's just ours near Manhattan surfaced ...
  17. wave
    wave 9 August 2019 23: 17
    You can get smart, write articles ...
    But, the rule is without exception. Anglo-Saxons always get their way. Sooner or later. It is better to cooperate with them, and not to become in a pose; it will be better for Russia.
    1. shinobi
      shinobi 10 August 2019 08: 21
      Did you understand that you got it? fool You can work with the Anglo-Saxons only on their terms. And they openly say that Russia should disappear.
  18. shinobi
    shinobi 10 August 2019 08: 33
    -Never demand that you cannot take it yourself-
    Vito Carleone
    Nobody has ever succeeded in imposing on us something in the north. Even in the worst times for the country. Ice class warships, not icebreakers, in general, only we have mine. And I did not hear that someone would start building them actively. Carrying a caravan behind an icebreaker through a broken channel is one thing, but a military convoy is completely different, here the ice and general frost dictate the conditions. The Yankees can be puffed up any number of times, things will not go further than the next base in Alaska.
  19. Svat
    Svat 15 August 2019 04: 26
    There is a nuance only in the Vilkitsky Strait and the Kara Gates, since this is the territory. water of Russia !!! And to go around the Northern and New lands ... - I would look at it ... And you can screech as much as you like about international law, etc., but from the territory. anyway will have to be considered waters, otherwise the "Bastion" can fly on board ...