The Arctic Doesn’t Belong to NATO or NORAD
The Arctic belongs to the Inuit and other Indigenous peoples who live on the Arctic territory of several nation-states, whose right it is to decide what happens there. This and their opposition to the militarization of the Arctic under U.S. command for the “benefits” it will allegedly bring them is always kept hidden. Prime Minister Trudeau revealed a guilty conscience when he recently toured military installations in the arctic with the head of NATO when he stated: “We can never forget that sovereignty doesn’t come through soldiers or scientists, it comes through the people who have lived here for millennia. Everything we do here has to not just be in support of them but drawing support from them for everything we do.”
Who is fooling? Perhaps he thinks his appointment of an Inuit woman and former president of the Arctic Circumpolar Conference as Governor General and, in that capacity, the nominal Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces (a position that really falls to the President of the United States as a consequence of Canada’s membership in NORAD and NATO) will convince the Inuit that their concerns of yesterday have been taken care of and no longer apply today?
In 1989, when she was president of the Arctic Circumpolar Conference, current Governor General Mary Simon advocated for an Arctic zone of peace. “Any excessive military build-up in the North, whether by the [then] Soviet Union or the United States, only serves to divide the Arctic, perpetuate East-West tensions and the arms race, and put our people on opposing sides,” she wrote at the time. Clearly, the demand to compromise one’s conscience has become the vogue in the imperialist world of the 21st century.
Militarizing the Arctic and placing it under U.S. control neither supports the people of the North nor has their support. This is precisely why it is all presented as a response to the security dangers allegedly posed by Russia and China, rather than a demand of the U.S. militarists and the biggest oligopolies to control the land, resources and trade routes they covet in their striving to control the world.
Instead of militarizing the Arctic, which only increases tensions, Canada should demand its demilitarization permitting the peoples who live in the Arctic to establish friendly relations and sustainable communities throughout their territories.