Canada should beware the Ice Dragon

"Canadians are as ill-prepared to deal with rivals in the Arctic as they were a half-century ago, when the Manhattan rode roughshod over Ottawas legally tenuous notion that frozen water should be treated like land and thus the Northwest Passage shouldnt be regarded as just another international strait."

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The bear and the dragon are playing in Canadas neglected Arctic backyard and the half-century of successive prime ministers wrapping themselves in the flag to make and then casually break promises to safeguard the North should be a national embarrassment.

Canadas True North is neither strong nor free.

In the last few weeks the increasingly ominous reality that both China and Russia can, and will, operate throughout the Arctic has been clearly demonstrated. Unlike the massive brouhaha of Canadian umbrage that greeted the 1969 voyage of the massive U.S. icebreaker Manhattan that cracked its way through the Northwest Passage to a chorus of ineffectual Canadian dismay, the most recent moves by China and Russia passed almost unnoticed among Canadians now resigned to political tough talk about defending Arctic sovereignty being backed by nothing but hot air.

Last month, in mid-winter unlike the late summer voyage of the Manhattan the Eduard Toll, a Russian-owned liquified natural gas (LNG) tanker about the same size as the Manhattan lopped weeks off the usual voyage time by sailing through the Arctic Ocean from South Korea to Sabetta in northern Russia. The mid-winter voyage was ....

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