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Great Britain Offers to help Canada defend its Arctic (CBC)

Britain offers Canadian military help to defend the Arctic

Experts say that concerns about sovereignty have made Ottawa reluctant to let allies operate in the region

Murray Brewster - CBC News

Posted: September 24, 2021
Last Updated: 5 Hours Ago

Britain is signalling its interest in working with the Canadian military in the Arctic by offering to take part in cold-weather exercises and bring in some of its more advanced capabilities — such as nuclear-powered submarines — to help with surveillance and defence in the Far North.

In a recent exclusive interview with CBC News, the United Kingdom's top military commander said his country is "keen to co-operate" and learn more about how to survive and fight in a cold, remote setting.

Gen. Sir Nick Carter said Britain would also like to "cooperate in terms of helping Canada do what Canada needs to do as an Arctic country."

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Stoker

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If you had a real ice breaker it wouldn't need to be.
What type of icebreaker, a PC 1?, nuclear? The CCG doesn't operate there in the winter. There's very good reasons why the refueling station is closed during that time. People making statements saying why don't we keep it open 365 don't have a sweet clue frankly. Do people even know why we don't keep fuel there in the winter?
 

Colin Parkinson

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The plan with the Polar 8 was to be year around capability, but the reality is that there is little call for CCG breakers up there in the winter months, but a lot of demand down south.
 

Stoker

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The plan with the Polar 8 was to be year around capability, but the reality is that there is little call for CCG breakers up there in the winter months, but a lot of demand down south.
The thing is that how many polar 8 icebreakers are there world wide? I would imagine not many.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Actually, in winter, the only things operating on the surface there are either snowmobiles/sleighs or Russian nuclear icebreakers. And they only have about half a dozen that could get steam up at any time, which, with a capability of carrying about a hundred soldiers each, hardly constitute a menace - especially considering their likely life expectancy against an air attack by even a token fighter jet force is probably in the 5 to 6 minutes range.
 

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Britain offers Canadian military help to defend the Arctic

Experts say that concerns about sovereignty have made Ottawa reluctant to let allies operate in the region

Murray Brewster - CBC News

Posted: September 24, 2021
Last Updated: 5 Hours Ago

Britain is signalling its interest in working with the Canadian military in the Arctic by offering to take part in cold-weather exercises and bring in some of its more advanced capabilities — such as nuclear-powered submarines — to help with surveillance and defence in the Far North.

In a recent exclusive interview with CBC News, the United Kingdom's top military commander said his country is "keen to co-operate" and learn more about how to survive and fight in a cold, remote setting.

Gen. Sir Nick Carter said Britain would also like to "cooperate in terms of helping Canada do what Canada needs to do as an Arctic country."

More at link:



So how's this for a suggestion of the future.

The RAN and the RCN get an offer to join HM's Submarine Service- for a modest fee you too can learn how to pilot Her Majesty's nuclear attack subs, while you are waiting for your own subs to be built. Or should that be the AUKUS Submarine Service?

The F35 has kind of set the pace with multinational training in the States and USMC F35s flying off the QE.

No sovereignty questions then because it is a "Canadian" boat when transiting. And the fastest route from Faslane to the Pacific is via the North Pole. I believe.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Actually, in winter, the only things operating on the surface there are either snowmobiles/sleighs or Russian nuclear icebreakers. And they only have about half a dozen that could get steam up at any time, which, with a capability of carrying about a hundred soldiers each, hardly constitute a menace - especially considering their likely life expectancy against an air attack by even a token fighter jet force is probably in the 5 to 6 minutes range.
The Russian nuke icebreakers would put our Polar 8 to shame, they are seriously big and capable ships.
 

KevinB

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What type of icebreaker, a PC 1?, nuclear? The CCG doesn't operate there in the winter. There's very good reasons why the refueling station is closed during that time. People making statements saying why don't we keep it open 365 don't have a sweet clue frankly. Do people even know why we don't keep fuel there in the winter?
My point is, you don't own land you don't occupy.
Look at the new Russian base - they are occupying their land in the Arctic -

The fact isn't that one can't have a base open 24/7 365 in the Arctic, it is that Canada doesn't have the equipment to do so.
Because there is not Political will.

I'd go buy a mirror about your "don't have a sweet clue aspect" - yes it is miserable, yes there are fuel storage issues without insulated tanks, and stabilizers - but people do exist in the Arctic - you act like it is impossible, when it is simply impossible for Canada.

Canada claims to be an "Arctic Nation" - but it isn't, and YOUR allies are getting concerned about what can go on when no one is home.

Actually, in winter, the only things operating on the surface there are either snowmobiles/sleighs or Russian nuclear icebreakers. And they only have about half a dozen that could get steam up at any time, which, with a capability of carrying about a hundred soldiers each, hardly constitute a menace - especially considering their likely life expectancy against an air attack by even a token fighter jet force is probably in the 5 to 6 minutes range.
The surface isn't the problem at least at the outset -- but what can be left either in the ice, or on the surface CAN be a big problem.

IF I wanted to cause issues - I'd drive a nuke boat up - leave some RPV's that have some different roles.
1) GBAD
2) Deep Strike
3) Other Area Denial Affects
4) ASM

It's not hard to have an RPV drill into the ice insert a charge - and withdraw - blow it and you get some open water for a bit to do your business.


Red Teaming the Arctic and how to mess with it is pretty easy - even on a budget - heck one might even be able to convert an old SSK with some significant battery bank increases to do a one way trip if the crew is fanatic enough..
 

The Bread Guy

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... The RAN and the RCN get an offer to join HM's Submarine Service- for a modest fee you too can learn how to pilot Her Majesty's nuclear attack subs, while you are waiting for your own subs to be built. Or should that be the AUKUS Submarine Service? ...
Perhaps a naive question: with the recent deal that UK, USA & AUS signed, how willing would the U.S. be to let Canada better exert its sovereignty over bits of the Arctic the U.S. considers (or at least considered as of June 2019) international waters? Or am I being paranoid here?
 

Colin Parkinson

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My point is, you don't own land you don't occupy.
Look at the new Russian base - they are occupying their land in the Arctic -

The fact isn't that one can't have a base open 24/7 365 in the Arctic, it is that Canada doesn't have the equipment to do so.
Because there is not Political will.

I'd go buy a mirror about your "don't have a sweet clue aspect" - yes it is miserable, yes there are fuel storage issues without insulated tanks, and stabilizers - but people do exist in the Arctic - you act like it is impossible, when it is simply impossible for Canada.

Canada claims to be an "Arctic Nation" - but it isn't, and YOUR allies are getting concerned about what can go on when no one is home.


The surface isn't the problem at least at the outset -- but what can be left either in the ice, or on the surface CAN be a big problem.

IF I wanted to cause issues - I'd drive a nuke boat up - leave some RPV's that have some different roles.
1) GBAD
2) Deep Strike
3) Other Area Denial Affects
4) ASM

It's not hard to have an RPV drill into the ice insert a charge - and withdraw - blow it and you get some open water for a bit to do your business.


Red Teaming the Arctic and how to mess with it is pretty easy - even on a budget - heck one might even be able to convert an old SSK with some significant battery bank increases to do a one way trip if the crew is fanatic enough..
Two of these LST's would be good for us
 

Pieman

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Realistically can Canada even procure the resources needed to actually Defend the arctic solely? I suspect not and we will need the help anyway. From the British and US perspective having Canada lose the arctic to Russia or some other power is an unacceptable loss of control of a major future trade route. Perhaps the best for Canada would be to concentrate on building arctic ports/supply depots to establish a presence that allies will be dependant on if they want to patrol the area.
 

CBH99

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Realistically can Canada even procure the resources needed to actually Defend the arctic solely? I suspect not and we will need the help anyway. From the British and US perspective having Canada lose the arctic to Russia or some other power is an unacceptable loss of control of a major future trade route. Perhaps the best for Canada would be to concentrate on building arctic ports/supply depots to establish a presence that allies will be dependant on if they want to patrol the area.
I don’t think we will lose the Arctic to Russia, or anybody else. And China can go screw itself if it thinks it will be taken seriously as a ‘near Arctic nation’.

The areas where Russia is quite active aren’t as close to us as many would think, nor can we blame them as they are operating in their own interests in their own territory. They are proactively developing economic assets and thinking ahead, whereas we are avoiding most opportunities for economic growth.


Does Canada need to have eyes and ears up there? The ability to influence activity militarily if required? Absolutely, for many reasons.

But for us, our reasons are just as much politically and economically strategic compared to the US or UK which are more militarily strategic.

As per your suggestion, I think it has merit. If nothing else, having a few sites to support inevitable shipping in the region does plant a pretty solid foot in the area.


0.02
 

Kirkhill

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With respect to Sovereignty, perhaps the Americans would prefer that they, and the Brits, have access to a Canadian Northwest Passage rather than having the Passage recognized as International Waters.

The USN has to contest every bit of salt water. Proforma. That means arguing for access to both the Russian controlled North East Passage as well as the Canadian controlled North West Passage. But realistically they are never going to have access to the Russian side.

If the USN were successful in having the NWP recognized as international waters then the Russians and the Chinese would have free passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic via the fastest route. I'm sure that is not something they would be happy with.

It is, I believe, better for the US generally to have the NWP considered internal waters to which they, and the Brits, as allies, have access. Perhaps even something akin to the St Lawrence Seaway reflecting the interests of Alaska, Greenland and Nunavut.

As near as I can see there is a deep water mid-atlantic trench that can be exploited by the Brits and the US to get to the North Pole. The hard part seems to be getting out of the Arctic across the shallows of the Bering Sea and between the Aleutian Islands.

With the NWP secured then they can transit "safely" through Canadian controlled internal waters from Greenland to Alaska and then through US waters to the Bering Strait - the critical choke point.

If any places needs to be held they are Adak and Dutch Harbor.
 

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Homeland.jpg

Orange Pins are Canadian Ranger Patrols - effectively every native community has one. Newfoundland is the anomaly. They are settler communities - due to a lack of local natives.

Green Pins are settler communities with a Militia presence. The clustering in the St Lawrence region is noticeable and reflects Canada's settlement preferences. The Prairies and BC are pretty sparsely held.

Two points of interest

The Canadian Shield proper, the Barrenlands, the Hudson Bay Lowlands and Northern Quebec are not settled by anybody. The natives are more at home on the coasts or in the boreal forests. Divided among the Inuit, Cree, NaDene and Coastal nations.

Second point of interest is the lack of Canadian Ranger patrols among the natives living among the Settlers - predominantly Alqonquian-Anishinaabe, Siouan and Iroquoian.

Most northerly native community and ranger patrol is at Grise Fjord. And the Inuit didn't go there voluntarily and couldn't figure out how to survive there without southern support.

There are a couple of hundred native communities each with a couple of hundred inhabitants. There are about 5000 Rangers with about 20 to 30 in a patrol.

Population of
Nunavut - 38,780 as of 2019 (7740 live in Iqaluit) - 31,000 in country settlements
Northwest Territories - 44,826 as of 2019 (19,569 live in Yellowknife (2016)) - 24,000 in country settlements
Yukon - 42,152 as of 2020 (25,085 live in Whitehorse (2016)) - 17,000 in country settlements.
Similar population densities in Northern Quebec, Labrador and Northern BC Interior.
 
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dimsum

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Second point of interest is the lack of Canadian Ranger patrols among the natives living among the Settlers - predominantly Alqonquian-Anishinaabe, Siouan and Iroquoian.
I'm guessing here, but that might be because those who would join the CR end up joining the PRes (or Reg F) instead.
 

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Arctic.jpg

Same map but with a wider perspective. Shows the deep trench through the GIUK gap from Faslane to the deep waters under the North Pole.

Boomer subs up there own the Northern Hemisphere. Transiting the Arctic from Faslane to the Pacific is real fast - if you can manage the shallow waters of the Bering Sea, the gap between Little Diomede and Big Diomede in the Bering Straits and the Aleutian Island chain.

So northern transit is desirable. More desirable is the domination of the No-Mans Land of the North Pole.
 
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