The Arctic Arms Race: The New Cold War

The Arctic Arms Race: The New Cold War

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As of right now, there is a lot more than Santa’s toy factory up at the North Pole. The Arctic holds 22 percent of undiscovered oil and gas reserves, which is more than Saudi Arabia, one of the most oil-rich countries in the world. In order to reach those resources first, Moscow is currently attempting to expand its military control over half a million square miles of the arctic.

The United States must be wary. Russia’s looming presence may be more dangerous than we think.

This military expansion presents a strong medium for a new arms race.

Although recently elected president Donald J. Trump repeatedly suggested clearing up relations with Russia, their rising military expansion and power presents a clear threat for an arms race in the midst of post Cold War culture.

The uncertainties of the Cold War still linger in today’s society through the tensions between the United States and Russia over issues such as the annexation of Crimea.

Russia’s recent moves in the Arctic have closely resembled the takeover of Crimea in 2014. This has been one of the main causes of tension between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Crimea had for long been part of Ukraine, yet Russia annexed it anyways through military occupation and disregard for international dissent. The Kremlin’s disinterest for international diplomatic boundaries in Crimea is cause for concern. Now, they are doing the same in the Arctic. Though the United States appears to not be interested in competing for the Arctic’s valuable resources, Defense Secretary Mattis points out that it is “not to our advantage to leave any part of the world to others.”

By expanding their reach into Crimea, Russia proved its military capability. While the rest of the world is focusing on other issues, such as ISIS and Donald Trump’s most recent executive orders, Russia is making their way north into unclaimed territory. This is the country’s largest military buildup since the fall of the Soviet Union. The international community is so concerned with other issues that it has become blind to Russia’s strategic expansion. Before we know it, the Russians will have already placed their military over much of the Arctic. This might create a race for resources with powerful competitors, such as the United States: a great military presence in the north. The way the Russians approached the invasion of Crimea is very similar to the way they are now creeping north. If it happened once, it can happen again. Russia has the ability to set off an arms race with a potential nuclear threat.

This begs the question, will history repeat itself?

Russian expansion into the north is both a political and financial threat. The Arctic is not easily accessible, so the Russians are currently in the process of building nuclear icebreakers (including the world’s largest) to create channels for easy access to resources. Russia’s possession of nuclear power is what made it such a great threat in the Cold War. Although the United States military is known for being the largest and most effective in the world, no country other than Russia has a fleet of nuclear icebreakers. Not even the United States themselves. Russia is slowly building its nuclear military power. Soon, there is a possibility that they could surpass the United States as the most powerful military in the world.

But their military is not the only issue. You might ask, who cares if Russia takes over the Arctic? There’s nothing there anyways. Here’s why it matters. If Russians colonize the North, and take advantage of its natural resources, they will have the potential to become a major economic player with complete control over the oil and gas industry. And once the Middle East runs dry, because natural resources are not infinite, the United States and other extremely powerful countries will be forced to rely on Russia for oil and gas. Once that happens, Russia might be able to control major domestic and international political decisions in countries such as the United States.

It appears that Santa’s factories are being replaced by Russian military bases. If the international community fails to act quickly, the Kremlin might soon have a monopoly over the oil and gas industry. World superpowers may not currently be concerned with Russia’s expansion project, but the future may hold unpleasant surprises.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.emaze.com/@ACWWQQWR/The-Cold-War

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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