While much attention has been given to the melting of the Arctic as an indicator of global climate change, little has been given to the implications of the melting north polar ice for the geopolitical position of Russia. Climate change and global warming will increase the accessibility of the Russian heartland and connect it to the rest of the world.
The Blue Planet: Water and Geopolitics
Some forecasters have predicted alarming scenarios of conflict over maritime and freshwater resources. But while visions of "Water Wars" have captured the popular imagination, shared rivers and the world's oceans can also lead to increased cooperation among states. WPR examines The Blue Planet: Water and Geopolitics.
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Articles in this feature
Water is a resource for which there is no substitute, one that ignores political boundaries and has conflicting demands on its use. So it is little wonder that it is being portrayed as both a frequent cause of past armed conflict and a resource that likely will bring combatants to the battlefield in the future. But the evidence tells a different story.
Ever since men first put to sea, conflicts have swirled around narrow maritime passages known as choke points. A subset of the broader category of Sea Lines of Communication, maritime choke points act as funnels drawing in shipping from surrounding seas. As critical pressure points in naval struggles for "command of the sea," every navy seeks to secure them while denying their use to the enemy.