A mari ad mare ad mare
The official motto of Canada is “a mari usque ad mare” – officially translated as “from sea to sea” although that is not a literal translation. In 2007, the premiers of Canada’s three territories called for amending the motto to “a mari ad mare ad mare” – meaning “from sea to sea to sea”. A poll found public support at three to one.
Having looked at the Arctic sovereignty issue in some detail I conclude that there is an undeniable threat to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and to Canadian sovereignty from Russia, China, and the USA, and that this threat could include military posturing, and that NATO cannot act, and that NORAD will not act, and that we are therefore alone in the de facto defence of our sovereignty, and that none of the Parties have the balls to solve this problem – and that is the question that I asked four weeks ago. The reason appears to be the expense of defending Canada. In other words, we would defend our country if we could afford to do so.
Don’t change the motto. Soon enough, Canada will only have two seas. Unless …
My name is Putin and I have just driven a spear into the butt of NATO – that part that hangs in the wind at the east end of the Mediterranean – and I am now the King Maker of the Middle East. What will I do next … Will I go over the top to Canada? Not while Trump is facing trial. Will I press further into the Ukraine or Syria or environs? Maybe, but not until I can get Turkey out of NATO. Besides, if all I have to do is give Erdogan a few missiles – eventually a few planes – and a little encouragement to keep my south flank in turmoil and have the USA take their nukes home, that’s as good as it can get right now.
I am going into Belarus.
As a founding member of the Soviet Union, a founding member of the UN, a member of CIS (ten former members of the Soviet Union), a supranational partner in a Union State with Russia already, having a falling GDP with unchecked inflation, a state-controlled industrial base, and an army that was formed from my Soviet troops who were stationed there at the time of independence, Belarus is low-hanging fruit. The fact that the four most important relationships that Belarus has are Russia, the Ukraine, Syria, and China, and the fact that Belarus lost land to Poland and to Lithuania in the recent past, help immensely. My going into Belarus is like going to my cousin’s dacha for an extended stay.
But, best of all, it would force NATO to deal with two threats – one north, one south – simultaneously, and both at the extremities, while I get to remain on interior lines. Since Belarus is not a NATO member, how committed would NATO be to actually resist me? I can open the Arctic front later, forcing NATO to spread even thinner, and still remain on interior lines. I’ll leave Finland alone – they are their own worst enemy. From this new position, I can chew on Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia at my leisure. “The Kaliningrad Question” is finally settled and the potential missile threat evaporates.
Is there any unfinished business? Odds and ends: Overtures of industrial investment and Arctic cooperation to the new Canadian minority government, an improved relationship with China, support to Trump’s survival and re-election, and – in time – see that the US withdraws from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Soviet Union returns, the West weakens, the East comes closer, and the Arctic ripens.
All is good.