A recent new low key conflict between the U.S. and Russia has emerged where Russian research ships and submarines are actively looking for evidence of both oil in the North Pole Arctic region as well as land mass evidence that this part of the world is somehow connected as a part of Russian territory. It is thought that a huge bed of mineral assets (including oil) the size of Germany, France and Italy exists in the Arctic region, and it is spurring this new drive by Russia to prove some reason to claim these assets. It also sets up a possible new friction point between the U.S. and Russia.
But things are even more complex as under international law, this disputed region is under a complex control by five nations, including the U.S., Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark( through Greenland), where boundaries are in dispute with Russia stepping up their efforts to claim more control growing since 2001, but heating up in the last few days.
In recent days, a U.S. research ship also set sail to claim as large of an area for the United States as they can possibly justify under international law as well. And although this land dispute is hardly likely to result in some major conflict, it still becomes another friction point because of the lure of oil and mineral assets. But it is also the lure of mineral assets that once sent the navies of the world such as Britain out to claim remote parts of the world, where one can never totally underestimate the lure of mineral assets to not create conflict between the nations. Just ask the people of Iraq if their country wasn't important to the U.S. and Britain only because of their immense oil resources. And the Falklands War was fought with Argentina by Britain over a little piece of land that few would attach much value to.
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