Did Russian war games spoof attack on Alaska oil pipeline?

July 18, 2012

This story is from last month, but I missed it at the time.    The Russians have been increasingly aggressive in their Polar activities as they seek to enforce their wide claims to the Arctic sea bed.  The latest exercise was timed to coincide with President Obama’s mid-June meeting with Vladimir Putin in Mexico.

Defense officials said Russian bomber exercises highlight Moscow’s targeting of the U.S. missile defense base at Fort Greely, Alaska, one of two major ground-based interceptor bases that are part of a limited integrated missile defense system against North Korean and possibly future Chinese or Russian missiles.

Additionally, the bomber exercises raised concerns that Russia was simulating cruise missile strikes aimed at disrupting U.S. oil pipelines in Alaska. Currently, the state’s Trans-Alaska pipeline delivers more than 11 percent of U.S. oil.

The Russian bombers involved in the exercises are equipped with long-range precision-guided cruise missiles, including nuclear and conventional missiles.

Exploration and exploitation of the Far North resources are important, but it is of (at least) equal importance to continue efforts to exploit the tremendous reserves of non-conventional fossil fuels closer to home, which would not be as vulnerable to such strategic threats.

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