As the ice melts in the Arctic many new challenges have arisen for the Canadian government and the inhabitants of the North. The Northwest Passage has become a more viable option as a trade route which could shave 7000 km of travel time between trading nations in the Northern hemisphere. Exploration for oil and other valuable minerals has also increased because of the melting ice and opening trade routes. Other countries such as Russia and the USA have begun to increase their military capabilities in the North, and have begun to claim the Arctic has part of their continental shelf. Russia has even gone so far as to plant a flag on the ocean floor in its attempt to claim ownership. The USA has openly challenged Canada's claim that the Northwest Passage is internal Canadian waters and not international. The USA has recently bolstered its military presence in Alaska. Recently Canada stepped up its presence in the Arctic with Operation NUNVALIVUT 15. This operation once again highlighted Canada’s ability to respond to threats in the north, bringing together Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members from 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (1 CRPG), the Third Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI), as well as airmen and airwomen from the Royal Canadian Air Force, to conduct sovereignty(independent) patrols. The Arctic situation has the potential to blossom into open conflict between nations; especially given the main players such as the USA and Russia. The question is how does Canada deal with this issue. Does Canada go the international route and use the United Nations, and listen to and respect whatever decision it makes? Does Canada openly and multilaterally work with the other claimant nations to decide what is fair and reasonable? Or does Canada aggressively protect its sovereignty of the area it believes belongs to them? Does Canada try to establish military and naval bases in the region to physically control who enters the Northwest Passage and Canada's waters?
Here is the question:
Is it in Canada's national interest to aggressively and physically challenge other nations, militarily and diplomatically, when they infringe on what the Canadian government believes is our area of the Arctic, which includes the Northwest Passage, in order to defend our Arctic sovereignty? Or should Canada be more international in its approach to this new challenge and work with international organizations such as the United Nations? Pick a stance and argue your position with two or three points. Make sure you use logic to justify your opinion.