Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 445

Arctic Yearbook 2014 445 the legally binding treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe appear to be too overdrawn considering the current level of cooperation in the Arctic. When it comes to the question of which categories of military equipment should be included in the exchange of military information, countries should not only take into account currently used and deployed equipment in the area. Instead, their decision should already consider today that the melting environment and the associated increase in the general temperature levels, might open up the Arctic for more different categories of conventional weapon systems, even though they are by today not able to operate in the area (Lind 2014; Wezeman 2014). A final thought shall be dedicated to the inclusion of submarine vessels. While already forming one of the major present forces in the Arctic nowadays (Lind 2014; Wezeman 2014; Bergh 2014), information exchanges and especially measures of verification outside their peacetime locations appear extremely difficult and of highly sensitive military nature. This holds especially true as submarines form a major component of some Arctic states’ nuclear deterrence (Lind 2014; Wezeman 2014; Bergh 2014). While submarine vessels if submerged are not detectable through aerial observation and hence countries invest large amounts of resources in techniques which ensure that they remain undetected, it appears least likely that they would agree to any form of verification which suddenly makes these vessels detectable. A workaround for this problem could nevertheless lie in the division of the Arctic seas into larger sectors, for which the entrance and departure of submarine vessels should be made notifiable. Such sectors of course need to be defined large en