Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Northwest Passage

Back in 2007, I wrote a short paper that argued, with the warming of the world's oceans and the opening of the mythic Northwest Passage, competition for the suddenly accessible mineral, natural, and hydrocarbon resources could result in armed conflict. Thus, this passage from George Friedman's The Next 100 Years, struck me:
[I]t was Mahan, the American, who understood two crucial factors. The collapse of the Soviet Union originated in American sea power and also opened the door for U.S. naval power to dominate the world. Additionally, Mahan was correct when he argued that it is always cheaper to ship goods by sea than by any other means. As far back as the fifth century BC, the Athenians were wealthier than the Spartans because Athens had a port, a maritime fleet, and a navy to protect it.

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