Qodsna Editorial Board
Tensions between the US and Russia have been increased in the Sea of Japan, raising concerns about the possible military confrontation between two world superpowers.
There is an important question about the possible scenarios and possible locations of any future conflict.
It is more likely that any conflicts between the two sides would happen in international waters as Europe would be a buffer.
The Black Sea
The Black sea has significant importance for Russia, as its officials monitor closely upheavals in the region. The conflict between Russia and Georgia in 2008 and Russia and Ukraine in 2014 shows the strategic values of the Black Sea for Russians.
The US presence in the Black Sea is continuing in the form of NATO and it has held some military drills with Georgia.
The Baltic Sea
The region, located in the east of Europe, is considered as a tense location between NATO and Russia. The military forces of both sides are widely active and frequently hold maritime, ground or air drills.
Washington is seeking to limit Moscow in the region, as the US government has imposed some sanctions against the energy companies in Russia to stop them from finalizing the gas project between Russia and Germany.
The Arctic region includes the entirety of the Arctic Ocean, bounded by the northern territorial holdings of Canada, Denmark (via Greenland), Norway, Russia, and the United States (via Alaska). For hundreds of years, statesmen have seen this .region’s strategic potential
In addition to the opening of new transport routes, melting Arctic ice has exposed large deposits of oil, gas, and commercially valuable metals. A 2008 US Geological Survey estimated that 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 44 billion .barrels of liquid natural gas, and 90 billion barrels of oil were trapped under the Arctic ice; in addition to reserves of gold, zinc, nickel, and iron
Russian leaders have been much more focused than their American counterparts on preparing for a military conflict in the Arctic. Russia’s navy has begun to dominate the Arctic Sea. As of 2013, the Russian Navy already had forty-four .modern icebreakers operating in the region, including the only five nuclear-powered variants in the world
Meanwhile, the United States has retained only a single aging icebreaker capable of operating in the region. As Russia continues its expansion into the Arctic, it is likely to come into a territorial dispute with the United States or one of its close allies. At that point, the US military’s limited ability to project power in the region will leave the country with few options as to how to respond.