Operation Nanook is an annual sovereignty operation conducted by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the artic. Canada is an artic country and undertakes the operation to safeguard the country against threats in the region. The operation takes place across Yuko, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Labrador. The operation is also essential due to the changing environmental conditions in the artic as it enhances the capability of CAF in operating in the artic under adverse conditions. The operation has dramatically improved the cooperation between Canada and the territorial regions as CAF works with other partners to find the best solution to safeguard the North. The operation has been carried out each year from 2007, and the composition of the members differs each year, depending on the activities planned out in the particular year. The operation has been instrumental in tackling the international community issues in the artic such as climate change, international trade, and global security. Operation Nanook has enhanced the nation’s ability to respond to national security and the agencies involved in the joint operation.
Importance of the Operation to National Security Policies
The Canadian national security policy orientations are geared towards achieving the protection and safety of all citizens. This is the fundamental obligation of the government. The strategic plan in ensuring national security is by facilitating the preparedness of the country to respond to current and futuristic threats. Operation Nanook offers the country the perfect opportunity to assess the threats in the artic and plan accordingly. The operation contributes to national security preparation by asserting the sovereignty of Canada over most of the Northern regions. The operation ensures that there are no apparent threats to its independence by the northern territories hence places a maritime domain defense in areas such as Northern Labrador and Greenland areas. The operation enhances the ability of the Canadian Armed Forces to deal with emerging threats in the artic caused by environmental changes. The artic conditions are severe with low temperatures, remoteness, and are almost always dark. The operation has been equipping the Canadian Armed Forces on how to react when faced with a futuristic threat through the artic.
The operation is also safeguarding the long-term economic benefits in the artic, which could create rifts between Canada and its immediate neighbors. The artic has large reserves of fossil fuel and minerals, and it is expected that this will lead to increased commercial activities in the region such as tourism and research. The projected increase in traffic through the artic could pose security threats to Canada, and the country needs to be ready for such a scenario. The operation members are expected to be on the frontline to protect its citizens as they would have the required capabilities to deal with the unique emergencies that may arise.
The advancements of technology have led to easier access to the region in recent times. The increased access may bring forth security concerns as the country may be used as a base for terrorists to threaten Canada and its allies. The national security policies also involve events that are beyond the capacity of individuals or states to deal with. The apparent danger of the melting of the ice in the artic has shifted the operations to train in emergencies in case a national weather disaster is declared. The operation Nanook has trained, through simulations, on how to handle such disasters and avoid major human life loss.
NATO as a system
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an intergovernmental military alliance between European countries and North American countries. There are thirty countries involved in the alliance. NATO was formed in 1949 to help protect the member nations from any external party attack, with its headquarters being based in Brussels, Belgium. NATO constitutes a critical system while working in operation Nanook. NATO has a structure and order in the implementation of its policies. The organization is divided into either civilian or military administrative roles. The civilian structure is made up of the North Atlantic Council, which is the decision-making body of the organization. The meetings of the council are chaired by a secretary-general. The military wing advises on the military policy that best suits the organization.
There is interdependence between the civilian wing and the military wing, as they are all geared towards the same goal. The council is responsible for the decision-making process while the military structure is responsible for implementing the policies and strategies. The two factions are coordinated and linked together to a similar plan. There is the integration of NATO systems into a holistic organization but with both the civilian and military wings working independently. The independence of the structures means that the military wing depends on the input of the civilian wing to perform effectively. The main objective of the organization is to safeguard its member nations against attacks by an external party. It ensures the security of its members either politically or through military intervention. NATO represents a technical system in that the organization, through its chain of command, has gone beyond safeguarding the interest of members and is undertaking operations whose purpose is research, such as the operation in the artic. The organization’s goals also incorporate world peace, not just for the member states.
United Nations as a System
The United Nations (UN) organizational structure is based on its principle organs, which include the general assembly, the security council, the economic and social council, the international court of justice, and the United Nations secretariat. Its headquarters are based in New York, United States. Each organ has its own decision-making process and structure hence work independently but to maintain world peace. The secretary-general of the organization acts as the de facto leader of the organization and also its spokesperson while the general assembly is at the core of the organization. The five organs of the organization have an interdependent relationship with the aim of ensuring peace in the world. For instance, the security council is responsible for military operations in war-ravaged regions of its member states to maintain peace. The aftermath of the operation is bringing to justice those found culpable of the heinous acts to the international criminal courts to face the consequences of their actions.
The organization’s organs integrate to form a well-structured chain of command as they rely on each other for input to their respective agencies. For example, the general assembly passes its resolutions through voting, where each country is granted one vote. The resolutions made here are considered inputs to other organs such as the economic and social council, which may authorize imposing stringent economic measures on the affected regions. The core objective of the organization is that of ensuring law and order in the world. This principle aims of the organization of international peace, coupled to achieve international cooperation in the world makes it the most powerful organization in the world due to its vast membership. The type of system the organization operates in is a linear system. The veto powers are the most powerful nations in the world and often influence the decisions of the organizations. The objectives of the organizations are at par with the veto power objectives. The five veto powers restrict the organization’s influence in the world.
Inter-dependence between NATO and the United Nations
The two organizations that are NATO and the United Nations are interrelated as their objectives are aimed at maintaining peace in the world. They collaborate in their quest as they have been involved in peacekeeping operations while working independently. The main challenge in this collaboration is that NATO is prepared for a war to ensure peace while the United Nations is designed to avoid war. NATO backs the use of military force while the UN backs the use of non-violent measures. The membership of NATO and the United Nations is similar; hence there may be a conflict of interest amounting to military presence in a region.
Operation Nanook is significant in ensuring that peace is maintained in the arctic regions. The operation backed by NATO and the United Nations is a critical step in also researching environmental changes such as ice melting, which is a primary concern for both organizations. The operation has opened up the artic to new threats as nations neighboring the region have started their exploration of in the area, which may lead to tensions building up. NATO and the United Nations have increased their presence in the joint operation to ensure the safety of the region and the world at large.
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Paul Minard, and Landriault, Mathieu,”Does standing up for sovereignty pay off politically? Arctic military announcements and governing party support in Canada from 2006 to 2014.” International Journal 71, no. 1 (2016): 41-61.
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Whitney Lackenbauer, eds and Lajeunesse, Adam, Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Operations, 1941-2015 Lessons Learned, Lost, and Relearned. Gregg Centre, 2017.
 Lackenbauer P. Whitney and Adam Lajeunesse eds. Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Operations, 1941-2015 Lessons Learned, Lost, and Relearned. Gregg Centre, 2017, 105.
 Minard Paul and Mathieu Landriault. “Does standing up for sovereignty pay off politically? 41-61.
 Nicol, Heather N. “The Evolving North American Arctic Security Context, 455-472
 Stacey, Jamie D. “The Arctic: States, Tragedies, and Unknowns.” (2018).
 Milewski, Radosław. “The relational systems of coordination flows, 39.
 Karns Margaret P. and Karen Mingst. The United Nations in the post-cold war era. Routledge, 2019, 27.
 Thakur, Ramesh. The United Nations, peace and security., 78.