Saturday, 4 April 2015

wampum or echo base

Some are criticising the 2008 decision by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense with the approval of NATO to mothball and sell its secret arctic seaport at Olavsvern, three-decades in the making at a cost of over half a billion dollars, at less than one percent of the construction price as one of the biggest blunders of recent military history. 
These apparent pangs of remorse of not having any ready presence near the North Pole are much compounded by the fact that the bargain-hunting holding group have sublet the property—now off-bounds from any government oversight—to a fleet of Russian research vessels, ostensibly prospecting for untapped sources of petroleum in the contested reigon, that wintered in cavernous compound. Given, however, that the privatisation took place under the auspices of a government whose then leader now heads the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as a whole, I wonder if there is not something else going on here. Despite the complete lack of economic necessity to divest itself from any of its holdings, whether or not of dubious strategic value five years ago, the transaction seemed to belong to a buyers’ market and no vanity environmentalist, troll-cordonnier, film-crew, patient investor or even a mad-scientists seeking a hidden lair materialised at the time—for the first public auction of such an installation was advertised online. I wonder if there is not some sort of game of entrapment going on here.