Ice Exercise 2009
Ice Exercise 2009 was a two-week US naval military exercise that took place in March 2009. Its aim was to test submarine operability and war-fighting capability in Arctic conditions. The polar region has lately become the subject of increased attention on the part of the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. For Epoch 2011, it is the parallel of latitude that runs north of the Equator....

 countries because of potential competition for its natural resources.


Two US Atlantic Fleet  attack submarines, and , took part in the exercise.

The Russian Pacific Ocean Fleet has said it would be closely monitoring the exercise. "Any action by foreign submarines in the vicinity of Russia's maritime borders naturally demands heightened scrutiny on our part, especially in the light of an accident involving a British submarine during a previous exercise," an official from the fleet said. He also said that the said Pacific Fleet would use all its reconnaissance capability deployed on the Kamchatka Peninsula
Kamchatka Peninsula
The Kamchatka Peninsula is a peninsula in the Russian Far East, with an area of . It lies between the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sea of Okhotsk to the west...

 to track the activities of the U.S. exercise.

Michael Byers of Globe and Mail speculated that the USS Annapolis might travel to Alaska using a 2,000-kilometre shortcut through the Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways amidst the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans...

, which Canada claims as "internal waters." According to maritime law, in Canadian internal waters, Washington must obtain Ottawa's permission for any voyage, whether on the surface or submerged. According to Byers, "Ottawa's failure to protest against the submarine transits could constitute evidence that - in the corridors of international diplomacy, where it really matters - Canada has already surrendered its claim."
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