An interesting article appeared on CBC's news site the other day. Apparently the Canadian Government is buy several Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, to patrol the Arctic.
Now I'm not quite sure what their purpose will be, the article seems to be saying that they will be taking the place of Aurora manned aircraft currently patrolling the arctic. Which on the face of things seems to make economic sense, but not necessarily practical sense. It would seem to me that it would be hard to replace the human eyes you would have on board an Aurora, but what do I know. I'm not a military analyst.
Some commentators have lauded it for bolstering Canada's Arctic Sovereignty claims. Now I've mentioned before that sovereignty is built on peoples lives. Lives lived in the area you're claiming as yours. Logically, if there is a legitimacy to making sovereignty claims based on the ability to conduct surveillance through automated, mechanical means, then we are in serious trouble. Several countries already take detailed images of Canada's north via their satellites. Heck, you can get a pretty good view of my house from Google Earth. I hope this doesn't mean that Google Earth has a claim up here, as much as I enjoy using their utility.