Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chile to Add Base in Antartica

Chile plans to build another base in its Antartic Territory, with an eye on increasing the country's footprint in the frozen continent. The base would be the first inside the Antartic Circle, pushing Chile's flag deeper into the continent. President Sebastián Piñera said Chile already plays a key role in Antartica, serving as a gateway for many nations that also conduct research in the region. He wants to enhance that role. Chile already has 15 small bases in Antartica, many of which are purely for scientific research. There is little military hardware in any of those. Nearly 500 Chilean military and civilian personnel work in the Antartic bases. But it's not just science that's important. Antartica holds valuable mineral and fossil fuel deposits, and Britain's claims in the region caused Chile to assert itself more in Antartica in 2007.

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