September 02, 2008

 Alaska and the Bear

An idle thought. Suppose the Alaskan Independence Party had its way. Alaska was part of the Russian empire for a century up to 1867, when the Tsar ceded it to the USA to keep out the Brits. If the USA no longer wants Alaska, surely it reverts to Russia. Wouldn't Putin and Medvedev, as legal successors to the Tsars, have an arguable right to seize the place, overcoming the doubtless heroic and futile resistance of the Alaskan National Guard? The claim would be stronger than to recently annexed South Ossetia. Watch out for Russian agents distributing free passports in Nome.

Seward's Day is a public holiday in Alaska, so I'm sure its Governor has an informed view.

Update: Robert Farley beat me to the Russian nightmare by five hours. But only the RBC brings you the link to the original treaty, with contemporary version in French to prove it was Serious.

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