Tags: Russia | russia | icebreakers | arctic | military | presence

Russia Has 40 Icebreakers in Arctic, US Has 2 – But One's Broken

Russia Has 40 Icebreakers in Arctic, US Has 2 – But One's Broken

The Russian icebreaker Admiral Makarov on the Eastern Bosphorus strait departing for the eastern Arctic. (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 26 January 2017 10:31 PM

Russia is taking advantage of the thawing Arctic to beef up its military presence in the region quite literally on "top of the world," something the U.S. will have to play catch-up on under President Trump's administration, according to a Foreign Policy report.

"What has been our national security strategy in the Arctic?" Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, asked Tuesday, per the report. "Well I think until recently, from the U.S. perspective, from the [Pentagon] perspective, it really hasn't existed." 

 

 

Congress has begun allocating money for icebreakers in the Arctic – needed to blaze paths through icy ocean – but Sullivan said it is not enough given Russia's buildup there. Sullivan offered a map to Foreign Policy magazine to show the imbalance.

Russia's new Arctic command includes, according to the report: four new Arctic brigade combat teams, 14 new operational airfields, 16 deepwater ports, and 40 icebreakers with an additional 11 in development. By contrast, the U.S. has one working icebreaker for the Arctic – its only other one is broken – Foreign Policy reported.

"[Russia] clearly recognized what the stakes in the Arctic are," Sullivan said, per the report. "They weren't just talking, they were taking action."

The U.S. Coast Guard reportedly needs six icebreakers for the North and South Poles at a cost of a billion dollar.

"The highways of the Arctic are icebreakers," Sullivan said, per the report. "Russia has superhighways, and we have dirt roads with potholes."

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Russia is taking advantage of the thawing Arctic to beef up its military presence in the region quite literally on "top of the world," something the U.S. will have to play catch-up on under President Trump's administration, according to a Foreign Policy report.
russia, icebreakers, arctic, military, presence
268
2017-31-26
Thursday, 26 January 2017 10:31 PM
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