Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Freezing U.S. out of the Arctic | Washington Examiner

Freezing U.S. out of the Arctic | Washington Examiner: U.S. national security leadership has put Arctic issues on the back burner for decades, focusing on global hot spots in the Middle East, Asia and Russia.

But the ice pack on the roof of the world is melting, and a surge of economic and foreign military activity is forcing Washington to take a hard look at how to fund polar priorities under an already strained federal budget.

While Russia is building air bases and search-and-rescue facilities in the Arctic and Chinese ships entered U.S. waters off the coast of Alaska, the U.S. lags at least 10 years behind where it needs to be in the Arctic, said Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard.

"Russia is building up capability that may be intended to deny U.S. access into that domain and to extend their base of operations as an offensive force targeting the U.S. using the Arctic as a base to carry out