WASHINGTON DC – The Arctic is increasingly becoming a focus of competition among the world’s major powers. However, the United States is absolutely unprepared to defend its interests in this region, claims The National Interest magazine in a recent analysis.
According to the article, the United States is not ready to fight for the Arctic region. North of the Arctic Circle, the US military has neither a large military base, nor airplanes, nor large warships capable of operating at very low temperatures.
In addition, the magazine notes, the US Navy has at its disposal only one heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star, built 42 years ago. And three years ago, the icebreaker almost sank after a generator explosion. The engineers were able to save it by using a surfboard repair kit. In addition, last year, this boat could hardly avoid a disaster when the water began to flood the ship.
“By contrast, the U.S. military is so badly-equipped for polar missions that it has earned the scorn of Russian military experts,” reads the article in the journal.
However, the author points out, the US government continues to ignore the deplorable state of its icebreakers. In particular, in 2018, the Senate allocated $750 million to improve the Arctic fleet, but later those funds were redirected to the construction of the wall on the Mexican border.
At the same time, Russia is already actively preparing to defend its interests in the Arctic. The Russian Armed Forces received the most advanced submarines, as well as airplanes and tanks adapted to the arctic conditions. In addition, Russia has a powerful fleet that has 40 icebreakers, and soon plans to create warships capable of sailing in icy seas and carrying cruise missiles.
All this contributes to the strengthening of Russia’s position in the Arctic, as well as supporting new commercial activities in the region and defending the Exclusive Economic Zone of Russia, while the United States is only wasting time without realizing the importance of these rich territories in various resources, concluded the author .