Thursday, September 03, 2015

About Time - President Wants More U.S. Ice Breakers for Arctic

Source - Note the Arctic Ocean in the upper right
Silly headline in the NYTimes, "Obama to Call for More Icebreakers in Arctic as U.S. Seeks Foothold. "

Golly, I always though the Great State of Alaska (that's a map of it above) was our foothold in the Arctic since it has 1000 miles of coastline on the Arctic Ocean, but perhaps the fact that Alaska has been a state bordering the Arctic since 3 January 1959 (that's 56 years!) somehow eluded the NYT headline writer. In any event, from the article:
President Obama on Tuesday proposed speeding the acquisition and building of new Coast Guard icebreakers that can operate year round in the nation’s polar regions, part of an effort to close the gap between the United States and other nations, especially Russia, in a global competition to gain a foothold in the rapidly changing Arctic.
"Proposed?" Given his penchant for executive orders and as the Commander-in-Chief, one would think he would just order them built or bought as soon as possible.

You might note that I've been discussing the need for new U.S. ice breakers since 2008. See also last year's Arctic Waters: U.S. Policy and the Sea Services in which I embedded:

Other Arctic Strategies are also set out at the link.

At least the President is proposing to do something. That's a step forward.

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