U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warns of Russian ‘Checkmate’ in Arctic

One thing you can fault the article for is that it assumes Russia is going to let the United States, or any rival for that matter, into the area it now has on lockdown. The United States plays fair for the most part, Russia doesn’t. Playing by the rules puts you into the lesser of equals category. This is why Russia breaks treaties without conscience. This is strategy America has failed to understand in regards to its enemies such as Russia, China, Iran et al, over and over again.

If America were to start constructing new ice breakers to even reach the areas where Russia has, you’re looking at a five-to-ten year planning, not including deployment.

Having said this, one thing the article hit the nail on the head: Checkmate.

It’s too late for America. If it wants the Arctic bad enough, it now has to go to war.

 

Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

 

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard issued a stark warning on Wednesday that Russia was leagues ahead of Washington in the Arctic. And while the warming Arctic opens up, the United States could be caught flat-footed while other geopolitical rivals swiftly step in.

Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, warned Russia was building up a huge military and industrial presence in the region while the United States dawdled. Russia is showing “I’m here first, and everyone else, you’re going to be playing catch-up for a generation to catch up to me first,” said Zukunft in remarks before the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They’ve made a strategic statement,” he said. Continue reading

Geostrategy: Russia takes the Arctic seriously, U.S. has only two icebreakers

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Polar Star icebreaker. / Coast Guard photo

 

Russia, with nearly 40 icebreakers, is dominating the battle for the Arctic over the United States, which has just two of the vessels, a key Congressional leader said.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Coast Guard and maritime transportation, said he will press Congress and the White to increase the Coast Guard’s budget, which stands at $10 billion. Continue reading

Russia Continues to Dominate Arctic as US Struggles to Procure Icebreakers

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On June 16, Russia launched the massive nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika, which displaces 33,500 tons. (Photo: Ruslan Shamukov/TASS /Newscom)

 

The Arctic is shaping up to be one of the most strategically important regions in the 21st century. However, the United States has fallen far behind in building the specialized ships necessary to traverse the region’s treacherous waters.

On June 10, Russia launched its first new military icebreaker in half a century. The Ilya Muromets, a diesel icebreaker displacing 6,000 tons, will now begin supporting Russian naval operations in the Arctic.

Just days later, the Ilya Muromets’ launch was upstaged when Russia floated the largest icebreaker in history. The nuclear-powered Arktika displaces 33,500 tons and is the first of three planned hulls.

Russia even plans on adding two icebreaking patrol ships armed with cruise missiles by 2020.

Continue reading