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Russia has 40 icebreakers in Arctic, U.S. has 2. One is broken

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Staff Writer | January 27, 2017
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 icebreaker
Balance   Foreign Policy report
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"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.

Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan told Sputnik: “I am essentially saying is that we are way behind in that area, and we need to catch up.”

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