E&E news’s latest article discusses Rep. Duncan Hunter’s renewed push for the construction of more icebreakers for the Coast Guard to utilize in “an ever-opening Arctic.” This push by the representative is made as Russia continues to expand its presence in the area. The Arctic is shaping up to become the center of world affairs, making US strategy in the area key to its national security. ASP’s Director of Studies and Senior Fellow for Energy and Climate Security Andrew Holland shared his thoughts on the issue. Holland cautioned against getting “caught up in some sort of icebreaker gap between the United States and Russia,” but reaffirmed the need for more new equipment.
He also reaffirmed his belief that the Arctic will see increased activities in the future, stating “There’s going to be more transit in the Northwest Passage. More need for infrastructure, more people moving up there. More industrialization of the entire region. We’re going to need more icebreakers. The mission is there,”. Holland suggested that there is merit to the idea of the Coast Guard leasing the icebreakers that they need now, saying “We should be thinking about ways to get the Coast Guard new icebreakers now, instead of building.”
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