World Russia threatens US interests in Arctic with military buildup
Classified US military war game set to take place as concerns about threats posed by China and Russia increase
The "enemies" will have fictional names, but when hundreds of US military personnel around the globe log on to their computers later this summer for a highly classified war game, it will be clear what a major focus of the scenarios will be -- how the US should respond to aggressive action and unexpected moves by China and Russia. © Ghazi Balkiz/CNN Several defense officials tell CNN that the war game is a top priority for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, who will lead the exercise. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be briefed as it plays out.
As ice thaws in the Arctic, Russia is building up a military presence unseen since the end of the Cold War, as revealed by recent reports and confirmed by the Pentagon on Monday.
Russia's military buildup along its Arctic coastline is threatening a key strategic route that could be used by the United States to protect the homeland. In recent years, Russia has built 475 new military sites, including bases north of the Arctic Circle and 16 deep-water ports, according to the. The use of new and old military bases, an expanded fleet of nuclear-powered ice breakers and submarines, and the presence of bombers and jets put Russian offensive platforms within striking distance of the U.S.
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“Nobody's interested in seeing the Arctic become militarized,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told defense reporters in a briefing Monday.
“We have national security interests there that we need to protect and defend,” he said. “We obviously recognize that the region is key terrain that's vital to our own homeland defense.”
The spokesman explained that the Arctic provides a potential strategic corridor between the Indo-Pacific region, Europe, and North America. The region may become “vulnerable to expanded competition,” he added.
A particular concern is the alleged presence of Russia's Poseidon 2M39 torpedo,
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The Pentagon would not confirm what weapons were being tested by Russia in the Arctic, nor what intelligence about recent movements was available.
U.S. European Command told the Washington Examiner on Monday that in addition to monitoring Russia's troop buildup on the Ukrainian border closely, the command also has its eyes to the north.
“We keep a keen eye on all activities across the entire European theater,” said EUCOM Navy Capt. Wendy Snyder. “On any given day [or] month throughout the year, we have operations and activities ongoing.”
Snyder identified ships operating in the Arctic and Marines exercising in Norway as two of many simultaneous activities in the theater.
Kirby said the U.S. promotes a “rules-based order” in the region through a network of Arctic allies and partners with mutual interests.
“We're watching this,” he said. “We're committed to protecting our U.S. national security interests in the Arctic.”
US and NATO meet to discuss 'Russia’s recent large-scale military activities' near Ukraine
The United States and European allies are “discussing concerns” about Russia’s reported military buildup on the border of Ukraine, a senior State Department official said in a warning to Moscow. © Provided by Washington Examiner “We're absolutely concerned by recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine, including violations of the July 2020 ceasefire,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Thursday. “Additionally, we are aware of Ukrainian military reports concerning Russian troop movements on Ukraine's borders.
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Myanmar military denies responsibility for child deaths and says elections could be pushed back .
"This is not a coup," said Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun from a gilded hall in Myanmar's purpose-built capital Naypyidaw, the city where his comrades recently ousted an elected government, detained the country's leadership, and installed a military junta. © Scott McWhinnie/CNN Major General Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for the Myanmar military, at the Defense Services Museum in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on April 4, 2021.