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World Russia threatens US interests in Arctic with military buildup

01:30  06 april  2021
01:30  06 april  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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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.

a view of a car window © Provided by Washington Examiner

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 Arctic Institute. 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.”

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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, according to a report.

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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.

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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.”

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Tags: News, National Security, Department of Defense, Pentagon, Russia, Arctic, Europe, Ukraine

Original Author: Abraham Mahshie

Original Location: Russia threatens US interests in Arctic with military buildup

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