07/03/2011 The Arctic is a key strategic area, and fundamental to the energy and resource foundation for 21st century growth. And the US is lacking core capabilities to operate in the region, but we will hold off investing in core capabilities.
What seems to be missing is the Pentagon study, which indicates US planning for what happens when we are out of the picture and the Arctic is dominated by powers like Russia who are investing significantly NOW in the future.
The ink has hardly dried on the latest SLD piece on the Arctic than the Russians are preparing a force structure for Arctic missions.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal story:
Russia plans to deploy two army brigades in the north to defend its interests in the Arctic regions, where governments citing climate change have made competing claims over natural resources.
Russia’s defense minister said officials haven’t yet worked out the details of troops or weaponry, but that the brigades, which usually number a few thousand troops, would be cobbled together with an eye toward the experience of Russia’s northern neighbors—Finland, Norway and Sweden—which already have such northern forces.
“The location will be determined, as well as weapons, numbers and infrastructure for the brigades,” said Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, according to Russian news agencies. “They could be put in Murmansk, Archangelsk or another place.”
It is time for another Pentagon study.