March 19, 2019 | By Malte Humpert
The United States Navy is drawing up plans to send multiple surface vessels through the Arctic Ocean this summer, signaling a potential change in U.S. policy to more effectively counter and possibly contain Russia’s influence in the region.
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In a number of statements as recently as last week U.S. military leaders discussed a change of the country’s policy and approach towards the Arctic region. In front of the Senate Armed Services Committee General Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of the US European Command, explained that the effect of climate change is altering the Navy’s calculations.
“Now the Northern Sea Route is open more often, and there is a resource and commercial interest in it. […] This creates competition.” Scaparrotti went on to explain that U.S. forces have updated their plans, including deployment of military forces and operational trends in order to provide containment. “We send a signal that the Arctic is important to us,” he added.
(Excerpted from Arctic Today, Malte Humpert reporting.)