In a Warming Arctic, U.S. Faces New Security and Safety Concerns

20 10 2012
By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles TimesOctober 19, 2012, 6:00 a.m.

BARROW, Alaska — In past years, these remote gray waters of the Alaskan Arctic saw little more than the occasional cargo barge and Eskimo whaling boat. No more.

This summer, when the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf was monitoring shipping traffic along the desolate tundra coast, its radar displays were often brightly lighted with mysterious targets.

There were oil drilling rigs, research vessels, fuel barges, small cruise ships. A few were sailboats that had ventured through the Northwest Passage above Canada. On a single day in August, 95 ships were detected between Prudhoe Bay and Wainwright off America’s least defended coastline, and for some of them, Coast Guard officials had no idea what the vessels were carrying or who was on them.

Read the whole article at LATimes
Editors Note: The LA Times and reporter Kim Murphy provide a “Huebertian” overview of why the Arctic is important to US national security and what is and isn’t being done by the American national security planners and leaders.

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