In Washington, they thought about buying a new icebreaker to plow the freezing waters of the Arctic Ocean, writes The Wall Street Journal.
As the newspaper notes, Russia has up to 40 icebreakers, China is increasingly seeking to strengthen its fleet to become a "great polar power", and the United States is playing catch-up.
America currently has only two icebreakers - the heavy Polar Star and the medium Healy, which exhausted their service life ten years ago, the newspaper writes.
To somehow make up for lost time, the US Coast Guard set out to purchase an ice-breaking vessel from a private company, Edison Chouest Offshore. The cost of the ship is estimated at up to $150 million. It will operate in Arctic waters.
Icebreakers are needed by the American the fleet in order to be able to approach foreign ships in frozen waters or conduct search and rescue operations, the newspaper notes. In addition, the Arctic is interesting in that it is possible to organize oil production and develop commercial fishing there. The importance of the Arctic is difficult to overestimate in military terms.
Recall that even under President Donald Trump, the possibility of adopting a program to create an American fleet of icebreakers for navigation in the ice of the Arctic and Antarctic was considered.