Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard, told a U.S. House sub-committee that the U.S. may need icebreakers with surface-to-air missiles to defend U.S. sovereign resources from Russia and China.
|Zukunft told U.S. legislators: “I have to look differently at what an icebreaker does. We need to reserve space, weight and power if we need to strap on an (anti-ship cruise) missile package on it." Some analysts think that the Arctic challenge from Moscow and Beijing are being overblown especially from China. However, the U.S. has ignored the strategic and legal implications of climate change and has been slow to use military branches to protect its Arctic assets. However, it should be noted that countries such as Russia and even Canada have longer Arctic coastlines than the U.S. arctic coast of Alaska. In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the Arctic probably contains about 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and an even greater percent of its natural gas. Just recently the Russian oil giant Rosneft announced that it had discovered a large oil deposit off the Russian arctic shelf.|