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U.S. should improve its capabilities in Arctic - Pentagon

RIA Novosti

07:06 07/06/2011 WASHINGTON, June 7 (RIA Novosti) - The United States should take efforts to improve its command, control, communications and intelligence capabilities in the Arctic and remove the limitations affecting its interests in the region, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a report submitted to the Congress.

"The region, which covers one-sixth of the world's landmass, is undergoing challenges of increased human population, causing issues over sea, land and air domains as it becomes more open to scientific and commercial ventures, and possible national security threats," the Department of State's press service quoted a report summary as saying.

The report addresses the advantages and disadvantages of a recent amendment to the U.S. Unified Command Plan that removed U.S. Pacific Command from shared oversight in the region, leaving shared command to U.S. Northern Command and U.S. European Command, a statement published on the DOD official website said.

According to the report, the challenges facing the United States include shortfalls in ice and weather reporting and forecasting; limitations in command and control, communications, intelligence and other capabilities due to a lack of assets and harsh conditions; limited inventory of ice-capable vessels and shore-based infrastructure.

The United States should cooperate with other members of the eight-nation Arctic Council - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden - to "promote a balanced approach to improving human and environmental security in the region," the summary says.



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