Karl Fisher

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The United States’ sustained economic and geopolitical interest in the Arctic is dependent on Congressional funding and Executive support for icebreaking vessels and improved infrastructure in United States Arctic territory. The United States has an interest in the Arctic, which is demonstrated by The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 (amended 1990). Through the Act, the United States initiated research and policy development with the supposition of potential economic benefits in the future. Due to verifiable and anticipated changes in ice density in the Arctic, the region is accessible like never before and international competition for natural resources and commercial shipping lanes in the Arctic offer newfound economic benefits. The United States is woefully behind its international competitors due to a small and decrepit fleet of icebreaking vessels and crumbling infrastructure in the Arctic. In examining The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 and multiple Arctic Strategy Plans that were published by federal agencies operating in the Arctic, it is clear that attention from Congress and the Executive must be redirected towards advancement. The first step to advancing the United States interest in the Arctic is by funding and procuring icebreaking vessels and improving Arctic territory infrastructure.

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