First reported on August 6th, four US Navy warships suddenly reported to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands in response to 11 Chinese and Russian ships inside American waters. Alaskan Senator Dan Sullivan confirmed it had happened “within the last few days” and called the destroyer’s response amazing but uncommon.
“First, this is unprecedented, not just for Alaska, but for America to have 11 warships jointly being operated by the Chinese and Russians — who are increasingly working together — essentially doing freedom of navigation and navigation operations incursions into Alaska’s area,” said Sullivan in a joint statement.
This isn’t brand new, either. Last summer, the Russians and Chinese played similar games and cited the same innocent passage as would be offered to any ship sailing alongside the coast for peaceful purposes. However, as these are military warships, that same kind of courtesy and kindness isn’t needed or offered. It also serves as a stark reminder of the critical land that encompasses Alaska. Given how close some of its islands are to Russia and its strategic importance towards our global security.
Yet, under President Biden, its importance has been devalued. He has taken away much of their oil and gas contracts through restrictions and taxes. He has decreased the manning across bases and outposts across the state and the branches of the military. This has left our 50th state incredibly vulnerable. While commendable that the military did what they were trained to do and did it quickly, it was still inexcusable that it was needed.
Much of this defense and manpower comes with compliments of the Coast Guard. Due to their peacetime and dangerous rescue-focused missions, they have been perfect to have in the Arctic. However, they lack the long-term manpower to be out at sea continuously, except for their icebreakers. That being said, that means talks for a full-scale Naval base are being discussed, and given what already exists, one could be stood up in a relatively decent time frame. Especially along many of these remote islands.
For now, though, Sullivan is proud of what these destroyers did as the Russians and Chinese adjusted course. “I was heartened to see that this latest incursion was met with four U.S. Navy destroyers, which sends a strong message to Xi Jinping and Putin that the United States will not hesitate to protect and defend our vital national interests in Alaska.”
Sullivan supports the base ideas and wants to ensure Alaska remains unchallenged as a sovereign part of the US. Both the state and the hard-working men and women who fish its waters and operate its tankers should be free to traverse the waters unafraid. It’s bad enough that many of the deep-water fishermen are stuck competing with the Russian crab boats that tend to wander into American waters with little repercussions.
As the summertime is slowly starting to wind down, many wonder just how entrenched these nations can become in the arctic waters during the summertime. Given their excuses about mapping the sea and other reasons for being there, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for them to be mapping for more coordinated attacks.
Experts are already predicting armed conflict with China within a decade. For them to be here studying what we do, how we do it, and where we do it should be seen as nothing less than treasonous spy activities. The US needs to drive them back and ensure they keep their distance. They are already pulling these kinds of tactics with Taiwan, and we are ultimately the only reason they haven’t overtaken them for their One China policy ideas.
For now, the US Navy takes this seriously, and they perform the right techniques to keep the US safe from any and all enemies. It’s a difficult and largely thankless job, but they are getting it right.