In reading recent comments about what earmarks Republicans want removed from the current stimulus package, I was taken aback by the fact that GOP leaders oppose a budgeted item to build a new Coast Guard ice cutter.
Are they serious?
Arctic sea lanes are opening. That is a fact. It is also a fact that Canada, Denmark, Russia and other countries are moving to claim Arctic territory and the riches found in these waters.
Where is the United States? Nowhere. No presence. No footprint. No activity. Now this. Where is the leadership? Why does ignorance continue to drive policy?
What is best for our, nay, my country is American presence in the Arctic.
The U.S. needs to be openly and proudly present in the Arctic -- now! Now is the time to look to the future. Waiting 10 years or more clearly manifests the ignorance prevalent about the role maritime plays in America's past, present and future.
Now is the time for the U.S. flag to be carried by a U.S. icebreaker in Arctic waters.
Now is the time for maritime to be the catalyst for national development.
Now is the time to keep Arctic sea lanes open under a U.S.-flag icebreaker.
Now is the time for our leaders to stand up to the task and support our maritime heritage.
John Anderson, Managing partner, CWE Inc., www.cwenj.com, Mount Holly, N.J.