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International relations

Blue Arctic strategy: US Navy prepares for an ice-free north

New report calls for great power competition with China and Russia

A U.S. aviation support equipment technician observes flight operations on the flight deck of San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset during an Arctic expeditionary capabilities exercise in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

NEW YORK -- The Arctic is gradually turning from "white" to "blue," with melting ice making the waters more accessible and navigable, and requires an updated strategy that fits the new reality. So said the U.S. Navy this week in a strategic blueprint for the region titled "a Blue Arctic."

"Despite containing the world's smallest ocean, the Arctic region has the potential to connect nearly 75% of the world's population -- as melting sea ice increases access to shorter maritime trade routes linking Asia, Europe and North America," it said.

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