Alaska is the northernmost part of the U.S. and big in military power. There is a huge wild, open space between military installations in Alaska. Moreover, Grizzly bears stalk neighboring, and the weather is also wild. In the winters, its temperature can go down to almost minus forty-five degrees Celsius.
Alaska Seen as Strategic US Military Asset Against China, Russia pic.twitter.com/6UPaGAXwKP
— The Purple Heart (@MOPH_HQ) July 25, 2021
Why would the United States place several troops in such a harsh environment?
According to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, they deployed many troops and defenses in this harsh department because of geography. He said that they are an Indo-Pacific country, and they are an Arctic state. Therefore, two critical regions intersect in Alaska. Furthermore, The Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean bordered Alaska.
In the heart of Alaska, Eielson Air Force Base is around one hundred and sixty kilometers from the Arctic circle. Austin said that the United States strengthen defenses and extended training to increase its viable edge over near-peer rivals such as China and Russia.
He said that the world saw them increasing their ability up here recently with the arrival of further F-35s, and the U.S. is in the process of developing capabilities to support that effort. It is specifically useful since 5th-generation F-35 fighter jets based at Eielson can reach anyplace in the northern hemisphere.
There is a two hundred thousand square-kilometer training range there. He further said that Pentagon is right to emphasize high-end competitors, but he is concerned that the United States may not be keeping up. China increased its defense spending by ten percent annually. They are going to keep doing it.
Obama Administration Cut Defense Spending by 25%
Additionally, the 2nd-term of the Obama government decrease defense spending by twenty-five percent. While the Trump administration got back on it, and it is now going down again. Therefore, Sullivan expressed his concern and said that most of the members of the Armed Services Committee were also concerned about it regardless of their political affiliations.
He expressed that he wants to see a defense budget that increases three to five percent yearly to keep pace with the military investment of China. In addition, he points to the bases spread across the last frontier state of America as a testimony to how defense dollars can go a long way from Washington.