As the COVID-19 pandemic distracts much of the world, Russia and China are brazenly encroaching on the melting Arctic. Once-frozen waters are now becoming sea lanes and potential attack routes, creating dramatic new security dangers for North America.
In April, Russian Spetsnaz special forces troops conducted an impressive, high-altitude parachute drop and mock airborne raid on a Russian Arctic island.
Russia has also reopened abandoned Soviet-era military installations, built new military bases and icebreakers, increased troop presence and military drills, and established advanced radar stations in its territory above the Arctic Circle.
Other than Russia, only the United States and Canada have such direct and vital strategic interests in the Arctic. The North American neighbors should overcome minor squabbles and work together to defend this rapidly changing strategic region.