U.S. security in the Arctic will require a range of expanded capabilities including improved domain awareness, positioning and communications, more Coast Guard icebreakers and investing in maritime transportation infrastructure, the Biden administration says in a new strategy for the polar region.

The strategy also highlights the need to “maintain and, as driven by requirements, refine and advance military presence in the Arctic in support of our homeland defense, global military and power projection, and deterrence goals.” This includes routine training and exercises, independent and allied “episodic deployments,” and “combined exercises and training” with allies and partners to improve “operational familiarity with the Arctic region, including cold weather operations and interoperability.”

The 15-page National Strategy for the Arctic Region outlines a 10-year agenda for the U.S. in the region and updates the 2013 Obama administration strategy. The new strategy highlights the urgent need to address the “climate crisis,” and help people in the region through conservation and investments in “sustainable development.”

The new strategy also highlights greater strategic competition in the Arctic from Russia and China, worsened by Russia’s war against Ukraine, likely ending near-term cooperation with Russia regarding Arctic issues.

“Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine has rendered government-to-government cooperation with Russia in the Arctic virtually impossible,” the strategy says. “Over the coming decade, it may be possible to resume cooperation under certain conditions. Russia’s continued aggression makes most cooperation unlikely for the foreseeable future.”

Still, the U.S. vision for the Arctic is “peaceful, stable, prosperous, and cooperative,” the document says.

The four pillars of the strategy include security, contending with climate change, sustainable economic development, and international cooperation and governance.

Under the security pillar, the Biden administration outlines a number of investments, some of which are ongoing, but doesn’t specify if these will be boosted beyond current plans. For example, the Coast Guard is currently planning to purchase three new heavy polar icebreakers as well as a commercial icebreaker to mitigate near-term gaps in the service’s ability to operate in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

The Coast Guard currently has two operational polar icebreakers, the heavy Polar Star and medium Healy, which reached the North Pole on Sept. 27. The Healy conducts annual scientific and presence operations in the Arctic.

Also, in January 2021, SpaceX launched 10 Starlink polar orbit satellites to bolster U.S. military communications in the Arctic and hopes to have more to achieve persistent communications in the region.

The security pillar calls for the ability to “detect and track potential airborne and maritime threats and improve sensing and observational capabilities, including sea ice, ship traffic, and weather,” some of which can be achieve by modernizing the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Improved communications will also benefit positioning, navigation, and timing, and data networks.

The strategy also directs long-lead investments to support the various pillars and be ready for expected changes in the decades to come.