We must expand presence in Arctic
To the editor:
The article “Icy Frontier” in the October 2013 Military Officer magazine outlines the need for the U.S. to become more involved in the Arctic region.
The melting ice could open up the Arctic Ocean to new shipping routes between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans which will cut 4,500 miles off the shipping lanes. The Arctic area contains a vast amount of oil and natural gas to be discovered and processed into energy.
Russia is restoring an old military base on the New Siberian Islands (off eastern Siberia). A garrison is stationed there, and an airfield and naval facilities are under construction. President Putin wants to use the base to enhance Russia’s economic and security interests in the Arctic. Russia is also constructing a number of new ports in the Arctic and building nine new icebreakers to supplement 10 existing icebreakers.
The U.S. Navy lacks facilities in Alaska and does not have icebreakers. It has to rely on old Coast Guard icebreakers for support.
The U.S. should evaluate the feasibility of constructing infrastructure in the Arctic and look at the possibility of establishing joint facilities with Canada. We need to bolster our complement of icebreakers.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Soup kitchens depend on support
To the editor:
The Sonshine Soup Kitchen in Derry recently sent out a plea for additional donations as they struggle to feed the growing number of those facing hunger in Derry. The website “Feeding America.org” reports that one in six Americans faces hunger. During this season of giving, those of us who are fortunate enough to go to bed with full stomachs should reach into our pockets and support our local food pantries. Even a small donation, multiplied by many, will make a difference.
With hunger increasing in our general population, the U.S. House Republicans seem to have forgotten their souls. While helping out agribusiness with farm subsidies in their most recent farm bill negotiations, they have allowed the expiration of additional benefits to the SNAP program originally provided in the Recovery Act. This lack of action will cost a family of three $29 a month in 2014. In their drive to reduce the budget, the House will strip the poorest of our population from the small amount provided by the SNAP (food stamp) program rather than deny corporations their subsidies. It doesn’t seem right to send children to bed hungry.