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The Cold War comprised three highly symbolic frontiers – Europe's Iron Curtain, the Bamboo Curtain in Asia, and the lesser known Ice Curtain marking the border between the United States and the Soviet Union.It was in the best interests of both governments to play out the Cold War in faraway regions rather than risk face-to-face conflict across a shared border.Russia is bolstering its military presence there while reminding that its maritime boundary with the United States remains in dispute. For its part, the United States has stayed quiet – with a policy coming under criticism from the Alaskan state government and the Obama administration's Republican opponents.Third, Russia has announced that it is shoring up its Arctic military presence.Mainland Russia and the United States are separated by 88 kilometers in the Bering Strait. Two islands, Russia's Big Diomede and America's Little Diomede, have less than 4 kilometers of water between them. Asian governments have a powerful Arctic voice even though some borders are far from the region itself.At the same time, the United States will have to respond to national security recommendations that it builds a permanent naval base in the Arctic region to balance the Russian projection of power.
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