The Russians are building a lot more icebreakers than we are. And for all matters both strategic, and of resources, around the north pole, that gets a lot of people worried. Unfortunately the usual response to this issue may well be the incorrect one.
At the get go one has to accept that the pitiful few we do have working now is surely not enough; if for no other reason than the safety of passage in the region; especially where it concerns more basic research. The problem here, though, is that the real game everyone is concerned about is who will get the lion's share of resources that may be locked away below all of that ice. And in that, going off and building lots more breakers for ourselves to ensure we get all of the oil, fish, or whatever else, that we can before anybody else does, is unbelievably short sighted.
The long view, and the approach the long view ought to be creating, is where we recognize that doing more resource rape (against the world in general) is a big part of why the ice is melting away up there now. Wouldn't it be something if, instead of the usual knee jerk, cold war, reaction we seem to habitually take with the Russians, we tried to apply both negotiations, and new energy development programs (just to name one) that the Russians, as well as the Chinese, and the rest of the world could partner in. Programs, as I've mentioned before (here, here and here), where we develop sea based wind turbines to produce hydrogen; a fuel that could be a win win for all concerned?
A program like that, in addition to creating a better fuel source, might also produce the infrastructure for a completely new, and far more affordable, type of floating, ocean platform technology. Platform technology that might make creating floating cities a great deal more cost effective than they are now.
Just a thought.