The US and Russia Face to Face as Ice Curtain Melts

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.

This line, running from the Arctic Sea through the Bering Sea into the Pacific Ocean, has evaded headlines for many years. Thick layers of sea ice literally create an impassable wall between the countries.

Trade is negligible. The populations of Alaska and Chukotka Province on the Russian side are sparse with few hearts and minds to win. 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.