The Russians are coming, apparently. NORAD says they are just practicing in keeping with training missions. Not to worry. It’s funny, but it’s not. Putin’s Russia is throwing tantrums over sanctions. They apparently have so little respect for the Obama administration that they have flown their 1952 vintage turbo propeller-driven “Bear” bombers under NORAD’s noses.
Of course on July 18th the U.S. flew its RC-135V/W Rivet Joint recon planes into Russian airspace. This platform is a derivative of the Boeing 707 that has flown since 1962. So, this is a like a cold war air show of some kind.
Putin is making Russia most intolerable among the free world. How intolerable does it have to get before America and its allies get really angry? So far, they just trading sanctions.
Russia wanted to use its ethnic Russian presence in certain locations as a rationale for redrawing its boundaries. It wants its Russians back along with the land that they live on. Under international law, that isn’t going to happen. Unless, of course, you can march in and snatch a chunk of Crimea while the U.S. and the free world are distracted.
That worked, why not grab a chunk of the Ukraine, after all, they owe Russia billions?
If the Russians had been a little more clever and diplomatic, they might have struck a deal, swapping land for Ukraine debt cancellation. Who knows, a fragile Ukraine government might have gone for that, except Putin lost his patience.
With the accidental downing of a Malaysian airliner by ethnic Russian separatists and with Russian assistance, events became most embarrassing with a lot of exposure. Russian troops mass in different numbers along the border. Weapon systems come and go while U.S. spy planes capture the movement. How is this not like the Cold War?
Does anyone remember the 1956-58 “Air Power” television program that was narrated by Walter Cronkite? That would be a nifty new assignment for Wolf Blitzer to revitalize a tribute to the Military Industrial Complex with a television series. It would be educational programming because not many people know what things are like “NORAD”.
“Russian strategic bombers conduct more than 16 incursions of US air defense zones
By Bill Gertz
Published August 07, 2014
Washington Free Beacon
Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern U.S. air defense identification zones over the past 10 days, an unusually sharp increase in aerial penetrations, according to U.S. defense officials.
The numerous flight encounters by Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers prompted the scrambling of U.S. jet fighters on several occasions, and come amid heightened U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine.
Also, during one bomber incursion near Alaska, a Russian intelligence-gathering jet was detected along with the bombers.
“Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. air defense identification zones,” said Maj. Beth Smith, spokeswoman for U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).