NATO’s military games and aircraft maneuvers on the verge of foul are beginning to frighten the Americans themselves. This fear was reflected in an article in the close edition of the US military-industrial complex The National Interest.
The whole meaning of the article with the saying title “Why Russia likes to play air “birds” with America” boils down to one phrase: “The already dangerous Cold War with Russia can easily turn hot.”
But it’s not about this obvious statement. Of course, NI is a publication closer to the left, although objectively serves the interests of the U.S. military-industrial complex. But even here, it’s not often you see language like:
This is a reckless practice that can easily escalate into a broader and more dangerous confrontation.
Or: “While both sides may be accused of overly provocative and dangerous behavior, the United States has much of the blame.”
Who’s pushing whom?
“The undeniable reality is that the United States and its NATO allies are pushing Russia, not Russia’ pressure on the United States, and airstrikes should be seen in this context,” said Ted Galen Carpenter, the paper’s author. Incidentally, the editor-in-chief of the magazine “National Interest” and a senior researcher at the Cato Institute on security issues. That is, it is a cautionary cry and not a personal opinion of some private author.
“Of course, Russian aircraft have sometimes taken provocative aerial approaches to U.S. territory, especially near Alaska, and the frequency of this behavior seems to be increasing,” Carpenter said. However, he immediately admits:
However, the number of such incidents is negligible due to the growing U.S. military presence along the Russian border and incidents that generate an even stronger presence. In other words, most of the interceptions take place near Russia and thousands of miles from the American homeland.
Thus, the author clearly distances himself from the opinion of some “American officials” who believe that “the close contacts of the Russians with the American military are caused by Russia’s attempts to re-establish itself militarily around its borders”.
That’s the crime – to provide military protection of their own borders! In fact, the expert’s concern is clearly not the incidents with interceptions by the Russian military of air and sea objects of the “potential partner” near Russian territory. Rather, it’s about how these incidents happen and who’s actually squeezing someone into them.
When the Russians “shave” the Americans
Over the past few months, there has been a spike in disturbing incidents between U.S. and Russian warplanes, says Ted Carpenter. Then he admits again: “Most of the cases involved U.S. reconnaissance planes flying near the Russian coast adjacent to the Black Sea”, because of the U.S.
interest in the Black Sea is growing as tensions between Russia and Romania, a NATO member, increase over control of the inland sea.
Well, Romania is like this, obviously for a red word. The provocateur, of course, is known and snatch at least a piece from Russia, hiding behind the back of a larger beast, never refuses. But in the military sense, certainly not power. With Bulgarians only to fight or out with Ukraine… Americans are clearly concerned about the “quality” of the incidents. For example, “after the July 30 episode, U.S. officials said that a Russian Su-27 “shaved” a U.S. aircraft, posing an unnecessary threat to flight safety.”
And this complaint is a frequent U.S. response to such meetings, the American observer sadly notes.
Every year there are dozens, if not hundreds, of intercepts of U.S. and NATO warplanes, not only in the Black Sea region but also over the Baltic Sea and over territories along the long land border between NATO members and the Russian Federation, Carpenter’s readers note. “In addition, the alarming incidents were related to Russian aircraft flying over U.S. and NATO ships.
It’s actually worse for Americans.
The most recent interception report was recorded on August 10. According to information from the National Defense Management Center (NCSO) of Russia, one Su-27 fighter made two air targets turn away from the border. They were identified as the RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft and the U.S. Navy’s R-8A Poseidon Base Patrol Aircraft. The day before, it was reported that the Su-27 intercepted a radio-technical reconnaissance aircraft and combat aircraft ER-3E Aries II/ “Aries” of the U.S. Navy.
The machine is not very new – the first entered service with the U.S. Navy in 1976 but converted to quite modern equipment: the Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) radio-technical reconnaissance complex, the AN/ALR-76/504 complex with radio-technical countermeasure systems, electronic detection, and radar warning. That is, it was clearly a hunter for our newest systems of REP and REB, which are keenly interested in the U.S. military.
Even earlier, the NCSO reported again on interceptions of a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft, a U.S. Navy aircraft, a U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bomber (over the Sea of Okhotsk), a Norwegian Falcon 20 radio reconnaissance aircraft and electronic warfare over the Barents Sea, and so on. A total of 32 military aircraft and six drones were seen near the Russian borders, the NCSO said.
Sorry, but it’s quiet, but war! And it involves not only aircraft but also NATO ships. Again, only recent reports.
NATO ships tried to approach the shores of the Crimean Peninsula during exercises in the Black Sea, which involved the United States, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. However, they did not come close to Russia’s borders: the Russian military announced their exercises and closed 10 zones for shooting. As reported in the American press, it caused strong anger of “partners”, but nothing but gnashing of the tooth, they could not publish.
Before that, the bombers of the Russian Armed Forces cheekily battered NATO ships. Even, as some claimed, literally disrupted part of the alliance’s exercises, dispersing enemy ships. They patted and dispersed – of course, remotely: attacks Russian planes only imitated, and besides over the same declared waters. But in fact, NATO has not been able to fully deploy its fleet, giving, as they like to portray it, a “clear signal” to these nasty Russians. Yep – whose Crimea. Well, everyone saw whose it was.
Especially when the Russian patrol ship blocked and then escorted away from the Bulgarian frigate “Beaudry.” Especially everyone was pleased then squealing from Kyiv: “Russia breaks maneuvers!” …
And at the start of the exercises, and we are talking about the traditional maneuvers of NATO “Sea Breeze” in the Black Sea, Russia immediately marked quite serious power: in the maneuvers of the Russian military were to involve several dozen warships and aircraft of the Black Sea Fleet, missile systems of coastal defense, complexes and systems of REB and REP.
So it turns out that the Americans both want and prick. That’s kind of decided to demonstrate their coolness, spinning on planes in front of the entrance to the Kerch Strait and simulating an attack on the Kerch Bridge. And then the Russians showed the light, which appears on the radars of aircraft, when it gets captured by a real missile – and had to run away. And the destroyer USS Porter had to be taken away in order not to let the Russian planes with their overwhelming capabilities EW complexes be frolic over it.
Course – on the crisis?
Yes, that’s what an expert of the American edition is trying to say. Carpenter said it was “highly unlikely” that information gathered from spy planes off the Russian coast “adds so much to the intelligence already available from satellites that it is worth the risk of a clash and the dangerous diplomatic and military consequences that will follow.”
In fact, the American is not quite right here: it is critical for the U.S. military to understand how and what Russian EW and radio-technical intelligence systems can actually do. And for this they need, they are forced to provoke Russian colleagues-enemies with harsh actions on tough answers. But, as Russian military experts say, we “are not fools sitting here either.” Therefore, the capabilities of our EW systems are highlighted by barely a quarter, many by a third. And the latest systems are not used yet. Checked in Syria a couple of times, burning electronics on American planes and drones – and that’s enough. So long.
However, the main pathos of the article of the American military observer is in the last paragraph. After Carpenter recalled an incident in 2001 when a provocation by an American Chinese pilot led to the collision of planes, the death of a Chinese man and the captivity of an American. Along with the plane. Which the Chinese never returned after an apology from Washington, and fully enjoyed the study of its secrets.
It’s safe to say that given the current degree of hostility toward Russia among American elites, hawkish types are even more likely to exacerbate any crisis related to such an incident, Carpenter cautions. – There will be massive political and media pressure on the White House to take an uncompromising position against Moscow and “confront Putin.”