Russian steps up bomber runs near Alaska

MENTAL WAR: US military counts 16 incidents since July.
March, 2008

Russia's resurgent military is again making sporadic, unannounced bomber runs toward Alaska's airspace, leading the Air Force to scramble jets to intercept and identify them, according to the commander of the Pacific Air Forces, Gen. Howie Chandler. The most recent incident, involving two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers, occurred Tuesday, Chandler said during a meeting with reporters at Elmendorf Air Force Base on Thursday. Since July, there have been 16 such incidents, according to the Air Force. "That's an interesting thing that we're watching happening," said Chandler, who experienced the tail end of Russia's post-Soviet decline when he headed the Alaska Command from 2003 to 2005.

"We had one intercept of Russian bombers in my last year here," Chandler said. "That was the first intercept that had occurred in over 10 years at that point."

Since November, Chandler has been based in Hawaii, where he oversees military units from Alaska to Korea and into the South Pacific. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has been rebuilding his country's military and its national pride, both of which fell into decrepitude during the years of Boris Yeltsin. Additionally, Chandler said, the warming of the Arctic, with the likelihood of an eventual year-round open sea lane, has the northern nations scrambling to increase their presence in the high latitudes.

The Tuesday intercept occurred outside U.S. airspace but within the air-control territory known as the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone. The Russian planes stayed within international airspace until they returned to base, the Air Force said. "The issue involved today is not a Cold War issue," Chandler said. "But in this day and time, you simply can't allow unidentified aircraft to run around in your airspace. So when the Russians do fly where they fly in the Arctic, without filing flight plans and without prior notice, then we have to go see what those aircraft are." When U.S. Air Force planes fly near Russia, he asserted, it's always on a flight plan filed with Russian controllers.

Russia is sending "mixed signals," he said, challenging the United States at times, cooperating in joint exercises at others. Ironically, Russian and U.S. forces worked together recently on a scenario involving an unidentified aircraft approaching the United States from Russian airspace, Chandler said. While the Soviet-era Cold War was behind the Russian bomber penetrations through the early 1990s, climate change may be the impetus now, Chandler said. "It's about presence in the Arctic," he said. "It does become a presence issue when you open the Northwest Passage with the ability to transit on the surface. People are going to want to know who's transiting."


No comments:

Post a Comment

Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This realization compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal. Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say something if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however continue moderating the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what my readers have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments.

To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what.Therefore, if you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or simply attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself. Moreover, please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, some going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Articles in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics, Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against the evils of Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you as always for reading.