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Russia ship buzzing 19 April 2016

Russia buzzing U.S. warship: is it justified?

De laatste incidenten tonen mooi aan dat enerzijds we ook vliegtuigen nodig hebben die niet enkel stealth en duur zijn, en anderzijds dat we de invloedssferen moeten respecteren. Geostrategische gevoeligheden zijn niet te onderschatten.


Would U.S. military jet pilots go out and buzz the ship or do barrel rolls over the Russian plane? Probably not -- not if the pilots wanted to avoid court martial -- but the point is that U.S. military forces wouldn't like the Russians operating in the Gulf of Mexico any more than the Russian military likes the U.S. operating in the Eastern Baltic, or any more than China likes the U.S. operating in the South China Sea.

Would the Russians be well within their international rights to operate in the Gulf of Mexico? Sure. Would the U.S. military tolerate it for long? Probably not.

So we can get ourselves bent out of shape over several "unsafe and unprofessional" Russian military incidents in the Baltic Sea. We also have to acknowledge that the world's powers have established spheres of influence, and when those spheres get violated, there's a price to be paid. That's just how it is.

We should think about that the next time Russian jets play chicken with U.S. forces in the Baltic. We also should think about that the next time Chinese military forces act aggressively toward U.S. military forces operating in the South China Sea. It will happen again; the question is how we deal with it.