U.S.-Russia military tit for tat raises fears of greater conflict

Redheart

SENIOR MEMBER
Ratings
0 318 0
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
1,239
Country
USA
Location
USA
#1
U.S.-Russia military tango raises fears of conflict - CNNPolitics.com

The war of words between America and Russia is escalating. So, too, is the movement of implements of war -- from U.S. fighter jets to Russian nuclear weapons.

So is an actual war imminent?

No one in Russia, NATO or the United States has gone that far yet. Still, the rhetoric and actions from both sides have definitely ratcheted up in recent days, raising concerns of a new arms race -- if not worse -- amid tensions both sides blame on each other.

The major players all claim their movements are defensive and necessary responses to their foe's provocation. None has talked of an invasion.

Still, that's not what some experts are worried about. They say a bigger fear is what things can happen, accidentally, when you have increasingly powerful military forces lined up so close to each other.

Part of it has to do with the unpredictable nature of other actors, like Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine who may broaden their own conflicts by inadvertently or purposefully striking others. The biggest such example may be the 2014 shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines commercial plane over Ukraine by rebels.

Then there's the danger that something goes wrong as powerful militaries become more aggressive, as when a Russian fighter jet recently came within 10 feet of a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea.

"Given the tempo of Russian military operations over the last year," said Steven Pifer of the Washington-based Brookings Institution think tank and a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, "you have more interactions, more possibilities for things to go wrong."

There's no doubt that the military tit-for-tat has picked up this week.

The U.S. Navy is among those participating in a NATO landing exercise in Sweden. Around the same time, U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James announced that it could be sending some of its most advanced warplanes to Europe in a show of force.

Already, the Pentagon has rotated B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15Cs and A-10 attack planes as well as Army and Navy assets through Europe for exercises with allies under what's called Operation Atlantic Resolve. James said the F-22 Raptor, the Pentagon's premier fighter, could soon join them.

This is all in addition to previous U.S. military actions in support of Ukraine and several Baltic countries, some of whom fear Russian President Putin -- either directly or indirectly -- will come after them next.
A Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber is escorted by a British Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter during an intercept in September 2014. Click through the gallery to see other intercepts in late 2014.

In reaction, Russia's foreign ministry on Monday accused NATO countries of "sliding into a new military confrontation with destructive consequences."

That's not to say Moscow hasn't taken military action of its alone -- most conspicuously with its aircraft.

NATO announced late last year that it intercepted more than 400 Russian military planes in 2014 alone -- a 50% increase from the previous year.

Then there was the Russian jet that in May came within 10 feet of an American military plane in international airspace above the Black Sea.

"You don't have to fly 5 feet above a ship to do intelligence-gathering," Jorge Benitez, a NATO expert at the Atlantic Council, said. "(Putin) is trying to use these threats to push back on the West and say, 'I'm willing to do these things to get you out of my sphere of influence.'"

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given little impression he'll back down.

"If someone threatens our territories, it means that we will have to aim our armed forces" toward the threat, he said Tuesday, according to state-run Sputnik news. "It is NATO that is coming to our borders, it's not like we are moving anywhere.

Putin upped the ante beyond provocative aerial maneuvers that same day, as he announced that he is buttressing his country's nuclear arsenal with an additional 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In response, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg criticized this "new nuclear capabilities and (increased use of) nuclear rhetoric," and warned, "The nuclear saber-rattling of Russia is unjustified, it's destabilizing and it's dangerous."

James, the U.S. Air Force's top civilian leader, called Russian activity in Europe the "biggest threat on my mind" when she noted that the U.S. is considering sending its top F-22 fighter jets to the region.

Russian officials, though, say they're the ones being threatened. That includes reports that the United States might deploy tanks and artillery to bases in Eastern Europe, a prospective move Russian Defense Minister Yuri Yakubov called "the most aggressive step by the Pentagon and NATO since the Cold War."

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will announce that decision next week, sources told CNN.
 
Ratings
0 40 0
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
278
Country
Belize
Location
Belize
#2
Well Russia will fall just like the Germans did in both world wars because Russia alone will never be able to defeat NATO. Russia needs to calm down and focus on economic development and bettering its people rather than trying to start a war they can't win.
 

Redheart

SENIOR MEMBER
Ratings
0 318 0
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
1,239
Country
USA
Location
USA
#3
Like the first cold war, this cold war will eventually fizzle out. The U.S and NATO have every right to assure fellow NATO members that they'll not permit Russia to invade and Russia on their part will do whatever it takes to be prepared for the worst should NATO choose to cross the border. It's all defensive on both sides — all groups I'm sure know that should there be a war none of them will win.
 
Ratings
1 86 0
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
385
Country
USA
Location
USA
#4
Even if it is just posturing, and just a matter of time until it fizzes out, (because @Redheart typically knows what he's talking about), it still makes me nervous. Its hard for me to have faith in Putin doing the right thing. He's really messed up in the head. It also makes me nervous that we are having to deal with all these other children at the same time. I would for Putin to feel like he's getting shorted the attention he feels like he deserves. Or, maybe, he realize that all the distractions are the upper hand he needs.
 

Redheart

SENIOR MEMBER
Ratings
0 318 0
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
1,239
Country
USA
Location
USA
#5
Putin is a smart man.

We never should forget that we wouldn't be having all thess tensions were it not for the U.S's interference in Ukrainian affairs. There are many reasons why Russia doesn't want to lose Ukraine to the West, most of them [the reasons are] security-related. Who wouldn't do whatever it took if they felt their national security was threatened by their worst enemy? Once the Ukraine conflict is resolved in Russia's favor, I'm sure the [existing] tensions will ease and no more will we hear anyone talking about nuclear warfare for a long time.
 
Top