While Trump’s White House is playing Chicken with the rest of the world, is Russia testing the waters for further escalation?
I’m sure there are a lot of theories, but just an FYI for those who missed it, two days in a row, Russian bombers flew close to Alaska.
Late Tuesday, U.S. military aircraft was dispatched to corral two Russian bombers, as they got uncomfortably close to Alaska.
This was similar to another incident that went on Monday evening.
ABC said it confirmed the encounter with a U.S. official who said two TU-95 “Bear” long-range bombers were observed on a path along the Aleutian Islands.
The official told ABC the vehicles came as close as 35 nautical miles from the U.S. coastline and appeared heading northeast toward the mainland.
ABC said the planes entered the U.S. military’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which extends 200 nautical miles from shore.
U.S. airspace extends 12 miles from its coastlines, it noted, meaning the Russian vehicles were in international airspace while entering the ADIZ.
On Monday, a pair of TU-95s, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, but apparently unarmed, cruised close to Alaska.
At that time, two F-22 stealth fighters were sent to escort the Russian aircraft away from their mainland-bound course.
Tuesday’s incident resulted in a U.S. Air Force E-3 AWAC aircraft being sent from Elemendorf Air Force Base, out of Anchorage to intercept the bombers.
They played escort to the aircraft for several hours, before the Russian aircraft finally turned back.
The two days of Russian flights mark the first time in over two years that Russian military aircraft have approached the U.S. mainland.
There have been zero intercepts of such vehicles since summer 2015, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
This may absolutely be psychological, in nature.
They certainly don’t want full escalation of tensions, but such provocative actions don’t exactly make them friendly.