Russian and American Fighter Jets Flirt With Conflict Over Europe

While we are certainly a long way from world peace at this current date, we’ve long been able to hang our hat on the smaller scale of modern conflict.

Much of this comes directly from the advances in technology that the world has experience over the course of the last 70 years.  Gone are the days of sending platoons to their doom in some rural cornfield in France, Germany, or even Antietam for that matter.  There is no reason why, in our modern technological age, we would send brave men and women headfirst into a pile of other, ornery men and women, all armed with high powered weaponry to prove a point.  These days, war is much more about stealth than strengths, and vastly more strategic than smothering.

Such is the case nearly everywhere on the civilized planet, with the nuclear deterrent residing in underground lairs around the globe.  The Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. was merely a small taste of the unpleasant calm that modern war is full of.  Knowing that, silently, thousands of miles away, a man who calmly speaks on television day in and day out could sign your execution orders with the press of a button.

In the case of Russia and the United States, the thin veil of our tolerance for one another has been unraveling before our eyes, beginning with former President Barack Obama’s aggressive choice to downsize the Russian ambassadorship on his way out the door.  The move was seen by many as an attempt to sabotage relations with Russia, thereby lumping the burden onto incoming President Donald Trump, but that’s a story for another day.

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Now, the two global superpowers have nearly clashed again, this time in the skies over Lithuania.

“The Air Force on Friday released a video showing two recent instances in which F-15s deployed to Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, intercepted Russian Navy Su-30 Flankers near the Baltics.

“The video compilation shows one encounter on Nov. 23 and another on Dec. 13. According to descriptions posted by the military, both incidents involved two Russian fighters in international airspace near the Baltics. In both encounters, the F-15s were scrambled because the Russians did not broadcast the codes required by air traffic control, and did not file a flight plan, the Air Force said.

“The F-15s were from the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, which belongs to the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, and were participating in the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa said. Those airmen and fighters were deployed to the Lithuanian base for about four months.”
The Air Force is predictably downplaying the severity of the event, with hopes of keeping too many cages from being rattled in the meantime.
The U.S. and Russia certainly seem headed for a showdown of sorts, but whether or not it occurs on the battlefield or in the media has yet to be soon.  Russia has already generated subtle threats regarding any U.S. military action in North Korea, with political observers believing that the source of any future engagements between the nations could arise from a strike on Kim Jong Un that America deems necessary for the safety of its people.


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