For the fourth consecutive day, Russian military aircraft flew a little too close to the Alaskan coast for comfort, prompting the United States Air Force to respond.
Tensions between the old Cold War opponents has been on the rise in recent months, due in no small part to Russia’s continued involvement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; a man that the United States and her allies abhor. After Assad delivered an immoral and unethical chemical nightmare to a city of his own citizens earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump was compelled to respond to the tune of 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles detonating on target at the airfield from which the chemical attack originated.
Russia, who may possibly have been complicit in those attacks, then issued a stern warning to the United States in which they promised military action should the United States strike Syria again. Of course, by aligning themselves with Assad so forcefully, Russia has drawn a serious line in the sand for the U.S.
Meanwhile, 4,600 miles away, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un began a campaign of utter harassment against the newly minted U.S. President. Not only did the despot threaten the detonation of nuclear weapons to celebrate Trump’s inauguration, the “supreme leader” then had the bravado to attempt a ballistic missile test to celebrate North Korean holiday “Day of The Sun”.
With U.S and Japanese warships off the coast of North Korea, Russia then sent a spy vessel to tail the allied warships, leading to further concern regarding the Kremlin’s approach to diplomacy with the United States.
Now, as we end the 4th consecutive day of Russian military aircraft approaching Alaska in a way that prompted U.S. fighter jets to be scrambled, we must ask ourselves “how is our relationship with the Russians”?
“The Russian jets in both incidents remained in international airspace. It was not immediately clear how close they came to mainland Alaska.
“Russia now has flown bombers or spy planes near Alaska on four consecutive nights this week, the first time since President Trump took office that Russia has flown this close to the United States. The U.S. Air Force scrambled fighter jets in some of these instances.
“Pentagon officials said they believed the Russians were testing the U.S. Air Force’s response to their bomber flights.
“Tuesday night, the only plane launched from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska was an E-3 Sentry, an airborne early warning plane known as AWACS, to make sure no other Russian planes were inbound.
“The Russian action comes less than a week after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Trump said U.S.-Russian relations had reached a ‘low point.'”
While there is no doubt that we are entering a New Cold War between the United States and Russia, some Americans are growing concerned that this international turmoil could be the beginning of a much more heated conflict in the near future. Whether the lynchpin proves to be located in Syria, North Korea, or a yet-to-be-discovered locale is anyone’s guess.