As with any major transition of power in the world today, some of the globe’s most prominent leaders have been jockeying for position during the first year of the Donald Trump presidency in America.
Two nations, who happen to share a tiny border, come to mind in this assault on the international balance of power: North Korea and Russia.
North Korea’s actions have been quite obvious. Sensing that they were no longer dealing with the capitulatory Barack Obama in the White House, Kim Jong Un ramped up a number of programs within the rogue regime’s military in order to fully complete a working arsenal of long-range, intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking anywhere in the world. This is particularly concerning to the United States, who for years have drawn the ire of the Kim dynasty. Now, with the tiny nation only months away from attaching a thermonuclear warhead to their latest rockets, U.S. President Donald Trump will be forced to act sooner rather than later.
The other nation who has escalated their annoyance of the western world has been Russia; America’s on-again, off-again pal who has had American military leaders sleeping with one eye for the better part of four decades. Now, with widespread belief that the Russians are covertly aligning themselves with anti-U.S. forces around the globe and employing some of the world’s most proficient hackers, there is grave concern over the future of Washington-Moscow relations.
Today’s latest developments in the saga of nefarious Russian behavior comes to us from the skies of Europe where a mysterious Kremlin-based fighter jet was recently intercepted by NATO forces.
“The Royal Danish Air Force dispatched F-16 fighter jets to escort the Russian military aircraft in a safeguarding mission near NATO airspace in the Baltic region.
“The Russian jet flew towards Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast, before being intercepted by the Danish jets over international waters.
“The F-16 fighter jets were launched from Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, to track and identify the plane, a Russian fighter jet whose exact model has not been named.
“NATO has accused the Russian jet of flouting air traffic rules by not activating its transponder – a device used to assist identifying aircraft on radar.
“Military aircraft that do not activate their transponders they risk collisions with passenger planes as they do not appear on civilian radars, NATO said in a statement released today.”
Given that the skies over Lithuania are heavily trafficked by commercial airliners, there was a very valid concern that the stray jet could cause a possibly catastrophic collision.
While this particular incident was resolved safely, it is just another reminder that the Russians are likely up to something. Between their repeated military recklessness and their threats to use force on those interfering in Syria and North Korea, there is little doubt left in the minds of Americans that Putin and his posse are dangerous.