Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be hell bent on not just resurrecting the Cold War, but demonstrating that he can and will win it if put to the test.
On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Minister,Â Sergei Shoigu, announced that Russia would be conducting regular air patrols of not just the Arctic Ocean, the Northern Atlantic and several of the northern seas, but the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean as well. Â During the actual Cold War, Russian bombers never ventured that far. Â This puts Russian bombers on the doorstep of the continuous 48 of the United States.
This is happening as NATO reports of Russian troops and equipment build-ups are surfacing out of Eastern Ukraine, something that Russia denies even as officials there blame the increase in presence in Crimea and the Black Sea region on disputes with the west. Â In addition, Russia is looking to increase its world-wide presence with port agreements.
Earlier this year, Shoigu said that Russia plans to expand its worldwide military presence by seeking permission for navy ships to use ports in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere for replenishing supplies and doing maintenance. He said the military was conducting talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore. Â Shoigu said Russia also is talking to some of those countries about allowing long-range bombers to use their air bases for refuelling .
With a very weak and world knows it American president, an old Cold Warrior is making his move.
Shoigu said Russian long-range bombers will conduct flights along Russian borders and over the Arctic Ocean. He said, “In the current situation we have to maintain military presence in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.”
The patrol flights were a regular occurrence during the first round of the Cold War, but not that far south. Â Earlier this year, patrol flights over the Arctic Ocean began again with Russia using bombers with propellers that could be heard quite clearly by American submarines while they were underwater.
American officials refused to rise to the bait publicly and have said that Russia has every right to fly through international air space so long as international conventions are observed.
Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to call this a Russian provocation. He said the Russians have a right, like any other nation, to operate in international airspace and in international waters. The important thing, Warren said, is for such exercises to be carried out safely and in accordance with international standards.
The colonel may not be willing to call yesterday’s announcement a “provocation,” but it is a show of strength that Barack Obama will do his best to ignore. Â This is the latest move in a chess match with Russia working with China to deminstrate a political power move in a western leadership vacuum. Â Without leaders willing to stand up to the two super-power wannabes, and call them on their swaggering, they are just going to continue to aggravate tensions that Americans and the west would like to see relieved.
Additional information at FoxNews.