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Russian Bombers Buzz U.S. Naval Ships

Posted by Joshua Price on February 12, 2008

You think tensions between Russia and the U.S. aren’t rising? Well, let me rephrase that: You think Russian tension with us isn’t rising? I say that because I don’t believe we are taking the threat as serious as we should.

Anyway, check this out:

U.S. fighter planes intercepted two Russian bombers, including one that buzzed an American aircraft carrier in the western Pacific during the weekend, The Associated Press has learned.A U.S. military official says that one Russian Tupolev 95 flew directly over the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz twice, at a low altitude of about 2,000 feet, while another bomber circled about 58 miles out. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because the reports on the flights were classified as secret.

The Saturday incident, which never escalated beyond the flyover, comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over U.S. plans for a missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Now I’m sure you believe that this was just an accident and th it probably happens more than reported, but you might want to read this first:

Such Russian bomber flights were common during the Cold War, but have been rare since.

The bombers were among four Russian Tupolev 95s launched from Ukrainka in the middle of the night, including one that Japanese officials say violated their country’s airspace over an uninhabited island south of Tokyo.

U.S. officials tracked and monitored the bombers as two flew south along the Japanese coast, and two others flew farther east, coming closer to the Nimitz and the guided missile cruiser USS Princeton.

As the bombers got about 500 miles out from the U.S. ships, four F/A-18 fighters were launched from the Nimitz, the official said. The fighters intercepted the Russian bombers about 50 miles south of the Nimitz.

At least two U.S. F/A-18 Hornets trailed the bomber as it came in low over the Nimitz twice, while one or two of the other U.S. fighters followed the second bomber as it circled.

We don’t launch our Hornets just for the hell of it. the Nimitz must have felt somewhat threatened to have ordered the Hornets to trail the bombers.

As we have said many times, Russian must be watched very closely. We will continue to do just that on this blog.

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9 Responses to “Russian Bombers Buzz U.S. Naval Ships”

  1. By the way, why is this being made a bigger deal? I mean this is not an isolated event, and now we here that one of the bombers made not one, but two passes over the Nimitz! So it’s not like Russia can come back and say this was an accident or a misunderstanding. According to CNN there have been similar incidents in recently:

    ” Russian bombers have been making flights over the western Pacific for several months. In September, two U.S. F-15 fighters scrambled to intercept a plane that came within 50 miles of the coastline.

    There have been eight incidents off Alaska since July. Among the latest, on September 5, six F-15s from Elmendorf Air Force Base, adjacent to Anchorage, Alaska, intercepted six Russian bombers about 50 miles from the northwest coast of Alaska.

    Two similar incidents occurred in August, one near Cape Lisburne, Alaska, and the other near Cold Bay, Alaska, west of the Aleutian Islands.”

    I’m sure they will try but they’re wrong.

    Remember folks, Russia is also cozying up to Iran and China.

    I’ve been saying it for a while, when you throw in Venezuela, are we seeing a re-emergence of the Cold War just with different ancillary players?


  2. Andrew Van Winkle said


    I just saw this story on CNN and had to find more info about it. Random news stories usually don’t grab my attention like this, but in this case it is very disconcerting. We can all be sure that this is not an isolated incident as the reports are showing Russian activity in the Pacific for some time. We also know that not all incidents are being reported or made public, especially since the source is speaking on the condition of anonymity.

    Why have we not heard about these other incidents? Are they really not important enough to CNN and other news agencies to make well known?

    You are also right about global tensions escalating into another Cold War scenario. I hate to bring Iraq into the discussion, as I believe we need to make sure the country is (fairly?) stable before withdraw, but it seems to be coming to light that we need to have our military returned home so that we can deal with these threats effectively as they arise. I get the feeling that our military is spread too thin and strained as is. With these new threats we have a lack of personnel ready for appropriate responses. I believe the other nations around the world realize these same things and are taking advantage of intimidating us while we are engaged elsewhere.

  3. Welcome to the blog Andrew.

    It is indeed very interesting (scary) to think about all of the incidents that have probably taken place that we have no idea about.

    I basically agree with you regarding Iraq. The liberals think I’m crazy for saying this, but if a liberal president actually decided to go to war, Iraq is what you would get. Unfortunately Bush listened and kowtowed to the liberal media and has waged a politically correct war where we are more concerned about collateral damage and offending the enemy than we are about winning this war decisively.

    Finally, I’ve a point that I find very interesting yet I can’t get anyone to give me an answer. What has happened to the so-called Bush doctrine? You know, that idea of there being NO differentiation between terrorists and states that harbor terrorists. Ring a bell? Well why isn’t this being applied more aggressively to Iran?

    I have contended for quite a while that the reason we have not pursued Iran more aggressively is for one of two reasons: either we are stretched too thin militarily, or Bush is intimidated and fears Iran’s capabilities.

    It has to be one of the two, or the Bush doctrine only applied to Iraq.

  4. As a member of the vast group of young college graduates that will be voting in the next election, I can only pray that we as a nation find a leader that can lead us to global stability and peace. I, like many Americans find ourselves in a position very similar to that of the WWII era. Where is the American Comrodery? Where is the pride in knowing that our soldiers fight for something more than our own American globalization? It makes me feel sick to my stomach, every day, knowing that people that I have grown up with my entire life are fighting for something greater than ourselves and are paying the greatest price (their own lives!). One of the best people I have ever known was shot in the head in Iraq over a year ago. How does that make you feel? How does that make me feel? The damn corrupt government won’t give the answer that my grandfather will give you! Our forefathers fought for peace and stability, now we have to deal with fly over’s of our American naval ships. It scares me as well as many under spoken representatives of our young democracy that we are not representing a strong, educated, and willing global force for the (Russians/ 3rd world countries) that are not going to be intimidated and strong armed. It is scary to believe that I am one of the few Americans that were brought up believing in a United America, and to truly understand and have the honor in growing up around those whom protected our country against Tierney. I believe in peace, I believe in a higher being. We all need to face the fact that a global war, between those that believe in peace and united life, will have to face those that believe truly in utter hate and power and greed will rain upon us. Where is global stability? It lies in our stock markets and buying power of the filthy guilty rich of the United States and those few top 3% of the worlds wealthiest individuals. It is time for the “PEOPLE”, not the artificial politicians of the world to take hold of our global peace and unification structure. People don’t seem to understand and care about where our world is progressing. The truth is that we are heading towards global destruction! I guess that it is only in my dreams that I can live in United States/World that is proud, growing, and is a true peaceful enforcer for those that have no representation globally. I can only pray! OHIO VOTES~!

  5. You raise some good points.

    Where is American Unity? Answer: it doesn’t really exist anymore. It has been two by two opposing, yet equally effective, forces–liberalism and globalism.

    Liberalism has taught us to hate America and everything it stands for and globalism has eroded the antiquated concept of borders. As a consequence, the liberals are ashamed to be citizens of the U.S. and the globalists don’t see themselves as citizens of the U.S.; they see themselves as citizens of the world.

    Further, many Americans simply care more about the psychological condition of Britney Spears than they do about Chinese spies or Russian bombers buzzing our carriers.

    Finally, you’re right that we need to promote peace through strength, which was Reagan’s defense philosophy. That worked pretty well. We won the Cold War because of it.

  6. Andrew Van Winkle said

    That is a very interesting question you raise about Bush’s doctrine on not discriminating between terrorists and those nations that harbor them, i.e. “The Axis of Evil”.

    It is obvious to all, and we must admit, that no one planned on being involved in Iraq this long. I believe Bush may have had a tentative plan to pressure Iran, and possibly invade, after Iraq was eliminated as a threat. This plan would not have been made public until the time was appropriate. I believe he had the Joint Chiefs create invasion plans for Iran as well. This would have been a tremendous accomplishment for his legacy and the United States to crush the centers of terror in the Middle East. It would have also established precedents for Israel to take action against Palestinians and others who seek to damage the Israeli nation.

    Unfortunately, Iraq has drug its feet it the creation and mobilization of their own military to deal with ongoing internal threats; the job the Iraqis should be doing has obviously fallen to us.

    Bush still has almost a full year in office, and I think if the situation begins to stabilize in the next 6 months we could see a move towards an Iranian invasion, which would carry into the next administration. We have seen Iraq finally beginning to use their military against hotbeds of insurgents by leading these mobilizations and only having the US act as military advisers. A scenario that is similar to the early years of Vietnam. Iraq’s continued ability to prove itself could mean new possibilities for military action.

    To actually address your question, I think we are spread to thin to be able to invade Iran as effectively as needed, especially after the troops surge. The troop surge actually goes back to my theory about Bush still wanting to eliminate Iran as a threat as well; the troop surge is designed to hurry up the final stages in Iraq and allow us to mobilize against Iran.

    As far as Iran’s capabilities go, I am not entirely sure of what they claim to have or are known to have when concerning weaponry and military abilities. I am aware that they began construction on a massive subterranean facility, which they tried to disguise as an above ground construction project. They brought in the underground construction crews at night to hide the work. It was believed to eventually contain a nuclear reactor or act as some other military installation. It was being closely monitored by U.S. satellites the entire time. They then abandoned the construction. However, it was a couple years ago when the information was made public, so who knows what they are currently up to. Of course, Bush and the administration is more aware of the current situation then we are, and they may have more threatening weaponry in their possession than we are aware of.

    At the same time I doubt that they are armed with nuclear capabilities or advanced missile capabilities because we would be more concerned about them striking against U.S. forces in Iraq and the surrounding areas.

    Conclusion (?), it is most likely the military being spread to thing and underarmed to deal with a third campaign (don’t forget Afghanistan).

    I don’t think Bush would only make these remarks to act as another incentive to invade Iraq, but at the same time the cynic inside me wonders.

    We must realize that by Bush simply making these statements and labeling Iraq, Iran, and Korea as the Axis of Evil that we were applying pressure and making them aware that they would be responsible for their actions (military mobilization and nuclear development). This pressure led Korea to shut down five of their reactors even though Kim Jong-il made a fuss about doing it. Although we didn’t see immediate positive moves from Iran they were effectively put on notice that we were ready to take action if needed.

  7. I agree with pretty much all of your points.

    The common denominator in all of it though is that we need to re-dedicate ourselves to strengthening our military and national security capabilities.

    Unfortunately, the Clinton era did a lot of damage to our military and we haven’t fully recovered.

    Iran scares me though. I’m not buying that National Intelligence Estimate that stated Iran had essentially stopped its nuclear weapons program two or three years ago.

    It will definitely be interesting to see what happens.

  8. Andrew Van Winkle said

    Very true.

    We definitely need to strengthen our military. I would estimate that 25% would probably be a solid goal for growth.

    I also agree that what we’re being told about Iran abandoning it nuclear program is not the full story, to say the least.

  9. I agree. I think 20-25% growth is very reasonable.

    We also need to start taking full advantage of our air superiority and weapons technology. I mean, what good is the stuff if you’re not going to use it in war?

    I would argue that we could have been out of Iraq 2-3 years ago had we exploited our air power.

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