July 8, 2012

Able Archer?

As I type this, the lead story on major news sites is about the heat wave across the United States.  As a child of the Cold War era, I can't believe that this chilling story isn't making headlines across the nation:
Russian nuclear-capable bombers intercepted near West Coast in second U.S. air defense zone intrusion in two weeks.
Holy Crap!
Two Russian strategic nuclear bombers entered the U.S. air defense zone near the Pacific coast on Wednesday and were met by U.S. interceptor jets, defense officials told the Free Beacon.
It was the second time Moscow dispatched nuclear-capable bombers into the 200-mile zone surrounding U.S. territory in the past two weeks.
An earlier intrusion by two Tu-95 Bear H bombers took place near Alaska as part of arctic war games that a Russian military spokesman said included simulated attacks on “enemy” air defenses and strategic facilities.
A defense official said the Pacific coast intrusion came close to the U.S. coast but did not enter the 12-mile area that the U.S. military considers sovereign airspace.
The bomber flights near the Pacific and earlier flights near Alaska appear to be signs Moscow is practicing the targeting of its long-range air-launched cruise missiles on two strategic missile defense sites, one at Fort Greely, Alaska and a second site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Since when does the United States sit idly by as Russia uses our own coast for target practice?  Oh yeah, since Obama decided that placating Putin was the best Russian foreign policy.

NORAD and some Canadian military official claim that Ruskie bombers in the 200-mile Air Defense Identification Zone is not out of the ordinary.  Happens all the time, has been happening for 50 years, nothing at all to worry about, look away, look away.

The first of these two incidents saw Russian Tu-95MS bombers (greeted by U.S. F-15s and Canadian CF-18s), on the same day that Obama and Putin were meeting in Mexico.  The second incursion was on the 4th of July.  Coincidence or Russian bravado?  And Russian military isn't downplaying the flights in the same manner:
Russian Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Vladimir Deryabin, told reporters in Moscow last month that the arctic strategic war games “practice destruction of enemy air defenses and strategic facilities.”
I have often struggled to explain the Cold War to my kids.  The civil defense drills, the ever-present threat of nuclear war, the emotions, the preparations, the paranoia.  We were talking just the other day, about how when I was a kid at play, the bad guys were always Russians - how lucky my kids are to have to use comic book villains and aliens as their imaginary threats.  I forgot to knock on wood.

I remember Able Archer in 1983 and can't help but worry that we are ignoring an imminent threat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you can listen to the first half of the third hour of the Rush Limbaugh show. He explained how the USSR vowed to kill the grandchildren of the WW 2 vets and how the cold war started.