Saturday, 18 August 2007

A new Cold War looming?

At the end of a military exercises between Russia and China, the central Asian alliance, Mr Putin made an announcement that once again Russia has resumed long-range patrols by its bomber planes for the first time since the end of the Cold War. 450px-Russia.VladimirPutin.02 "Today 14 strategic bombers took to the air from seven airfields across the country, along with support and refueling aircraft," Mr Putin told reporters at joint military exercises with China in the Ural mountains. "In 1992, Russia unilaterally ended flights by its strategic aircraft to distant military patrol areas. Unfortunately, our example was not followed by everyone. Flights by other countries' strategic aircraft continue and this creates certain problems for ensuring the security of the Russian Federation. Patrolling will take place in areas of busy shipping and (areas key to the) economic activities of the Russian Federation," he said. President Vladimir Putin said the bombers - which can carry conventional or nuclear weapons - would again circle the world, 15 years after their flights were suspended. He claimed that the move was a response to the threat posed to Russia by other nations, states that this is a clear reference to the United States - which has continued its own long-range missions.

I, if anything find the reaction from the US State Department surprising to say the least, not wanting to be drawn into a war of words said, though officials are concerned about Russia's increasingly provocative military activities. "If Russia feels as though they want to take some of these old aircraft out of mothballs and get them flying again that's their decision," (What they really mean to say is "Oh god Russia your military air craft are like, so yesterday"), Sean McCormack, a State Department spokesman, said. "That is a decision for them to take - it's interesting. We certainly are not in the kind of posture we were with what used to be the Soviet Union. It's a different era." Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said he did not believe the flights posed a threat to the United States. However Nato seems to be looking on this in a different light and are likely to review its rules of engagement for fighter pilots after the Mr. Putins announcement. The Russian bombers, which are likely to approach Nato's European -airspace via "the back door", which is a passage between Greenland, Iceland and the UK. If the bombers approach from the north, Norwegian radar defence systems would be among the first to detect them. Norwegian F-16 and British Tornado F3 and Typhoon F2 fighter planes - which form the Quick Reaction Alert component of the UK's air defence system - would be scrambled to shadow them as they approached Nato airspace. Now this I believe to be provocative actions.

The RAF maintains two QRA units (Quick Reaction Alert), each comprising two fighter jets permanently at the ready, with pilots and ground crew on standby to ensure the planes are airborne within a couple of minutes of the alarm being raised. This is a vital component of any nation's air defence system and would be used in the event of an incursion into Nato airspace. Yet I think if the Western quarter had follows Russia's roll and stopped the cold war this would not be happening today. If in the event that Russian aircraft were to enter Nato airspace, the opposing planes could come within a few hundred yards of each other and, if Russian bombers strayed into Nato airspace, pilots may even make radio contact with the Russians to warn them of their encroachment. How a pilot responds to a deliberate invasion of Nato airspace is up to the military officials and politicians who set the rules of engagement.

The sad thing is how such strong military powers have ended up fighting like children in a school yard, with the my Air force is bigger than your air force, of course the propaganda and disinformation wheels are dusted off and powered up once again and the same old childish statements are given the light of day with the following attempts to breed mistrust and fear into a "new old enemy" : wputin118a Preparations for the renewal of long-range flights have probably been under way for some time and may have been detected by Western intelligence agencies. To carry out an operation like this, you need sufficient air crew trained up to an appropriate standard. If Mr Putin has just announced this, the odds are there has been some kind of training program. (This is like saying "yes I drew a face on the wall but he did it first and he has been wanting to do it for ages"). The Russian air force is quite capable of making these demonstrations of its power. Nato is equally capable of demonstrating that it can counter it. In the Cold War we were expecting mass air attacks, but this is not likely to happen as a result of Mr Putin's announcement. The purpose of the Russian flights is to send a message: "We have the wherewithal to project power. America is not the only country in the world which can do this." The bombers' route would take them through a great circle, tracking along Nato airspace before returning to a base in northern Russia. The route would be mirrored on the other side of the northern hemisphere, with bombers approaching the USA over Alaska and the northern part of Canada. They may also fly south over the Pacific, tracking along the American coastline. Michael J Gething is an air defense expert at Jane's Air Desk.

I for one refuse point blank to take sides in this petty little cat fight. I will not take sides and certainly will not be fooled into thinking that Russia is the bad guy in this and the West is the innocent party in this mess. If anything I believe it is the other way round. The west over the past few years has shown on many occasions that it is big enough and dumb enough to invade other countries under the flag of "Democracy". This is a total crock, and nothing more than a legal loop hole in the efforts of the western world to take over the rest of the world. We have a nice little fraise "Preemptive strike" which in layman's terms means Terrorism, oh sorry I forgot we are fighting terrorism in the west aren't becoming terrorists our selves.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". I leave it up to you boys, girls and you of mixed or no gender to decide where the injustice lays.

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