Russian military and political leaders certainly seem determined to carry through on Putin's recent claim that US ambitions were imperialist and a threat to Russia. The old Cold war posturing seems to increase every day. Treaties being withdrawn from, noises about a resurgent military and foreign bases, and now this:
Two Tu-95 turboprops flew this week to Guam, home to a big US military base, Russian Maj Gen Pavel Androsov said. Gen Androsov said the strategic bombers had flown 13 hours from their base in the Russian Far East during the exercise.Yes, Maude, the Russian aircraft concerned can launch supersonic nuclear cruise missiles with ranges of hundreds of miles.
"It has always been the tradition of our long-range aviation to fly far into the ocean, to meet [US] aircraft carriers and greet [US pilots] visually," he said at a news conference. "Yesterday [Wednesday] we revived this tradition, and two of our young crews paid a visit to the area of the base of Guam," he said. "I think the result was good. We met our colleagues - fighter jet pilots from [US] aircraft carriers. We exchanged smiles and returned home," he added.
Update The UK's Telegraph has picked up the story - as has neocon Ed Morrissey. Ed's reaction:
Clearly, Putin has ceased being an ally and has decided to become an opponent. The West should show the consequences of that action by removing Russia from the G-8. When the nonsense stops, he can have access to Western financial systems again, but until then, he can find out what all of his Tu-95 games has bought the Russian people.The US military is saying that the Russian aircraft didn't get within 300 miles of Guam. What they carefully aren't mentioning is that 300 miles is plenty close enough for the Tu-95, which can be armed with up to six of the X-55 (AS-15) series of long-range cruise missiles having a range of 2,000 miles.