Sunday, December 07, 2014

Don't Dismiss the Idea of a Threat

Two years ago I wondered why, given our history, we'd put so many flat tops in one place on our east coast. There was some mockery of the very idea that we might be vulnerable. We might be vulnerable.

Well, this year the Russians sent naval strike aircraft into the Atlantic to practice cruise missile launches, which could have reached that Norfolk Naval Station:

Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers have reportedly been tracked near Canada conducting missile strike drills within range of targets in the United States[.]

Hover over the red dot at the southern tip of Greenland in the map in the article for the statement that cruise missiles launched from there could reach Norfolk Naval Station as part of the text's statement on targets in the U.S.

And for yuks, note the activity just off our west coast.

It is true that in wartime, we could intercept such aircraft. But until they launch cruise missiles, it isn't war. Heck, if war with Japan had started on December 5, 1941, the Japanese might have been spotted heading for Pearl Harbor and we might have reacted more effectively, no?

If we lose our post-Pearl Harbor discipline to guard against surprise attack during what we believe is peacetime--no matter how unlikely on any given day or place--we increase the chances that somewhere, sometime, an enemy will take advantage of that laxity to announce the beginning of wartime.

An enemy may very well lose their bet that a surprise attack can hurt us enough at the start of a war to allow an enemy to defeat us--as Japan lost that bet placed in 1941--but we'd still be at war. Don't give a potential enemy that hope.

UPDATE: Oh, and don't forget the Pearl Harbor-in-a-box that Russia manufactures.