Friday, April 15, 2016

Papier Mâché Tiger

I don't think we should have shot down those Russian planes that buzzed our destroyer in the Baltic Sea. You don't risk going to war because someone was being an asshat. But we did make it worse.

How did we make it worse? Well, John Kerry weighed in on the incident:

Russian aircraft repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook this week, including an incident on Tuesday when a Russian Su-24 jet flew 30 feet (nine meters) above the ship in a "simulated attack profile," the US military's European Command said.

Russia has denied the action was reckless or provocative.

Kerry, speaking Thursday, strongly disagreed.

"We condemn this kind of behavior. It is reckless. It is provocative. It is dangerous. And under the rules of engagement that could have been a shoot-down," Kerry told CNN Espanol in Miami.

What's the expression? Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. Kerry removed all doubt. Again.

To be fair, there was only an "unbelievably small" chance that we might have shot at the Russians.

Later, Kerry will probably send James Taylor to Moscow to sing "You've got a friend good tone and weapons free."

To respond I think I'd send American warships to international waters close to St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, and Sevastopol, on July 4, 2016, and conduct a nighttime fireworks show big enough to be seen from land by our Russian friends.

Just to show the Russians how close we can get to them.

UPDATE: More (via the Instapundit Borg):

“On April 14, a U.S. Air Force RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” said Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez.

“This intercept comes shortly after the unsafe Russian encounters with USS Donald Cook,” he added. “There have been repeated incidents over the last year where Russian military aircraft have come close enough to other air and sea traffic to raise serious safety concerns, and we are very concerned with any such behavior.”

Hernandez said the U.S. aircraft, a militarized Boeing 707 jet, was operating in international airspace “and at no time crossed into Russian territory.” ...

“More specifically, the SU-27 closed within 50 feet of the wing-tip of the RC-135 and conducted a barrel roll starting from the left side of the aircraft, going over the top of the aircraft and ended up to the right of the aircraft,” he said.

Is this what Putin wants?