Russia, Only a 'Regional Power' -- That Neighbors the U.S.
By dismissing Russia as essentially irrelevant -- merely a "regional power" -- to U.S. interests, Barack Obama was prevaricating. After all, Russia and the United States are neighbors, and the region Russia threatens includes us. He should know that.
Or else Comrade Obama (Hey, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister said it, I didn't) forgot, or didn't know, that the U.S. and Russia are separated by less than three miles of the Bering Strait. (Yes, you really can see Russia from Alaska.) Or that Russia has a recent history of flexing its military muscle in U.S. airspace. From the Washington Free Beacon in 2012:
"The U.S. Northern Command and joint U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command said two Russian bombers violated U.S. airspace near Alaska during recent arctic war games… Defense officials believe the Russian war games simulated strikes using long-range cruise missiles against the U.S. missile defense interceptor base at Fort Greely, Alaska, as well as strikes on strategic radar systems based on the Aleutian island chain..."
And the Toronto Sun reported in 2010 that:
"NORAD fighter jets have intercepted between 12 and 18 Russian bombers per year since 2007… Canadian fighter jets scrambled to repel Russian bombers that made several attempts to probe Canadian airspace on Wednesday (July 28, 2010.) QMI Agency has learned that two CF-18s took off from CFB Bagotville to intercept two TU-95 long range bombers about 463 km east of Goose Bay, N.L. Attempts by Russia to test Canadian airspace have been going on since 2007; military and intelligence analysts tell QMI Agency the frequency has been increasing since then, but one senior official described Wednesday's event as 'not the usual s--t.' "
Oh, and these bombers (TU-95 "Bears") are nuke capable.
"One military analyst tells QMI Agency the Russians have been known to fly with nukes on board just to flex their muscle and prove to the world they are still a powerful country."
Sarah Palin was excoriated for pointing out that Alaska and Russia are neighbors -- just as Mitt Romney was ridiculed for identifying Russia as America's number one geopolitical foe. Now that Russia's actions have proved them right, and Obama wrong, will Obama receive the same harsh treatment?
William Tate is a former award-winning journalist