Governor Palin Shines Light on Russia’s Arctic War Games

Governor Palin sent out a link on Facebook this evening, to an article written by Bill Gertz about the recent arctic war games conducted by Russia. She also posted the following comment:

On the campaign trail four years ago I talked about Alaska’s strategic location on the globe, the potential for future conflicts over arctic transportation lanes and resources, and the crucial need to keep our eye on Putin’s activities. Later I spoke out against Obama’s egregious decision to cut back Alaska’s missile defense systems. Please take a look at this article about Russia’s arctic war game exercises earlier this month. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who was paying attention four years ago. Maybe now we should ask the President if this is what “more flexibility” means.

Via the Washington Free Beacon:

Russian strategic nuclear bombers threatened U.S. airspace near Alaska earlier this month and F-15 jets responded by intercepting the aircraft taking part in large-scale arctic war games, according to defense officials.

The Russian war games began the same day President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a frosty summit meeting in Mexico June 18.

U.S. officials said the arctic exercises over the Russian Far East and Pacific appeared to be a further sign of Russia’s hardening posture toward the United States.

The Obama administration made no protest of the bomber intrusions, according to the officials, in line with its conciliatory “reset” policy of seeking warmer ties with Moscow.

About 30 strategic nuclear bombers and support aircraft took part in the war games that continued through June 25. The aircraft included Tu-95MS Bear H and Tu-160 Blackjack nuclear-capable bombers, along with Il-76 refueling tankers, A-50 airborne warning and control aircraft, and Su-27 and MiG-31 jet fighters. Some 200 troops also took part in the Russian Strategic Aviation forces exercise.

A spokesman for the joint U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense command in Colorado Springs, which monitors air defense intrusions, had no immediate comment. A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment.

U.S. and Canadian F-15 and F-16 jets were involved in the intercepts that took place near the Air Identification Zone surrounding Alaskan airspace over the northern Pacific. 

The exercises are part of increasingly aggressive Russian military activities in the arctic region in both the eastern and western hemispheres, which have created security worries among governments in northern Europe and Canada.

One official said the failure to publicize the threatening bomber maneuvers might have been related to Obama’s overheard promise in March to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev of “more flexibility.”

According to the defense officials, the arctic bomber exercises are part of Russian efforts to assert control over vast areas of the arctic circle that are said to contain large mineral and oil deposits.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former Alaska North American Aerospace Defense commander, said the Russian exercises should be a concern.

“The Russians continue to exercise our air defense identification zone, which shows Mr. Putin loves to let President Obama know that they still have global capability,” McInerney said in an interview. “So much for reset.”

McInerney also said the Obama administration kept the encounter between the bombers and U.S. fighters secret because “they obviously don’t want the world to know that the exercise was done deliberately to coincide with the Obama-Putin summit.”

Obama and Putin met in Los Cabos, Mexico June 18 in what aides described later as a “businesslike” encounter. The two leaders, however, were shown in video and photos as unsmiling and displaying a cool demeanor toward each other.

You can read the entire article here.



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