As the international court at The Hague grapples with the Philippines’ case brought against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, and while Beijing and Washington trade verbal jabs almost daily over the issue, the U.S. Navy has sent four fighter aircraft, E/A-18G Growler airborne electronic attack planes and 120 support personnel, to the Philippines to help train the country’s forces and patrol its airspace and sea lanes, the U.S. Navy’s 7thFleet said in a statement on Thursday.
The detachment arrived at Clark Air Base, a former U.S. military base, north of Manila, on Wednesday.
“Growler aircraft will support routine operations that enhance regional maritime domain awareness and assure access to the air and maritime domains in accordance with international law,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement.
The EA-18G Growler is a formidable adversary. It is a variant of the combat-proven F/A-18F Super Hornet and provides tactical jamming and electronic protection to U.S. military forces and allies around the world.
According to its manufacturer Boeing, the EA-18G Growler is the most advanced airborne electronic attack (AEA) platform in the world and is the only one in production today. It suppresses ground defenses for other strikes, and jams enemy radar while the aircrew eliminates the target. It also has its own arsenal of air-to-air missiles in order to defend itself against attack.
The 7th Fleet said that the latest detachment is part of an air contingent established by U.S. Pacific Command in April to promote interoperability and security cooperation. It will train Philippine FA-50 fighter pilots and support units located there.
The United States will maintain its presence in the Black Sea despite a Russian warning that a U.S. destroyer patrolling there undermined regional security, the U.S. Navy Secretary said.
The USS Porter entered the Black Sea this month, drawing heavy criticism from Moscow. Turkey and Romania are expected to push for a bigger NATO presence in the Black Sea at the NATO summit in Warsaw next month.
Aboard the USS Mason, another U.S. destroyer, in the Mediterranean on Thursday, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told Reuters that it was the U.S. Navy's job to deter aggression and keep sea lanes open.
"We're going to be there," Mabus said of the Black Sea. "We're going to deter. That's the main reason we're there -- to deter potential aggression."
Mabus spoke days after Russia criticized NATO discussions about a creating a permanent force in the Black Sea.
"If a decision is made to create a permanent force, of course, it would be destabilizing, because this is not a NATO sea," Russian news agencies quoted senior Foreign Ministry official Andrei Kelin as saying.
Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, has its own Black Sea Fleet based at Sevastopol.
The NATO summit takes place as relations between Russia and the alliance are severely strained over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis and in Syria. While Russia says it poses no threat to alliance, NATO is considering what to do to counter what it sees as growing Russian aggression.
Also increasing tensions with Moscow is the U.S. Navy's deployment of two aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean ahead the NATO summit as Washington seeks to balance an increase in Russian military activities in the Mediterranean.
On Tuesday, President Putin ordered a snap inspection of the combat readiness of the Russian armed forces, which is set to last until June 22. The move has already raised concerns within NATO: the alliance is now wondering if it is a coincidence that the test comes during its own military drills in Poland, the largest since the end of the Cold War.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered another unannounced inspection of Russia's Armed Forces to assess the state and readiness of Russia’s military arsenals.
The move by Russia comes as NATO holds the largest military drills in Poland since the Cold War.
The two-week long Anaconda initiative, in turn, is designed to check “the alliance’s ability to defend its eastern flank,” according to Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz.
More than 31,000 NATO servicemen from 24 countries as well as soldiers from Ukraine are taking part in the exercises. Around 14,000 US troops are also set to join in.
However the alliance is accusing Russia of using its drills to “elevate tension and display military prowess.”
Lukasz Kulesa analyst from London-based thinktank the European Leadership Network thinks it is no coincidence that the snap drill is taking place so close before next month's NATO summit in
"I’m sure part of the reasoning behind starting the drills is to balance the coverage of the NATO exercises in Eastern Europe and Baltic Sea area, and send a signal that Russia won’t be intimidated by the perspective of the NATO summit," he said in an interview with the Newsweek magazine.
When the democratically elected President of Ukraine was violently overthrown in February 2014 and replaced by a rabidly anti-Russian regime, not only the residents in the areas of Ukraine that had voted heavily for him (Crimea having voted 75% for him, and Donbass having voted 90% for him) were terrified by what they viewed to be a bloodthirsty new regime, but Russians were, too, because the dictators who were installed made clear their hatred of Russians and even of speakers of the Russian language – one of their first legislative initiatives was to outlaw the Russian language, but the blatant hatred there made the proposal die in Ukraine’s parliament because this new regime needed outside support, and outlawing a language spoken by around half of the nation’s population would have sparked international condemnation.
Ukraine is a nation that shares a long border with Russia, but does this give NATO a right to ‘defend’ Ukraine from ‘Russian aggression’? Is NATO trying to provoke a Russian invasion in order for NATO to have a pretext to launch a full-scale nuclear war?
And the threat that the United States and its allies were posing to Russian-speaking populations in other countries that border Russia was also being ignored by the US and its allies.
Why was General Breedlove (who hardly breeds love for oppressed people of Russian descent) mocking Russian President Vladimir Putin about the «next place where Russian-speaking people may need to be incorporated»?
Is Obama trying to force Putin to either lose face at home, or else to ‘provoke’ a NATO invasion, in order to provide NATO an ‘excuse’ to attack?
On 4 May 2016, Breedlove’s successor, US General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, took over from Breedlove, and he condemned «an aggressive Russia… a resurgent Russia trying to project itself as a world power». If the US government has a right to «project itself as a world power», then why doesn’t the Russian government possess the same right – especially in order to defend itself? The headline of that news report from the US Department of ‘Defense’ was «‘Resurgent Russia’ Poses Threat to NATO, New Commander Says», but precisely what ‘threat’ Russia poses to NATO wasn’t even suggested there, other than the vague charge of a «resurgent Russia striving to project itself as a world power».
Is General Scaparrotti trying to goad Putin to either lose face at home, or else to ‘provoke’ a NATO invasion?
But now NATO is staging Operation Atlantic Resolve, their biggest-ever military maneuvers on Russia’s borders. This includes nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, we have blatant NATO propaganda spread on German public television, asking «Is NATO expansion to blame for Crimean crisis?» and answering: not only no, but «just change NATO’s name» and we all should ignore Russia’s worries about the hostile US military alliance that has spread right up to Russia’s borders and that’s intent upon posting nuclear missiles minutes from Moscow.
Do Western leaders really think that Western publics are stupid and callous enough to believe that? Is the leaders’ presumption, about this, correct? Is this the reason why nuclear war is getting perilously close while Western publics are worried about it little if at all?
Post a Comment