Russian fighter jet intercepts US Navy plane, putting US crew "at risk"

Again, what does that mean? What’s the context to understand that statement in? It’s a very relative evaluation that has no grounding in fundamental facts about the incident. Maybe it is unjustified and unsafe, and maybe a Russian pilot is getting grounded as we speak with the possibility of being drummed out to follow. Maybe it’s a calculated risk the Russians took, relative to the behavior the American military plane was undertaking in their backyard. Bear in mind that a US Navy plane over the Black Sea does not represent the possibility of puppy dogs, soft music, and pillowy marshmallows for Russia. See the comments by @Purplecat and @Akimbo_NOT. Nationalism is a helluva drug, and it’s one that will make you look at your own military operating near other countries and have you arguing that those other countries are the instigators. Bear in mind that even the reporting of the incident is a political act. That too, is part of this dynamic. Countries complaining about interception of their aircraft over international waters and going, “Why I never! We were just minding our business!” is absolutely a part of this. The formal complaining is such a part of the routine that it surprises me that people still fall for it. Are you going to fall for it if a soldier shoots a Honduran immigrant because, “he had a rock?”

And look, if you’re going to maintain an empire, then you’ve gotta send planes to check in on your rivals and enemies. That’s just how it goes. But if you’re a citizen of said empire, even if you agree with the imperialism there is zero reason to drink the jingoistic Kool-Aid yourself. And let’s be clear: A lot of the liberal ire being directed at Russia is just jingoism wearing a pretty blue cape. It’s actually been really interesting to watch the proliferation of blue hawks after the 2016 election, and to watch this blog participate.


It means some things are safer than others. Honestly, this isn’t the part of the discussion I thought would be controversial.

Of course, but the fact that I’m not partaking of that drug makes this a bit of a non sequitur.

This is what I was getting at–I think it is a mistake to treat all interceptions as equivalent. Think of it this way: “I drove by the school” means very different things depending on whether one drove their car the speed limit on the right side of the road, observing traffic laws vs. whether one drove 65 mph on the sidewalk when school was letting out. Lumping everything into one basket to play the “everyone does it” card is not particularly useful when you’re talking about particular events, in my opinion.

You appear to be reading in a lot to my comment that isn’t there. I’m not sure what to tell you beyond that.


“Keeping up foreign relations.“

The problem isn’t the intercepts. That’s what they should do. It’s flying too close. It’s the turbulence. There’s very big difference between escorting, and intentionally flying too close and causing turbulence to effect flight safety. It’s the deaths.

Honestly, I’m not aware of any unsafe intercepts by the Americans. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but I’m not aware of them. The only thing close was a encounter at sea a couple of years ago, where the Russian Navy released a deceptively edited video claiming the Americans almost itentionally collided with them, which was quickly debunked by a much longer video showing the entire encounter by the US Navy showing the Russian ship repeatedly crossing in front of them and slowing down in an attempt to cause a collision.


The Black Sea is international waters and borders six countries, including three NATO allies. Fuck Russian claims. They don’t own it.


Russia is not the only country bordering the Black Sea. Unless you count Crimea, they only border a small percentage of it. About half of the coastline there are borders of NATO countries.

There. I just started to read the comments for the Top Gun references.

In the incident you linked to, the Chinese aircraft may well have been the aggressor, but the US aircraft was spying on China, while technically just outside their territory. In itself, that is a provocation.


We certainly do this over Alaska pretty routinely, but I am not in a position to judge the safe vs. unsafe intercepts. I do suspect that the Russians are rather less worried about “seeming overly aggressive” than US pilots. Probably get high fives for it.

If you watch that and think “murica, fuck yeah!”, pause a moment and ponder why that might be.


And are you happy to have Bears stooging up and down the Californian coast? The Pacific is, after all, international waters bordered by 20 or 30 countries - the US doesn’t own it.


Spying on each other is a core function of every military everywhere from the beginning of time. If they aren’t doing that, they’re not doing their job. Calling it a “provocation” is beyond naïve.

You know that’s a fictional movie right?

Except for a brief time in the late 90s, they’ve done it all my life. It’s what a halfway competent military does.

I bet you also will be shocked to learn that every military with a deep diving submarine taps transoceanic cables in order to spy on other countries, including allies!

Also, militaries make plans to attack each other, and even conduct mock attacks during peace time to make threat radars wake up, so they can figure out where they are, and how to defeat them.

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You’re going to compare a by-the-book, safe intercept and escort to these dangerous and provocative maneuvers? The U.S. military generally is well-disciplined in these encounters, and Russian and Chinese aircraft and ships have a history of pulling dangerous, life threatening maneuvers. But sure, potato, potahto, being rude to someone is the same as sending bombs, whatevs!

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Well, being ‘put at risk’ is very much what military is there for so…

It’s like ‘I signed up for infantry, but never ever did anyone tell me there’d be walking and the risk of being shot at. That’s real dangerous, you know?’

I ask again, what is the intercept designed to accomplish? That is not a trivial detail. American intercepts are part of a different defense philosophy, not a more morally correct one.

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then they’ll cry like little girls if you hit them

Do you think that the US military should respond by putting Russian fighter jets “at risk” ?

Knock knock…

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