What should the US do about Soviet...er Russian...military aggression?

It’s been in the news a lot late. Russian planes buzzing US air craft or naval vessels. This was something that happened routinely (on both sides) during the Cold War with the Soviets. However, lately the Russians have been particularly aggressive to the point of recklessness. If you haven’t been following events, here is a CNN article to get you up to speed on what’s been happening:

30 feet probably sounds like a lot to someone who isn’t familiar with this (or even still measures things in ‘feet’ at all :p), but that’s recklessly close. One twitch and that plane is going to slam into the ship at high speed. Same goes for the guru doing a barrel roll over a US recon plane…that sort of thing LOOKS good in Top Gun, but in the real world it’s incredibly dangerous since not only does the Russia pilot need to be precise but he has to assume the US pilot isn’t going to panic and deviate from his flight path (and that no wind sheer or other environmental factors change the equation).

So, the question is, what should the US do about this…if anything? They are talking about a ROE change…a Rules of Engagement change…that will allow for more latitude for US vessels and air craft in these situations. Not sure that this would be a great idea though…could end up with something like what happened in Turkey where a Russian jet was shot down when it closed in on the border (as they had been doing in much the same way they have been pushing on us and other NATO allies recently…hm…).

My thought was perhaps passive means to keep the Russians from getting so close. Perhaps deploy something like barrage balloons from the ships when Russian air craft are in the vicinity…if the Russians fly within, say, 200 feet of the ship they risk hitting the wires and destroying their air craft. Totally their fault too as we didn’t do anything more than launch a few balloons. :stuck_out_tongue: More seriously though, I’m not sure what measures we could or should take so figured I’d ask you 'dopers for your thoughts on this. Should the US do anything about this, or just ignore it and hope that the Russia pilots don’t fuck up or have bad luck and cause a major incident?

As I understand it, the Russians know the rules perfectly well and are deliberately playing the game as provocatively within the legal boundaries as possible so as to not permit US shoot-down.

Maybe U.S. warships and aircraft can utilize some form of non-lethal response - supposedly, AESA radars can cause focused damage to Russian electronics?

We ignore them until the inevitable collision. Then we publicly express sorrow that so much loss of life and damage was caused by shoddy, marginally airworthy Russian hardware. In particular, we publicly express our condolences to the Russian pilot’s family that such a fine young man was forced to take to the air in a crate like that.

Nothing, who cares if they buzz us? Countries need to think less with their dicks and more with their brains. Ignoring Russia will not lead them to invade countries on the assumption the US is too cowardly to defend its allies. Narratives like that serve a journalistic purpose to frame it in a way easy to digest for the average reader. I don’t think it has any basis in reality.

The US should ignore all harmless provocations from Russia and evaluate each potential conflict without resorting to try to “show up” anybody.

We send David Cross to Russia to perform a singing telegram to the tune of “My Way” in the character of Mikhail Gorbechev addressed to Vladimir Putin, regretfully informing him that the Cold War is over and the Warsaw Pact has been disbanded, and while he’s free to harry non-NATO states and assert historical rights in the Crimea like Britain petulantly insisting that Gibraltar is still somehow a British possession, if he stars eyeing NATO member countries then we’ll hire Tony Hale to start doing embarassingly bad impersonations of him on YouTube.com until he stops, and if that doesn’t do it we’ll bring in Judy Greer to perform a mocking potrayal of Yekaterina Putina.

A few more incidents like this and we can get another season of Arrested Development out of it, or at least a three episode story arc of Archer. Tell me this isn’t a great idea. I dare you.

“Vladimir, why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself!”


Well, maybe that Chinese J-8 buzzing the EP-3 in 2001 got what was coming to it.

How about:

*Nothing, who cares if America is in the Baltics? Russia needs to think less with its dick and more with its brain. Ignoring the US will not lead to the assumption Russia is too cowardly to defend itself. Narratives like that serve a journalistic purpose to frame it in a way easy to digest for the average reader. I don’t think it has any basis in reality.

Russia should ignore all harmless provocations from the US and evaluate each potential conflict without resorting to try to “show up” anybody.*

I don’t think you are grasping the issue here. It has nothing to do with international dick size or strawmen about cowardly lion-esque behavior. We are talking about a Russian pilot flying a jet fighter going hundreds of miles an hour about 30 FEET from a US naval vessel, and another pilot doing basically a barrel roll over another US recon air craft. Clearly you don’t grasp the implications of these actions in terms of where they sit on the danger meter, so consider whether it would be ok for you to drive your car on the freeway at 90 miles an hour about an inch from the semi you are trying to draft off of. Think that is cool? If the driver of the truck took exception to you doing this would it be about dick size or him being too passive?

Appeasement should work.

Ignoring them is not appeasement, it is simply maturity.

Nobody wants to respond to the post wearing a $6000 suit? C’mon!

Actually, that’s a point: how would a President Trump have reacted?

And how would that have worked out?

Like a guy wearing a $8,000 suit is going to ignore the Russian invasion and annexation of parts of Ukraine but declare war over airplane noise. Come on!

Trump: [to a group of migrant workers] “Who wants to help me build a wall…” [workers show interest] “…to keep Mexicans out of America?” [workers throw garbage at him] “Alright, alright! … Who wants to help me build a wall for no reason? It’s a different wall!”

Clearly, we need to teach those Russians a lesson. A lesson about humility and consideration, and…Hey, his arm! His arm came…off.

“And that’s why you don’t buzz an aircraft carrier, Vladimir.”


Trump might well do exactly that. His mind, if that is not too strong a word, works that way.

“Crimea. Do I own any hotels there? No? Then fuck 'em.”

What do we tell the families of the American sailors or airmen?

“What was that? Did you say Crimea River?”

Our military options against Russia were limited significantly when highly classified pictures of WMD sites turned out to be pictures of balls.

Probably. And back then, I called for the US to make an apology to get our plane back even though it wasn’t out fault.

That too

They didn’t do that for fun, they did it to scare us and prod us into some kind of retaliation. Since ultimately nobody was hurt, the US should ignore it.

All US Navy ships should be equipped with a giant boxing glove that rpings out of a hold into the path of the plane.

WTF do you expect, OP? Do you imagine shooting down these planes is a good idea? If so, where? Right over the ship? Bad idea. As they are approaching but not yet within a dangerous range? Then we’ve be accused of cowardice. As the plane flies away from a close encounter – aka shooting the pilot in the back. Sounds a leas tas bad.