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Опасные сближения с ВКС России будут множиться. Stratfor: Why Russia Harasses U.S. Aircraft

Оригинал взят у sokura в Опасные сближения с ВКС России будут множиться. Stratfor: Why Russia Harasses U.S. Aircraft
Оригинал взят у sobiainnen в Опасные сближения с ВКС России будут множиться. Stratfor: Why Russia Harasses U.S. Aircraft
Table. Dangerous encounters, 2012-2016

Why Russia Harasses U.S. Aircraft. Analysis. Dangerous encounters // Stratfor. 20.04.2016.
April 20, 2016 | 09:00 GMT

A Russian Su-24 jet makes a close-range and low-altitude pass near the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea on April 12. Russia sometimes uses close interceptions to deter U.S. craft without sparking outright combat. (U.S. Navy)

Table. Dangerous encounters, 2012-2016


Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, tension with the West has been high, affecting eastern Ukraine, Syria and hot spots across the former Soviet sphere. Less overtly, Moscow has been working to protect areas vital to Russian interests by raising the stakes of U.S. operations there. This has manifested in numerous aggressive interceptions of U.S. military aircraft in flight, especially over the Black and Baltic seas. The interceptions, which are reportedly occurring more frequently, aim to dissuade Washington from operating in that airspace.


On April 14, a Russian Su-27 fighter jet performed a barrel roll maneuver over a U.S. Air Force RC-135 spy plane flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. Just three days earlier, two Russian Su-24 bombers flew dangerously and repeatedly close to a U.S. destroyer, also in the Baltic Sea. The most recent intercept came less than a week before the NATO-Russia Council is set to convene for the first time since 2014. Along with the fighting in Ukraine and Afghanistan, military transparency and risk reduction — timely and relevant topics given the interception incidents — will be up for discussion at the meeting.
Not all interceptions are aggressive. In fact, the tactic is standard practice among militaries, both in the air and at sea. Around the world, aircraft and ships from a multitude of countries routinely intercept, visually inspect and escort other aircraft and maritime vessels passing through sensitive airspace or waters. Air forces, navies and coast guards worldwide regularly perform intercepts of this kind to enforce an air defense identification zone such as that in the East China Sea, to police operations such as NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission or, as necessary, to conduct ad hoc tactics. In these capacities, interceptions are almost invariably non-threatening; they are simply a means by which nations enhance their situational awareness and protect against contingencies.
But some interceptions deviate from the norm. In a deliberate ploy to deter a nation's forces from transiting a specific space, aircraft or ships may display aggressive maneuvers, harassing and intimidating targets. These interceptions resemble a high-stakes game of chicken, daring the foreign craft to continue on its route, despite the increased risk of collision, or back down.
Though the tactic carries a risk of damage to both sides, the initiator holds the advantage. Usually in aerial interceptions, a sleek, fast fighter jet targets a lumbering bomber or reconnaissance plane. The initiator of the encounter is often far less valuable — in monetary cost and in the number of flight crew aboard — than the intercepted target, raising the stakes for leaders (and crew) as they decide how to respond. As a fighter jet carries out dangerous maneuvers around it, the target is left to wonder about the interceptor's intentions and skill.
For Russia, close interceptions offer a means to deter U.S. craft without sparking outright combat. The tactic has worked for Moscow already: In July 2014, a Russian jet's aggressive flight so alarmed the crew of a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic Sea that it accidentally fled into Swedish airspace to evade the interceptor.
But close intercepts do not always go as planned. In the April 2001 Hainan Island incident, for example, a collision during a close intercept left a Chinese pilot dead, his J-8II interceptor destroyed and a U.S. EP-3E signals intelligence aircraft seriously damaged. A number of Cold War-era close intercepts also caused collisions, particularly between ships. This led to the 1972 U.S.-Soviet Incidents at Sea Agreement, which sought to reduce the chances of collision and manage escalation when collisions did occur. Further efforts to limit the risk of escalation produced the 2014 Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, which included Russia and China, as well as a 2014 agreement between the United States and China to regulate incidents between the two.
But the past few years have demonstrated that the agreements are not enough to stop such dangerous close encounters, at least not between the United States and Russia. And given the substantial tension between the two countries, a midair or at-sea collision resulting from a close interception could trigger retaliatory measures, leading to an escalation that neither side wants. Even so, as long as tension persists between Russia and the United States, the interceptions are likely to continue.

Russia's Carrot-and-Stick Strategy. Geopolitical Diary // Stratfor. 21.04.2016.
The first NATO-Russia Council meeting in almost two years went 90 minutes over its allotted time and produced next to nothing.
Apr 21, 2016 | 02:00 GMT

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his foreign affairs minister, Sergei Lavrov, await a meeting with France's foreign minister on April 19. In its negotiations with the West, Russia balances conciliatory gestures with stern demands. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
In the standoff between Russia and the West, Wednesday was a day of mixed signals. For the first time in nearly two years, a NATO-Russia Council meeting was held, opening what Russian Ambassador Alexander Grushko described as a "frank and serious" dialogue between representatives from Moscow and the Western military bloc. The meeting reportedly went 90 minutes over its allotted time — lasting three and a half hours in all — yet it failed to produce any concrete conclusions. Representatives from both sides referenced profound differences on issues such as Syria and NATO's buildup near Ukraine and elsewhere in Russia's periphery.
Although the meeting was unproductive, its occurrence is still notable. Russia has shown signs in recent days, particularly when it comes to Ukraine, that it is willing to compromise. On Tuesday, representatives from the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, the separatist territories that Russia backs in eastern Ukraine, announced that they would postpone their local elections, scheduled for this week, until July 24. Ostensibly, the delay will allow more time for negotiations. The West and the Ukrainian government in Kiev have both maintained that elections should wait until necessary security components of the Minsk peace agreement have been implemented. Russia undoubtedly encouraged — if not demanded — the delay.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed by phone on a possible arrangement for the release of Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko. Imprisoned in Russia on murder charges, Savchenko has become a poster child for anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine: A large banner reading "Free Savchenko" hangs just outside Kiev's Boryspil airport. Under the tentative agreement, Moscow would release Savchenko in exchange for two Russians imprisoned in Ukraine. This would be a significant political gesture to Kiev and the West. Though the agreement has not been finalized, it could signify even greater room for compromise on Russia's part, not only on Ukraine but perhaps on other issues as well.
But Russia's goodwill goes only so far. While it was discussing prisoner swaps with Kiev and delaying elections in eastern Ukraine, Moscow was applying pressure against the West in other areas. For instance, Russian warplanes continue to harass U.S. vessels and aircraft transiting strategic areas such as the Baltic and Black seas. NATO has called for the Russians to stop these tactics, which became a key topic in Wednesday's meeting.
The Russians have also continued their significant military involvement in Syria, propping up the Bashar al Assad government against both U.S.-supported rebels and jihadist groups. Despite repeated requests from the United States to reconsider support for Damascus, the Russians (and Iranians) reportedly continue to support loyalist offensive operations. A U.S. official informed the Wall Street Journal that the Russians have recently moved their artillery units to the battlefields of Aleppo. If Russia participates in more large-scale battles in Syria, it will be complicit in sending another wave of refugees from the country, further straining Europe.
Finally, the Russians understand that they cannot easily match the conventional military strength of the United States or NATO, so they are investing heavily in their nuclear force, which is alarming officials in Washington. Fears are growing in the Pentagon that the Russians may not abide by their arms control agreements, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces and New START treaties. There is even concern that, as tensions with the West persist, Putin may allow the testing of nuclear weapons as part of Russia's military modernization program. This development, though relatively unlikely at this point, would undermine two decades of arms control efforts.
In its stalemate with the West, Russia has apparently opted for a carrot-and-stick strategy, spanning the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and extending to conventional military buildups. Feeling out its influence over NATO's plans, Moscow will make token conciliatory gestures as well as stern demands. And negotiations between Russia and the West are likely to go on in this manner, with pitfalls and opportunities for both along the way.

* * * * *

Необъявленная война в воздухе. Как могла бы закончиться история с "Дональдом Куком" // Лента.ру. 19.04.2016.

"Дональд Кук" и "Сушки": как США и Россия зондируют друг друга // Polit Russia. 26.04.2016.
В последние месяцы армии США и России все чаще испытывают на прочность нервы друг друга, вступая в бесконтактные столкновения в акватории Черного и Балтийского морей. Эсминец "Дональд Кук", наиболее пострадавший от таких стычек, на днях в очередной раз сунулся в разведку и был "атакован" Су-24. Что вызвало приступ истерики у Госдепа. В чем причина таких инцидентов? И что стоит за активностью военных?

Минобороны о манёвре Су-27: Самолётам-разведчикам не надо подкрадываться к границам РФ // RT. 30.04.2016.

В Минобороны РФ ответили на заявления Пентагона о манёвре Су-27 близ самолёта ВВС США // RT. 30.04.2016.;

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