Thursday, April 16, 2015

Global SITREP C1-15: Brinksmanship as Russia and NATO Edge Closer to Conflict

American RC-135U 'Rivet Joint' ELINT Reconnaissance Aircraft

Update 16 April 2015: The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific (PACOM), Admiral Samuel Locklear, testified before the House Armed Services Committee yesterday that Russia has returned its conventional and nuclear forces to the same posture against the United Sates of America as they maintained during the so-called Cold War. 

What that means in layman's terms is that Russia could launch into a nuclear war against the United States with very little advance warning. In this type of a posture any one of the simulated long-range nuclear cruise missile attacks by Tu-95 Bear bombers or fully modernized Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic bombers flown in the immediate future against targets on the US east and west coasts could turn out to be the real thing. 


In the face of Obama Administration defense cuts (Obama's new found flexibility, no doubt) the ability of the US defenses are suspect at best. Admiral Locklear testified to a most distressing litany of capability shortcomings and problem areas in US military readiness to include: antisubmarine warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, space systems, battle management, command and control (C2) as well as cyber-warfare, anti-air and anti-missile defenses, aircraft, airlift and fuel.

Details, once again, come from Bill Gertz' Inside The Ring column at The Washington Times.

12 April 2015: It has been revealed by Bill Gertz via the Washington Free Beacon that during the morning of this past Tuesday, 7 April, a Russian Su-27 Flanker intercepted and nearly caused a mid-air collision with an American RC-135 'Rivet Joint' Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) reconnaissance and collections aircraft, code named "Combat Sent," which was flying its mission in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. 

The Russian fighter missed striking the American aircraft by a mere 20 feet in what U.S. officials protested as "unsafe and unprofessional" conduct by the Russian pilot. Gertz suggests that the mission was directly related to ELINT intelligence collection to confirm Russia's recent deployment of short-range Iskander nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad and recently annexed Crimea.

The Gertz article also reveals:

"A report by the European Leadership Network, “Dangerous Brinksmanship: Close Military Encounters Between Russia and the West in 2014,” states that last year NATO aircraft conducted more than 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft, three times the number of intercepts in 2013. A total of 11 encounters were described as being of a serious and “more aggressive or unusually provocative nature, bringing a higher level risk of escalation.”

“These include harassment of reconnaissance planes, close overflights over warships, and Russian ‘mock bombing raid’ missions,” the report said, noting that the intensity and gravity of the incidents coincided with the Russian annexation of Crimea.

“These events add up to a highly disturbing picture of violations of national airspace, emergency scrambles, narrowly avoided mid-air collisions, close encounters at sea, simulated attack runs, and other dangerous actions happening on a regular basis over a very wide geographical area.”"
The continuing litany of Russian military provocations and near-miss incidents in the past several months on land, in the sea or air reads like the opening chapters of a military science novel written by the late author Tom Clancy. The critical difference here is that none of these incidents are fictional with a larger-than-life hero rushing in to save the day. 

Any one of these types of calculated incidents could result in an miscalculated and unforeseen error involving nuclear-armed opposing forces. Not everything that has occurred in world history has an associated Bible prophecy; World War II and the  44-year long Cold War (World War III) being the recent prime examples. However, these wars and current events most assuredly do serve to shape the real-world that will exist as Bible prophecies come to their fulfillment. 

This is the meaning I take from the angel Gabriel's explaining to the prophet Daniel the future course of events, wherein he stated in the 70 Weeks prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27
"The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined."
Ongoing Russian military provocations may just be ramping up toward yet another desolation of war while most of us are preoccupied with our daily lives. This is the specific purpose of the Eschatology Today blog in observing "current world events seen through the clarifying lens of the LORD's inerrant prophetic word."

6 comments:

Ld said...

Sean,

I see this am that Putin lifted a ban on shipping S-300 missiles to Iran. I am not sure if those can be nuke tipped or not? Seems like Russia is certainly taking up its role as head rabble rouser in end time prophetic happenings. Coupled with the incredibly ignorant deal our dear leader is jamming down our (and Israel's) throat, things are progressing quickly.

Sean Osborne said...

Ld,

A couple of important things about this. The UN Security Council, of which Russia is a permanent member, has not yet lifted its 2010 sanctions regime imposed upon Iran.

The JCPOA framework for a June agreement deadline will be the benchmark by which the U.N. Security Council 2010 sanction regime imposed upon Iran would be lifted.

Putin can decree a lifting of the S-300PMU sale to Iran, as he has apparently done, but nevertheless the Russian Defense Ministry is still legally prohibited from shipping the S-300PMU to Iran due to three basic facts:

1) the UNSC sanctions regime,
2) the lack of an executable contract vehicle through which Iran would purchase the S-300PMU from Russia,
3) the Russian executive who would execute the contract (if it existed), Sergei Chemezov, is himself the subject of imposed U.S. sanctions over the invasion and annexation of Ukrainian territory by Russia.

I wish global corporate media would perform journalistic due diligence before spouting a sensationalist headline and then building a narrative around the headline.

Ken B said...

It was Reuters, dude....

Nuf said =)

Ken B

Sean Osborne said...

The Senate Foreign Relations committee is scheduled to vote on Chairman Bob Corker's (R-TN) legislation later this morning to mandate a congressional review of the Iran nuclear negotiation.

Sean Osborne said...

Continuing from my comment directly above from 4:16 PM yesterday, I have a few more items to add.

Sanctions (which cover economic, financial, defense and energy resources plus a number of significant individuals who are banned from international travel) set in place against Russia and specific Russian persons over its invasion of Ukraine were put in place by the United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan, Australia, Albania, Iceland, Moldova and Ukraine. The majority here are "Tarshish and all its young lions."

Russia has also banned itself from importing any food from these same countries.

Therefore, if Russia desires to become self-sufficient in all of these areas, then it has chosen the correct path to accomplish it. Given the status of the majority of Russian people living just at or above subsistence level, this is not the most prudent course of action for Putin; he needs these countries to lift the sanctions more than these countries need Russia to exist.

Now think for a minute... is all of this worth a handful (quite literally 5) of S-300PMU-1 air defense systems and continued aggression against NATO?

I would make the assessment here that Jeremiah 49:35 is most instructive, as is Ezekiel 38:13.

It would be a rather difficult task for Iran to launch such expensive new Russian-made arrows when all of Iran's bows have been preemptively destroyed, no?

And it's not just these arrows, which true to their purpose are defensive in nature, and which Iran has not yet received. It's ALL of Iran's arrows, of which they have hundreds of thousands in a dozen different categories.

However, the certain and proper thing to be mindful of here is that throughout history, including the Biblical record, arrows have always been seen as an offensive weapon. So God will see to it that ALL of Iran's offensive weaponry of this type is taken from their ability to use.

Also, thereafter and in the near future just beyond Jeremiah 49:35, Gog of Magog will need to at least try to take from Israel what has been taken from Russia by these sanctions, no?

Is Russia being boxed into a corner from which it's only apparent escape route lies through the mountains of Israel? Not only are we seeing the portents of Bible prophecy fulfillment, but we know the background which has made the coming fulfillments possible if we are willing to look at them.

Praise God!

On final note. The sky will be moonless this weekend. That would present conditions that are perfect for a strike, and leave little or next to nothing for the as yet undelivered S-300PMU-1 systems to defend.

I'm not sayin', I'm jus sayin' ;)

Sean Osborne said...

An Israeli preemptive this weekend is now assessed as being highly unlikely.

US Congressional oversight of a P5+1 deal has bought some additional time; a slim number of weeks at best.