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Why Russia won’t dare shoot at American planes

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Russia “warned” the U.S. that “Any aircraft, including planes and drones belonging to the international coalition operating west of the Euphrates river, will be tracked by Russian anti-aircraft forces in the sky and on the ground and treated as targets.”

This happened after a U.S. Navy F/A-18 downed a Syrian SU-22 bomber that attacked anti-Assad rebels in Raqqa province on Sunday. The Russians don’t like that their favored dictator is being attacked by U.S.-backed forces. To hell with ISIS, Russia considers Syria to be within its geographic sphere of influence.

As Streiff at RedState noted,

Note they say “tracked” as air targets, not “treat U.S.-led coalition planes in Syria, west of the Euphrates River, as targets.” Why is this significant? If Russian air defense systems “treated” allied aircraft as hostile that would entail “painting” them with fire control radar, an international sign of imminent hostilities. “Tracking” merely means allied aircraft will be coded on Russian battle management radar as hostile. They have probably been doing that since Day One.

But let’s move past weasel-words like “tracked” and “painted” and “treated.” The word “target” can mean a lot of things in the radar and military world. Just because something is a target doesn’t mean anyone is shooting. For example, right now, at this moment, the U.S. is targeting several Russian cities and military facilities with weapons of mass destruction. And the Russians are targeting us. That’s how deterrence works.

In reality, Russia wouldn’t dare shoot at us. Not on purpose, at least.

Just looking at the numbers answers the question before it’s even asked.

The U.S. has way more than double the number of fixed-wing aircraft than the Russians. We have 500 more fighters than Russia, with enough tankers to move them wherever in the world we want. Oh, and that’s just the Air Force. The Navy has another 300-odd F/A-18 Hornets and another 300+ F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

And if things got really serious, we have scores of F-22A Raptors that can shoot any Russian aircraft out of the sky before they even had the chance to “target” it.

In short, the Russians would be insane to the point of suicidal to shoot at an American aircraft.

But let’s just assume for a moment that some mistake happened, some dude who imbibed a bit too much vodka pressed the wrong button and fired an S-300 or S-400 air defense battery at one of our planes. First of all, that scenario can’t happen unless American jets fly over known Russian bases near the Mediterranean.

The S-400 air-defense systems are located at Russia’s air base at Latakia and its naval base at Tartus. The strike, which hit the Shayrat air base near Homs more than 75 kilometers away from the city of Tartus and more than 120 kilometers from Latakia, meant the American cruise missiles were safely out of the Russian air-defense system’s effective range for cruise missiles, he said. “You can more or less defend a perimeter of about 40 kilometers.”

We fired a bunch of Tomahawks right under the nose of the Russian air defense systems and they never even activated. Of course, we told the Russians we were doing it, which is actually the other reason they wouldn’t shoot at us.

Just because they told us they’re treating our aircraft as “targets” doesn’t mean we’re going to stop telling them (“de-conflicting”) we’re coming when we go to deal with threats. If we tell them we’re sending aircraft to Raqqa province, they have a few choices. They can do nothing at all. They can tell whoever we are attacking to get away. Or they can try to defend against us.

The first option is almost certainly their best option. The second option will only lead to more aircraft and exposure of their intelligence assets. The third option will result in them losing some air defense batteries or fighter aircraft. The last thing the Russians want to do is advertise the fact that their systems can be defeated by the very American aircraft they were designed to defend against.

Unless they knew without a shadow of a doubt the engagement would come out in their favor (it wouldn’t), they’re not going to engage. I know the engagement would not come out in favor of the Russians because American pilots are well prepared and well trained to deal with Russian threats.

Israelis fly into Syrian airspace more often than you think, using American-made F-16’s, and only rarely (if at all) do they suffer any losses. American air assets are at least as good as Israel’s.

The first time a Russian battery goes into “acquisition” mode on an American jet, given the latest “warning,” it’s possible Americans will go “weapons free” and destroy the battery with anti-radiation missiles. That would be bad for the Russians.

The Russians are not stupid, and they won’t shoot at us. Or if they do, they’ll make it look like an accident and paint us as the bad guys. But I think they won’t dare.

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Foreign Affairs

Being American doesn’t mean ignoring facts. Ron Paul right about Trump-Putin meeting.

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In the era of torn Russian relations, Ron Paul takes a step back and views more information than almost any pundit on air or on twitter. It’s bipartisan to hate Russian, and that causes many Americans to hold inconsistent views on foreign policy issues related to Russia.

The media’s coverage on all things related to Russia was bad before it’s terrible coverage of Trump. We need a balanced factual approach to foreign relations with Russia. Not everything is Russia’s fault. America needs a new approach to Russia, and Trump can bring that.

John Kerry spent so much time picking losing battles with Russia and the United States needs to move on from these geopolitical skirmishes. Part of this means throwing the Obama administration under the bus. Between John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, US interests in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe faced setbacks. Only then can we have a better relationship with Russia.

I appreciate Ron Paul’s perspective because, in an era of hot takes and the political popularity of Russia hating, he maintains a just perspective that embraces facts.

US Russia Factsheet

US and Russia

  • These two countries have the largest nuclear arsenal
  • US military currently miles ahead of Russia
  • Relations have ever been good
  • Both (sort of) friends with the Kurds
  • Russia largely used as scapegoat, punching bags in American politics
  • Trump administration upped military spending
  • US through NATO still practices a containment policy with regards to Russia
  • Both countries have issues with Islamic terrorism
  • Working together on North Korea issue

Russia

  • Is not a free country
  • Does not pretend to be a free country (like Europe)
  • Its people largely view the break up of the Soviet Union as a tragedy (regardless of feelings about communism)
  • Actually likes Putin, a lot (strangely)
  • Has had Putin at the helm for decades

Iran

  • Putin came out in affirmation of the Iran Deal
  • Trump remained opposed
  • This point of contention was largely ignored by the media
  • Russia and Iran are allies
  • Iran taking control of Iraq through Shia paramilitaries
  • Backs Houthi rebels in Yemen

Iraq

  • Invaded by the US in 2003
  • War lost when the Obama Administration refused to negotiate a status of forces agreement
  • Iraqi military fell apart to ISIS when they invaded from Syria
  • Iranian backed militias filled the vacuum
  • Status of Kurds unclear

Syria

Ukraine

Turkey

  • Turkey is a member of NATO
  • Turkey opposes Israel
  • Turkey provoked war with Russia by downing Russian jet
  • Turkey becoming increasingly Islamic under neo-Ottoman regime
  • Kemalism was killed in the attempted coup
  • Ergodan held a referendum to grant himself more power
  • Russia and Turkey have an arrangement in Syria to not fight each other
  • Turkey performing land grab in Syria
  • Turkey killing Kurds in Syria
  • Turkey backing its own Islamist in Syria

Israel

  • Trump administration the most Israel-friendly administration in US history
  • Russia opposes Israel on a geopolitical level (along with most US allies)
  • Russia backs enemies of Israel
  • US backs enemies of Israel (Saudis)
  • Israel believed to have nuclear capabilities

Libya

  • US and Russia back differing factions
  • US played large role in destabilizing region during the rebellion
  • Terrorist that America aided attack a US consulate and murdered four people, including Ambassador Stevens

2016 Election

  • US has long history of meddling in foreign elections
  • Russian meddling had no effect on the outcome of 2016 election
  • DNC never handed over server to investigators
  • Indictments are not convictions, not even close
  • Russia should be embarrassed if that was their attempt to interfere in a US election
  • Media overplaying story because they dislike Trump

US Agencies

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Culture and Religion

Video: What is a Classical Liberal?

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A short video making the point that the Left is no longer Liberal, having traded individualism for collectivism.

In one of their first animated video shorts, the Rubin Report discusses the vitally important topic of just who is a Classical Liberal.

OUR FIRST ANIMATED VIDEO! What is a Classical Liberal?

Liberalism has been confused with Leftism or progressivism, which is actually has nothing to do with classical Liberalism. Sadly the Left is no longer Liberal at all for it has traded individualism for collectivism.

The Rubin Report
Published on Jul 10, 2018

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Politics

FCC having second thoughts about creating state-run media

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It’s no mystery to even the casual observer of American politics that Donald Trump has little love for Freedom of the Press as he repeats his claim of “Fake News” like a broken record any time the news media reports about him unfavorably . . . even on foreign soil.

Days after kicking off his recent European trip with a “Good morning to Fake News media” during a bilateral meeting with NATO leadership, Trump broke out another classic on the eve of his #SurrenderSummit with his BFF Vladimir Putin—a man who murders journalists for sport. Using words that certainly pleased his host, Trump leveled a Soviet-styled claim that the American news media is “the enemy of the American people,” a claim he originally broke out over a year ago.

A few months following Trump’s original “enemy” tweet last year, Trump’s chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, reinstated an old rule that paved the way for a $3.9 billion TV merger between Sinclair Broadcast Group—Trump’s favorite news media company outside of FOX News—and Tribune Media. This rule change paved the way for Sinclair to own enough local stations to control over 70 percent of US households.

A few months after that rule change, the FCC eliminated another rule requiring TV stations to operate local studios within their licensed markets, thus opening the door for local news to be nationally broadcast from places like New York City and Washington, D.C.
Trump’s hatred of the free press aside, the FCC was creating the perfect environment for a new state-run media. And while originally dismissing this threat to the First Amendment, Pai is now questioning the wisdom of paving the way for Sinclair’s near monopoly. In a statement released yesterday, he said that he now has “serious concerns” about the merger.

In an effort to get the deal approved, Sinclair had proposed selling off some of its TV stations in exchange for the FCC’s endorsement. However, this was little more than a shell game because Sinclair would still control those stations. So, in a “why didn’t he see this before” explanation, Pai rejected the merger.

“The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law.”

Pai’s decision could be the death-knell of the merger, but with Sinclair’s openly pro-Trump bias along with Trump’s desire to silence his critics in the media, I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that there’s still a “Dumb and Dumber” level of a chance that it could happen.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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