Putin punctuated July 4 congrats to U.S. with strategic bomber flights off our coast

Putin punctuated July 4 congrats to U.S. with strategic bomber flights off our coast
File: An F-22 from the 302d Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, AK intercepts a Russian Tu-95MS Bear H. (USAF image)

[Ed. – He’s a hound-dog.]

Russia gave the United States a disparaging snub this past July 4 when it sent long-range bombers off the coasts of both Alaska and California, followed by a congratulatory letter to President Obama. U.S. fighter aircraft intercepted both sets of the bombers and escorted them away — though neither ever entered U.S. airspace. …

This kind of aerial muscle-flexing by the Russians is becoming increasingly common under Vladimir Putin. British and Scandinavian jets have also intercepted Russian bombers flying near their coasts in recent months, and the total number of NATO intercepts in Europe last year topped 400 — a 50% increase from the year prior.

As the July 4 intercepts took place, Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory letter to President Obama. He expressed confidence that they could “find solutions to international issues and efficiently resist global threats and challenges as they base their dialogue on principles of equality and respect of each other’s interests.” Pentagon officials say the Russian leader is “sending a message” — in other words, snubbing the United States. The notion that Putin wants to “find solutions to international issues” and “resist global threats” is basically a joke, as his aggressive conduct on the world stage has only increased global instability. (See Ukraine, for example, which he has destabilized through his proxies, the Crimean rebels.)

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