When Nations Act Like Adolescents

I read this on CNN:

Russian bomber buzzes U.S. aircraft carrier – CNN.com

WASHINGTON (CNN) — American fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers, one of which buzzed a U.S. aircraft carrier in the western Pacific over the weekend, U.S. military officials told CNN Monday.

One of them twice flew about 2,000 feet over the deck of the USS Nimitz Saturday while another flew about 50 miles away, officials said. Two others were at least 100 miles away, the military reported.

U.S. Defense officials said four F/A-18A fighter jets from the Nimitz were in the air.

The Russians and the U.S. cartrier did not exchange verbal communications.

First, they’re Bears, and turboprops aren’t pure jets. CNN should know better, but apparently don’t.  This isn’t the first time they’ve gotten something basic wrong.

Second, on reading this, it strikes me this is very much like kids taunting adults, sure in the knowledge that adults will act with restraint while they ‘show the man’ their power.  If the Russians thought for a second we’d shoot them down they wouldn’t take such a deliberately provocative action, but a) they’re impotent, know it, and it bugs the heck out of them and b) they can count on the US ‘adults’ to not shoot them down for acting out.  Restraint is the hallmark of the modern warrior, popular opinion to the contrary.

Impotence and strength aren’t always what they seem at first glance.


  1. Ha ha! They buzzed an aircraft carrier with Bears? Bears? Are you freaking kidding me? The only danger a Bear would present to a carrier would be if the pilot decided to go all kamikaze, because after the CIWS turned it into tinfoil the debris might scratch the paint. Bed Check Charlie was a more intimidating presence to US servicemen.

    I always wonder where this sort of thing comes from… Did Putin tell his defense chief to go harass some US ships? Did some mid-level commander take matters into his own hands? Was this the initiative of the pilots? Weird.

  2. “Restraint is the hallmark of the modern warrior, popular opinion to the contrary.”

    Thank you.