Russia Challenges Obama’s Asia Pivot with ‘Top Gun’ Encounter

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Putin is going to keep pushing Obama. The more he senses weakness, the harder he’s going to push. The Taliban release only emboldens America’s enemies further.

A pivot to Asia means that you have to back up your words. If you have a history of talking the talk on Syria and Ukraine, but not walking the walk, your enemies will push to humiliate you by calling your bluff. And they can’t be stopped with a hashtag or accusations of racism or EPA regulations.

A Russian Su-27 jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Pacific northeast recently in an aerial clash not seen since the Cold War.

An Air Force RC-135 electronic intelligence jet was flying a surveillance run some 60 miles off the Russian Far East coast, north of Japan, on April 23 when the incident occurred, according to defense officials familiar with the incident.

The Su-27 flew to follow the RC-135, and at one point rolled sideways to reveal its air-to-air missile before flying within 100 feet of the cockpit in an attempt to unnerve the crew.

A defense official said the incident was a “reckless intercept” and one of the most dangerous aerial encounters for a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft since the Cold War.

The RC-135 flight was part of Air Force efforts to increase regional spying under the U.S. pivot to Asia.

Which will lead to more intercepts, until eventually a plane is taken down. Bush handled that one disastrously and Obama will handle it even worse.

So get ready for the next crisis.

  • GSR

    Hey don’t worry, our Air Force (and Army, Navy and Marines) is concentrating on mainstreaming 95lb young women “warriors” and homosexuals, and foreign nationals and cross dressers. We have our priorities right. No worries.

    • onecornpone

      Who knew when we were watching tv reruns of Mash, that Max Klinger would come true!?!

    • nomoretraitors

      Don’t forget beards for Muslims and Sikhs

      • Joe

        I have no problem with Sikhs. But honestly how does a Sikh in the military put on a gas mask?

        The 10 leader of the Sikhs would have told the current lot that males going into the national military should have their beards.

        I know this to be true, Period, full stop.

  • Hard Little Machine

    60 days tops before Putin has his air force down a US plane on purpose.

  • Douglas J. Bender

    How did Bush handle it? I don’t recall the event, myself.

    • Drakken

      The Chins forced a Navy intel plane to land in mainland China after a collision with a Chin fighter plane, and took every electronic device on the plane and interred the crew. The Chins handed the plane back in pieces.

      • Larry

        What should the crew and the American government have done at the time?

        • Drakken

          Bailed out over the sea to avoid the chins from getting it.

  • Douglas J. Bender

    Since Obama thinks Hawaii is in “Asia”, Obama’s “Asian pivot” might look something like this:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/310fzwLhkaL.jpg .

  • Texas Patriot

    Daniel,

    You couldn’t be more right about the threat of global Islamic jihad, and you couldn’t be more wrong about the Russians and the Chinese. We’ve had this discussion before and the gist of your argument seems to be that because the Russians and Chinese are our economic and political competitors, which is true, they are equally to be regarded as our military competitors, which is not true.

    The economic and political competition for regional and global hegemony among America, Russia, and China will be fierce, indeed, and there will be real winners and real losers. And at the present time there is no question that Russia and China are on the upswing, and America is on the downside of things at least economic arena. However, as you well know, the greatest threat to civilized nations throughout the world today is the 7th Century mandate of conquest and submission contained in the teachings and life example of Muhammad and his followers.

    Unfortunately, no one has figured out a way to overcome the global challenge of Islamic jihad, and the truth of the matter is that Russia and China are potentially our greatest allies in that struggle. Will we find a way to coexist and cooperate with them even as we compete fiercely with them in the economic and political spheres? That remains to be seen. But minor incidents involving increased bravado of Russian jet pilots should not be mistaken as a revival of the Cold War.

    The truth of the matter is that Marxism and Communism are dead, and no one knows that better than the Russians and the Chinese. The powerful wheels of free market economics as outlined in Adam Smith’s classic Wealth of Nations are alive and well in Russia and China, perhaps even more so than in the United States, and they are both using their newly revived economic strength to build state of the art defense capabilities. But as established nuclear powers, they know as well as we do that nuclear war among America, Russia, and China would be suicidal for all three nations. They also know that the biggest risk to all of us is that “suitcase nukes” produced by rogue states such as N. Korea, Iran, or Pakistan and smuggled into our respective cities for purposes of nuclear blackmail is the potential game-changer that none of us know how to deal with.

    You’re smart enough to understand these things, and you’re also smart enough to understand that creating an atmosphere of fear and hysteria over minor incidents does not serve the national security interest of the United States.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “The truth of the matter is that Marxism and Communism are dead, and no one knows that better than the Russians and the Chinese.”

      Demagogues still use Marxist fallacies with warmed over “modern” narratives to promote tyranny.

      The ACA and VA combined scandals evidently didn’t help you understand anything.

      • Texas Patriot

        OFM: The ACA and VA combined scandals evidently didn’t help you understand anything.

        As the inimitable Doc Holiday would say:

        What an ugly thing to say. Does this mean we’re not friends anymore? If I thought you weren’t my friend, I don’t think I could bear it.

        Why don’t you try to rephrase that, and then we can see if we might be able to find some common ground on this issue. If Marxism and Communism are alive anywhere, it’s likely to be anywhere other than the super megawatt economies of Russia and China.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          We need a new lexicon I guess.

          Russia and China are both following the logical path in what we could call “post communism” which is the same kind of tyranny but allows for compromises for various reasons.

          The ideology espoused by Marx and the fallacious ideas are not dead. The man has been discredited, but the ridiculous fallacies have not been exposed to the light extensively enough.

          Basically what we have is that every nation is modeling itself to one degree or another after a fascist economic model. Fascism is itself a kind of neo-Marxist adaptation of the ideas that interventions can generally help a nation achieve its goals economically, and through whatever other aims it wishes to achieve by having a powerful economic engine, whether or not the working man really gets what he promised.

          But that’s all communism ever was.

          If we in the USA can’t even use Marxist models (central planning and management) to take care of our soldiers and instead double-down and roll out a national healthcare plan run by completely incompetent fools, how is that any better than what the Soviets did? We’re only better off because we started off with a lot more wealth. That’s about it.

          The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Although in this analogy we do have a chance to wake up before hitting rock bottom. It’s time to wake up and realize what direction we’re traveling.

          You have to realize that ideologies applied to politics are never truly democratic and without class distinction. The people that inherited these nations are using all of the mendacious tools of the Marxists to rule and discarding the methods that were widely discredited. Post-communism is fascism. These are oligarchies.

          Generally speaking, the Russian and Chinese people do have a lot of common interests with Westerners and in free markets. The elites are not offering any of that.

          Our enemies are these regimes, not the people at large.

          I do agree that Islam is the biggest threat, but you’ve got to believe that neo-Marxists are using “multiculturalism” to attack “capitalism” which is anything that stands in the way of their new oligarchy.

          Just as Islam has a framework for systemic deception, so does Marxism.

          • Texas Patriot

            Although it’s somewhat hard to imagine in the toxic, corrupt, and dysfunctional environment of Washington, DC today, government does have a role to play in facilitating development of the various elements and components necessary for optimum economic competition in the international marketplace.

            Unfortunately, other governments around the world are playing a much more proactive and positive role than ours, with the result that we are continuing to lose millions of jobs and entire industries to foreign competition. Unless we find a way to turn that around, it’s just a matter of time until we lose the economic and technological advantages that have allowed us to maintain military superiority. If we ever lose that, it will be just a short time before we disintegrate and dissolve and into a group of feuding Third World republics totally at the mercy of the Great Powers of the world.

            The choices could not be more stark or more clear. Either we find the will and the way to get competitive and start attracting new industries from around the world, or we should begin preparing for the worst.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Although it’s somewhat hard to imagine in the toxic, corrupt, and dysfunctional environment of Washington, DC today, government does have a role to play in facilitating development of the various elements and components necessary for optimum economic competition in the international marketplace.”

            I understand the arguments. In theory a smart sovereign could be an active investor in anything. And in theory this smart sovereign could be a “positive” and “productive” player.

            We don’t have that kind of structure in our government where it can handle “smart investment” to either make monetary profits or to steer industry. We’re lucky when the government can do a decent job as client in buying products and services that it legitimately needs to perform its constitutional functions.

            The only legitimate cases for the government to even consider getting involved in economic interventions is in reaction to specific foreign economic attacks.

          • Texas Patriot

            OFM:I understand the arguments. In theory a smart sovereign could be an active investor in anything. And in theory this smart sovereign could be a “positive” and “productive” player.

            That’s not at all what I’m saying. The role of government is not as an “investor” but as a builder of the “platform of commerce” from which individuals and companies can invest and put together profitable enterprises that can compete effectively in the international marketplace of the 21st Century. Nations with lower corporate taxes, lower energy costs, greater incentives for research and development, greater incentives for investment in plant and equipment, better educated and more fit and productive workers, and a better overall environment for living and raising a family have a competitive advantage over nations without those things. Unfortunately, today America is losing the race to provide those things to prospective employers, and as a result we are losing the race for industrial investment, industrial development, and industrial productivity. And unless we turn that around, our future will be bleak indeed.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Maybe we have the same ideas but when you use certain phrases it makes me think that you believe interventions are needed of some kind.

            Generally speaking, government needs to get out of the way, but not entirely. There’s nothing we should be doing economically that we’re not doing. We (government) is interfering too much.

            We already spend a lot on education and programs designed to develop our workers. Generally that is a good thing. Our problems are that we worry so much about “social justice” that every intervention has a destructive “social justice” angle. We need to get smarter and reduce interventions while getting smarter about essential interventions that we continue.

            Probably in the end we’d agree about any given policy analysis. It’s just that I don’t trust progressives and interventionists and there are certain ways that progressives tend to talk about “growing” this or managing that and they’re talking about increased interventions, not paring back and allowing our best ideas (from the private sector) to succeed.

          • Texas Patriot

            I think conservatives generally have probably been overly paranoid about government of any kind, and the result is that the basic building blocks necessary for a modern industrial economy (i.e. secure national borders, adequate national defense, adequate national and regional power grids, adequate national and regional communications grids, adequate roads and railways, adequate law enforcement, adequate basic education, and adequate basic healthcare) are not available to prospective investors and employers. Because of these relative competitive disadvantages, America has lost millions of jobs and entire industries to foreign competition, and we increasingly become a “consumer” nation which chronically consumes more than it produces rather than a producer nation which chronically produces more than it consumes, and instead of having budget and trade surpluses, we have budget and trade deficits, and an increasing national debt that will eventually prove fatal. Barry Goldwater, whose ideas and ideals formed the basis of my conservative philosophy as a teenage Young Republican in the 1960s, would say we’ve gone “nuts”, and he would be right.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I think conservatives generally have probably been overly paranoid about government of any kind, and the result is that the basic building blocks necessary for a modern industrial economy (i.e. secure national borders, adequate national defense, adequate national and regional power grids, adequate national and regional communications grids, adequate roads and railways, adequate law enforcement, adequate basic education, and adequate basic healthcare) are not available to prospective investors and employers.”

            Those are concerns, but again I say that the government has intervened badly rather than not enough.

            Government interventions in both education and healthcare have been counterproductive lately. Some subsidies might be OK if we’re reasonable about budgets. After that, the interventions are destructive and driven by partisan politics. Which of course will happen when taxes support something.

            I’m tell in the reasons we’re getting beat is because we have parasitic unions in the USA and oppressive governments in foreign nations that are more than willing to let their workers kill themselves without offering any plans for their own nations in human development.

            In the long run, we would win in such circumstances because in theory our workforce would continue to get more productive. But in many industries we don’t thanks to the parasite culture.

            We have domestic cultural and ideological problems holding us back. We don’t really need to follow anyone. We need to stop letting other nations manipulate us and we need the liars to stop promoting these ridiculous ideas like wealth disparity is holding back our economy and other completely insane demagogic arguments.

            I think I could reason with you if we ever had time to sit down and go over some of these issues comprehensively. The difference between you and I is not that I’m paranoid about the government but I know the limits of its competency versus the private sector.

          • Texas Patriot

            OFM: I think I could reason with you if we ever had time to sit down and go over some of these issues comprehensively. The difference between you and I is not that I’m paranoid about the government but I know the limits of its competency versus the private sector.

            I think you’re right, but the problem with continuing with a corrupt, incompetent, and dysfunctional national government is that American industry will not have the assistance it needs to compete effectively with industry located in other major industrial nations. If the ideal government is a facilitator and enabler of private industry, not having an effective government is like being on a football team without an effective equipment manager, and that’s more or less the situation we’ve been in for the last fifty years. Unfortunately, the problem has accelerated in the last ten years, and unless we turn things around, we probably won’t have another fifty years.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWM08DzTuhY

          • objectivefactsmatter

            I guess my bottom line statement is the assertion that our failures are so fundamental that we won’t experience the kind of business savvy you and I would really like until we reboot our school curriculum and debunk all of these neo-Marxist fallacies one by one, not by simply harassing Marxists but by offering comprehensive proofs on the implications of each major aspect of this idea that government needs additional sovereignty over human behavior and capital to “ensure (or drive, or improve, or whatever) social justice.”

            We have to have a short and long term strategy. Luckily we’re already successful enough that it’s not too late to start.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Unfortunately, other governments around the world are playing a much more proactive and positive role than ours, with the result that we are continuing to lose millions of jobs and entire industries to foreign competition.”

            The answer is not to follow them down the same delusional paths. The answer is to respond directly to those policies that threaten us. It’s really that simple.

            “The choices could not be more stark or more clear. Either we find the will and the way to get competitive and start developing and attracting new high technology and high value-added industries from around the world, or we should begin preparing for the worst.”

            ‘We” do have the will to be competitive. The competent people (factions) are being manipulated by the politically powerful factions.

            We led the way, and then allowed foreign interests to interfere in elections and education and now we’re watching others take our technologies and best practices and using them against us while we’re worried about overcoming “collective white guilt” or “neo colonialism” or whatever it is we’re supposed to do for starting or driving the industrial, tech and communications revolutions.

            We need to work on shrinking the BS and excuses.

            “http://www.southcoasttoday.com…”

            There’s nothing he said that contradicts what I’ve said.

        • Mick

          I did not see where objectivefactsmatter insulted you. they did question your judgement, but they were not particularly acerbic or acerbic at all.

          China Scrambling After “Discovering” Thousands Of Tons Of Rehypothecated Copper, Aluminum Missing

          http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-04/china-scrambling-after-discovering-thousands-tons-rehypothecated-copper-aluminum-mis

          After reading a story like this I have to wonder how strong China’s economy is.

          I remember meeting the husband of a friend of my spouse. He was a former diplomat for an anglophile country for almost 2 decades. He went to work for a private business. His whole job was checking the books or trying to check the books of various Chinese companies and such.

          It was a simple visit by one college classmate to visit another and there were 3 F CKING cops there who arrived 5 minutes after we arrived.

          You do the math. WTFU!

          • Texas Patriot

            Mick: After reading a story like this I have to wonder how strong China’s economy is.

            They’re obviously strong enough to loan us almost a trillion dollars, and we’re obviously weak enough that we need to borrow it. We need to turn that around. There was a time when America had the strongest economy in the world and was actually loaning other nations money. We need to get back there again.

          • Jake

            Strong?

            If you recall the 1990s and early 2000s, there were many complaints about their currency manipulation. Specifically they were pegging their currency to the dollar at a fixed rate and not letting it float. That gives them an artificial and unfair advantage.

            Our weakness is the Welfare state and some offshoring and the EPA. Offshoring is the result of legitimate desires, pressure by the average citizen, the battle with the greedy unions and greed. Due to the EPA we have very few foundries. You have to go to Mexico, Brasil, India or somewhere else for many products. I have checked.

          • Drakken

            If the US cut the imports from China off at the knees, the Chins economy would crash overnight. US companies in China would find themselves nationalized and all of a sudden the US would become a manufacturer overnight because of necessity.

          • Texas Patriot

            Nice thinking, Drak. But we might be better off with a more gradual approach restoring sanity to our import-export balance. When are you coming back to the States? We may need a tough guy like you to help us get the lead out. If’s been a long time since American factories were working three shifts a day to build B-17s and Liberty Ships.

    • Joe The Gentile

      >> Will we find a way to coexist and cooperate with them even as we compete fiercely with them in the economic and political spheres? That remains to be seen.

      One of the worst possibilities for the US is that Russia and China will perceive global Jihad to be mainly the problem of the US, and therefore cooperate very little with the US over it.

      I have heard that President Bush desired strong cooperation with Russia over global Jihad but became disillusioned with Putin over time.

      • Texas Patriot

        Bush was inept, and probably out of his league with Putin. Putin respects force and uses force, both within Russia and around the world, but he doesn’t want nuclear war with the United States, and neither does China. On the issue of cooperating against the global threat of Islamic jihad, Russia has more experience than anyone, and understands the dangers better than everyone, and China is on an accelerated learning curve, although not one of their own choosing. It may take a while to develop a level of trust among America, Russia, and China, but the overwhelming reality of the common threat we face should be more than ample motivation to move things along in the right direction.

    • Jake

      I went to a presentation of the Battle of the Red Cliffs at the Beijing Opera at the National Centre for the Performing Arts just West of the Tiamen Square.

      This is just an anecdote but the guy in front of me was just so over the top with patriotism that I wanted to slug him. He was like an 8 year old in a 40 something man’s body. With all the looks back at the round eye seated behind him, I am pretty sure it was directed at me. My takeaway is that China is feeling its’ oats and they have a patriotism that we don’t have in America. Talk of American exceptionalism is verbotten in America.

      I would not have believed that China was our adversary in the 1980s or 1990s, but I believe it now.

      • Texas Patriot

        I totally agree that reviving America’s sense of nationalism, patriotism, and international competitiveness in the economic sphere will be critical to our survival going forward, but it does not necessarily mean that we will need to be military adversaries engaged in constant confrontations with our competitors. Positive and constructive economic competition can actually be good for America, Russia, and China, and there is every reason to suppose that we will be able to learn as much from them as they have obviously learned from us.

        • Jake

          “I totally agree that reviving America’s sense of nationalism, patriotism”

          That is about all I agree with you.

          My spouse is from one of those countries. I do not want a f_cking war. But acting like a beta male will get you rolled.

          After the USSR fell and we did not try to put Russia under duress, you would think we would have “earned” good will. We got jack.

          The only thing we did wrong was get involved in the Yugoslav war for the wrong reasons. Clinton needed a distraction and the putrescent Europeans could not take on 2nd or 3rd rate military in their own backward.

          We did nothing when Slovenia broke away. It was resolved in about 2 weeks. So maybe we should have done nothing. But that was a harbinger of things to come and Foggy Bottom was doing something. Twerking?

          We sat by went Croatia and Serbia went at it. We should not have sat by. We should maybe not send troops but we should have threatened the someone within a an inch of their lives and moved enough troops to make the threat credible. If we had done so maybe there would have been no ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.

          Clinton only went in because he needed a military triumph as much as Claudius needed one in days gone by. That and he needed to wag the dog. We did not go in for the right reasons.

          We should have been able resolve the situation with diplomacy, but who is going to take Carter, Clinton or Obama seriously?

          We left Serbia worse off, created jihadis & pizzed off Russia. Russia has cared about Serbia for at least a 100 years if not more.

          • Texas Patriot

            Jake: My spouse is from one of those countries. I do not want a f_cking war. But acting like a beta male will get you rolled.

            Perhaps you’re more worried about acting like a beta male than I am. From my standpoint, war is a serious business, and no nation ever won a war by pretending to be tough or going to war over things that are were not directly and materially related to their national security. Little dogs have to act tough so they strut around and bark a lot. Big dogs don’t bark a lot and they never strut around. But they always win the fight.

          • Jake Beta

            Me a beta male? Could be.

            But what causes more anxiety? Being a beta male in a country led by Santa Claus politicians, who continually raid the kitty and where the dominant party keeps forwarding poseurs or being a beta male in a normal country?.

          • Texas Patriot

            Anxiety never killed anybody. Just speak softly and carry a big stick, and if you have to fight, make sure you’re in a position to win and win quickly. There are no winners in long wars.

          • Jake Beta

            Here is remedial reading for you. May you become wiser.

            http://www.sciencedaily.com/

          • Texas Patriot

            Jake Beta: May you become wiser.

            Thanks. I always welcome the opportunity for that!

    • Daniel Greenfield

      The first step has to be to discuss how Russia regards us, not how we regard Russia.

      • Texas Patriot

        Russia regards America as the winner of the ideological battle of the Cold War but the clear loser on all other fronts.

  • Mel

    “Bush handled that one disastrously ”

    Okay, but what should we have done?

    Should the crew have ditched in the sea?

    Should Bush have had the carrier at Yokosuka, Japan immediately weigh anchor and steam for Hainan as a show of force and a threat?

  • nomoretraitors

    I hope the USAF blows one of these commie b*st*rds out of the sky

    • Texas Patriot

      Daniel, you’ve found your audience!

    • http://oddhammer.com/tutorials/debt_clock/US_debt_clock_dynamic.swf John Barleycorn

      WW3 coming right up !!