July 8, 2010
Russia is continuing to fly strategic nuclear bombers near U.S. and Canadian airspace because the Russian military is seeking to maintain “the illusion of power,” the commander of the U.S. Northern Command says.
Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., who took over U.S. Northern Command in May, said in an interview that beginning a couple of years ago, Russian strategic aviation forces began stepping up training flights of nuclear-capable Tu-95 Bear bombers near or through U.S. and Canadian airspace.
“In some cases, this is about the illusion of power, where power is not quite there,” said Adm. Winnefeld, commander of the Colorado Springs-based Northcom. “They are trying to show the world that they are a powerful nation, and we’re not giving them the satisfaction … .”
Adm. Winnefeld, who also heads the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), said jet interceptors are not ordered to intercept all the Russian bomber flights. “If we intercept every single flight that comes out in our direction, then we’re really just feeding into their propaganda,” he said.
This article was posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 3:59 am