|Image: B-52 Bomber (Wiki Commons).|
May 13, 2014
Late last week, in what should not have been a surprise to anyone (because supposedly it was announced “far in advance”) but was a major shock due to its intensity and expansiveness, Russia held a massive “simulated massive nuclear attack” drill, coming at a time just ahead of the Donetsk referendum, which may have been pre-scheduled and for foreign policy reasons was hailed as a “non-event”, but judging by the amount of production that went into the accompanying video clip, this particular drill was dripping with symbolism aimed squarely at NATO and the US.
So now it is America’s turn to retaliate. As the U.S. Strategic Command reported earlier, the US will conduct Exercise Global Lightning 14 from May 12-16 in coordination with other combatant commands, services, and appropriate U.S. government agencies “to deter and detect strategic attacks against the U.S. and its allies.”
Stratcom was quick to point out that Exercise Global Lightning 14 has been planned for more than a year and is based on a notional scenario. It also added that the “timing of the exercise is unrelated to real-world events” but only those who believed that Russia massive nuclear drill was also unrelated to world will fall for this particular embellishment. As Defense One observes, according to Mark Schneider, a former U.S. Defense Department nuclear strategy official, told the Washington Free Beacon that Russia’s drill last week seemed aimed at sending a message of “nuclear intimidation” to the United States and NATO over Ukraine. He noted that Moscow typically stages its atomic exercises in the fall.
Meanwhile, Romania on Saturday sought clarification from Russia on its official policy following a tweet from a high-profile Russian minister that warned he might try to enter Romanian air space in a heavy bomber, Reuters reported.