According to a report from Fox News, the U.S. was forced to scramble two F-22 stealth fighters on Monday when a couple of Russian bombers – each of them capable of delivering a nuclear strike – flew within a 100 miles of Alaska’s Kodiak Island. Officials told the network that two Russian Tu-95 bombers violated U.S. airspace, the first time Moscow has done so since President Trump took office.
The officials said that the American jets intercepted the bombers and flew alongside them for a few minutes before the Russians headed back to their base.
Fox News reports that the last time Russian bombers invaded our airspace was in the summer of 2015, when two planes came within 40 miles of California.
So, what the hell is going on here?
To us, a lot of what’s been happening over the last couple of weeks can be explained in this way: Our geopolitical foes – Assad, Putin, and Kim, to be precise – have mistaken Donald Trump’s nationalist philosophy for weakness. They, like many of Trump’s conservative critics, thought our new president was naive. That he could be taken advantage of. That he was without any center of morality whatsoever, and would thus allow them to get away with (literal) murder.
Trump’s horror at the Syrian chemical attack was not a put-on, but we have a feeling that the retaliatory strike was not driven by emotion. Rather, Trump decided it was time to send a message: Yes, I would love to let you guys fight it out while I concentrate on America’s national and economic security. No, I am not so committed to isolationism that I’m willing to ignore your atrocities.
It’s just a theory. We could be wrong. The horror stories may be true; Trump may have been hijacked by the “establishment,” and that’s all there is to it. If we’re neck-deep in foreign wars by the end of summer, we can probably be assured that this is the case.
For now, though, Trump still seems to be committed to finding a diplomatic path when it comes to Russia, Syria, and North Korea. What he’s not willing to do is simply bring all our troops home and leave our allies to fend for themselves. He’s not willing to stand by and let Russia or China assume America’s leadership mantle. This has come as a surprise to Putin, Kim, Assad, and many of Trump’s own supporters.
Clearly, though, these enemies still think they can push Trump further than any previous American president.
We hope it doesn’t take World War III to prove them wrong.