December 11, 2007

Asleep at the Switch?

Like many folks, I’ve basked in the glow of glasnost for the past few years. Even with the ascent of ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin, I was not overly concerned. And it’s been interesting to witness the recovery of the Russian economy.

I didn’t even pay attention – nor did most mainstream media – when Defense News reported that the Russians had indicated last summer
that they planned to reassert their military presence near the perimeter of NATO countries.

Last Thursday, however, I was startled to read a simple four-line report in the Wall Street Journal that said:
Russia sent an aircraft-carrier group to the Mediterranean, part of efforts to expand its military presence and flex its economic might.

I found nothing more in the Journal and jumped to the New York Times on-line, where I found
one short article.

The most
comprehensive information I located was contained in Defense Update, an on-line publication headquartered in the United Kingdom. It notes that the aircraft carrier Kuznetsov, which leads the 11-ship group, will work out of a Syrian port. The Israelis apparently have expressed concerns that Iranian submarines also may soon be serviced by the Syrian port facilities at Tartous.

It will be interesting to see how much play – if any – this turn of events gets in U.S. media.

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