Last Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 aircraft conducted a simulated attack against a U.S. destroyer, the Donald Cook, operating in the Baltic Sea. The action violated a 1973 treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union aimed at preventing “incidents at sea.” A provision of the treaty specifically prohibits “simulating attacks.” This incident was only one of several involving the Donald Cook over a two-day period.
What’s going on here? The short answer: Russian provocation. It is part of a blatant attempt to intimidate NATO, especially the Baltic States. Vladimir Putin thinks he has President Obama’s number – and he does.