Russia Escalates in the Western Hemisphere

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The current Russo-American confrontation over Ukraine has escalated outside of the theater. The Russian Navy is now deploying 3 ships to the Western Hemisphere, which will dock in Cuba right next to Florida.

Russia cannot count on its Navy to deter the US Navy or protect its coastline. Therefore, it can use it as a thorn in America’s side, threatening to disrupt shipping across the Atlantic and strike American ships in retaliation. Newsmax says:

Russian President Vladimir Putin is aiming to “invoke the historical memory of the Cuban Missile Crisis” by moving nuclear capable war ships into the waters of the Caribbean, according to an assessment published Thursday by a U.S. think tank.

Earlier in the week it was revealed that Moscow would be sending several Russian ships and support vessels into the Caribbean for a military exercise. The Admiral Gorshkov frigate, the Kazan nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine, the Academic Pashin replenishment oiler, and the Nikolai Chiker rescue tub are the four vessels scheduled to arrive in Cuba early next week.

The ships are not carrying nuclear weapons, which makes the crisis much less severe. Still, the ships carry missiles that could hit American installations or cities. The Miami Herald continues:

A U.S. official told McClatchy and the Miami Herald on Wednesday that the exercises are expected to include “heightened naval and air activity near the United States,” involving both Russian aircraft and combat naval vessels – the first coordinated air and sea exercise by Russia in the Western Hemisphere in five years.

“While we are disappointed that Cuba has likely agreed to host visiting Russian ships, we are not surprised,” the official said Thursday. While one of the ships is a nuclear-powered submarine, the official said that the U.S. intelligence community “assesses it is not carrying nuclear weapons, and poses no direct threat to the national security of the United States.”

The war in Ukraine is now threatening to attack American interests close to home. Both forces are so deeply entrenched that major gains are currently impossible. The need for a diplomatic settlement is more important than ever.

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