via Popular Mechanics.
The escalation begins with a strategic sacrifice. Russian helicopters in Syria are loaded with fuel drums and flown on a flight profile that mirrors a barrel bomb mission. The Raptors take the bait, immolate the Russians in midair, and give the Kremlin a talking point about "slain Russian troops." Now it can say the Americans fired first and cast its next steps as self-defense.You know I love my military fiction, so I found this story rather entertaining.
The Moskva's radar spots the tankers easily as they make racetrack patterns in the sky. The refueling aircraft are 135 feet long and have virtually no defenses. They fly without escorts. The Russians wait until fate deals them a good hand—one aerial refueler from Greece is heading back to its base, over the Mediterranean. Another is loitering near Aleppo, tanking U.S. fighters. All are within range of theMoskva's 48N6E2 missiles.
The Med is crowded with warships. The United States has four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers off the Syrian coast, and part of their job is to shadow Russian warships. They've followed miles behind as the Moskva creeps along the coastline, north of their new airbase in Latakia.
And when the pair of SAMs rise from the Moskva, the crew on the bridge knows this war has entered a new, scary phase. They go into combat alert and radio to their base in Rota, Spain. By the time the news reaches commanders, the refueling aircraft are obliterated, the eight crewmembers onboard killed instantly.
But what should catch your attention isn't the story itself but the implications of a publication like Popular Mechanics even writing it.
People...people in the mainstream, not just military nuts like us....are starting to wonder if our leaders will let current events spiral out of control.
I wasn't crazy when I stated that we're close...hell, even now I contend that what we're seeing could be labeled a World War...but that's besides the point. The average citizen of the West is starting to doubt the strategy of the Obama Administration.
What is the prime example of their incompetence? No, its not the training mission to arm the rebels. It's not the failure of Iraqi leadership to be inclusive. Both those initiatives required us to have partners that were mature and ready to do the hard thing. The prime example is how long its taking to work out an agreement on deconflicting the airspace over Syria. It should be simple. According to reports, the Israeli's got one hammered out and so did Turkey. Why the US is still working at it means that they're trying to get concessions over what should be a pure military consideration. That's pathetic, childish and unprofessional.
But that's our current leadership.