A high-ranking official with the Russian Federation, which has raised eyebrows with its military activities not just in its annexation of Crimea and the ensuing conflict with the Ukraine, announced the new plans, which would see long-range bomber patrols that span the globe.
"In the current situation we have to maintain military presence in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said, according to Military Times. The "situation" he speaks of stem not just from general tensions between Russia and the West, but from recent accusations by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Russia was once again amassing troops in eastern Ukraine.
If you're wondering if this is a good reason to start freaking out and heading for that old bunker in the back yard, here's something that might hasten your relocation. Even at the heights of the Cold War, Russia never flew bomber patrols over the Gulf, an anonymous, but senior, official with the US military told Military Times.
Officially, US Department of Defense doesn't seem too freaked. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren didn't call the patrols a Russian provocation, saying the country had a right to operate in international waters and airspace, although he did stress that the country should patrol safely and obey international law.
According to a defense analyst, though, this may merely be some (very aggressive) saber rattling on the part of the Russians.
Ian Kearns, the director of London-based European Leadership Network, told Military Times that Russia is just trying to make its military "more visible and more assertive in its actions" and that these flights "aren't necessarily presaging a threat."
"They are just part of a general ramping-up of activities," Kearns said.
What are your thoughts on this? Are Russian bombers in the Gulf and Caribbean worth worrying about? Have your say in Comments.