A good friend of mine sent me a piece, plus Laurent also mentioned it. Here is the excerpt.
WASHINGTON: For the first time in three years the Navy has sent three ships – including two destroyers – into the Black Sea, just days after President Biden confronted Vladimir Putin about Russian policy. The move is sure to be read by Moscow as a statement of intent as the United States looks to confront Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, attempts to assassinate political rivals and reformers at home, and continuing acts of violence against Russians in NATO countries, as well as the persistent threats Vladimir Putin’s regime has made against NATO countries.
For starters, they read how Russians will "read", let alone "for sure" such a "message". Apart from it being, as usual, a complete crap, Russians will read it in only one way they can--as a "target rich environment". Not to be accused of being unnecessarily harsh towards "military analysts" who write such a bogus propaganda, here are some last 48 hours reactions by Russians, who respond as usual by deploying necessary assets to detect, track and target US assets in the Black Sea and you don't need to know Russian language to understand what and how is being deployed. First, Victoria Kosoglyadenko is hard at work to be hurt by SU-30SMs of the aviation of the Black Sea Fleet, a feature of journalists of Zvezda TV, and pay attention to X-31 Mach=3.5+ missiles under the wings of the aircraft which flew to "meet" one of the US Navy's DDGs (I believe it was USS Donald Cook) and pilot explains in details how remote encounter happened in international waters.
Why am I describing this? Very simply put to explain that it doesn't matter who is in the White House or whatever pathos-ridden declarations from the US Secretary of State about restoring American "leadership", somebody needs to explain this lawyer turned "diplomat" that the only "leadership" the United States may provide today is either for emasculated Europeans or third world shitholes, with the armed forces and economies of a... well, third world shitholes. The only "messaging" the United States can provide to Russia is as American as baseball, flag and apple pie:
1. Destabilization of Russia's near abroad, including, but not limited to supporting both Neo-Nazi element and radical Islamism, including terrorist and separatist movements;
2. Continue to finance Russia's "fifth column" by means of NGOs;
3. Economic sabotage;
4. And, traditionally, spreading BS and, may be, killing one or two expedient "opposition" cretins to blame it on bloody tyrant Putin.
That is it. There is nothing more the United States can do, to quote one former Colonel of the General Staff of Russia:"We don't even sweat about NATO". But if it makes somebody feel good, and that is what this all is about, hey--sure. The risks of something going bad increase, but here is my point--the last American institute which maintains serious competencies is US military, which can assess risks competently and that leaves a possibility of them not committing a suicide. In related news:
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Boeing has received a licence from the U.S. government to offer its F-15EX fighter jet to the Indian air force, a senior executive said on Thursday. Boeing will compete with Sweden's Gripen and France's Rafale among others for the Indian air force's plan to buy 114 multi-role aircraft to replace its Soviet-era fleet.
So the admission is hidden in the news itself--F-35 is pretty much a flying turkey--but we knew this all along, and reemergence of a venerable F-15, albeit in a new make-up, only signifies a technological and fiscal disaster, not to mention embarrassment, F-35 has become. I guess, looking back at the American combat and civil aviation of the last few years one has to admit that those all are indications of the loss of competence by once the premier aerospace industry in the world. But never mind, once the US gets "green energy" going, boy, it will automatically right itself and make America great ag... oops, wrong slogan.