It is now becoming tired routine but "sending messages" it seems has become US' Modus Operandi when dealing with Russia.
The U.S. Air Force is now operating MQ-9 Reaper drones from Romania, expanding its intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance reach in Europe. U.S. Air Forces Europe-Africa Command announced Tuesday that approximately 90 airmen have begun their new NATO support mission at Romania's 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii. "The forward and ready positioning of our MQ-9s at this key strategic location reassures our allies and partners, while also sending a message to our adversaries, that we can quickly respond to any emergent threat," Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and Air Forces Africa, said in the release.
The main issue here is this puzzle: what is the message? I assume that 230 mph slow drone, capable to launch "whole" 25-kilometer range guided munition should terrify Russians. In reality, it is nothing more than trying to self-medicate and simulate some sort of activity for the consumption of the NATO members. Of course, gathering intel is always a worthy cause but the issue here is that Russia sees every aircraft at all Europe's airfields even before they take off. So, militarily this move is primarily for propaganda purposes, BUT there is one contingency which must not be discounted.
The United States is desperate to involve Russia into something big (relatively) and the only semi-realistic path to that is to set-up provocations in Transdnistrya against Russians, including 2000 Russian peacekeepers. False flags seem to offer more promising results than mere moving laughable drone assets around the Black Sea and that, if provocation succeeds, may involve a serious Russian reaction. The United States is desperate for serious Russia's reaction. It is the only way the US conducts its foreign policy, because direct confrontation with Russian means the end of US presence in Europe and de facto the end of NATO, in case nuclear escalation could be avoided. So, it is, in the end, about Ukraine which, in case of any harm to Russians in Transdnistrya, gets into serious trouble. I am not going to speculate on the scale of these troubles but Russia can "solve" the issue of Transdnistrya once and for all. But, judging by the latest events in the US, considering a good probability of chaos spreading, who knows, in coming years, if not months, the concern for safety of US nuclear arsenal and people in charge of it, could become an overriding concern. But then again, I am on record for years that the United States is ungovernable and we can see indications of that today, live.