“Obama Will Be Tested”, Biden Said.
Remember when Vice-P Joe Biden said that Obama would be tested in the first six months of his administration? Well, it’s been six months. Where’s the test? Could it be the two Russian submarines cruising just 200 miles off America’s Eastern Shores?
This follows Russian Navy exercises off the coast of Venezuela last summer and a visit by two of their destroyers to Cuba in November of 2008, just about election time in the States. It’s such a rare event that Defense Department officials “expressed wariness over the Kremlin’s motivation for ordering such an unusual mission.” MARK MAZZETTI and THOM SHANKER Published: August 4, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/world/05patrol.html?_r=1
The New York Times online further reported that:
“Any time the Russian Navy does something so out of the ordinary it is cause for worry,” said a senior Defense Dept. official.
“I don’t think they’ve put two first-line nuclear subs off the U.S. coast in about 15 years,” said Norman Polmar, a naval historian and submarine warfare expert.
According to Defense Department officials, one of the submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The location of the second remained unclear. (oh great!) Parenthesized expressions are my own.
One official said it headed south toward Cuba while another said it headed north. Let’s hope somebody knows where it actually is.
The funny thing is that Russian Pres. Medvedev called Obama Tuesday to wish him a happy birthday. (And by the way, Mr. Obama, we sent you two of our best subs for your birthday.)
Not to worry, though, because these Akula II subs are quieter than the older variant and shouldn’t disturb aquatic life or the delicate ecology of the sea. The Russians were careful to send their newest, most advanced sub which is capable of carrying torpedoes for attacking other submarines and surface vessels (whose, I wonder? ) and missiles for striking targets on land and at sea.
Even though the New York Times reported that one Defense Dept. official said one sub went south, while another official said it went north, the Times also reported in the same article that,
“We’ve known where they were, and we’re not concerned about our ability to track the subs,” the official added. “We’re concerned just because they are there.”
Huh? Now where exactly is that second sub?
I hope no one loses any sleep over this because Obama is sure to pass the test with flying colors (no pun intended) just like he’s passed every other test in his brief six months in the White House.
Notes: The Akula II class vessels are considered the quietest and deadliest of Russian nuclear-powered attack subs, built to engage surface taks forces and coastal facilities. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/971.htm
Although technically able to successfully deploy their long-range nuclear missiles while moored at their docks, Soviet doctrine for these vessels was to have them attack North America while submerged under the arctic circle, avoiding the traversal of the GIUK gap to remain safe from enemy attack submarines and anti-submarine forces. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_class_submarine