PACOM: RUS­SIA RE­TURNS TO COLD WAR

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

Rus­sian mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties and strate­gic nu­clear forces are re­turn­ing to a Cold War-era pos­ture, the com­man­der of U.S. forces in the Pa­cific said Wed­nes­day.

“Rus­sia in the last few months has re­turned to, I would say, nearly a Cold War level of ac­tiv­ity that goes to­wards our home­land, with long-range at­tacks, ex­er­cises and those types of things,” Adm. Sa­muel Lock­lear, the com­man­der, told the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee. “We also know that Rus­sia will im­prove their strate­gic nu­clear de­ter­rent on what’s thought as their east coast, which is in the North­ern Pa­cific.”

Rus­sia is also build­ing up its sub­ma­rine forces in Asia, and Moscow’s mil­i­tary forces are seek­ing in­creased in­flu­ence in the Arc­tic re­gion, North­east Asia and Southeast Asia, Adm. Lock­lear tes­ti­fied.

The four-star ad­mi­ral said in­creas­ing Rus­sian ac­tiv­i­ties, along with threats from North Korea and China, are be­ing mon­i­tored closely with in­tel­li­gence and sur­veil­lance sys­tems.

In his pre­pared state­ment to the com­mit­tee, Adm. Lock­lear said Rus­sia is “re­assert­ing it­self” po­lit­i­cally and mil­i­tar­ily in the Pa­cific.

Rus­sian navy and long-range avi­a­tion “re­cently in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly, but not above Cold War lev­els,” he stated. “Though chal­lenged by main­te­nance and lo­gis­ti­cal is­sues, Rus­sian Navy cruisers, de­stroy­ers and frigates have in­creased their op­er­a­tions and reach,” with Rus­sian war­ships sail­ing to the Mid­dle East and Europe, and Rus­sian Baltic fleet ships sail­ing to the Asia-Pa­cific.

“Rus­sian [Tu-95] Bear bombers and re­con­nais­sance air­craft reg­u­larly fly mis­sions in the Sea of Ja­pan and con­tinue op­er­a­tions as far east as Alaska and the West Coast of the con­ti­nen­tal U.S.,” he said.

An­other con­cern is Rus­sia’s de­ploy­ment of a new class of bal­lis­tic mis­sile sub­ma­rine, the Borei-class, later this year, along with up­grades to Rus­sian land-based mis­siles that “will mod­ern­ize Moscow’s nu­clear ca­pa­bil­ity in the Asia-Pa­cific,” the ad­mi­ral said.

Rus­sian bal­lis­tic mis­sile and attack sub­marines are also ac­tive in the Pa­cific, as Moscow seeks to demon­strate mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the re­gion.

The Pa­cific com­man­der also voiced con­cerns about main­tain­ing U.S. mil­i­tary readi­ness in the face of sharp Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion bud­get cuts. Adm. Lock­lear out­lined a num­ber of short­com­ings in U.S. force ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the re­gion, in­clud­ing gaps with un­der­sea war­fare ca­pa­bil­i­ties; lack of in­tel­li­gence; sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance as­sets; short­com­ings in space sys­tems; battle man­age­ment and com­mand-and-con­trol; and cy­ber­war­fare, mu­ni­tions, air and mis­sile de­fenses, fuel and air­lift.

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