April 12, 2018

Dangerous Times 1. Mediterranean - US/UK-Russia - Probing Short of Confrontation

Business Insider Australia, April 12, 2018 reports regarding US preparations to fire Tomahawk missiles at Syria and Russia's show of force:

“...Russia’s navy appears to have responded to President Donald Trump’s warning that US missiles are headed to Syria, as well as the US Navy’s deployment of an aircraft carrier to the region.

The Russian military has said it is tracking the movements of the US Navy. In the past, the US has used Navy ships to attack Syria.

Eleven Russian navy ships were seen leaving [Tartus] a port in Syria, but an expert said it could be a bluff...”

Russia's Sputnik News adds April 11, 2018:

"...According to the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper, British submarines have been ordered to move within [Tomahawk] missile range of Syria, as strikes against the Assad regime are expected as early as Thursday night..."


Anonymous said...

It just boggles the mind to read veiled threats casually issued on Twitter as if a potential confrontation between 2 nuclear superpowers is just a laughing matter. Something that never occured even during the darkest hours of the Cold War or the Cuban crisis. It's nuts.

Peter Coates said...


Yes Trump is not helped by:

- half of his staff being Manhattan yokels who I label "Hillbillies"

- the other half being neocon extremists (including
: National Security Advisor Bolton (of course) and joining him
: the incoming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who being outgoing CIA Director is also
dominating the picture that reaches Trump.

With Trump being both Ignorant Hillbilly and Extremist.

But can the surprising Trump SCARE Russia, China and North Korea into making concessions?


Peter Coates said...


I hereby dub Trump and all his kin The Capital Hillbillies

Twice as rich and half as smart as their Beverly ancestors - noting the new National Anthem




Josh said...


Those Russian ships were predominantly supply types. The most significant offensive surface ship was one of their new frigates. One Kilo also put to sea, with apparently one being left behind for the moment based on the satellite picture. This probably is less of a patrol or offensive threat than simply clearing the port such that the ships aren't sitting ducks were the conflict to escalate to US attacking Russia assets.


Anonymous said...


Peter Coates said...

Hi Josh

Evacuating Russian ships from Tartus, Syria is a plausible Russian reaction. Russian air assests, for ASW and against surface ships, might be other forces to factor in.



Peter Coates said...

Thanks KQN

http://www.businessinsider.com/uk-submarine-russia-tracked-before-syria-strikes-2018-4 seems primarily based on a face-saving Russian beatup. The beatup being to obscure Russia's seeming powerlessness to stop the US, UK, French missile strikes on Russia's allie, Syria.

http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/attacks-on-syria-provided-unsurpassed.html puts the Russian inability in perspective

So, if the Astute class sub needed to pass through the narrow Strait of Gibraltar OR even more so pass surfaced through the Suez Canal then the Russians or any other navy could easily catch the Astute SSN in the mouth of the Strait or Canal.

The Astute can then be constantly tracked by constant Russian Active Sonar detection from Russian submarine "pings",

and to keep up with the fast moving Astute by Russian helicopters "dipping", surface ship "pings" and MPA sonobuoy pings.