Denial can be a powerful tactic. War isn’t always a morality contest, if ever. It’s about winning and it’s about getting the job done to complete one’s objective. Of course, operating within the law and with honor are all encoded into the U.S. military branches, despite our flaws, but sometimes, you can deny it and get caught with your pants down. The American Armed Forces have recently released shocking news that a Russian Su-27 warplane attacked one of its MQ-9 Reaper drones. The Kremlin denied these accusations, claiming that the MQ-9 Reaper drone simply made a sharp maneuver into the Black Sea. But there is now footage that directly conflicts with Russian reports and could prove to be damning evidence regarding who exactly is responsible for the crash.
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Video Shows Su-27 Pouring Jet Fuel and Damaging U.S. Drone
A picture may be worth a thousand words but a video doesn’t require any speaking at all. Such is the case with the released video of a Russian Su-27 and its altercation with a U.S. drone near Ukraine.
It’s hard to say with complete certainty, but it’s clear that the Russian news and point of view look to be inaccurate. Rather than the film showcasing an MQ-9 Reaper drone miscorrecting or operating in an erratic fashion, the video appears to show another aircraft interfering with the drone’s operation.
It can be easy to say that the drone violated the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime, but that’s not how this started. When you break down the events, it’s obvious that whatever the U.S. military was doing in the region, it got too close for Russian comfort, and then they lied about what subsequently went on in the skies.
To go from not being involved to attempting to justify the action taken is less perplexing and more expected with such conflicts. Calling this a proxy war doesn’t feel right but it’s also a bit much to say that the U.S. isn’t trying every trick to prevent the Ukraine conflict from spreading throughout Europe.
Russia must not have read its own history. War in Europe doesn’t help anyone, it only hurts us all. Which is why the video footage is so provocative and unfortunate. It’s clear that the jet fuel and contact made with the drone hindered its ability to peacefully operate, regardless of airspace control.
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Airspaces Take Center Stage
Whoever had the U.S. Air Force (USAF) playing a major role in the future of national defense on their bingo cards, must be feeling pretty good right about now. But this goes further than MQ-9 Reaper drones dropping out of the sky. Airspace is proving to be a big deal.
There are Chinese military balloon flights to concern oneself with and the additional focus on a stronger Air Force to contend with military operations on multiple continents. National defense is also on the radar, even though, apparently, balloons weren’t always.
The overall picture is that the USAF continues to be a focal point of the present and future of the U.S. military. But this is more than just looking for balloons and Su-27s. The digital world continues to connect us and shrink the world in the process.
It’s no secret that even with the evolution of the U.S. Space Force (USSF) from the USAF, Airmen are still playing a major role in protecting communications, information, and other forms of digital warfare that are just over the horizon. Clearly, regardless of cyber attacks or traditional warfare, sometimes, being prepared in our current world means investigating and defending against direct attacks on U.S. aircraft.
The Aftermath of the Su-27 Attack
Speculation is a dangerous game. These events are still unfolding as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has lasted more than a year. One thing’s for sure, and that’s if you poke the bear too long or too hard, it eventually wakes up. Perhaps the Su-27 provocation leads to nothing, but if war is on the horizon, the Kremlin might get what it seems to want, but it’s likely that no one will come out the other side unscathed.
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