US Dispatched Destroyers As Russian & Chinese Warships Appeared Off Coast of Alaska

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A large joint Russia-China military drill, described as unprecedented in size, took place off the coast of Alaska, sparking alarm in the Pentagon.

In response the US dispatched four navy warships and aerial assets to the same waters near Alaska’s Aleutian islands.

“The ships, which never entered U.S. territorial waters and have since left, were shadowed by four U.S. destroyers and P-8 Poseidon aircraft,” US defense officials said.

The exact time and location of the incursion have not been made public, and information about the event is still being declassified.

ZeroHedge reports: The drills by Washington’s most powerful nuclear-armed rivals was called in The Wall Street Journal “the largest such flotilla to approach American shores” in recent history, but it never entered American territorial waters.

It was revealed by US defense officials in a Sunday morning WSJ report, which detailed that “Eleven Russian and Chinese ships steamed close to the Aleutian Islands,” and further, “The ships, which never entered U.S. territorial waters and have since left, were shadowed by four U.S. destroyers and P-8 Poseidon aircraft.”

One analyst and retired Navy captain cited in the report said it was “a historical first” and “highly provocative” – particularly given the backdrop of the raging Ukraine war and rising Taiwan tensions. The flotilla came close to Alaska last week but has since left, US officials indicated.

Alaskan Senator Dan Sullivan (R) said in a Sunday Fox News interview that Congressional leaders were briefed by the Pentagon last week when the Chinese and Russian ships were patrolling.

He explained: “Whether you live in Alaska like I do, or on the East Coast of the United States, a very large surface action task force between our two main adversaries, probing very closely to United States shores is concerning.”

“It just solidifies this idea that we’ve entered a new era of authoritarian aggression led by the dictators in Beijing and Moscow who are increasingly aggressive,” he added, striking a hawkish tone. However, he failed to mention the very regular US naval and aerial patrols not far off mainland China, as well as in the Taiwan Strait – somewhat parallel to moves now being made by China and Russia near Alaska. Beijing likely sees itself as merely “answering” the prior US naval provocations in places like the South China Sea.

Both sides of the rivalry, in conducting such ‘threatening’ joint drills and flotillas tend to emphasize that such patrols only take place in international waters. The Pentagon regularly touts its “freedom of navigation” operations in China’s own backyard

But the Pentagon’s response to this China-Russia provocation was something Sen. Sullivan has described as equally unprecedented, given that multiple US warships were quickly dispatched in Alaskan waters:

“We ramped that up significantly. Four U.S. destroyers and air assets, P-8’s, that were tracking and monitoring this large-scale Russian-Chinese task force quite closely. So that is a significant improvement,” said Sullivan. “That’s a lot of naval power up here demonstrating American resolve.”

Niamh Harris
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