Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Russia Positions Spy Ship Off U.S. Coast

The reports of a Russian cruise missile deployment in violation of an arms control agreement and the positioning of a Russian intelligence-gathering ship  30 miles off the Delaware coast has raised new concerns about an increasingly aggressive regime in Moscow apparently ready to see how the U.S. President that they helped to elect will react. The ship is equipped with sophisticated electronics gear and would be able to monitor communications on the East Coast. Russia's cruise missile deployment violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987 which bans certain range missiles and their launchers. The original intent of the ban was to provide security for our Western European allies, as Russia and its Warsaw Pact allies developed missiles capable of hitting most of their capitals.

After President Obama expelled 35 Russian intelligence officers from the U.S. in December, their intelligence gathering capabilities have been significantly curtailed. The appearance of the ship off the East Coast -- not far from U. S. military installations such as the Norfolk naval base -- demonstrates their interest in continuing to engage in intelligence gathering, and perhaps cyber warfare.

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