Why Airspace Violations Are No Reason for Panic (Even Though the Media Wants Us to Think Otherwise)
Airspace violations are more of an etiquette issue than an act of war and they happen fairly often and do not cause any long term issues.
(By Tim Kirby, Strategic Culture Foundation) Alarmist and inaccurate journalism strikes again as CNN presents military cooperation between Russia and China as totally new and out of the blue and as some form of aggression when absolutely nothing new or abnormal is happening other than some Mainstream Media hypocrisy. But Washington should rightfully be concerned with a Russo-Chinese alliance even if their options of stopping it are limited.
The beginning of the CNN article starts off with some good ole “we said/they said” presenting CNN’s side first and in detail and then saying the Russians denied it (aka they are lying in opposition to the obvious truth). When some normal person reads this it all sounds very scary. Russia and China are flying recklessly towards foreign territory, this could bring about nuclear war right? Oh no!
Well, from just the period of March till November 2014, Russia and NATO were involved in “39 military encounters” which included violating airspace and if you haven’t noticed this did not cause total nuclear annihilation of the planet. From Independent to Foreign to Mainstream Media it seems that everyone loves to see the Apocalypse in every single airspace violation, but history shows that this is a matter of bad etiquette and gentle sabre rattling far more so than an actual act of war. Unlike the media, the largest militaries in the world thankfully understand this fact.
Just wait a few weeks or months and there will be another article about an airspace violation that implies that it was a super special rare event and that bloody war could be coming.
Speaking of fear mongering in CNN’s article they used yet another bad journalism trope – the scary impending doom connected to every military exercise done by a country we don’t like…
“The Russian-Chinese military partnership has already been flexing its muscles in the region. Last year, Russia kicked off what it described as the largest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union, joined by joined by thousands of troops from China and Mongolia.”
If the fact that you have a military does not mean you are trying to start a war then having your military practice for modern conflict so it can actually be viable should also not be viewed as an act of aggression. Every time NATO performs some kind of war games or joint training exercises the Russian media flips out. If it is in the Baltics or anywhere in the former Warsaw Pact nations it means that war is coming soon to Russian soil. If it is done in a dry area of the Mediterranean then that must mean Iran is finally going to be put to the slaughter.
Well, sorry, Russian Media, but they have to train somewhere and that somewhere is always going to imply something to some paranoid analyst. Furthermore, about half of NATO nations are located relatively near Russia anyways. In addition, we can’t forget the fact that the US/NATO face very few risks from traditional forces, so they have to train to “fight” either China or Russia, and well guess who is closer? Sorry, Russian Media, this NATO’s war games are not as personal or meaningful as you’d like them to be.
Of course, the Western Mainstream Media always writes in shock that Russia and China dare to do something totally normal like conduct a military training with another country. How dare they do what we do all the time!?
The CNN article ends with a quote from an “international relations scholar… in Vladivostok” that also doesn’t match up with reality.
“Frankly speaking, I was surprised when I read this news…I didn’t expect this action would be so bold and provocative.”
As stated above this airspace violation wasn’t bold or provocative, very few of them ever are, and no one should be surprised by Russia and China doing any sort of joint military operations.
Russia and China have been increasing their trust and have been building joint projects and trade for many years now. They have been working on the Silk Road project, they both have taken steps towards “dedollarization” and they have worked very intensely in BRICS. But most importantly and in contrast to CNN’s reporting they ARE in a type of military alliance, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
As we stand today NATO’s big challenger is the SCO. Just take a look at a map of this “Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001” and you will see that the West’s “golden billion” has met a new challenger which unlike the Warsaw Pact has truly massive economic might and multiple billions of citizens. To what degree the SCO will actually be able to function if put to the test is still very much in question but if CNN wanted to fear monger against Russia or China the fact that there is now a possible Eastern Bloc 2.0 should theoretically raise a few eyebrows and get those yummy link clicks.
If there is any news here it is that Russian and Chinese words have SLOWLY changed to “words + action”. This alliance of the two most powerful US foes could have been easily avoided if the US would have played nice after the Cold War, but humiliating and sanctioning Russia and threatening and encircling a rising China have not paid off.
From a strategic standpoint there is not much that can be done to undo the Russo-Chinese quasi-alliance. However, that which has been slowly built can be slowly undone. The US still has the Mainstream Media and the State Department, meaning they can pump China and Russia filled with propaganda and the propagandists who will preach a fearful hate-driven message about the other country. Something like, “Xi is giving Beijing’s wealth to the Russians for protection, to the gallows with him!” or the classic “The Chinese have already conquered population sparse Siberia, the traitors in Moscow must die!”
Even if Washington were to remove sanctions, start speaking respectfully towards the Chinese and remove NATO vessels from their seaways it would only embolden the SCO members as their plan essentially “worked”. If Washington wants to break up this alliance it is only possible via information warfare and trying to make a revolution or “breakaway republic” scenario happen on Russian or Chinese territory, which reminds me did any of you hear about those protests in Hong Kong?
- Airspace violations are more of an etiquette issue than an act of war and they happen fairly often and do not cause any long term issues.
- Powerful nations have to occasionally conduct joint military exercises somewhere and this is not an act of war.
There is no “new” Russo-Chinese alliance, they have been building a relationship slowly over many years and are continuing to develop it right now.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” — HL Mencken
(If you’re too lazy to read history, at least read Mencken.)