Two Russian nuclear submarines are discovered patrolling in waters off the eastern coast of the United States, a move that is seen as a throwback to cold war tactics.
At the height of the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union, it was common practice for one country to park nuclear-armed submarines just outside the territorial waters of the other. After the Cold War ended, there was no need to demonstrate military prowess, and the practice of positioning nuclear submarines near the operational waters of the other side was thought to have ended.
It now appears that the Russian Federation is interested in reengaging in this dangerous practice of lurking about.
"A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military," the [i]New York Times [/i]reported on Tuesday.
The move is a surprise to American defense officials, as the collapse of the Soviet Union had damaged the military capabilities of the Russian military, particularly the support of a long-range submarine mission of this kind.
“I don’t think they’ve put two first-line nuclear subs off the U.S. coast in about 15 years,” Norman Polmar, a naval historian and submarine warfare expert, told the New York Times.
The Pentagon is monitoring the submarines. One was parked in international waters 200 miles off the east coast on Tuesday, but the location of the other submarine was not reported.