US Ambassador to Russia Jon M. Huntsman in January demonstrated his loyalty to the Russians, plunging into icy water on the Epiphany Day. But the other day he made a statement astonishing in its tactlessness, if not arrogance and stupidity.
According to him, a powerful assault group of two Nimitz-class aircraft carriers currently engaged in the Mediterranean sea exercises, is a signal to Russia that "if it truly seeks better relations with the United States, it must cease its destabilizing activities around the world." "When you have 200,000 tons of diplomacy that is cruising in the Mediterranean, this is forward-operating diplomacy – nothing else needs to be said," Huntsman stressed.
The unprecedented nature of this statement is exacerbated by the fact that it was made not by a military, but by a career diplomat – an ambassador whose major objective is to establish good relations with his host country, by no means using threats against the latter. There is no doubt that with this statement Mr. Huntsman exhausted his diplomatic potential and went into hysterics.
Admiral James G. Foggo, Commander of US Naval Forces Europe and Africa, shared the ambassador's viewpoint. In his opinion, Russia acts aggressively in Syria and Libya, so it is important to provide civilian leaders with an opportunity to negotiate from a position of strength. One must understand that the admiral refers primarily to Moscow.
It is no accident in this regard that the statements by Huntsman and Foggo, made on board the USS Abraham Lincoln, were perceived in Russia as a direct threat from the United States and a military muscle-flexing. But the ambassador and the admiral have apparently forgotten that talking to our country by means of threats and blackmail is useless, because Moscow has a reaction for every action. Especially given its recently increased military power, which, incidentally, is recognized by almost all the western experts.
For instance, former Director of the Israeli "Nativ" intelligence agency Yakov Kedmi believes that Russia will need five minutes to destroy NATO ships in the Black sea. Speaking recently on the ITON TV YouTube channel about the "uselessness of NATO", he said the following: "They can enter the Black sea as many times as they want.
In the Black sea any ship will only be able to survive for five to fifteen minutes. The systems covering the sea with surface-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles make it a trap. You cannot do anything in the Black sea with the possible exception of being a target. The Black Sea is not a place to be seen as a battlefield today. It is a place of destruction. And this only results from the fact that the Russian Black Sea Fleet's location is the Crimea, Sevastopol." (http://www.iton.tv/art/10409/YaKedmi-Rossii-ne-o-chem-govorit-s-NATO/)
I would add for myself that Russia will be able to oppose the US Navy group which has entered the Mediterranean, with its missile ships apart from the nuclear submarines. And in this case the important thing is not their displacement, but the Kalibr missiles on board that are able to solve all the problems facing them, including the destruction of marine surface targets. And aircraft carriers are a sizeable target. Let's not forget about fighter-bomber aviation either.
Here we can only add that Moscow is trying to pursue a balanced foreign policy. Yes, the United States is deploying its aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean sea. But let us remind Washington that Russia recently signed a contract with Syria to lease a naval base in Tartus for 49 years, where the port allows delivering as much as eleven nuclear-power ships, and where the entry of various-class submarines is possible.
So, Russia has a real opportunity to adequately respond to Mr. Huntsman's "aircraft carrier horror stories". And the United States should not forget about this when it sends its aircraft carriers to the Russian shore, albeit with a hundred thousand tons displacement.
Here we need to digress and remind our readers that it was not Jon Huntsman who invented the habit of measuring diplomacy with tons of warship power: it dates back to the beginning of building American Nimitz-class aircraft carriers about half a century ago. All the aircraft carriers of this type with a hundred thousand tons displacement received a dashing nickname from their developers - "100 000 tons of diplomacy." Over time the phrase has become proverbial and is used, for instance, on t-shirts
But t-shirts are one thing, and the real threat to Russia from the US Navy in the South is entirely different. For this very reason the last few years saw Moscow repeatedly talking about the unprecedented activity of NATO, primarily the United States, next to its western and southern borders. The Kremlin, in particular, has over and over explained that Russia does not pose a threat to anyone, but at the same time it will never ignore actions that are potentially dangerous to its interests.
The current US Navy exercises in the Mediterranean, involving aircraft carriers USS Abraham Lincoln and USS John C. Stennis with an overall 130 aircraft and about nine thousand sailors and marines onboard, clearly demonstrate that Washington has resumed the course of "warship diplomacy" which it opted for more than once in recent decades.
With the current projection of power in the Mediterranean Sea, America apparently decided to recall the past campaigns of its Great White Fleet — a naval group that circumnavigated the globe in 1907-1909 to demonstrate the naval power of the United States.
In conclusion, it is worth pointing out that Ambassador Huntsman accuses Russia of advancing and trying to dominate the world. However, a question arises as to what the entire American armada is doing so far away from US coasts? The concept of a symbiotic relationship between the Black and Mediterranean seas is a generally accepted truth.
For us, the Mediterranean is as close a basin as the Black sea, being a special area of our interests. The current stay of a formidable US aircraft carrier group in the Mediterranean is nothing but Washington's attempt to dominate the world.
Apparently, current American President Donald Trump is really eager to show strong and belligerent. Especially now that the country has actually launched a new presidential election campaign of 2020. We cannot disregard the fact that the presence of a powerful US naval group in the Mediterranean sea is an attempt by Washington to psychologically influence a number of states in the region to convince them of the need to create a new military alignment in the Middle East, like NATO. So far, all the United States' attempts to form a block of this kind have not met with success...
As for Ambassador Huntsman, he had better tame his temper.