This past week saw a spate of international security alarms which underlines the danger of the world stumbling into catastrophic war. Those alarms, which were either false or hyped up, stem from a Cold War mentality.
Such a mentality is not only dangerous, it is also unacceptable in today’s world.
First, we saw the US territory of Hawaii being put on full-scale alert over a supposed incoming ballistic missile. The alarm turned out to be false. There was no such incoming missile, but the entire population on the Pacific island were put through 38 minutes of sheer torment.
A day after that incident, Japan’s air-raid system also put a similar false alert.
In both cases, it was assumed that the non-existent missiles had been fired from North Korea.
Meanwhile in Europe, fighter jets from Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain – all members of the US-led NATO alliance – were scrambled to intercept two Russian warplanes. The Russian Ministry of Defense rejected claims that its aircraft were acting “provocatively”, saying that the pair of Russian Tu-160 bombers had at all times been flying in international airspace on a routine exercise.
The latter type of incident appears to be an increasing occurrence. Over the past two months, British navy frigates have made a point of “escorting” Russian warships navigating “near British territorial waters”. Again, as with the air intercept incident this week, the Russian Ministry said that its warships have at all times adhered to international waters.
It is not Russian aircraft or vessels that are being provocative. It is British and other NATO states who are in effect trying to interdict Russia’s legal right to use international airspace and maritime territory.
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