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Alaskan air force intercepts Russian jets

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Image by Briana Garcia

Recently, Russian bombers have been spotted flying worryingly close to American airspace. While this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, it has been part of a more concerning trend of Russia’s growing bravery in terms of testing American and Canadian Air Force over the past two years. This then sparks the question: how many times have Russian aircrafts tested American and Canadian air space? In 2020, the US air force had to intercept Russian aircraft up to 60 times.

This testing of sovereign states’ airspace isn't relegated to just Russia however, the United States and Russia have been sending planes hurling towards each other's airspaces as part of training for their respective air forces for decades. What is a startling change, however, is just the dramatic increase in the amount of “raids” by Russian planes on American airspace. This becomes even more alarming after the revelation that some of the intercepted planes were possibly capable of deploying nuclear warheads.

Another concerning factor about this most recent probing attempt by the Russian Air force is that this is the first attempt since the Biden administration has come into power. With our Russian ties becoming no less strained, as well as Russian and Chinese ally-ship only looking more and more promising to the two nations, it doesn’t look like Russian air raids will stop any time soon, and will only serve to put more stress on the relationship between the US and Russia.

However, many questions arise from this, the most prominent one being: why? Why has the Russian government been probing our defenses for years? Could it be a remnant of cold-war animosity? Or is it more likely an attempt at stiff-arming the new administration into being more cooperative? What could the reason be? Well, the honest answer is, we don’t know, While it could be Russia’s attempt at poking the bear, they would need a really good reason to do so. In turn, this brings up another set of agonizing questions: "What would make them want to test us? Could Russia be gearing up for war?" That seems unlikely seeing as the US, while it is one of their rivals, is also in one of the best spots for a defensive war. Whatever the answer to the endless amount of questions Russia gives is, let’s hope we don't find out the answer to them any time soon.

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