Putin Owns Biden After His Empty Response to Drone Downing Invites More

(AP Photo/Lt. Col.. Leslie Pratt, US Air Force, File)

Joe Biden is taking another long weekend at home in Delaware. But before he left, he made time to do nothing about Russia intentionally downing an unmanned U.S. military aircraft in international air space over international waters.

Clearly, the Chinese and North Koreans and, now the Russians, are testing the old guy. And once again the 80-year-old American commander in chief flunked.

Biden, who sets a record for oldest president in office every single day, says his “intention” is to do this job through another term, when he’s scheduled to turn 86. God helps us!

These international provocations don’t go away by themselves. Our opponents take notes and factor our responses – or lack of them – into future actions and provocations.

And as recent history has shown, economic sanctions may sound tough in a photo op for TV news. But sanctions are totally ineffective responses if the goal is to change another country’s behavior. See Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, and — oh- look! — Russia numerous times in recent years.

The $32 million Reaper drone that took off from Romania was flying over the Black Sea gathering intel on the fighting in Ukraine, specifically Russian movements and signals.

Presumably, much or all of that information would have been passed on to the Ukrainian command, our proxy destroyer of Moscow’s once-vaunted military might.

The Reaper, which replaced the Predator, weighs two tons with a 66-foot wingspan and a top speed of 300 miles an hour. A Reaper armed with two Hellfire missiles was the one that tracked and killed Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, in Baghdad near the end of Donald Trump’s term.

Russia blamed the U.S. for last week’s drone downing. Then, the Pentagon released a brief video transmitted from the drone showing the Russian fighter harassing the plane for 40 minutes. On two passes the Russian craft dumped fuel on the drone, which fouled the lone propeller.

Air Force flight controllers determined the craft could not make it back to Romania. They remotely scrubbed the craft’s software and then intentionally crashed it in about 4,000 feet of water.

As expected, Russia launched immediate efforts to find and raise the wreckage for study. Just as the U.S. did after downing that Chinese spy balloon.

Ideally, it would have been a race to the U.S. drone. But, alas, the U.S. Navy has been outpaced. China’s fleet, for instance, is now far larger, even though it’s only regional for now. The U.S. has no forces in the Black Sea that we know of, treating it as a large Russian lake.

Potential adversaries perform these surveillance activities all the time in international air space. Russian bombers fly along the coast of its former Alaska territory, tracking U.S. radar signals and testing response times of scrambling U.S. fighters. Russian fighters have also buzzed U.S. Navy ships and aircraft, but not attacked them.

But sometimes these incidents prove deadly. In September 1983, a Russian Su-15 fired two missiles to down a Korean Air Lines 747 with 269 people on board, claiming it was a disguised intelligence mission. Everyone on the flight from Anchorage to Seoul perished.

In 2014, separatist forces in eastern Ukraine using a surface-to-air-missile provided by Russia shot down a Malaysian airliner with the loss of 298 lives. A Dutch court convicted three separatists in absentia. Russia denied involvement.

In July 1988, during the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. missile cruiser Vincennes downed an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf, killing 290.

One of the more intriguing Cold War espionage stories surrounded a Howard Hughes drilling vessel called the Glomar Explorer. In 1972, an entity called the Special Activities Bureau leased the vessel from Hughes, presumably for deep-sea research.

The Special Activities Bureau sounds like a cover name for some CIA office. It was.

Its top-secret mission was to raise the K-129, a Russian diesel sub that sank four years earlier in 15,000 feet of international waters about 1,600 miles northwest of Hawaii.

According to the CIA’s later account, it was only successful in retrieving part of the sub. Yeh, right.

So, international waters are a no man’s land, first come, first served.

The White House’s useless default reply to breaking news is, “The President has been briefed.” We don’t know what Biden’s reaction was or if he understood the provocation or if he had any reaction.

The Russian ambassador was summoned to the State Department for a pro forma protest. And that’s it. No retaliation. No expulsion of Russian diplomats or consequences. Not even a statement of outrage and warning for the unprovoked attack.

Even Nancy Pelosi showed more diplomatic grit than this president.

Military officials now say they are reevaluating the advantages and costs of such Black Sea operations to aid Ukraine. So, if the Biden administration backs down, the incident will turn out positively for the Russian invaders after all at the cost of a few gallons of jet fuel.

During the Obama-Biden administration in 2011, Iranian engineers electronically entered the GPS system of a CIA drone surveilling that country. They hijacked the drone by convincing the system it was landing back home in Afghanistan when it was actually landing in Iran for intense study and reverse engineering.

At the time, the U.S. military wanted to prevent the study of such advanced drone tech with a well-aimed missile or bomb. Obama refused.

You may have read in RedState’s ongoing coverage of the continuing Russian-Ukraine war that Iran is now supplying Russia with squadrons of sophisticated suicide drones it manufactures. Probably just a coincidence.

Some people, often modern Democrats, are uncomfortable pushing back on bullies, fearing it could result in escalating a conflict. That, of course, is what bullies have counted on for millennia.

Biden may end up doing something, anything, about the attempted intimidation and the destruction of U.S. military equipment in international space. Thirteen months of economic sanctions on Russia have not worked, so maybe more of them will.

Biden is late for pretty much everything on his light White House schedule, except leaving early Fridays for one of his Delaware houses. He’s spent 57 of his 112 weekends as president in Delaware.

Among many things, he was late on the supply-chain crisis, late on the infant food shortage, postponed the Afghan troop withdrawal and evacuations until the worst possible time, late for meetings at international summits, late on drug shortages, late to address the Chinese spy balloon, then shooting down others that weren’t Chinese or spying, and failing – still — to confront the open southern border.

Some VIPs believe they know best and are entitled to keep folks waiting because they’re doing important stuff. And, honestly, aides bask in that reflected importance and fail to coach timeliness.

Biden aides claim he’s spending quality time with visitors. Others know being chronically late is just plain rude, insulting, and corrodes goodwill. In international affairs, ignoring incidents like the drone downing only invites more pushing and attempted intimidations.

At some point in the 96 remaining weeks of this presidential term or – please, no! – the 305 weeks til the conclusion of a second Biden term, U.S. adversaries will certainly test this man again. And again.

But don’t worry, Joe Biden will be safe. This week he was on top of his other activities.

At Friday’s celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Biden remembered to wear a greenish tie and speak malarkey to the happy throng about how Irish he is. Last fall he was raised Puerto Rican, but now he’s all Irish.

He doesn’t have a tin ear. He has a lead ear for ad-libs: “‘I’m really not Irish, because I’m sober…and I don’t have any relatives in jail.”

At one point, the current president of the United States said, “We Irish are the only people in the world who are nostalgic for the future.”

That’s not really true. A lot of Americans are nostalgic for the future too — a future with a different man in the Oval Office.


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