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As a former US intelligence officer, I believe a US submarine breached Russian waters — RT World News

The United States is playing a dangerous game by operating submarines in Russian territorial waters at a time when tensions are so high

In the early evening of February 12, 2022, a Russian Pacific Fleet naval exercise became very real. The purpose of the exercise was, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, to practice “finding and eliminating submarines of a hypothetical enemy in the areas of their possible deployment”. The exercise involved a mix of surface ships, submarines and aircraft. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, an Il-38 anti-submarine warfare plane, operating near Urup, an uninhabited island in the eastern Kuril chain, spotted what looked like a submarine. Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack belonging to the US Navy. (The USS Missouri, a Virginia-class submarine, had recently made a stopover in neighboring Japan).

The Il-38 crew reported the contact information to a nearby Russian submarine, which began tracking the unknown vessel. The Russian submarine in turn assigned responsibility for responding to what appeared to be a violation of Russian territorial waters (the suspect submarine was located several kilometers inside Russia’s territorial boundary) to a Russian destroyer, Marshal Shaposhnikov, who immediately charged the suspect American submarine to surface.

Over the next three hours, Marshal Shaposhnikov played hide and seek with the suspected US submarine, eventually deploying what the Russian Defense Ministry called “Measures approved in accordance with the documents governing the protection of the borders of the Russian Federation” (more than likely some form of underwater explosive)which ultimately caused the alleged U.S. submarine to “quickly leave the area” after “employ countermeasures” to help mask its location.

The Russian Defense Ministry summoned the US naval attache in Moscow to file a formal complaint; for its part, the US Navy denies that any of its submarines were in Russian waters.

As a former US intelligence officer, I believe a US submarine breached Russian waters — RT World News

While it cannot be ruled out that the Russian Defense Ministry was tracking a non-US submarine, whale, or inflating the event (the US and Russia are, after all, engaged in a war of words over big issues about Ukraine), the fact of the matter is that the details provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense, when considered alongside the known history of classified U.S. submarine operations, make the likelihood that the Russians actually chased a fairly high Virginia-class submarine. My own experience confirms this theory.

When the On-Site Inspection Agency (OSIA) was created in the spring of 1988 to implement the provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Department of Defense brought together some of the best and of the brightest in his stable. Cold Warriors. The OSIA was headed by Brigadier-General Roland Lajoie, a former Soviet foreign affairs officer who served several missions as a defense attaché in Moscow and former commander of the American military liaison mission (USMLM) in Potsdam, in East Germany, responsible for monitoring the activities of the Soviet Group of Forces, Germany (a dangerous job – on March 24, 1985, Major Arthur Nicholson, assigned to the USMLM while Lajoie was in command, was shot dead by a Soviet sentry as he attempted to enter a restricted area; Lajoie himself was injured when a Soviet truck rammed his vehicle while he was observing a Soviet training exercise.) Lajoie assembled an executive military experts in Soviet affairs who shared his curriculum vitae.

I was one of the officers brought in to help train the OSIA. As a junior lieutenant, I had no direct experience with the Cold War veterans I served with now. In times of peace, when bravery medals were rare, one learned to glean an individual’s level of experience by reading the ribbons on his chest – an occupation medal meant service in Berlin (USMLM), while a common service decoration usually involved embassy duty as an attaché. Some of these soldiers wore the Soldier’s Medal – the highest award for heroism in peacetime. One such award was given to an officer for saving classified documents from the United States Embassy in Moscow when it caught fire in 1977. He did so to prevent the documents from falling between the hands of Soviet KGB officers who had entered the embassy disguised as firefighters. .

There was one class of military professionals, however, that stood out – naval officers and non-commissioned officers whose uniforms were adorned with the Presidential Unit Citation, or PUC. The PUC is awarded to uniformed service units of the United States and those of allied nations for extraordinary heroism in action against “an armed enemy.” The device should display such a “bravery, determination and esprit de corps in accomplishing his mission under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions” in order to distinguish it and above other units participating in the same campaign. It is the unit equivalent of the Navy Cross – the second highest honor for individual heroism in combat.

The PUC is not a peacetime decoration, yet none of those who wore this ribbon had a corresponding military campaign ribbon indicating wartime service. What I found out later was that they had all served on US Navy attack submarines that had been involved in some of the most covert operations of the Cold War targeting the former Soviet Union. These operations were intelligence in nature, involving penetration of Soviet territorial waters to exploit communications cables, photograph Soviet ships and port facilities, and track Soviet submarines. If caught, the submarine could have been sunk by the Soviet Navy. This is why, in times of apparent peace, the sailors who equipped these submarines were decorated for their actions as if they had been in combat, because, effectively, there was no distinction for them.

As a former US intelligence officer, I believe a US submarine breached Russian waters — RT World News

It was the memory of these naval professionals that I first thought of when I read the news reports of the Russian Navy chasing down a suspected US nuclear attack submarine that had entered Russian territorial waters. near the Eastern Kuril Islands in the northern Pacific Ocean.

Heroic deeds meriting the award of a PUC in peacetime were not limited to the Cold War era. Indeed, in 2013, a PUC was awarded to the crew of the USS Jimmy Carter, a modified Seawolf-class nuclear attack submarine specially configured for intelligence-gathering operations. In 2017, the USS Jimmy Carter returned from another deployment under the Jolly Roger flag, reporting that it had conducted a successful operation.

There is no doubt in my mind that on February 12, 2022, an American Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, more than likely the USS Missouri, was engaged in an intelligence-gathering mission involving monitoring the operations of Russian anti-submarine warfare. If the USS Missouri followed in the footsteps of its Cold War brethren, this mission most likely involved entering Russian territorial waters to gain access to a particular intelligence target. During this mission, the USS Missouri was detected and, after failing to covertly break contact, was forced to deploy countermeasures and flee in a manner that would have allowed the Russian Navy to confirm its identity using sonar identification techniques.

It is not shocking that this incident took place – based on the USS Jimmy Carter record, the US Navy continued to conduct dangerous intelligence-driven missions in the Pacific Ocean using submarines nuclear attack. Worryingly, however, these operations have continued at a time when US-Russian tensions are high and diplomatic efforts are underway to reduce the risk of a wider conflict. The ramifications that would accrue if the Russians, as they had every right to do, chose to engage and destroy what they could reasonably assume to be a hostile penetration of their territorial waters, are unthinkable.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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