During the second US military operation for several days, an American air force OC-135 observational aircraft performed an "extraordinary flight"…
During the second US military operation for several days, an American air force OC-135 observational aircraft performed an “extraordinary flight” on Thursday during the Open Skies Treaty “to confirm US commitment to Ukraine,” said the Pentagon.  The flight came the day after the US Navy had sailed the controlled missile destroyer USS McCampbell near Peter the Great Bay in the Japanese Sea, a move that irked Russia, which maintains a territorial claim on the disputed waters not recognized by the United States.
Also on Wednesday, CNN reported that the United States has begun to make the necessary preparations for sailing a Black Sea warship as a possible response to Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors following a conflict in the Kerch stretch.
Pentagon “signals a counter to the latest series of Russian actions and provocations that rebuild tensions in the region once more,” told Peter Singer, a strategist and senior colleague on the tank New America, CNN.
“Russia’s worrying attack on Ukrainian Navy near the Kerch Strait is a dangerous escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity,” said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon on CNN on Thursday.
“The United States is looking for a better relationship with Russia, but this can not happen when its illegal and destabilizing acts continue in Ukraine and elsewhere,” he said.
The military’s strong response to Russia in recent days underlines the silence of President Donald Trump as regards criticizing Russian aggression, noted Singer, pointing to the conflict in the Kerch Strait as a new example.
“What’s fascinating is the complete link between what the Pentagon is trying to communicate with Russia and the President’s silence,” he said.
But while Trump has acted reluctantly to initiate the full sentence and sanctions and diplomatic options available to counter Russia, the government can use the military as a way to apply pressure until officials decide they have made the right balance, according to Boris Zilberman , a Russian expert at the Foundation for Democratic Defense.
“US Navy has the right to implement this freedom for navigation activities and should continue to do so,” said Zilberman.
Russia continues its drive to militarizing waters near the Japanese Sea and has attempted to project an increased role in the Pacific, according to Zilberman. He said that the latest US operation in Japan’s ocean could indicate increasing US concerns about Russia’s Pacific Pacific position.
The Pentagon is likely to draw a line in the sand early to prevent further escalation in the region, he said.
“Russia must know that the United States will not allow them to militarize international waterways in key areas such as the Black Sea, Japanese Sea or Okhotsk or elsewhere,” said Zilberman. If not, he added, “It should be clear that when (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is not confronted, he will continue to act aggressively against the interests of the United States and our allies.”
As world leader condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine before the G20 summit, Trump waited more than a day before he gave a subdued response and left the task of criticizing Moscow for the outgoing US ambassador to the UN.
When asked how he felt about the clash, Trump said, “Not good. Not happy at all.” He seemed reluctant to blame Russia and added: “We do not like what happens in any way. And hopefully it will be straight out”.
In the end, Russian documents and its detention of Ukrainian seamen Trump received a planned meeting with Putin during the G20 summit.
“Based on the fact that ships and sailors have not returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided that it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previous scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin,” Trump Tweeted by the Air Force One on his way to Argentina.
Secretary Mike Pompeo spoke at a NATO conference in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday, saying that the alliance “collectively collects a set of answers to Russians, this behavior is unacceptable.”
Unlike Trump, the defense secretary James Mattis consistently made his views on Russia’s intentions and has repeatedly warned that Putin aims to undermine NATO and the US itself.
He was also unequivocal in his response to Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships, calling it a “flagrant violation of international law” and saying “it merely shows that Russia can not count right now to keep its word.”