US Navy Destroyer, USS Chafee (DDG-90) attempted to violate the state border of the Russian Federation in the Sea of Japan on October 15, which was challenged by a Russian anti-submarine ship of the Pacific Fleet, “Admiral Tri-buts”. According to Russian Defence Ministry, after violation of territory Russian ship Admiral Tributs warned the American vessel that it was in an area close to navigation due to “artillery fire” in the framework of the joint Russian Chinese exercise Maritime Interaction-2021. According to reports, USS Chafee left the area after some time in the contested waters. According to reports, the Russian Defense Ministry summoned the American military attaché and pointed out to him the unprofessional actions of the crew of the US Navy destroyer Chafee, which was trying to violate the Russian border in the Sea of Japan.
The United States and Russia, the two staunch enemies usually remain at odds over the recent years. Both rivals have been at opposing ends in conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Mediterranean Sea, Arctic ocean, Indo-Pacific, and other avenues of international political disputes. Although there is no such example of direct conflict between them throughout history, however their forces have been brushing with each other while remaining at arm’s length to avoid direct conflict between the two superpowers.
According to reports, Russian military and NATO troops encountered each other twice during the recent months. Earlier, a UK destroyer HMS Defender was challenged by Russian war boats and fighter jets while transiting through Crimean Peninsula to Georgia in June. According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Russian Navy fired warning shells to stop the enemy vessels from entering into Russian waters. The UK ministry of Defence denied occurrence of such an incident whereas the BBC Correspondent present on the deck of UK’s destroyer acknowledged that Russian Naval action against HMS Destroyer.
In fact, the United States and NATO intend to gauge the wits, seriousness, and preparedness of the Russian military through such provocative actions. Both previous attempts were very thoughtful and calculated moves of western allies aimed at measuring Russian response, if Russians demonstrated a mild response then the US and NATO were to gradually increase their pressure to push the adversary deep into its territory. Presently, the US Russia relationship is at its worst position that it has been since 1985. The US intelligentsia accuse Russia of fading bilateral ties mainly due to alleged interference in US Presidential elections and cyber-attacks, annexure of Crimea and military escalation with Ukraine. Currently, their bilateral relations are severely hostile and selectively cooperative in certain arenas including climate change, terrorism, Iran nuclear deal, Afghanistan, and others. Presently, the United States is struggling to preserve its dominance in the world, while Russia aims at exploitation of its asymmetric capabilities while strengthening its relationships with Asian and African allies to promote its interests without yielding against American pressure. Currently, US perceives itself at a weak strategic standpoint in the Indo-Pacific due to Chinese encroachment in the South and East China Seas and similar is the case in Black Sea waters adjacent to Ukraine and Crimean Peninsula. However, America is tactfully making its way through formation of alliances and partnerships with regional states while its adversaries are also strengthening their positions. Interestingly, the competition is tough and Biden’s success would be more reliant on allies than his own muscles.