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Putin backs off Russia’s threats against Israel, and calls Syria downing a Russian plane a ‘tragic’ accident
Russian President Vladimir Putin backed off Russian Defense Ministry threats to take "countermeasures" against Israel after Syrian air defenses shot down a Russian military plane over the Mediterranean.
The US Air Force set out to return to Cold War numbers by growing nearly 25% and taking on hundreds more planes to form an additional 74 squadrons. This is a crucial part of the US's pivot to counter Russia and China.
If a fight were to start during an intercept like the one this week, the Russian pilot would have the huge advantage of having the F-22 in sight. What's more, the Russian Su-35 can maneuver better than the F-22.
When the US strikes Syria, it picks locations unlikely to harm Russians, therefore preventing escalation between the world's greatest nuclear powers. But the strikes still send a message to Moscow, that the US won't be muscled out of Syria, and norms against chemical weapons use are worth upholding.
Exercises including strong US allies and F-35C stealth jet fighters no doubt raised eyebrows in Moscow and Beijing.
Even with Russian ships in the Mediterranean, the US, with its impressive airpower, could most likely land a few clean shots on noncritical targets and again embarrass Syria and Russia with a flashy display of missiles streaking across the sky, should Syria cross President Donald Trump's line.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got so angry during a shouting match with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that he revealed he was lying about Russia's role in a military uprising in eastern Ukraine, former French President Francois Hollande wrote in a book reflecting on his time in office.
China may have the biggest army, but it is far behind in other aspects.
Under President Donald Trump, the US has redefined its national security and defense postures, and both strategies say China and Russia, rather than terrorism or climate change, are the biggest threats to the US.
Before ending testing in 2018, North Korea had standing threats to fire missiles at US forces in Guam and detonate an armed nuclear warhead over the Pacific.