Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Turkey's Next Thrill

At some point in the last couple of hours....either over Turkish airspace or Syrian airspace.....a Russian SU-24 Fencer got cornered by Turkish F-16s and shoot down.  At last report.....the pilots got out of the plane, and landed somewhere north of the Syrian city of Latika.....roughly 30 kilometers of space before you hit Turkish property.

There are several things which one might observe.  First, the Fencer has been around in various models since 1974, and it's there mostly to drop bombs.....not to evade superior aircraft (such as the F-16).

Second, some news sources say one aircrew member is dead already, and two helicopters from the Russians are in the area trying to recover the remaining pilot.

Third, on the stupidity level.....Turkey went to a '12' on a scale of one to ten.  The Russians will spend roughly twenty-four hours thinking about things, and one can easily imagine them looking for a chance to shoot down at least one Turkish plane and possibly even go after US fighters in the region as well.....to send a message.

Fourth, the Russians will probably move several of their surface warfare ships to the region and prepare to set up a air defense net, with serious potential of shooting down more Turkish planes.  The Turks will go and demand US assistance, and escalation will mount.

Fifth, a few years ago....the Syrians shoot down a Turkish plane and there's been this hard and fast rule about the borderline.  If you cross over into Turkey.....you will be shoot down.  Maybe the Russians thought they weren't serious, but one might say that this little understanding has stood the test of time.

An affect on Germany?  Well.....only if the Turks are stupid enough to ask NATO for more assistance.  The Germans will sit there and ask a bunch of questions and it won't be a simple task.  If this were just sitting around and pretending to be like the Americans and do fake fighting against ISIS....fine.  But if there's serious warfare going on with the Russians?  Oh, my.....that's not what Germany signed up for in NATO operations.  (note my cynical commentary)

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