The Cold War is a fact of history. It started on the embers of the third Riech after World War II and the chief architect was Josef Stalin. The Cold war lasted roughly from 1946-1990 and ended when the Soviet Union collapsed. This was a period of intense rivalry as the Soviets blockaded Berlin in 1948 and carried out aggressive patrolling in the Far East with their strategic strike bombers, threatening Japan and the US bases. The Cold War ended and there was relative quiet for 2 decades as the Russians gave up aggressive air patrolling.

Putin and global power

The rise of Vladimir Putin has changed everything. This man who is now the Russian president wants to restore the earlier might of the USSR and have Russia as a global power to challenge the US.

This has resulted in military operations in Syria where the Russians are into heavy bombardment in support of Assad. In the Far East, the Russians have set up a strategic division to carry the Russian flag in a show of force.

Russian bombers in east

The air division is equipped with the Tu-95 long-range Bear heavy bomber and the Tu-22M. These planes have been positioned in the Russian central and Far East districts of Siberia. The Russian air force has re-commenced their strategic flights all over the East and frequently come close to Japanese airspace as well as the US bases in Guam and Japan. Since 2014 the frequency of these patrols has increased and many times the Japanese self-defense force has had to scramble fighters to intercept the Russian planes. in one case even the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower was buzzed and the planes had to take off to intercept the Russian bombers.

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The TU-95 and the variable geometry the Tu-22M are lethal strike aircraft that can carry anti-shipping and cruise missiles. These military planes have upped the ante in the Far East and the US and Japan cannot lower their guard. Perhaps the Cold War in its classic concept has not yet started but there can be no guarantee that it will not restart with the Russians making it a point to match American power.