UK Illegally Harasses Russian Submarine Engaged in Lawful Passage of English Channel 168


Contrary to Article 44 of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, to which the UK and Russia are both party, the UK has engaged in extensive illegal harassment of a Russian naval submarine engaged in fully lawful transit of the Dover Strait.

A Russian naval vessel en route between the Baltic and Black Seas is fully and specifically entitled under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Articles 37 and 38 to the right of passage through the strait. This is in addition to the general right of passage through the territorial sea at Article 17. The Russian navy was in full compliance with the provision at Article 20 that, while in territorial waters, the submarine must be on the surface and displaying its flag, and in compliance with Articles 29 to 32 on warships.

Not only does the Russian Navy have every right to sail through the Dover strait on passage, it has been exercising that right – along with many other navies – for over a hundred years. The decision of the British government now to employ military harassment and threat is not only illegal, it is a gross and entirely deliberate act of provocation designed to sour international relations and disturb the atmosphere of world peace.

The author of this article, Craig Murray is a former Head of the Maritime Section of the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and former Alternate Head of the United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations Preparatory Commission on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. He is a retired British Ambassador.


168 thoughts on “UK Illegally Harasses Russian Submarine Engaged in Lawful Passage of English Channel

  • CanSpeccy

    I have no direct comment on this post since what you have to say about the law of the sea appears always to be clear, concise and authoritative. It would be interesting, though, to know your thoughts on British motives in this case. The most obvious interpretation seems to be that the Cameron government is trying to invent a Russian threat as a means to convince the simple-minded that, if Britain quits the EU, Russian provocation will intensify and WWIII will be on its way. Is there any other plausible explanation? If not, I wonder what other dirty tricks we can expect to see in the final stages of the Brexit referendum campaign.

      • CanSpeccy

        Preventing dangerous fools gaining control of armed forces including WMD, seems to be an insoluble existential problem for the human race.

      • Jim

        Boredom mixed with stupidity seems all Whitehall has in abundant supply.

        Russia is a democracy and it is incredibly rich for the Westminster government to complain about the rise of Russian conservatism and the Russian press. I am sure the Russian government argues that the media is there to promote national unity like Mundell has said. I also don’t think Putin could approve laws as draconian as the Investigatory Powers Bill, which alongside MI5’s recruitment drive puts there operations on the scale of the Stasi. The entire place will be staffed with right-wing, xenophobic Tories who probably far more pathological than the most ardent of Stasi cadres.

        • Macky

          Just for the record, are you the angry Jim of yesterday, as the avatar is not the same ?

        • Macky

          Thanks; I didn’t really think it could possible be the same person !

          Might be worth slightly altering your handle to avoid linkage/confusion ?

  • Salford Lad

    This nonsense of the British Navy against a Russian submarine in the Dover Straits is similar to the harassment of Russian AirForce and Civilian aircraft in International air space.
    It is then propagandised as Russian aggression , to keep the NATO pot boiling against Russia.
    Build -up of NATO forces in the Baltic countries, the placement of ABM nuclear weapons in Romania and soon Poland. The decision of Sweden and Montenegro to become members of NATO. The NATO military exercises in neutral Finland. These are all provocations against Russia. The ongoing Financial and trade sanctions against Russia, the war in Syria and Ukraine, it is never ending.
    We are sleepwalking into a Nuclear war in Europe if these provocations escalate or there is an ‘incident’ accidental or otherwise.
    Europe is being used as a ‘patsy’ by Washington in its proxy war against Russia. We get all the pain and no gain,

    • lysias

      It’s all to keep NATO, the U.S.’s instrument for perpetuating its control of Europe, in being, ever since the demise of the USSR deprived the alliance of its reason for being. The illegal war against Serbia over Kosovo was an early manifestation of this phenomenon.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      Leaving aside all this “WW3” rhetoric: it is certainly the case that Russian military aircraft are continually being escorted out of UK airspace or deterred from entering it. You will know that military airplanes from Russia regularly test NATO air defence by flying as close as possible to NATO airspace (while remaining – just )- in international airspace? And NATO airplanes do the same.

      But could you instance examples of Russian civil aircraft having been “harassed” in international airspace and perhaps also set out the form that alleged “harassment” took?

  • Tony M

    Craig they are out of control. The BBC has just done a radio drama remake of John Wyndham’s The Kraken Wakes; Radio 4’s Saturday Play. I couldn’t stand more than the first few minutes as they, or the writer Val McDermid, have turned a perfectly good classic sci-fi fishy tale into totally unhinged anti-Putin narrative rant that grates on the nerves immediately and intolerably. It’s a sick propaganda extravaganza. There is not anything which this despicable, degenerate establishment, and those who serve them will not taint with their collective insanity and malice.

    Euthanising the sick and disabled, directly by kafkaesque harassment and indirectly by subjecting them to economic hardship, piling calculated stresses on top of the vulnerable and least able to cope, to keep a roof of over their head, edible nutritious food available and their cheap jerry-built passive surveillance compliant concrete cells habitable, policies shared by Labour Tory and the Lib Dem remnants have as their objective maximal deaths, self-harm and suicides. Meanwhile the NHS, in Scotland too, for males particularly, is a hollowed out shell, a yawning chasm of nothing between birth and the terminal, end stages of life. Life in the narrowing interval in between is nothing but continuous rounds of robbing Peter to pay Paul, when living high on the hog of £102 per week ESA. When medical staff from GPs to consultants, easily on fifty times that income, look on you as they do cockroaches, with hatred and contempt and do their best to squash you to a pulp and heighten your suffering and the economic and social cost of ill-health in concert with the vicious DWP. I know it might be unpopular, more so coming from a left perspective, but the NHS is unfit for purpose, I’ve known more utter psychopaths from former street thugs and school bullies, wife-beaters and control freaks to work in the ‘caring’ industries and the death mills than in any other occupations. Let’s smash the myth of ‘angels’ and admit the bad apples have spoiled the whole crop.

    It used to be said by many without argument, logic or reason “Why don’t you go and live in Russia, then?” to any justfiable grumbling. Nowadays, without any knowledge of life there, my answer is “I wish I fucking could”, anything, even a leap into the unto must be better than the shadow of an existence that passes for life for the great majority of the population of the UK.

    • CanSpeccy

      Well, Tony, Putin is offering free land to Brits wishing to homestead in the Far East. But winter lasts about six months, and for reasons that escape me, they are much colder than in Canada at the same latitude, plus summer rains are much heavier, and hence the mosquitoes must be the size of crows. Then there’s the language, so maybe best not to rush into this.

      But the awefulness of the NHS is a puzzle. Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system and it seems, from my experience, to be staffed mainly by saints and angels. Perhaps a major difference between here and the UK is that Canadian hospitals are mostly staffed by local people, not low paid immigrants with minimal qualifications doing a job the native born won’t.

      • Tony M

        I’m not talking about the low-paid menial workers, from auxiliaries, domestics, porters and similar. Or immigrant workers. I’m talking primarily about the ‘professional’ levels, from senior nursing staff to doctors and consultants, GPs. They are predominantly middle class Tory leaning, pillocks of the establishment, doing their master’s bidding without demur, and enjoying it, joining the witch-hunt and demonisation of their ‘customers’ with relish, welcoming a chance to exercise their own prejudices, fostered by their background and education, and pick on and heighten the suffering and humiliation of the weakest. Unfortunately for you there is no racial axe to grind, cast around as you may, just class and inequality and undue power over people’s lives in sometimes questionable hands.

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          “I’m talking primarily about the ‘professional’ levels, from senior nursing staff to doctors and consultants, GPs. They are predominantly middle class Tory leaning,..”
          ____________________

          Splendid attempt to bring the class war and the political divide into the NHS.

          The conclusion is, perhaps, that the best posts tend not to be written at 5 o’clock in the morning?

        • East Neuker

          My NHS GP and various consultants (physicians and surgeons) have over the past ten years saved my life by spotting and fixing a previously undiagnosed heart condition, and restored my mobility through orthopaedic surgery, all with good care and goodwill.
          Does your strange angry bitterness come from personal experience?
          There is no doubt that power structures within the NHS can be problematic, but you are way over the top. What would you do to fix it? That would be more interesting than this rant.
          Enjoy Russia. (I suspect you won’t).

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            A good reply which should suffice to put the class warrior in his place.

          • fedup (Snitchsmeller Pursuivant)

            You are a liar, as the fire engines rushing towards are telling!!!!!

            …. previously undiagnosed heart condition ….

            Bunkum and rubbish galore!!!

            The same NHS that could not diagnose, suddenly diagnoses the condition and puts it right because the PFI and “choose” corporate branding made it more efficient!!! Blow it out of your elbow.

        • Jim

          So in your experience most senior nursing staff and GP’s are ‘psychopathic former street thugs and wife beaters’? No hint of insane hyperbole and exaggeration there then. And you wonder why people express a slight degree of scepticism about the far left’s view of reality.

      • Nuada

        Canadian health care may be first class, Canadian free speech is Orwellian. Constitutional freedoms have been destroyed by “human rights boards” intent on prosecuting anyone for causing any “offence” to anyone else. “Offence” is defined as whatever the alleged “victim” says it is, and in practice means anything even vaguely socially conservative.

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          You mean like calling Eskimos” the “First Nations”?

          I must say that doesn’t worry me overmuch.

      • K Crosby

        The private equity NHS (avoid the acronym PENHS because it looks like “penis”) has been sabotaged from the inside at the same time that its structure has been twisted from the outside, to turn it into another milch cow for rich bastards. The workhouses never went away and now the fig-leaves that used to disguise them are being dispensed with.

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          Can you answer the question you were asked, ie, whether your original comment was inspired by personal experience, please?

          Thank you.

          • East Neuker

            Habbabkuk,
            I don’t always agree with you, but on this NHS issue we have common ground. That very strange “fedup” above is quite wrong. I perhaps should have made it clear that the condition was “undiagnosable” rather than undiagnosed unless someone questioned some easily missed small symptoms and decided to push for full tests ( my GP ). It was then fixed, with free treatment that would have cost a fortune to deliver. We could lose this if the Tory right get the leverage of of leaving the EU. Gove, Johnson, IDS, etc are the enemy, but these guys above blaming the medics are unhinged.
            I note there has been no reply to your repeating my question about personal experience.

  • John Goss

    We have such dangerous nerds in power, people like Michael Fallon and Philip Hammond, people who believe a war with Russia is desirable and winnable with the help of NATO allies it makes the decent people of this Union ashamed to be British. However, while provocation is in contravention of UNCLOS articles, there is a need for concern in keep prodding the bear. My understanding is that should there be an attack on Russia (remember the US is building a missile ‘defence’ system in Romania one of the first things that will happen is all electronic communication in London will be knocked out by submarine in the same way all communications from the USS Donald Cook were knocked out when it strayed too close to Crimea.

    What the US is is a wounded hyena trying to be imperially rampant but on its last legs. It is leader of the pack of laughing and provocative fools to which Fallon and Hammond pay homage. These are the people that have clawed their way to the top of a country which once had some pride.

    • Tom Welsh

      “My understanding is that should there be an attack on Russia (remember the US is building a missile ‘defence’ system in Romania one of the first things that will happen is all electronic communication in London will be knocked out…”

      Yes, and the second thing that happens will be that a cloud of 250-500 kiloton thermonuclear warheads will descend on major cities, military establishments, naval ports and airfields. In the context of thermonuclear war, the UK is the quintessence of someone in a glasshouse who shouldn’t even threaten to throw stones. Russia could kill everyone in Britain with a small fraction of its power, and probably would do so if the balloon goes up. Why leave a potentially deadly enemy unharmed while battling with the main enemy? If you are faced by a hyena and notice a cobra preparing to strike your leg, wouldn’t you shoot the cobra?

      If we were smart we would get out of the EU, get out of NATO, get rid of our nuclear weapons, and tell the Americans to get out of our country – bag and baggage. Then we might be able to feel relatively safe.

  • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

    Craig

    On a point of information and to clarify:

    The Guardian article to which you link quotes the MOD as saying that the Russian sub was (or is being) escorted as it went through the Channel. Your post, however, refers to “harassment”.

    Does “escorting” count as harassment and is it consistent with the UNCLS?

    • craig Post author

      Habbabkuk

      I have an unpublished source as well. The escorting involved causing the submarine to change course by cutting across it. It is also alleged weapons were trained but I am less confident of that.

      Simply to shadow it would not necessarily be illegal. Though why would you do that? Harassment is.

      • craig Post author

        Arguably taking photographs and sending press releases to the media about your intercepting a vessel which is doing something perfectly legal and open, in itself constitutes a harassment.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        Craig

        I think we need to distinguished two things here:

        1/. If the shadowing involved forcing the submarine to change course, then that could, I suppose, be called harassment. (But I’m not sure what your underlying point is, exactly).

        2/. “Though why would you do that? (ie, shadowing)”. Come on, you know better than that, for Heaven’s sake. Because it was a Russian submarine and not a French, Italian, Danish or Spanish one..etc). Why on earth would anyone object to a Russian (or Chinese…) submarine being shadowed in UK territorial waters?

        BTW, the following question does occur: is it possible for a vessel to transit the Channel without entering into UK or French territorial waters?

        • Tom Welsh

          I think Craig’s point would be that the Russian submarine was merely travelling from A to B and the shortest route took it through the English Channel – one of the world’s busiest shipping routes for that exact reason.

          The submarine was on the surface – a posture which no sane captain would ever adopt if there was going to be any fighting, as a surfaced submarine is a sitting duck – and accompanied by a tug! That means it could easily be tracked by radar, or (for some of its route) with binoculars from the nearest convenient cliff top. Sending one of the Royal Navy’s half dozen remaining warships to “track” it accomplished absolutely nothing except perhaps to make the Russians nervous and score propaganda points by pretending it was necessary.

          • Tom Welsh

            Maybe I could refer those who haven’t seen it to the superb 1965 film “The Bedford Incident”, starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier. Made shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis and perhaps drawing on factual material that the general public weren’t aware of at the time, it shows the potential consequences when a fanatical US Navy captain insists on “tracking” a submerged Soviet submarine with the intention of forcing it to surface when it will be helplessly vulnerable. Spoiler: it doesn’t turn out well.

          • Jams O'Donnell

            Given the current state of the Royal Navy (Destroyers whose engines fail if it gets slightly warm, frigates which are getting past their sell-by dates, no money for replacements, carriers without aircraft) it’s more likely that the Russians would have been having a good laugh.

        • K Crosby

          Craig

          I think we need to distinguished two things here:

          1/. If the shadowing involved forcing the submarine to change course, then that could, I suppose, be called harassment. (But I’m not sure what your underlying point is, exactly).

          2/. “Though why would you do that? (ie, shadowing)”. Come on, you know better than that, for Heaven’s sake. Because it was a Russian submarine and not a French, Italian, Danish or Spanish one..etc). Why on earth would anyone object to a Russian (or Chinese…) submarine being shadowed in UK territorial waters?

          BTW, the following question does occur: is it possible for a vessel to transit the Channel without entering into UK or French territorial waters?

          Will you apply the same reasoning if a Russian ship “escorts” a British submarine in the Black Sea? ;O))

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            Sure, why not.

            BTW, thank you for “answering” on Craig’s behalf.

  • Andrew Scott

    The last two paragraphs of the linked Guardian article are amazing. “fish net snagging blamed on Russian”, “it was a uk sub afterall”. Why bother mentioning blame which was later debunked? That just makes me angry with uk press.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Why bother mentioning blame which was later debunked?”

      Because some readers will misunderstand, or fail to remember, and end up believing “the Russians did it”. The whole objective is to get the entire British public feeling hostile and distrustful towards Russia, and there are no holds barred.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        On the contrary, I should say. Surely correcting the initial misapprehension (that it was a Russian sub) is the very opposite of trying to create hostility against Russia?

  • FatDave

    Shadowing a boat is hardly illegal, is it. Especially when you are shadowing a boat belonging to a nation that has illegally invaded a sovereign nation, i.e. Ukraine and a nation whose proxy blew a civilian airliner out of the sky….

    This is a pretty general definition of “harassment”: aggressive pressure or intimidation. The RN did no such thing in shadowing the submarine.

    Your comments are laughable. You are just prejudiced, admit it and move on.

    • craig Post author

      My “prejudice” is against aggressive nationalism endangering world peace. The Russian annexation of Crimea was indeed illegal. For some reason people feel the need to cling to one of two camps of idiots. Those who believe Russia can do no wrong, and those who believe NATO can do no wrong.

          • Jim

            Not really Glen, as I don’t really think it’s appropriate either. I’m well aware of the bigger picture, but Putin’s aggressive and paranoid ultra-Nationalism is a lot more frightening to me than putative NATO expansionism. We’ll never agree and the subject is vast, so there’s not really much point in us banging heads. At least we can agree that running us good fun though. ?

        • nevermind

          Jim, read NATO’s original aims and objectives and then answer your own question.
          NATO was never designed to entice other states to act as its bitch, it was never an expansionary force at all, despite having the capacity to do so.
          What is becoming clear is that NATO has been thoroughly owned by the US and its right wing shite’s in the military industrial complex, bad people who see nothing wrong in spying on anyone who they don’t like the look off or who is in their way of making bucks from bombs.

          Shadowing a military vessel or aircraft is cold war methodology, nothing else. And one look at the sour reaction by the media to last nights international football event shows how much they are lambasting the whole range of socio interactions, politics is interfering with sports reportage and purveying the bias of a right wing anti humanitarian Government of self serving crooks.

          read all about it, NATO’s gone wrong and no amount of snitching or bad mouthing will change this fact.

      • Macky

        Just for the record I’m not convinced that Craig is correct in portraying the Crimean Referendum to join with Russia, as an “annexation”, nor that it was “illegal”.

        This is without either considering the moral dimensions, ie it was undoubtedly the right thing to do, as it undoubtedly saved many lives, and has prevented a similar war situation to that which has engulfed Eastern Ukraine.

        In view of the Kosovo precedent , and in indeed Craig’s support for self-determination for the people of Scotland, his objection to the people of Crimean choosing to join the Russian Federation, is at best confused, if not plain hypocritical.

          • Macky

            Only trolls respond with infantile jibes, so take this very personal; Piss Off Troll !

          • Martinned

            What can I say? I don’t waste substantive responses on people who are clearly brainwashed beyond all hope. If you give any credence to the official Russian propaganda about the Crimean “referendum”, for example, I’m sorry but I have very little to say to you.

          • Macky

            LOL ! A troll neatly summed-up by;

            “People are being brainwashed by Russian state TV”; “How do you know?” “I heard it on the BBC” ! 😀

            Yes, best keep from addressing me as I have no wish to waste time with mindless & dishonest trolls; I treat & call them out for what they are.

    • Tony M

      It’s not even worth the effort to de-construct the lies in this comment. What sort of fucking lunatic believes this stuff?

      Tell us more about yourself FatDave, you’d make a fascinating case study.

        • Loony

          Lies? What are lies?

          What does this mean? “and a nation whose proxy blew a civilian airliner out of the sky….”

          Is this a reference to the USS Vincennes shooting down Iran Air flight 655 in 1988. This is undisputed, but would not appear overly relevant to the current discussion.

          So perhaps it is a reference to the shooting down of flight MH 17. This differs from the Iran Air flight in that there is no conclusive evidence of culpability. Given satellite technology this is strange as the US certainly has information that is relevant to this reprehensible event. The US refuses to reveal this information or to share it with accident investigators. Some may ask why this may be. Not asking why this may be does not constitute a lie but is indicative of an agenda.

          However we can only guess as to which particular air disaster FatDave is referring to since he chooses not to specify his thoughts.

          With regard to illegal invasions FatDave is more forthcoming in that it is clear he is is referring to the invasion of Ukraine. Albeit there is no evidence that anyone has invaded Ukraine since 1941 – so once again there is some ambiguity as to the invader referred to. Let us assume that it is Russia.

          There has been no Russian invasion of Ukraine. They have sought to shore up the position of the Donbass rebels and have annexed Crimea. So either I am misinterpreting FatDave or FatDave is using the wrong words. Why he might he do that?

          Annexing Crimea was not legal in International Law. However the populace of Crimea have not risen up in an attempt to expel the foreign invaders. There is no ongoing insurgency, and there is no anarchy in Crimea.

          An honest person would compare and contrast the situation in Crimea with the situation in Iraq. That FatDave does not do so indicates his dishonesty. Dishonesty is not directly equatable with lies – but it follows the same broad path.

          Incidentally I understand that in excess of 60% of the Humvees provided by the US to the Iraqi army have now been converted into vehicle bombs by ISIS. I quite confident that zero percent of all Russian military vehicles in Crimea have been converted into bombs by Crimean insurgents.

          • Macky

            @Loony, I know that I will not be wasting my time in asking you, (as opposed to the resident trolls & Establishment Apologists), why the self-determination for people of Crimea to unite with the Russia Federation “was not legal in International Law” ?

          • Loony

            Macky – Maybe it was legal. I was just trying to be as accommodating and non controversial as possible (you may find that hard to believe, but it is true)

            I am not an expert in in international law. The speed of the Crimean referendum and the effective exclusion of the Ukrainian government from participation in the setting up and execution of the referendum are both questionable. The fact that the legitimate government of Ukraine had been overthrown complicates the matter further, and allows people with an agenda to make all kinds of arguments.

            I do not think Russia had a choice. Crimea is, and always has been, a part of Russia apart from the brief interregnum post the collapse of the USSR. There is little doubt that most of the population of Crimea consider themselves Russian. There will always be exceptions. Take the UK, whichever way the EU referendum goes there will be some people claiming to be more European than British or more British than European.

            Russia is not innocent in all of this – It enforced a referendum in Crimea for its own geo-political purposes, and it denied a referendum in the Donbass/Luhansk regions also for its own geo political purposes. It is clear that both Donbass and Luhansk would vote to join Russia. How can Russia accommodate one group and not the other? The most probable answer is that it also trying to be as accommodating and non controversial as possible. Most people in the west will probably find that hard to believe

            Most of my knowledge of this whole situation is informed by Professor Stephen Cohen. In addition to his many publications he also does (an almost) weekly radio show with John Batchelor.

            Hope this helps

          • Macky

            @Looney, Ok I think these are the substantive points that need addressing;

            Yes normally ample time is allowed before any Referendum so that all the issues are properly debated, however for this particular Referendum there were two important reasons why this debate factor was void & superfluous ;

            a) Nobody seriously disagreed that for the referendum in the Crimea, the vote would always be a yes for union with Russia, whetever it was held in one week, one month, one year, or whenever, so there was literally nothing to debate, nor no point to debate ! In normal situations, leisurely booking a convenient distant date in the calendar, just to go through the motions, would be routine, but this was very much not a normal situation, lives were at stake, as well as the risk of civil war, & maybe even a bigger war also, so a big price to pay just to go through a formality !

            b) The longer the Referendum was delayed, as the West kept pressing for, the more opportunity was available for Western sponsored dirty tricks/asymmetric attacks, probably through the funding & encouraging of Jihadist terrorists attacks in the Crimea, in order to create conditions in which holding any Referendum would be impossible; the Russians were of course aware of this threat, which is why they helped ensured that the Referendum took place as quickly as it did.

            So the moral imperative of preventing bloodshed & conflict, trumped the irrelevance of delaying a referendum, for which everybody knew what the result would always be anyway.

            To state that “the exclusion of the Ukrainian government from participation in the setting up and execution of the referendum are both questionable” is rather surreal, as there was no legitimate “Government” ! A gang of Russophobic thugs had unconstitutionally, ie unlawfully, seized power, and were threatening all Ukrainians who opposed their rule, so to expect them to participate in the setting up & execution of a Referendum that would always go in Russia’s favour, is surrealism taken to the nth level !

            You state that “I do not think Russia had a choice”, yet “Russia is not innocent in all of this”, which seems a bit contradictory to me, especially as I only see that Russia was only reacting to events, ie not pro-actively creating them, and not only that, I also think that her reactions were carefully measured to avoid making a bad situation even worse, which you actually acknowledge with your comment about “as accommodating and non-controversial as possible”, and as you also state explains the lack of Russian support iro a Referendum for Donbass/Luhansk; so in view of this, why do you state that Russia is not innocent ? If she is not innocent in the handling of the Ukraine crisis, then you must think she is guilty of something ?

          • Loony

            I broadly agree. The whole referendum idea is a bit of a red herring as there is no doubt that the people of the Crimea consider themselves Russian and always have done. However it gives the west a stick with which to beat the Russians. Note how the western MSM never draws parallels with what the west unilaterally imposed on Bosnia.

            The idea of referendums in relation to secession or not is quite complex. There was a referendum in the Falklands as to whether the islanders wanted to stay “British.” They did, by an overwhelming majority. However there are only a few thousand of them. Does that mean that 64 million people in the UK should be obliged, if necessary, to go to war in defense of the wishes of a few thousand people? In essence the wishes of the people living in the area under discussion is not the only criteria.

            You are correct regarding there being no legitimate government in Ukraine. However it was effectively given a degree of legitimacy by the rapidity of the western powers recognizing it as legitimate. That does not invalidate your point that the situation in Ukraine was and is surreal, and it is the Russians that have to deal with this situation – surreal as it may be.

            The aim of the US was to deprive Russia of its main naval base for its Black Sea fleet. Russia was never going to let this happen and so it acted to annex Crimea. It would certainly have moved to obtain de-facto control of Crimea even if the Crimeans had been against it. Moreover Russia probably would have mobilized for full scale war had the US sought to prevent them acquiring control of Crimea. Given this the main aim of the US was stupid – as there were no circumstances in which it could be achieved. So an aim that is impossible to achieve is not really an aim at all. This just adds to the surreal nature of the whole situation.

            Russia was not really acting out of a moral imperative to avoid bloodshed. It was prepared to shed plenty of blood for control of Crimea. It just had a strategy that allowed it to achieve its aims without the need for bloodshed.

            You are correct in that Russia was only reacting to events and did nothing to cause any of this, However it remains the case that it behaved differently toward Crimea than it did toward the Donbass and Luhansk. The west constantly talks of Russian aggression – but inside Russia some bemoan the lack of aggression. There is an argument that Russia should have seized all of Eastern Ukraine right up to the Dneiper. It did none of these things, and I guess that a lot of people in eastern Ukraine would have wished for more Russian support.

          • Macky

            @Loony, Yes for sure the Referendum issue is nothing more than a dishonest stick that disingenuous people use to beat Russia with, my term for these sorts of people is Russophobes. Again I agree that the West created a real stick, a rod for its own back, by the forced creation of Kosovo, and the Russians are certainly right in pointing out the double-standards & hypocrisy of this.

            Re the Falklands, by holding a Referendum, the islanders exercised their right of self-determination as codified in the UN Charter; however the UK is NOT obliged to accept responsibility for them, or to do anything it doesn’t want to do for them; everything it does is only because it wants to. There people of Crimea exercised exactly their same right of self-determination, and decided to join the Russian Federation, which Russia agreed to, but didn’t have to, just like the UK with the Falklands,

            Re ” However it was effectively given a degree of legitimacy by the rapidity of the western powers recognizing it as legitimate.” ; Western Powers are not the “International Community” no matter how much they keep deluding themselves to be, they have no authority to give or take legitimacy as they desire.

            Yes the Real Politics of the situation meant that it was a typically piece of deranged reality detachment on planet Neocon in expecting Russia to have allowed the loss of its naval base, as that would rightly be viewed as an existential threat; however Russia has been very careful both in the Ukraine & in Syria to comply with International Law, so she has be fairly judged on what she has actually done, and not on whatever you think she might have now in other scenarios, nor judged on your subjective conjecture as to her possible motives.

            Again I may be reading you wrong, but you seem to bring-up the different Russian reaction to Donbass and Luhansk as compared to Crimea, as if this was a fault, or as proof that Russia was acting hypocritically & cynically, whereas I believe she has acted very wisely in the interest of peace, and deserved credit & thanks for that; yes of course the people in Eastern Ukraine are feeling let down, because as they see it, they are in a war situation anyway, but for the rest of us, we should be grateful for Russian cool headedness & for her attempts to contain & resolve peacefully the on-going conflict there.

          • Loony

            You are correct in that Russia has been as careful as possible to avoid any escalation. The point is that there are people inside Russia who believe that Russia has been overly conciliatory and that it should act more aggressively.

            It seems probable that most people in the US/EU do not have much of a clue as to what is going on. Every media story appears focused on “Russian aggression,” Western audiences are left to conclude that Russia is just mad and that they behave without reason. It is never acknowledged that western policy (expansion of NATO, siting of missiles in Romania and Poland) may be alarming to Russia. Absent any acknowledgement that you (the west) are part of the problem then there is no reason to change policy.

            There are people inside Russia who believe war is inevitable.

            This being the case it is of critical importance to try and determine what Russia might do in other scenarios. In any such determination our conclusions can be informed by articles such as this

            http://cluborlov.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/a-russian-warning.html

            We should all be clear the patience of the Russians is wearing thin and if they determine that war is inevitable then they will not hesitate to press the final button.

            The ignorance of the general western populations of this subject matter is perhaps the greatest tragedy of our times. If we are not both careful and lucky it will be the final tragedy of the human experience.

      • Loony

        Maybe I can help. FatDave is not called Dave and he is probably not fat.

        FatDave – If either you or your supervisor checks back to see how things are going, it was the use of the word “boats” that gave you away. Best for you to stay in the office and keep yourself safe.

        Toodle pip old boy.

    • Amazed

      “illegally invaded a sovereign nation,”

      And we never illegally invaded any sovereign nations, ever, well not since Iraq and Afghanistan, eh?

        • Macky

          “In conclusion, it can be argued that the NATO invasion of Afghanistan was not legal under international law. This is due to the fact that the UN resolutions that were drafted after the 9/11 attacks did not expressly permit an aggressive approach in tackling international terrorism. Furthermore, Article 2(3) and Article 2(4) of the UN Charter were not adhered to, as peaceful means to resolve the issue were not sufficiently considered and dialogue between the parties involved was not used as a means to end hostilities. Also, the assertion made by the US that it was acting on the grounds of self-defence under Article 51 of the Charter is deeply contentious. This is because in this case, one state was looking to invade another to eliminate a terrorist organisation that had no affiliation to any particular state. Lastly, the most crucial aspect here that proves that the invasion of Afghanistan was illegal under international law was the fact that the UN Security Council had not given authorisation for the invasion of Afghanistan, which would have been necessary in order for NATO to legally pursue Al Qaeda.”

          http://www.e-ir.info/2013/11/06/was-the-nato-invasion-of-afghanistan-legal/

          Any countering arguments Habba-Clown ?

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            “Macks”

            “In conclusion, it can be argued that the NATO invasion of Afghanistan was not legal under international law. ”
            __________________

            Yes, lots of things can be argued by non-lawyers, lawyers and self-appointed lawyers. But.

            Those who started the second Iraq war are often slated – certainly on here – for having acted without a second UNSCR resolution and thus having acted illegally and in contravention of international law.

            In the case of Afghanistan, there was a specific UNSCR resolution authorising the military operation, which thereby occurred legally and was in accordance with international law.

            You can’t have it both ways, chump. 🙂

          • Macky

            From Socrates railing against the Sophists, who argued for whichever side paid them the most, to Jesus against the Pharisees, to modern day Lawyers, those that engage in dissembling, putting money before honesty & principles have always been despised.

            Are you are lawyer by chance ?

          • Martinned

            All: God save your majesty!

            Cade: I thank you, good people—there shall be no money; all shall eat
            and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
            that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

            Dick: The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

            Cade: Nay, that I mean to do.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Martinned is not a lawyer. He has said so before on this forum.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Martinned is not a lawyer. He has said so before on this forum.

          • Macky

            @JSD, so he’s an amateur dissembler rather than professional, same as the difference between crap & rubbish really.

    • Andyj

      Not true Dave. To force the sub to change direction in maritime/air law is to approach it from the right for a collision. The vehicle on the left has to give way.
      This happened. Read it again.

    • Jams O'Donnell

      “a nation that has illegally invaded a sovereign nation” mmmm, invading, not like Iraq on the part of the UK and US, you mean?
      “blew a civilian airliner out of the sky” mmmm, not like the Iranian one that the US did, then?

      Very selective memory you have, Obese Dave.

  • Tom Welsh

    “The Sun” ran a headline referring to “a Russian attack submarine”. Bizarre and weird. Has there ever been a naval submarine that wasn’t designed and equipped to attack something? Today, there are two main classes: those, like the Kilo class in this incident, that are designed to attack other submarines and warships; and those that carry ICBMS as a strategic nuclear deterrent. The USA and UK possess numerous examples of both types. Surprisingly enough, so does Russia.

  • Paul Kellu

    If you ask for trouble by interfering with the right of free passage you might just get it!

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Harrassed? Or escorted? If it’s anything like Russian aircraft exercising their right of free passage close to UK airspace with all their electronics pointed this way (routinely escorted off the premises. Sometimes the pilots wave at each other), then good for the RN. Wonder what sort of response one of ours would get if it took a quick shufti at Sevastopol?

    Pffft. Non-issue.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      PS – one of the better reasons for staying in the EU. Since the insane decision to scrap the Nimrod maritime surveillance contingent- halfway through building the upgrades – we are wholly dependent on European air assets to keep an eye on what’s keeping an eye on us, and why. Distancing ourselves from them is probably not a great idea.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          My bad. I should have spelt out what I meant, which was maritime surveillance, with specific reference to a/c capable of detecting submerged submarines. We (with our occupiers) do have some capability in the air defence field.

    • Macky

      The non-issue is your point about Sevastopol, it hardly being near one of the world’s busiest shipping routes !

      I tend to think that this is linked to the fact that the US has now deployed a second US air carrier in the Mediterranean, so part & parcel of trying to deter possible Russian action iro Syria.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I would have thought that it was particularly important that we knew exactly what was going through the Channel. As it is a busy shipping route, and traffic through it has to be managed.

        I’d imagine that US and Russian naval units in the Med are having as much fun shadowing each other there as we do shadowing the Russians in our local waters. Nul points. The topic of this thread is a matter of the purest routine, and it’s been going on for decades – the end of the Cold War changed nothing: the price of security is eternal vigilance.

        • Tom Welsh

          Obviously the Royal Navy and lots of other people knew all about the Russian submarine, not least because the Russians would have followed law and protocol by notifying the British government of the submarine’s planned passage and course. I don’t see how sending a warship to intercept the submarine could add anything to the information the Russians had already given, and which could easily be confirmed by radar or a simple telescope.

        • nevermind

          So you agree then that we are falling back into old cold war tactics?
          If you continue to cut your forces the resulting paranoia can take over small minds such as Fallons.
          When a single aircraft’s ECCM’s can take out a modern destroyers aggressive targeting its understandable that some heads get too hot under the collar.
          After last nights 1-1 Russia will be accused of cheating, fighting, biting,
          throwing bottles and all sorts, whilst our law abiding fans did nothing.
          “Violence has flared up again in Marseille for the second night in a row as English, Russian and French hooligans battle each other and riot police. To say that they were not prepared for it two days ago, and I’m not saying there are no agent provocateurs, would be farcical. We have form.

          “England fans who had been drinking for most of the day at the Queen Victoria pub in the Old Port district, threw bottles at French officers, who then used tear gas to disperse them.The police, who wore full riot gear, were seen marching towards the hundreds of supporters who ran away down the street.

          Later Russian fans joined the brawl, with drunken youths goading each other into fist fights. Witnesses said anyone who fell to the floor was kicked repeatedly.

          One police source told MailOnline: ‘Once again the English fans have been drinking strong beer all day and cannot deal with alcohol.”
          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3635374/Football-violence-Marseille-fault-POLICE-say-England-fans-return-scene-morning-enjoy-pints-lager-breakfast.html#ixzz4BMi7ItYA

          • Anon1

            Can you stop saying “We” and “Our” when you clearly despise this country?

            Of course, the England fans had been drinking heavily, but in this instance it appears that they were set upon by gangs of Russian thugs and provoked by French riot police. Which is not to say that England fans do not have an appalling track record in football hooliganism, but it has improved immeasurably in recent years.

  • fred

    I don’t see what the problem is, the navy are doing their job guarding the safety of British citizens the same as every other navy in the world would do. If an armed war ship is that close to areas of dense population the navy would be failing in their duty if they didn’t keep an eye on it.

    However, if there genuinely are factors not published which make our actions illegal then there is recourse through the United Nations. If Russia genuinely believes Britain is acting unreasonably then they can bring it up at the UN.

  • Amazed

    The RN has to stay in The Channel, haven’t you heard? Their ships can’t cope with the heat anywhere else:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/07/destroyers-will-break-down-if-sent-to-middle-east-admits-royal-navy

    But never fear, they can still protect us from illegal radio ships, just like they did on August 19th 1989.

    http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/#history/history_part_10.html

    It’s not “Piracy on the High Seas” when the government does it, dontchaknow?

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      Or even when former Somali fishermen do it, eh?

      Oh, but wait ! – the former Somali fishermen turned pirates were not a Western govt so that’s OK, I guess.

      **********************

      As the saying goes: if all the imbeciles of this world had wings, the heavens would remain forever overcast

  • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

    The general tone of the majority of the comments on Craig’s post exactly demonstrates the truth of what I wrote about this blog on the previous thread. The hating majority and the (far fewer) sensible commenters (special tribute to Baal and Fred here, although they won’t thank me for it 🙂 ).

    • Herbie

      Well.

      Fred is a committed Atlanticist globaliste, as are you.

      And, I haven’t yet seen Ba’al deviate from that agenda.

      So no real reason for you to pretend to different agendas.

      But I’d prefer that you argued your case for US hegemony rather than hiding behind Sun-level propaganda.

      Surely if you favour US hegemony you do so because it’s preferable to a multipolar world.

      Where’s your argument?

      • fred

        “Fred is a committed Atlanticist globaliste, as are you.”

        Bullshit.

        As so often in Craig’s posts the spectacular headline didn’t match the content. He quotes chapter an verse about impeding the transit of ships being illegal in international law but there is no actual evidence any ship was impeded. The submarine sailed into one side of the channel and out of the other it wasn’t stopped it wasn’t boarded it wasn’t impeded which makes the title of this blog entry not true.

        Your inventing ulterior motives on my part, pretending I’m an Atlanticist globaliste isn’t going to change that, that’s just cogitative dissonance warping your brain.

        • Herbie

          Fred

          This isn’t about the sub’s impeded transit. That’s simply a propaganda opportunity. I’m not judging you on that.

          No.

          You’ve repeatedly demonstrated a position that advocates internationalism over nationalism.

          Whether you like it or not, that argument is one of the main means through which Atlanticism is articulated.

          Your ignorance of that simple fact doesn’t matter.

          You see.

          Any country that asserts its independence of the Atlanticist project will be tarnished by you as facist or whatever.

          So you attack those who are for multipolarity against those who favour Atlanticist hegemony.

          Simple enough, really.

          • Herbie

            I’ve presented my argument above.

            If you’ve nothing but foul-mouthed distractions in rebuttal, then so be it.

            I win.

          • fred

            If you can talk about me I can talk about you.

            What’s the matter? Did you think you were so superior you were the only one qualified to judge people? Don’t you like it when you get judged?

            Pathetic little creep.

          • Herbie

            What on earth are you on about.

            You’re not talking about me.

            You’re using the same tired old reheated pro-forma Usenet flames you use on everyone else when you’ve lost the argument.

            You do the same with everyone.

            Like some 14yo script kiddie.

            Just address the argument put to you and less of the diversions please.

          • fred

            You really are nasty scum aren’t you? You call me names in a public forum then object to my replying. It’s nasty creeps like you thinking they’re better than everyone else, supremacists who decide they have the right to judge other people that are responsible for much of the misery in the world.

          • glenn_uk

            Fred: “You call me names in a public forum”

            What names did he call you, Fred?

            Your knee-jerk response of spitting out foul-mouthed abuse has made your opponent’s case yet again. Whatever message and case you might have had, is lost in the distaste generated by your filthy tirade.

            Abuse your debatees, and that will hopefully frighten away those that might disagree with you – your tactics are very familiar, cowardly and highly discreditable – and they don’t work, if you hadn’t noticed.

          • Herbie

            You’re not making any sense, Fred.

            Just address the argument.

            You’re fooling no one with this nonsense.

  • DerekM

    One of these days one of those acts of belligerence is not going to end well everybody keeps talking about NATO flexing its muscles but in reality they are in fear over the Russian Topol M missile system and there is even rumours the Russian military space program has possibly put a first strike weapon in orbit.

    The USA in their attempt to create a war in the Ukraine has put the Russians on full readiness they are not joking about their very existance feels threatened,they broke up their empire they changed their ways they became more open they did everything we asked them ,and what did we do we lied to them.

    If we want a fight well the Russians will be happy to give us one,we are ruled by morons.

    And get your filthy Nuke bombs out my country England i have no wish to become radioactive dust because you want to wave your butchers flag and poke the bear.

    • Martinned

      This is the kind of comment that makes me come back to Craig’s blog. Sometimes I’m just in the mood for shooting at fish in a barrel.

        • Loony

          Yes it is desperate – but possibly not in the way you intend.

          Russia has both the capacity and the will to defend itself. The US/EU/NATO appear as determined to provoke Russia as the media is not to report this provocation.

          Russia is not perfect – but then which state is. The question is whether western intolerance of both real and presumed imperfections are worth destroying the world for.

          Certain elements of the western power elites appear content with the march to the final war in our species history. That is what makes the situation desperate.

          • Loony

            I don’t normally provide lessons in comprehension unless money changes hands. However ask yourself what the words “Russia is not perfect” might mean. Here is a hint: those words do not mean that “Russia is ruled by angels”

          • Martinned

            What can I say? I read between the lines…

            (And generally, nothing anyone says before “…, but” counts. As in: “I’m not a racist, but…” or “Some of my best friends are Jews, but …”)

          • Macky

            What a shameless troll our friend is; they are all the same, snide, infantile, facetious, irrational, dishonest, etc

            Is this really this is the best Apologists that the Establishment can muster ! 😀

          • Loony

            Here is a tip. Read the words and interpret them as the dictionary instructs you to interpret them. To do otherwise seems to lead you down the path of confusion.

            When you asked yourself the question “What can I say?” The answer was nothing. It most definitely was not “Oh I know I have made a mistake so I will now blow some smoke and smear this person with sly innuendo that he/she is a racist, Jew hater”

          • Herbie

            Martinned

            Let’s see if there’s any substance behind this repetitive one-line driveby goon.

            What, in the broad sense, would you say NATO’s objectives are?

            What, in the broad sense, would you say Russia’s objectives are?

          • Martinned

            OK, I’ll bite:

            NATO: To “maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.” (art. 3 North Atlantic Treaty) and, in case of an armed attack against any one of them, “to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area” (art. 5).

            Russia: Well, I’m not sure that it’s appropriate to ascribe objectives to Russia, but Putin’s objectives are to stay in power and, while there, to steal as much money as possible. To support that objective, he needs to stay in motion, constantly creating an impression, towards his domestic audience, that Russia is under attack and that it needs him to rescue the nation. The easiest way to do that is to pick a fight with anyone who looks weak enough that Putin can expect to come out as the saviour of the nation at the end. (I.e. don’t pick a fight with Chechnya, but do pick a fight with Georgia, etc.)

          • Herbie

            So, your analysis of NATO objectives is to quote their own treaty.

            Your analysis of Russian objectives is a personalised attack on Putin. The kind of attack that usually accompanies western agression.

            Do you work for the BBC.

            Dear, oh dear.

            Anyway.

            How does the over-indebted and over-extended US, factor into your propaganda. What are the implications of that for Europe, as the US collapses or retreats from full spectrum dominance.

            How do the rumblings within NATO and the EU factor into your propaganda.

            What impact do you think the more directly controlled US vassals in eastern Europe will have on the lesser controlled vassals to the west.

            Doesn’t even a cursory glance at the world map indicate a NATO blocking of trade routes east to west and isn’t that what this is really all about.

          • Martinned

            I’m sorry, I didn’t realise that when you asked for a response “in a broad sense”, you meant “write a monograph that shares my political biases and prejudices”.

          • Herbie

            I’m simply pointing to the facts on the ground. Your propaganda leaves out the facts.

            Why is that. What use is it.

            All the current problems we see in this region are simply down to Putin’s megolamania, according to you. Is that a serious analysis.

            And, we do have a declining empire in the US, over-indebted, over-extended. Are you saying this is wrong.

            What are the implcations as such a large empire declines, For Europe.

            Are you seriously arguing that there are no tensions within NATO and the EU over East/West relations and trade, and if not, what’s causing these tensions.

            Your propaganda doesn’t address the realities on the ground.

            Which is the point, of course.

          • Martinned

            And, we do have a declining empire in the US, over-indebted, over-extended. Are you saying this is wrong.

            How do you expect me to respond to this? Literally nothing of it is true. The US is neither an empire nor declining (except in the relative sense), it is sooner under-indebted than over-indebted (at least the Federal Government, the states and local authorities are a different story), and it’s less extended than it has been at any time since World War II, and therefore hardly over-extended by any plausible definition.

            You live in some kind of propaganda-infused extreme left-wing lala land, and that makes serious conversation extremely difficult. If you’re somewhere way to the left of Corbyn, Varoufakis, etc., it’s you that is out of touch with reality, not me.

          • Loony

            You seem to have a relationship to facts similar to the relationship of a vampire to garlic.

            The US has military bases in 63 countries, and at any one time the US has military personnel in 156 countries.There is some debate as to the actual number of US military bases outside of the US. Most estimates are of something more than 700. The Pentagon itself admits to 662.

            The US has a national debt approaching $20 trillion and unfunded liabilities of around $210 trillion.

            Empires tend to have a large number of overseas military bases.

            Countries that are over indebted tend to have large amounts of debt.

          • Martinned

            You seem to have stumbled over a classic “how long is a piece of string?”-type question. In this case, a number of different versions of “how much is a lot?” Even you must recognise that such a question cannot be answered except by reference to some kind of yardstick.

            With regard to debt, I omitted the yardstick, but the implicit point was clearly that “a lot of debt” = “more than it ought to have” = “more than is healthy for the economic wellbeing of the country”. Given that under most plausible macro-economic models the policy prescription is that the US government ought to run a larger deficit, in order to promote growth and reduce unemployment, the obvious conclusion is that the US has not enough debt. (= the opposite of “more than it ought to have”)

            As for over-extended, I already offered the yardstick: Unless you think the US has always been over-extended, the obvious way to make a statement about the question whether the US armed forces are over-extended is to compare the degree to which it is extended with how extended it was in the past. Incidentally, I don’t think counting countries is particularly helpful. Counting the number of personnel and the amount of equipment that is based overseas seems more appropriate. And on that basis, the US army is less extended than it was 10 or 20 years ago, much less during the Cold War.

          • Herbie

            “Relative” decline, eh.

            OK.

            So tell me this.

            As the US relatively declines there must come a point when that impacts their capacity to maintain force abroad.

            That must be true. Yes.

            It’s not a static thing as you imply.

            We must reach that point at some stage.

            And more importantly what plans do you think the US is making for that eventuality.

            How will they manage that decline.

            What measures would they put in place to ensure others don’t rise so much as they decline.

          • Loony

            Global GDP is around $78 trillion, So if one country has aggregate debt of almost 3 times global GDP then that would qualify as too much debt.

            The ability to repay debt is ultimately determined by mathematics and not prejudice. No serious person is arguing that US debt is repayable. No policy is being enacted on the basis that the debt is even serviceable much less repayable.

            Counting countries is a necessary task to determine whether an empire exists, and if it does then to discover how large it might be. To suggest otherwise is beyond inane.

          • Macky

            From the Martinned blog, it appears that he is Dutch; I wonder what he thinks of his country’s sovereignty being subservient to US interests;

            “6. Case study: The Netherlands submits itself to US military command
            The Netherlands is a typical US ally. The Netherlands ‘hosts’ seven US military facilities, including Volkel base which has nuclear warheads, two undisclosed locations for the US Airforce, two army bases in Schingen and Brunssum, and two Antillean bases leased to the US. The stated function of these two bases is to monitor and intercept drug-transport on the Caribbean Sea, but there’s a common understanding that the same bases are used for reconnaissance flights over Colombia. The Netherlands is therefore indirectly involved in the Colombian civil war. Both the largest airport, Schiphol and the largest harbour, Rotterdam Europort ‘host’ a ‘US administrative military facility’, allowing the US to bring in shipments of arms and materials into the Netherlands without having to report to Dutch customs. Moreover all pilots flying on the Dutch airliner KLM have to sign a contract that includes the provision that, in case of war, they take their marching orders not from the Dutch government, but from the US air force.”

            https://www.tni.org/es/node/2759#netherlands

          • Martinned

            To answer the question (why not) I think that a close military alliance with the US is clearly in the Dutch national interest, because there are significant economies of scope in maintaining a standing army. (The Dutch government has reduced its military budget to the point that the country doesn’t own any tanks anymore. That is only possible because of our alliance with the US.)

            That story about KLM sounds like fiction to me.

          • Herbie

            So, how can the Dutch give effect to their own national interest if it deviates fundamentally from the US interest.

            How can it survive the relative decline of the US.

            It can’t, can it.

            Unless they believe there will be no relative decline of the US.

            Under what circumstances can US relative decline be markedly reversed or even stalled.

            Only in circumstances where the advance of eastern and southern economies can be contained.

            Or in circumstances where the US and its allies are successful in miltary action against Russia and China etc.

            So, containment or war. That’s all you have. NATO and its allies have need of war or containment. That’s why they’re the agressors.

            That’s where we’re at, and no amount of propaganda can change that.

          • Macky

            So you believe that the “close military alliance” with the US is in the Dutch national interest because of the financial benefits of relying on US military might ! Even at the risk of having hardly any real independence armed forces, and in opposition so such concepts, Independence, Freedom, Sovereignty , etc. Not to mention that such an alliance put the Netherlands on the nuking target list in the event of WW3; I hope at least you’re realistic to at least acknowledge that the bottom line is that Dutch interests will not even occur as a consideration to Washington planners when it comes to what’s in the US’s best interests. I wonder what most Dutch people think of your view.

            No wonder you cannot realise the existence of the US Empire, when you cannot even realise that your own Country is very much a subservient part of that Empire.

          • Herbie

            This is quite an interesting example of the bind, if accurate:

            “German Intelligence Service to Become Branch of CIA”

            https://off-guardian.org/2016/06/09/german-intelligence-service-to-become-branch-of-u-s-cia/

            Strongly suggests that the US is preparing for war.

            The thinking is that, whilst Europe would be destroyed, the US could emerge relatively unscathed, and it would be a price worth paying to neutralise Russia.

            Europeans won’t have much effective say in the matter.

          • Herbie

            Those who are interested in US thinking on nuclear war could do worse than read this article from the CFR’s house magazine, Foreign Affairs, published 2006.

            Full article here:

            http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dpress/docs/Press_Rise_US_Nuclear_Primacy_FA.pdf

            Original, behind paywall:

            https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2006-03-01/rise-us-nuclear-primacy

            Main argument:

            “the age of mad is nearing an end. Today, for
            the first time in almost 50 years, the United States stands on the verge
            of attaining nuclear primacy. It will probably soon be possible for the
            United States to destroy the long-range nuclear arsenals of Russia or
            China with a first strike. This dramatic shift in the nuclear balance of
            power stems from a series of improvements in the United States’ nuclear
            systems, the precipitous decline of Russia’s arsenal, and the glacial pace
            of modernization of China’s nuclear forces. Unless Washington’s policies
            change or Moscow and Beijing take steps to increase the size and readi-
            ness of their forces, Russia and China—and the rest of the world—will
            live in the shadow of U.S. nuclear primacy for many years to come.”

            Given Russia’s reportedly more sophisticated weapons today, perhaps they pulled back to MAD, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

            They’re gamblers these people. They run the numbers, and if Europe is the only major downside, they’ll likely take a punt, given the prize.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Just one more point:
    a gross and entirely deliberate act of provocation designed to sour international relations and disturb the atmosphere of world peace.

    It’s almost certainly intended as a riposte for a previous Russian infraction of the informal rules of the game, which are not wholly circumscribed by the Law of the Sea. Not all of which, by any means, are reported in the media. Though RT was pleased with this one –

    https://www.rt.com/news/233751-tu-bear-intercepted-video/

  • J Galt

    Well at least it gave the Russians a close look at the Joke that is the Royal Navy” although Royal “Flotilla” might be factually more accurate.

    The Russkies wouldn’t be able to fight this lot for falling about laughing!

    • Martinned

      Awww, bless. You can see the Russians are really worried about all those incidents that are suddenly happening, through no fault of their own.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

    This is just the tip of Royal Navy operations against against Russian submarines, and subs purported to be Russian ones, sometimes British ones.

    From the 1980s, British Oberon class submarines operated in Swedish waters to test if it was seriously working to prevent foreign ones, especially Soviet ones, from operating there.

    And just before Swedish PM Olof Palme was assassinated, most influential British scholar John Ericson, an adviser of Britain’s Parliamentary Submarine Commission, stated on Swedish TV, without a shred of evidence, that Palme’s government had secretly released a Soviet submarine which had done so.

    It was all part of setting him up for assassination, and eliminating the USSR for apparently having done so.

  • fedup (Snitchsmeller Pursuivant)

    Thanks Craig for clarifying the points and highlighting the various articles and the treaties regards territorial waters and the obligations and rights thereof.

    The crazed lunatics running the asylum are now busy tearing the international laws to tatters and when the favours are returned then the outcries of “aggression” will be the headlines of the oligarch owned media here and elsewhere under the charge of the necon vermin.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well according to Wiki, the Strait of Dover is the busiest international seaway in the world, I’d imagine the keyword here is international.

    Still I agree, that British or French subs shadowing the Rusky sub (if that’s all that occured) is a good idea, when one tests your perimeters, it’s always good to have a strong response.

    The fact that the encounter has been made public, will be in the interests of Nato, put across in the manner of the “Russian sub” could’ve ordered a strike on Paris or London.

    Cue the increase in French and British military expenditure.

    Of course Nato has been testing other nations borders for decades, without such sensationalism.

      • Loony

        It is a shame that when governments acted to criminalize “hate speech” they neglected to criminalize “lunatic speech”

        Do you really want to start WW3 because of a submarine in the English Channel?- People say Islamic suicide bombers are a death cult – they have nothing on you.

      • Tom Welsh

        Do you have any idea how many Russian thermonuclear warheads could be arriving in the UK within 20 minutes? Or what they would do? (Not to mention that the Russians could sink the entire pathetic Royal Navy in half an hour of they wanted to).

  • Kempe

    Total non-story and I’ll lay good money the Russians aren’t bothered about it. They’d probably be more miffed if we’d ignored them.

    I’m also equally convinced that if a British sub nosed its way into the Black Sea or the Baltic the Russians would be keeping also be keeping a close eye on it.

    • Herbie

      If it’s a non-story and routine then why is it a story.

      It’s a story designed to give the impression that Russia is threatening the UK.

      So why would the UK want to give that impression.

      That’s the story!

        • Herbie

          Yes, indeed.

          But most of them don’t come from the British govt/Military.

          Perhaps you think The Sun had a reporter on the scene.

    • Dave Lawton

      “I’m also equally convinced that if a British sub nosed its way into the Black Sea or the Baltic the Russians would be keeping also be keeping a close eye on it.”

      Kempe You are nearly right on this.British subs use to get depth charged from time and vice versa.
      One of the names given for these patrols were Mystery trips.There are other events that went on but
      I could not possible comment if you get the drift.

  • Stuart Harrison

    Nonsense! They followed the Russian boat and ship. Harassment? The police have tailed me for a while, probably doing a quick records check on radio, does this mean they’re harassing me. As said, it’s legal for them to use the strait, wasn’t aware this meant nobody allowed to follow in their wake. Silly article, waste of column inches really?

    • Andyj

      Our police don’t try to force you off the road. The whole complaint was they forced the sub to change course in accordance of maritime rules.

      • fred

        Was it? I don’t see that in the blog entry or the newspaper reports, the Russian Ministry of Defence seem to think it was just a routine passage through the channel and the Navy spokesman just said they escorted the submarine which is why we have a navy.

        The forcing to change course seems to have been an after thought not the whole complaint.

      • fedup

        What is the point answering to someone who has no idea about what they are talking about?

        The police have tailed me for a while, probably doing a quick records check on radio, does this mean they’re harassing me.

        From the analogy it is patently clear; the individual is far too busy opining and has very little or no interest in actualities and the implications of the cowboy actions concerning the Russian sub. Pay back is going to be a bitch, but hey the neocon-artists have managed to assert their will/writ for the time being.

      • glenn_uk

        Andyj: “Our police don’t try to force you off the road.

        Sure they do. They also beat confessions out of “suspects”, fit up innocents to get them locked up, take bribes, fake evidence, and indulge in every form of bigotry. Sounds like you were born yesterday.

  • BDS Now !

    The fallons and sumnerredstones, whether in England or New Zealand are doing what every eretzer is ordained to by satan. Only the cattle are all fast asleep, apart from a few higher breeds like CM and putin.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)
    June 9, 2016 at 08:37

    “Leaving aside all this “WW3” rhetoric: it is certainly the case that Russian military aircraft are continually being escorted out of UK airspace…”
    ………………………………………………………………………….

    Not true Habbabkuk, as you well know.

    Please stop telling porkies you don’t convince anyone on here.

    Have a nice day.

  • Paul

    Craig, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the incursions (real or exaggerated) of Russian aircraft, which are also mentioned in the article you link too.

  • Becky Cohen

    “UK Illegally Harasses Russian Submarine Engaged in Lawful Passage of English Channel”

    Oh well, at least it didn’t surface in the Welsh Channel where me and my girlfriends would have harassed the sailors buwhahahaha;) Seriously, we wouldn’t harm them: although they might well be waking up with a sore head the next morning to a submarine painted in fuchsia pink with a rainbow pride flag flying from the turret:))))

  • Peter

    For a variety of reasons, ruling elites often find it advantageous to maintain a state of international military tension. They believe that they can accurately dial this tension up and down as circumstances suit.

    Unfortunately, history is full of examples where they lost control of events because events did not move in the linear way that they expected.

    The current artificial tension between NATO and Russia should be seen in this light.

    It creates a climate where an incident could grow into a crisis, and a crisis could become an all-out conflict. For that reason it is indeed very dangerous.

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