For a good few years now (read: most of my lifespan), Western Europe has been nice and secure. The threat of nuclear release abated in the early nineties. The massed hoards of Russian tanks were a) much further away and b) all broken. The regular massive exercises in the opponents backyards stopped.
More locally, the long lasting local difficulties have quietened down a good bit as well.
So of course some dozy bastard was going to do something silly and try to rock the boat. Step forward, Vladimir Putin.
Two new RAF Typhoon jets shadowed a Russian bomber heading for Britain, the Ministry of Defence has said.
The jets were scrambled on Friday 17 August to identify the Russian aircraft, which turned back before it reached UK skies.
The MoD said: “RAF Typhoons from Numbers 3(F) and XI Squadrons launched to shadow a Russian Bear-H aircraft over the North Atlantic Ocean.”
Yay. Just when everything is going nice and smoothly (on the international front at least; domestic policies in both countries involved are both FUBAR), someone has to go and do something silly. Like sending nuclear capable aircraft towards this here bit of land…
Of course, it could easily be the case that this has happened a lot more that the story would suggest, and that the MoD is only publicising this incident because it was a nice picture of their shiny expensive toy actually doing what it was designed to do…
Nah, that’s pushing it. Clearly I’m being far too cynical. That would never be the case.