Proving to the world that they are still a major military player, allegedly a Russian submarine quietly patrolled the Gulf of Mexico unnoticed by the U.S. military. The stealthy nuclear –powered sub, armed with cruise missiles quietly traversed U.S. waters for weeks highlighting a potential flaw in America’s security.
Further, the possible overt military action calls into question the so-called “friendly” relationship President Obama believes he shares with a re-elected Russian President Vladimir Putin. At a March Nuclear Security Summit Obama was caught on a hot mike telling former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev “after my election, I’ll have more flexibility.”
That statement sent shock waves into the military world.
The Russian stealth-like submarine that patrolled in U.S. waters is part of the SSN Akula (shark in Russian) class of submarines, according to NATO. The Russian sub has significantly improved its propellers to patrol much more quietly and was designed to destroy American subs.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the Russian incursion caused concern for top-ranking military officials who point out the currently proposed $500 billion in military cuts would hinder America’s submarine detection capabilities.
Another reason for the military to be concerned about the possible provocative submarine move is the Navy’s nuclear submarine base is located at Kings Bay, Georgia. Currently, the Navy keeps eight missile-firing submarines in the Georgia port.
“Sending a nuclear-propelled submarine into the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean region is another manifestation of President Putin demonstrating that Russia is still a player on the world’s political-military stage,” naval analyst and submarine warfare specialist Norman Polmar told the Beacon. “It’s a confounding situation arising from a lack of leadership in our dealings with Moscow,” Senator John Cornyn (R- TX), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said. “While the president is touting our supposed ‘reset’ in relations with Russia, Vladimir Putin is actively working against American interests, whether it’s in Syria or here in our own backyard.” Defense skeptics question the veracity and timing of the disclosure of this Russian submarine penetration in Gulf due to the clear, shallow waters of the Gulf, US SOSUS acoustic devices and satellites that can penetrate hundreds of feet of water to detect and track submarines.