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NORAD v. Cessna


This is a CESSNA: 


I was reading last week about how many "incursions" Russian naval and aviation forces have made near or into the United States over the last several months. Russian nuclear subs in international waters off both coasts, and bombers flying through U.S./Canadian airspace. Real Cold War stuff. Now, when I think of Cold War "incursions" by the Russians, I hear horns and klaxons and imagine fighter pilots racing across the tarmac, jets scrambling...the kind of thing you'd see when Godzilla was sighted...and backyard bomb shelters; you get the idea.

But, not so in today's world. The North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD, commander Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. is quoted in a recent Washington Times article:
"...beginning a couple of years ago, Russian strategic aviation forces began stepping up training flights of nuclear-capable Tu-95 Bear bombers near or through U.S. and Canadian airspace..."
And that means...?
"They are trying to show the world that they are a powerful nation, and we're not giving them the satisfaction … ."
So, do we do anything about it? Like in Top Gun; have a US fighter pilot flip 'em off or something?
"If we intercept every single flight that comes out in our direction, then we're really just feeding into their propaganda," 
No, really. What do we do?
"So we intercept them when we feel like we ought to, and we have various criteria that we use for that, to include just rehearsing our own skills to be able to do that."
Oh, OK. Is there anything else NORAD can do?
"we just leave them alone,"...[the Obama administration has] "done a good job of trying to hit the reset button with these guys, and sooner or later they've got to respond." Above quoted taken from the Washington Times on-line article.
Sooner or later they've got to respond!? Respond with what!? Anyone else see the problem here? Can you immagine where we'd be if we took this stance during the Cuban Missile Crisis?

But this situation is not all that has me wound up. Another story posted by CNN tells us the NORAD actually scrambled two fighters because a CESSNA violated "Obama airspace" over Las Vagas, Nevada. Okay, I can see the point of that. We've seen what kind of damage a civilian single-engine Cessna can do to a building...remember the kook who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX back in February, 2010 in an act of Domestic Terrorism? Oh, wasn't terrorism. Just a criminal act. (so that means we scramble fighter jets for the "criminal act" of violating Obama airspace...?)

The point of all this is:
This is what a CESSNA can do to a building:

And, this is what a RUSSIAN STRATEGIC BOMBER can do to the Nation:

Next week: Building your own bomb shelter.

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