Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has recently called for the Biden Administration to step it up and start actively shooting down all Russian military aircraft in the wake of a Tuesday Russian-provoked incident that ended in the destruction of a U.S. military drone as it flew over international waters.
A report from the U.S. European Command indicated that a pair of Russian fighter jets had been harassing a $32 million unmanned MQ-9 Reaper drone as it flew over the Black Sea when one of the pair ran into the propeller fo the drone, forcing the drone to be downed in the body of water.
“They shot down our drone,” exclaimed Sean Hannity, a host for Fox News, during part of an interview alongside Graham this past Tuesday evening. “What should our answer be?”
“Well, we should hold them accountable and say that, ‘If you ever get near another U.S. asset flying in international waters, your airplane will be shot down,’” responded Graham. “What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting Russian planes down if they were threatening our assets. American foreign policy’s in free-fall.”
“Weakness breeds provocation. They know they can get away with it. Mexico is blaming us for the fentanyl crisis and Joe Biden is like a deer in the headlights. He needs to up his game quickly,” the Senator continued. “So President Biden, you’re the Rodney Dangerfield of world leaders. Nobody respects you. And if you don’t change your game and up your game, we’re gonna have World War III.”
The statement coming from U.S. European Command went on to add that both of the Russian Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in what would be labeled as a reckless manner which was enrionmentlal unsound and demonstrated a “lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional.”
“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” stated U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”
“U.S. and Allied aircraft will continue to operate in international airspace and we call on the Russians to conduct themselves professionally and safely,” added Heckler.
The statement went on to state that the incident seemed to follow a “pattern of dangerous actions” conducted by Russian pilots that elected to interact with both Allied and U.S. aircraft alike over international airspace which could “lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.”
“U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa routinely fly aircraft throughout Europe over sovereign territory and throughout international airspace in coordination with applicable host nation and international laws,” the statement concluded. “In order to bolster collective European defense and security, these missions support Allied, partner, and U.S. national objectives.”