“There have been a rash of B-52 flights near threatening regimes lately, as obviously someone on the Obama administration national security staff has decided that the sight of a 60-year-old bomber will scare the boots off our adversaries,” L. Todd Wood writes in his article for The Washington Times.
According to the Sunday statement of the US Armed Forces, it came amid an alleged recent nuclear test carried out by Pyongyang and was a demonstration of commitment to its allies in South Korea.
"This was a demonstration of the ironclad US commitment to our allies in South Korea, in Japan, and to the defense of the American homeland," Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the US Pacific Command said, as quoted by the US media.
The author also refers to another incident, when on December 10 two B-52s flew over Chinese man-made islands in the South China Sea.
The Pentagon then said the flight was “unintentional” and the pilots had gotten lost due to bad weather.
L. Todd Wood however argues that “in the age of GPS, nothing is accidental”.
“The B-52 is so named because the first iteration of the aircraft’s design took its maiden flight in 1952. There are grandfathers around who flew the B-52 whose grandsons are now flying the same tail numbers.”
“Yes, the Stratofortress is a formidable nuclear and conventional weapons platform. However, it is now, in the age of sophisticated air defense, a stand-off weapon system. It can launch nuclear tipped cruise missiles but that is about it as far as threatening North Korea or China goes. It cannot penetrate enemy airspace until air superiority has been obtained,” he notes.
“I’m sure Adm. Harris believes what he says about the B-52 flight over Osan. However, I’m sure he also knows that real deterrence comes from having a strong, unmatchable military that can, if used, devastate any enemy. Real deterrence comes from a president saying what he means and meaning what he says.”
“Evaporating red lines simply invite aggression,” he states.
“Our fiscal weakness is inviting military weakness. Machiavelli had it right, “It is better to be feared than loved.”
L. Todd Wood fears the US is neither under this administration’s leadership.
"A B-52 fly-by is not going to change the trajectory of the Obama administration’s foreign policy fecklessness," he says.
In fact, it puts US Air Force aircrews in danger, he therefore states.