A national security expert says a recent incident with two Russian fighter jets flying near a U.S. Navy ship demonstrates that Russia knows President Barack Obama is a weak Commander in Chief.
Bob Maginnis of the Family Research Council is reacting to the April 14 incident in which two Su-24 fighters repeatedly flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, a Navy destroyer, in the Baltic Sea.
The jets performed a simulated attack on the ship but were unarmed, the Navy Times reported.
Russia is "jealous" of its former satellite countries "cozying up" to NATO and the United States in particular, Maginnis advises.
Russia and its president, Vladamir Putin, know they can perform such acts because Obama is a weak Commander in Chief and also a lame-duck president, Maginnis tells OneNewsNow.
Despite the danger and provocation, he says, there is "probably no price that they're going to pay."
Just two days after that incident, another Russian fighter jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea, The Washington Free Beacon reported late last week.
The Russian fighter closed within 50 feet of the plane's wing tip, a Navy captain told the newspaper.
Much like Maginnis, the Free Beacon reported that Russia is angered over missile defenses in Europe, and Putin is trying to regain influence in countries that are receiving U.S. aid, specifically Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland.
Maginnis says there is something that can be done if aircraft encroach close to U.S. warships: let the enemy know your weapons are armed, which lets them know they can be shot out of the sky.
"I doubt that they did that," he observes. "Had we done that, it would have been part of the news story but it's not."
In fact, the Cook did not ready its anti-aircraft defenses under an agreement with the Russians not to "illuminate" other aircraft with such weaponry, the Free Beacon reported.
An expert on Russia told the Free Beacon that such incidents are more aggressive than past maneuvers and predicted they will get worse.
Gary Bauer of American Values tells OneNewsNow that the incident would not have happened under strong leadership in the White House.
"It's not just that we would have responded differently to the incident," Bauer observes. "Putin would have never tried such a provocation."
Editor's note: Comments from Gary Bauer were added to this story after publication at OneNewsNow.