Feature

The bear is growling just outside

The week's news at a glance.

Russia

Sean Maloney and Richard MartinMacleans (Canada)

An old enemy is menacing Canada, said Sean Maloney and Richard Martin in the Canadian magazine Macleans. While much of our attention has been focused on subduing al Qaida in Afghanistan, Russia has been making "strategic moves" against Canada and our NATO allies. Russian Tupolev Bear bombers have encroached on Alaskan and Canadian airspace multiple times since "the tense 1999 standoff between Russian and NATO forces in Kosovo." The U.S. and Canadian air forces have recently had to scramble fighter jets to herd the Tupolevs back toward Russia, just as during the Cold War. And "how many Canadians know that Russian forces have attacked Canadian Forces helicopters with lasers" in an attempt to blind the pilots and cause them to crash? Much attention has been focused on President Vladimir Putin's increasing despotism at home: He has dismantled Russia's young democracy, crushed dissidents, and taken control of major oil and gas companies. But the military moves against the U.S. and Canada indicate that Putin isn't interested only in domestic control. "There is a larger agenda, and the West needs to figure out what it is."

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