US Looks to Restore Military Hotline With Russia

Gen. Dunford: US Wants to Reestablish Deconfliction

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford says that the US is looking to reestablish its hotline with the Russian military as relates to deconfliction efforts in Syria. The hotline is meant to prevent US and Russian military forces getting into accidental conflict with one another.

That’s not necessarily to say that the hotline is really down. Russia’s Defense Ministry announced earlier today they were halting use of the hotline in protest of the US shooting down a Syrian Su-22 bomber yesterday,but Pentagon officials indicated the hotline was still being used within the last few hours.

Rather, this was likely a paperwork method for Russia’s Defense Ministry to further underscore their displeasure at the incident, though threatening to treat US warplanes as hostile targets over much of Syria’s airspace appears to be a much bigger deal.

Those two go hand in hand, of course, as a reduction of communication would make Russia’s targeting all the more dangerous for US warplanes in much of Syria, and that is likely the reason why the US, which has long downplayed the deconfliction efforts, suddenly see it as important to preserve.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.