Report on ‘Military Encounters’ Raises Fears of New Cold War

Are Incidents Unusual, Or Is It Just the Hype?

A new report by the European Leadership Network is hyping the number of “dangerous or sensitive” encounters between NATO and Russian military forces in the past eight months, adding to speculation of a new Cold War.

The reports mostly detail Russian warplanes flying close to, but not into, NATO airspace, something which has been happening non-stop for decades. A common story in the Cold War, it never really stopped after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

What did stop was attention to the stories, as reports of the warplanes testing one anothers’ airspace only gets reported on the NATO side during those occasions when diplomatic tensions are on the rise.

This is one of those times, and with NATO hyping the Ukraine Civil War as being of Russian manufacture, for the sake of justifying NATO military deployments into Eastern Europe, the stories of 1950’s-era bombers flying near the Scottish coast that used to get buried at the bottom of the news, if reported at all, have recently ended up on the front page.

Unfortunately that makes it impossible to tell if the new report is really detailing unusual activity on the Russia-NATO frontier, or if the only novel part of the story is the amount of hype it is getting.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of