View Full Version : Russia wants permission to fly surveillance planes over the U.S.

Rocky C
02-22-16, 09:46 AM
WASHINGTON Russia will ask permission on Monday to start flying surveillance planes equipped with high-powered digital cameras amid warnings from U.S. intelligence and military officials that such overflights help Moscow collect intelligence on the United States.

Russia and the United States are signatories to the Open Skies Treaty, which allows unarmed observation flights over the entire territory of all 34 member nations to foster transparency about military activity and help monitor arms control and other agreements. Senior intelligence and military officials, however, worry that Russia is taking advantage of technological advances to violate the spirit of the treaty.

Russia will formally ask the Open Skies Consultative Commission, based in Vienna, to be allowed to fly an aircraft equipped with high-tech sensors over the United States, according to a senior congressional staffer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the staff member wasn't authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

The request will put the Obama administration in the position of having to decide whether to let Russia use the high-powered equipment on its surveillance planes at a time when Moscow, according to the latest State Department compliance report, is failing to meet all its obligations under the treaty. And it comes at one of the most tension-filled times in U.S.-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War, with the two countries at oddsover Russian activity in Ukraine and Syria.

"The treaty has become a critical component of Russia's intelligence collection capability directed at the United States," Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, wrote in a letter earlier this year to Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., chairman of a House subcommittee on strategic forces.

"In addition to overflying military installations, Russian Open Skies flights can overfly and collect on Department of Defense and national security or national critical infrastructure," Haney said. "The vulnerability exposed by exploitation of this data and costs of mitigation are increasingly difficult to characterize."

A State Department official said Sunday that treaty nations had not yet received notice of the Russian request, but that certification of the Russian plane with a "digital electro-optical sensor" could not occur until this summer because the treaty requires a 120-day advance notification. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

The official also said that the treaty, which was entered into force in 2002, establishes procedures for certifying digital sensors to confirm that they are compliant with treaty requirements. The official said all signatories to the treaty agree that "transition from film cameras to digital sensors is required for the long-term viability of the treaty."

In December, Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, sought to temper concerns about Russian overflights, saying that what Moscow gains from the observation flights is "incremental" to what they collect through other means.

"One of the advantages of the Open Skies Treaty is that information imagery that is taken is shared openly among all the treaty parties," she said at a joint hearing of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees in December. "So one of the advantages with the Open Skies Treaty is that we know exactly what the Russians are imaging, because they must share the imagery with us."

Still, military and intelligence officials have expressed serious concern.

"The open skies construct was designed for a different era," Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told lawmakers when asked about the Russian overflights during a congressional hearing. "I'm very concerned about how it's applied today."

Robert Work, deputy secretary of defense, told Congress: "We think that they're going beyond the original intent of the treaty and we continue to look at this very, very closely."

Steve Rademaker, former assistant secretary of state for the bureau of arms control and the bureau of international security and nonproliferation, told Congress at a hearing on security cooperation in Europe in October that Russia complies with the Open Skies Treaty, but has "adopted a number of measures that are inconsistent with the spirt" of the accord.

The treaty, for instance, obligates each member to make all of its territory available for aerial observation, yet Russia has imposed restrictions on surveillance over Moscow and Chechnya and near Abkhazia and South Ossetia, he said. Russian restrictions also make it hard to conduct observation in the Kaliningrad enclave, said Rademaker, who believes Russia is "selectively implementing" the treaty "in a way that suits its interests."

02-22-16, 05:00 PM
What a great way to drop a high-altitude EMP device.

Rocky C
02-22-16, 06:33 PM
No Shiat !

Tennessee Top
02-22-16, 08:03 PM
I'm sure John Kerry is drafting his approval letter now. May even throw in a check for a few billion just for good measure (worked for Iran).

02-22-16, 08:20 PM
What the hell is next? Semper Fidelis

02-22-16, 08:24 PM
hmm,, I hope it is low enough for me to take a few pot shots at it.. ahhh yes, I can only dream..

02-22-16, 08:47 PM
Totally an "in your face, Obama" move by Putin to push the US around more and score some points for internal Russian politics and with the other, smaller countries. Classic cold war gamesmanship.

Actual significance of flying spy plane over us? Not much, the sensors in the satellites can pick up more than enough data and get imagery at plenty high resolutions, I've heard. I think planes are used for unplanned, mission- or target- specific recon, to catch things in action or surprise people. When they're known 4 months in advance? There's no benefit over a satellite, whose orbit and timing are obviously known. Anything sensitive would be tucked away well in advance.

It's politics, and the Russians are going to score points over us again with this pushing the limits of the "Open Skies" treaty.

I mean, this is how it seems. I'm just an old Radio Jarhead who sells computer software now.

And an old geezer who's getting tired of a POTUS who gets outmaneuvered EVERY FREAKIN' TIME by pretty much EVERYBODY.


Rocky C
02-23-16, 08:28 AM
Everything you said Andy is spot on.

Besides the fact that I think he just wants a close up of Natalie in her apartment lol.

02-23-16, 08:43 AM
If we can find out when and where they're going to start we can all stand outside and give them the finger. If that doesn't work I'll tell Mongoose to moon them, they probably won't have any backup cameras with them.

02-23-16, 04:39 PM
Everything you said Andy is spot on.

Besides the fact that I think he just wants a close up of Natalie in her apartment lol.

Rocky she is gone so you can say she has a nice azz,lol, Semper Fidelis.

02-23-16, 04:47 PM
Rocky she is gone so you can say she has a nice azz,lol, Semper Fidelis.


Rocky C
02-23-16, 06:32 PM
Rocky she is gone so you can say she has a nice azz,lol, Semper Fidelis.

Hahahahahaha, yup but this is in " Open Squad Bay " so she can read it and respond.
Oh shiat lol.

2 Marine Mom
02-24-16, 12:15 AM
you boys:P I'm with ya on shooting at em, the finger, and one or all of you guys mooning them!!! If they agree to this, I'm moving, to god knows where!! but, like you say, Kerry, probably has it signed, and getting ready to put in the mail. This is so dumb, but, it won't surprise me, it they allow it. National security?? ya, right!

Rocky C
02-24-16, 07:43 AM
Cold War days are coming back !

02-24-16, 08:08 AM
Hahahahahaha, yup but this is in " Open Squad Bay " so she can read it and respond.
Oh shiat lol.

Hell she never reads that far back,lmfao, Semper Fidelis.

Rocky C
02-24-16, 08:11 AM
We shall see Ronnie lol.

02-24-16, 08:16 AM
She will say thanks Ronnie,lol, Semper Fidelis.

Zulu 36
02-24-16, 09:11 AM
Returning to our regularly scheduled program ;)

I wonder if the US doesn't have some new anti-aircraft missile system that needs a good test shoot?

"Ooops, sorry, Vlad. New stuff and all. It must have thought your spy plane was actually an enemy spy plane."

Rocky C
02-24-16, 09:17 AM
Good call Chris, OOPS ! lol.

Natalie P
02-24-16, 10:05 AM
Rocky she is gone so you can say she has a nice azz,lol, Semper Fidelis.

Rocky told me right where to go hehe.

Thank you Ronnie and yes I do :)

He said not to read in here because it will upset me so I have to go now.

02-24-16, 03:14 PM
That Damn Rocky can't keep a secret, are you upset,lol, Semper Fidelis.

Rocky C
02-24-16, 06:02 PM
Hahahahaha, she's good brother. I just don't want her to read anything about Russia if you know what I mean. Bad memories and I will leave it at that.

She's bored with her avatar and wants to change it but I said leave it alone, Ronnie will be sad lol... she was laughing and blushing.

Ok back to topic lol.

02-24-16, 09:13 PM
How can her avatar get any better, I 'll leave it at that,lol, Semper Fidelis.

2 Marine Mom
02-24-16, 11:17 PM
I know a couple of guys out here that have 50 cal's, of trypods, I'm like what you gonna do with that? He says, anything I dam well feel like. I said would look good mounted on my roof top, front porch. another one has an anti, aircraft, gun, he lives, right in line where airplanes, fly over. I bet he'd have a ball, with a russian, plane!!! that would be a blast!! literally. so, I wonder, when they will make the decission?

02-25-16, 12:23 AM
I haven't heard anything more about it,, so maybe they will wait until they think no one is paying attention..

Rocky C
02-25-16, 08:47 AM
Yup, that's them, sneaky punks...