US Accuses Russia of an Unsafe Aerial Intercept over the Black Sea
The United States accused Russia of sending one of its fighter jets dangerously close to an American spy plane over the Black Sea on Wednesday, an intercept American military officials said was "unsafe and unprofessional," even as Moscow said it acted in accordance with international flight rules.
The U.S. said its Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft was on "routine operations" in international airspace when a Russian SU-27 Flanker jet flew within three meters of it in an intercept that lasted 19 minutes.
"U.S. Navy aircraft and ships routinely interact with Russian units in the area and most interactions are safe and professional," the U.S. Defense Department said. "However, we have concerns when there is an unsafe maneuver like this. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions, and could result in a miscalculation or accident."
The Russian defense ministry said it dispatched its fighter jet after the U.S. aircraft approached the Russian border and turned off its transponders, which are used for identification.
Clinton: 'Steadiness' is Most Important Characteristic of US President
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says "steadiness" is the most important characteristic a president must have. Her Republican rival Donald Trump says voters do not have to worry about his temperament or judgement.
Clinton spoke first Wednesday night at an NBC News Commander in Chief Forum held aboard the Air Force carrier Intrepid in New York City. Both Clinton and Trump appeared separately on the same stage, answering questions about national security.
They agreed not to use the forum as a place to attack each other but occasional verbal jabs crept into the discussions.
Clinton said a president has to be someone who listens and evaluates what he or she is being told. She said temperament and judgement are the keys.
She called military force a last resort and that she learned that the war in Iraq was a mistake, admitting that she also made a mistake supporting it when she was a senator. Clinton said the U.S. will not put ground forces into Iraq "ever again."
She said the nuclear deal with Iran put a lid on its nuclear program, and said she would enforce it "to the letter."
Clinton said the U.S has to squeeze more support from its Arab allies in the war on Islamic State.
Trump told the forum he would be "very very cautious" when deciding whether to send Americans into battle, accusing Clinton of having a "happy trigger."
He said he was "shocked" to hear in classified national security briefings given to major presidential candidates that Clinton, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry did not follow recommendations of intelligence experts.
Trump was unashamed about his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin despite tensions between the White House and Kremlin. He told the forum he would have a "very good relationship" with Putin and many other foreign leaders.
Clinton and Trump will hold their first face to face debate on September 26. It is the first of three scheduled debates in the weeks before the November 8 election to pick the successor to President Barack Obama.