Digital Deterrence: Image of F-16s Parked Near Russian Forces

F-16 fighter jets parked at a facility as US and Romanian forces conduct joint exercises. (USAFE-AFA photo via Twitter)

F-16 fighter jets parked at a facility as US and Romanian forces conduct joint exercises. (USAFE-AFA photo via Twitter)

Part of the tightrope the Obama White House and Pentagon are trying to walk on the Russia-Ukraine standoff is how to flex some American military muscles without flexing the ones that might set off Vladimir Putin. On Tuesday, US officials tried a little digital deterrence.

US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa posted a tweet at 4 a.m. EST: “#F16 Fighting Falcons parked on the flightline in #Romania during Exercise Dacian Viper bilateral training,” which was followed by a link to the above image.

Those are Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighters, ready for use in ongoing joint US-Romanian military exercises.

The exercises are taking place across the Black Sea from Crimea, the southern Ukrainian peninsula that Russian President Vladimir Putin claims to have annexed.

The US-Romanian exercises were previously announced. Still, mentioning F-16s in a press release as a partial means of deterrence is one thing. Posting an image of several of the fighters parked within striking distance of Crimea-occupying Russian forces is another.

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
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