A retired Navy commander suggests recent "aggression" at sea and in the air by Russia and Iran are "direct actions to influence the November elections."
In an opinion piece for the U.S. Naval Institute posted Thursday, retired Cmdr. Daniel Dolan refuted claims the air-to-air intercepts and incidents at sea are the result of President Barack Obama Administration's weakness on foreign policy.
"A better conclusion to be drawn from the recent spate of incidents in the Black Sea and Strait of Hormuz is that they are not occurring because the U.S. is weak; rather, it is more likely that they are an effort by enemies of the U.S. to try to create the conditions that they believe will make America weak," he wrote.
Dolan wrote when considered with "intelligence that Russians are responsible for hacking U.S. political party databases," the incidents suggest "that America's enemies are in fact taking direct actions to influence the November elections."
According to Dolan, "intercepts near Russian territory" are "expected" and "in a word – commonplace." He adds "aggressive behavior by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy in the Strait of Hormuz" also "is nothing new."
Some critics, however, blame the encounters on President Obama's foreign policy weakness, both toward Iran, with the hammering out of the Iran nuclear deal, and toward Russia, with the administration's measured response to the 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea.
Dolan thinks, however, there's "strategic communications" in the incidents.
"The one thing that IRGC and Vladimir Putin have in common is that they want Donald Trump to win the presidential election," he wrote. "Russia clearly sees an opportunity to have a U.S. president who will help them fulfill their decades-old objective of weakening, or destroying the NATO alliance; and the militarists in Iran have stated that they would welcome the demise of the . . . Iran nuclear deal."
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