Now, imagine the following: Russian navy conducting military exercises with Cuba in the Gulf of Mexico, and the U.S. is not invited. How does it sound? Surreal. Well, today U.S. and Ukrainian Navy started joint military exercises "Sea Breeze" in the Black Sea (in Odessa), just a few miles away from Russia's border. A few amateur participants like Georgia have been thrown in to make the exercises look "international" rather than bilateral. Ukrainian news agency reports that "servicemen from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Georgia, Kenya, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, USA, Ukraine, France and Sweden are taking part in the exercises." The ships and equipment are American and Ukrainian, and Russian news agencies were unable to spot Algerian or German hardware or personal in the area.
The true purpose of the exercises--rather than to annoy Russia--is not clear to a common observer. It is probably to extend American military might in the best British/French/Soviet traditions of imperialism to the furthest corners of the planet. However, the Russia-Georgia conflict in August 2008 proved how insignificant the resistance from a former Soviet republic--even after all the U.S. training--can be when a small neighbor faces Russia. U.S. and NATO wisely would never put themselves in the middle of a local conflict, just the way they didn't in 2008. However, the good news is that (1) Russia is exercising patience and refrains from any moves or negative comments, and (2) maybe this is the time to celebrate the end of the Cold War. Imagine such exercises taking place five, 10, or 30 years ago! Back than it was called the "Cuban Missile Crisis." Today, it's a news item that is missed by all major outlets, and is not a news to the world population.