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Here’s why the Navy didn’t shoot down the Russian fighter jets that buzzed by a US destroyer


On Tuesday, two Russian warplanes flew simulated attack passes past the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea, and while the move was unnerving and aggressive, it’s not the kind of event the Navy responds to with force.

“You don’t get to kill people just because they’re being annoying,” retired frigate and cruiser commanding officer Capt. Rick Hoffman told the Navy Timesabout the incident.

“We’re not at war with Russia,” Capt. Rick Hoffman said.

“It would be one thing to be operating and have a threatening attack profile from someone who might not recognize me — that’s not the case here.”

As a former commander of a cruiser that protected aircraft carriers and amphibious-assault vehicles from airborne attacks, Hoffman knows how to deal with threatening aircraft.

The Russian planes, Su-24s, had no visible weapons during the passes, and at no point did the USS Cook detect that the Russians were


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