It is always interesting to watch western world leaders take in a military display. Some of them are not big 'military people' and are more known for slashing their combat forces and readiness, not building them up, yet alone maintaining them.
This NATO Summit, located at a golf course in Wales, has been touted as the most important in a decade due to the crisis in Ukraine and the ballooning ISIS threat.
Over the years, these flypasts have gotten smaller and smaller as NATO's collective air combat inventory has rapidly shrunk, with some European air arms becoming just a shadow of their formal selves. Regardless, one does have to wonder, as all those powerful folks watch their hardware buzz overhead, are any of them asking themselves- 'maybe we should be using some of this crap to fight ISIS?'
Then again there has been a notable, but largely symbolic show of coalescence on the ISIS issue during the summit, although it is doubtful that those who are part of this supposed coalition will supply any actual firepower.
With a haphazard backdrop of a mocked-up Eurofighter Typhoon sitting on a grass, this whole affair didn't seem to do much to send a message of power projection to Russia's Vladimir Putin. No, flyovers are one thing Russia really knows how to do compared to its western counterparts. If anything, the sparse display of flying one or two of each jet of some of the NATO partner nations sends the wrong message entirely to a resurgent Russia, basically highlighting the fact that NATO simply is not the force of deterrence and power projection it once was.
Photos via AP
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com