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Chinese/Russian Subs Prowling East Coast, Atlantic

In a press gaggle today, a member of the media asked Secretary of Defense Mattis:

Q:  Mr. Secretary, you stated you’re watching submarines in the North Atlantic and elsewhere.  But are Russia and China putting more submarines out to look at the United States than they have since the Cold War?

SEC. MATTIS:  Yes, we always keep an eye on the — on the submarines at sea.  And I’d prefer not to say anymore than that.  Thanks.

Humm, okay let’s go deeper.

The Navy reactivated the fleet responsible for overseeing the East Coast and the North Atlantic. The 2nd Fleet was deactivated in 2011 and Secretary Mattis upped the defense strategy earlier this year.

We do know that the Russians are snooping around all undersea telecommunications cables used by NATO. The Russian submarines are equipped with anti-submarine missiles and little is published about the Chinese submarines. Meanwhile, the United States has deployed patrols using manned and unmanned surface ships, attack submarines and air surveillance by the P-8 Poseidon, a sub-hunting warplane.

The most advanced US fast attack submarine named the USS South Dakota is equipped with the latest technology including advanced stealth features.

“China is improving the lethality and survivability of its attack submarines and building quieter, high-end diesel and nuclear-powered submarines,” he said.

Both China and Russia have also increased their presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, where Harris said 230 of the world’s 400 foreign submarines are operating.

Roughly 160 of those 230 submarines belong to China, North Korea, and Russia, according to Harris.

Forbes said the United States must also develop a strategy to counter Chinese and Russian activity in “gray zones” where they are incrementally expanding their presence by strategically “fighting and competing” through military posturing.

China’s claims in the South China Sea represent one glaring example as to how they’ve been able to successfully implement this type of strategy in a way that allows them to expand their military reach without engaging in direct confrontation, according to Forbes.

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