I remember “back in the day” it seemed like the Soviet and US forces loved to play games with each other. We had overt and covert ELINT games on the ground, in the air, and in the water. The Navies liked to play with one another in the Med, and in the North Atlantic and the Pacific. The Air Forces liked to play up in the Arctic, and in the North Sea.
Then “The Wall” fell, and all those close encounters went away. Over the last year or so, it looks like there is renewed interest in some of these close encounters. We have seen the Russian forces put their Bears back in the air to play with NATO forces. It looks like we are also seeing some increased “play” in the China Sea.
…China is becoming increasingly assertive in the Western Pacific. Japanese fighters scrambled to intercept Chinese intelligence planes near or in Japanese airspace a record-setting 83 times between April and September of this year.
Now that the US has been so focused on asymmetrical warfare for the last 10 years or so, it will be interesting if we can refocus to go back to playing the cold war games that we had been so good at.