Why Are Russian Nuclear Submarines Patrolling the U.S. Coast?S

The New York Times is reporting tonight that Russian submarines have been lurking in waters off the eastern coast of the country for the last few days, aggressive military actions not seen since the end of the Cold War.

Defense department officials say that this is the first time in 15 years that Russian subs have patrolled along the U.S. coast. It's been long believed that in the aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse, the Russian Navy lacked the resources and the technology to operate this far from their home ports.

Reports the Times:

According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The second submarine traveled south in recent days to make a port call in Cuba, according to a senior Defense Department official.

In regards to what the Russian's motivation might be, naval historian Norman Polmar thinks it's little more than peacocking motivated by insecurity.

"It's the military trying to demonstrate that they are still a player in Russian political and economic matters," said Mr. Polmar.

At the very least, perhaps this will give Tom Clancy something to write about once again.