The US Navy says it didn’t shoot down Russian fighters for just ‘being annoying’

US Donald Cook and two russian planes

On Tuesday, two Russian warplanes operated a “simulated attack” against the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea, a move that was not authorized by the US government.

Despite buzzing over a US ship, the Navy did not respond 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 Times about the incident.

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

“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.”

The Russian planes, Su-24s, had no visible weapons during the passes, and the ship didn’t detected that they were locking onto the ship in any fashion.

A 1974 agreement between the US and Russian states that such an act is a clear example of aggression.

Hoffman acknowledges that shooting down the plane would have almost certainly killed the pilot, which was not warranted.

“It would be real interesting to see what shows up in the Russian papers in the morning, how they play it,” Hoffman said.

“It’s not that different from North Korea. He does something and then he plays it domestically however he needs to play it for the purposes of getting his people energized.”