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The headline in Wednesday's the New York Times read, "Russia Bolsters Its Submarine Fleet and Tensions With U.S. Rise." 
As writer Eric Schmitt put it, "Russian attack submarines, the most in two decades, are prowling the coastlines of Scandinavia and Scotland, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic in what Western military officials say is a significantly increased presence aimed at contesting American and NATO undersea dominance."
"The patrols are the most visible sign of a renewed interest in submarine warfare by President Vladimir V. Putin, whose government has spent billions of dollars for new classes of diesel and nuclear-powered submarines that are quieter, better armed and operated by more proficient crews than in the past."
Reading those paragraphs one could easily come away with the distinct impression Putin and Russia's "prowling" in those waters is a clear provocation against the US and NATO.
The only problem Putin's so called "prowling" is just a response to US and NATO's prowling right to the edge of Russia's borders.
Maybe a little synopsis review of history, since 1989 and two years later, with the demise of the Soviet Union is in order here.
There was an agreement in 1989 between former Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and the Bush I administration that NATO would not move "one inch closer" eastward if the two Germany's were allowed to re-unite.
This agreement was subsequently betrayed first by the Clinton administration then Bush II with the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and the former Warsaw Pact countries Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, Poland joining NATO.
Prior to the Georgian war in 2008 over the two breakaway provinces South Ossetia and Abkhazia NATO promised Georgia would "eventually" become a member. Ukraine was also promised inclusion "eventually".
The new cold war with Russia began and was provoked by US State Department officials working behind the scenes initiating the coup in Kiev of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 and subsequently Russia agreeing to annex Crimea-following a popular referendum by the people voting to join the Russian Federation-this because of the distinct Russian fear its naval base in Sevastopol would fall under the post coup regime in Kiev.
Then with the assault into Eastern Ukraine by the Ukrainian army together with their neo-Nazi militia's attacking the ethnic Russian speaking people, with Putin openly supporting them, he has since been demonized in the western media as the aggressor and the new "Hitler" characterized as such by none other than Hillary Clinton.
Today with US neo-cons within and without the Obama administration continually pushing for "regime change" and Putin remaining in their sights, the question begs, what choice has Putin and Russia other than to defend itself from US and NATO aggression?
So Schmitt's article is a mischaracterization of Russian aerial and submarine presence in the aforementioned areas including ominous pictures of two nuclear powered submarines, two nuclear powered cruise missile submarines, a diesel-electric attack submarine, a map of revealing the locations of the four Russian fleets in the Barents Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea while one US attack submarine is pictured sitting idly on some picturesque river in Scotland.