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23 March, 2016

US senator revives Russian sub paranoia to increase funding for his state

Taking a recent page from a Sweden’s playbook, a Democratic Senator in the United States has begun spreading fears of phantom Russian submarines "dangerously close" to US shores in an effort to secure increased military funding to his constituents.

In October 2014, the Swedish military sounded the alarm over a suspicious object in the waters off Stockholm’s inner archipelago. Without evidence, this object was declared to be a Russian submarine.

The paranoia spread to the US in October 2015, as Pentagon officials expressed concern over the possibility of Russian submarines severing underwater data cables in the Atlantic.

"The United States increasingly resembles Sweden, often believing that Russian submarines are present in their territorial waters," Vladimir Komoyedov, head of the Russian State Duma’s defense committee, told RIA Novosti at the time. "Although these data cables exist, we will definitely not damage them."

Now the Connecticut Senator and Democrat, Chris Murphy, is reigniting the tired fearmongering technique.

"No one is suggesting that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is contemplating a nuclear launch against a NATO country, but it’s not clear how tethered to reality Putin is," the senator remarked to reporters on Monday.

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