The news about the Russian attack subs patrolling international waters off the Eastern Seaboard is not so much that they’re there. And it’s definitely not that there’s anything necessarily worrisome about them being there. The real news is that the news was leaked at all. And I suspect that had to do with letting the Kremlin know that we were wise to them all along. According to a Russian intelligence source cited by RIA Novosti, a sub-based Russian missile launch in the Arctic Ocean in July caught the Pentagon off-guard. If true, yesterday’s leak would be a way to let the Russian brass know they should contain their enthusiasm.
More generally, this is yet another Russian signal of “resurgence,” similar to the resumption of long-range strategic bomber patrols. The fact that it comes so soon after the failed test-launch of its sub-based Bulava nuclear missile is probably no coincidence.