sabre rattling

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Noun1.sabre rattling - the ostentatious display of military power (with the implied threat that it might be used)
military action, action - a military engagement; "he saw action in Korea"
References in periodicals archive ?
Vladimir Putin's sabre rattling in the Ukraine has prompted Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to admit Russia is a "clear and present danger" to the Baltic states.
But then I glanced over my shoulder at the Iron Curtain still separating the peaceful real world from the sabre rattling warmongers of the recent Nato conference.
The flurry of sabre rattling over the future of post-revolutionary Ukraine brought tensions between Russia and the West to a height not seen since the 2008 war between Russian and Georgia.
But despite growing unrest, the natives will be sabre rattling tomorrow because there is so much at stake.
I don't see it as sabre rattling, I see it as partnerships," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Amos, as saying.
HERE we go again, more sabre rattling from Robyn Lewis (Letters, January 5) rattling on this time about the Welsh language not being used in deepest darkest Welsh-speaking Pwllheli.
There will be endless political poker playing, sabre rattling and horse trading between now and the final budget vote next month.
Some of the rise may be due to sabre rattling between the USA and Iran, but behind this is the issue of Peak Oil.