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NATO to hold biggest military exercise since the Cold War amid rising tensions with Russia
By Arsenio Toledo // Jan 30, 2024

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has begun its largest military exercise since the Cold War, with all 31 member states and some 90,000 military personnel taking part. The last NATO-wide military drill of comparable size was Exercise Reforger in 1988, right at the tail-end of the Cold War, with 125,000 participants.

The exercise, known as Steadfast Defender 2024, began on Jan. 22 and is expected to end on May 31. Its goal would be to rehearse how the United States could reinforce its NATO allies in Eastern Europe and those that border Russia if a conflict were to flare up. (Related: Top NATO official warns of ALL-OUT WAR with Russia within 20 years.)

Technically, NATO does not specifically state that the exercises are meant to simulate how to respond to a Russian invasion, only to a conflict with a "near-peer" adversary of the United States.

The exercises also come as military analysts agree that the Russian special military operation in Ukraine enters a new phase of protracted, attrition-focused warfare. While NATO is officially not directly involved in the conflict, it provides Ukraine with non-lethal support, and its members as individual nations as well as the European Union continue to send weapons and ammunition and provide military training.

In a statement, NATO said the Steadfast Defender 2024 "will show that NATO can conduct and sustain complex multi-domain operations over several months, across thousands of kilometers, from the High North to Central and Eastern Europe, and in any condition."

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"The alliance will demonstrate its ability to reinforce the Euro-Atlantic area via transatlantic movement of forces from North America," said NATO Supreme Commander, U.S. Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli. He added that the exercise will demonstrate NATO's "unity, our strength and our determination to protect each other."

Dozens of ships and planes and thousands of combat vehicles to participate in military exercises

NATO added that more than 50 ships, from aircraft carriers to destroyers, will be participating in Steadfast Defender 2024, as well as more than 80 aircraft including fighter jets, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. NATO added that more than 1,100 land vehicles, including over 100 tanks and over 500 armored fighting vehicles will also be taking part.

Finland, the bloc's newest member, is participating in the exercise. Sweden, which is expected to join NATO sometime this year after its membership is approved by Hungary, is also taking part.

United Kingdom Defense Secretary Grant Shapps has touted Britain's increasing involvement, stating that the U.K. would be sending 20,000 troops backed by dozens of advanced fighter jets, surveillance planes, warships and submarines, with many of these units being deployed in Eastern Europe for the entirety of the exercise.

Royal Netherlands Navy Adm. Rob Bauer, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said that NATO is seeing "a record number of troops "participating in its exercise and represents perhaps the most troops "that we can bring to bear … across the alliance, across the ocean from the U.S. to Europe."

Troops will be moving throughout Europe until May 31 in what NATO describes as "a simulated emerging conflict scenario" with NATO's chief adversaries, which official documents state are Russia and terrorist organizations.

During the second part of Steadfast Defender, a special focus will be on NATO's ability to deploy rapid reaction forces – military units capable of responding to emerging threats quickly – to Poland's eastern border with close Russian ally Belarus.

Other major locations for the drills will be the three Baltic states, which are seen as most at risk from a potential Russian attack; Germany, a hub for incoming reinforcements from North America and Southern and Western Europe; and countries on NATO's other fringes, such as Romania and the Scandinavian nations of Finland, Norway and Sweden.

NATO members and Sweden agreed to the regional plans for the exercise on July 2023 at the military alliance's latest summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was at this summit that NATO also abandoned its decades-long era of not needing large-scale defense plans, as Western nations were for the longest time focused only on fighting small, regional wars such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq. NATO, before 2023, believed that it no longer had to deal with any significant, existential threats since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

Watch this clip from France 24 reporting on NATO's largest military exercise since the Cold War and how the military alliance is preparing the world for another global war.

This video is from the PureTrauma357 channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Senior NATO official warns there could be a major war with Russia in the coming years.

NATO holds massive military exercise to prepare for planned escalation of war with Russia.

Putin denies Biden's claim that Russia plans to attack NATO, calls it COMPLETE NONSENSE.

EXPERTS: Putin wants to keep Ukraine out of NATO, not conquer it.

It's never enough – NATO chief wants MORE AID for Ukraine.

Sources include:





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