NATO’s “Defender 2020” Military Exercises in Europe Canceled Due to Pandemic

NATO Defender 2020

From Rod Renny at The Duran:

The Pentagon had already deployed some 6,000 troops and 3,000 pieces of equipment to Europe by March 13, when the transfers were halted amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The decision to cancel the drills actually improved European security, since the risk of covid-19 transmission among the troops – and from them to civilians – was unacceptably high, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and international security commentator Scott Ritter told RT.

Canceling the exercise was “the most prudent action possible” from the political standpoint, said Ritter, as the fallout from US troops infecting civilians with the coronavirus would have made future such exercises “problematic.”

“The exercise was more political than practical, a show of force designed to deter Russian ‘aggression’ in the Baltics,” Ritter added. Poland and the Baltic states have clamored for a bigger NATO – mainly US – presence in their territory since 2014, hyping the threat of “Russian aggression” by pointing to the conflict in Ukraine. The US has happily obliged, even under the Trump administration, while NATO maintained its increased deployments on the Russian border were entirely defensive in nature. Needless to say, Moscow is not buying it.

“There’s no actual military threat to Europe. Nobody is going to attack it,” Konstantin Sokolov, geopolitics expert and research fellow with Russia’s Academy of Natural Sciences, told RT.

Political relations within NATO have been fraying for months, with unilateral actions in Syria by the US and Turkey prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to describe the alliance as “brain dead.”

Read the full article here.

Note: I will be blogging less frequently over the next couple of weeks in order to attend to some personal matters. I will periodically post references to other articles on relevant topics. – Natylie

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