NATO announces multi-month military exercises with 90,000 troops

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced this Thursday that next week it will begin its largest military exercise “in decades”, an operation lasting several months in which 90,000 of the alliance’s troops will participate.

It is NATO’s largest exercise since 1988, before the fall of the Soviet Union, and the military alliance is reviewing its defense strategies following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, head of NATO’s European Command, said the exercise, called “Steadfast Defender,” will last until May with the participation of 31 NATO countries and Sweden, which is seeking to join the military alliance.

“This will be a clear demonstration of our unity, our strength and our determination to protect each other,” the soldier said.

In total, the military maneuvers will involve 50 ships, 80 aircraft and more than 1,100 combat vehicles.

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The exercises – a series of small maneuvers – will run from North America to NATO’s eastern flank near the border with Russia.

For his part, the head of the military committee, Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer, commented that NATO countries should be prepared to face adversaries such as “Russia or terrorist groups”.

He said, “If we find ourselves in that situation, if they attack us (…) we are not looking for conflict, but if they attack us, we have to be prepared. “

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Coalition countries “need to make plans, and that’s why we are preparing for conflict,” Bauer said, highlighting that this is a “record number of troops.”

Bauer said Russia’s ground forces have been overburdened by the war in Ukraine, but noted that the navy and air force remain “considerable” forces.

The military official said the impact of Western sanctions has hampered Russia’s efforts to reorganize its military, but Moscow still has the ability to increase artillery and missile production.

Regarding the conflict in Ukraine that began in February 2022, Bauer indicated that there is still intense fighting going on, but the front line “does not move much in one direction or the other.”


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