Russia, NATO’s “imaginary” enemy in its biggest exercises since the Cold War

Korzeniewo (Poland), March 7 (EFE). – NATO deployed a significant military force this week to Poland, key to its eastern flank, as part of one of its most important exercises ever, in order to demonstrate It can be seen that the alliance is not only “”. Not willing to defend every inch of its territory, but also possessing the will to do so.

For three days, 20,000 troops and 3,500 units of military equipment from nine NATO countries crossed the Vistula River to Korzeniewo, a city located on the Vistula River about 100 kilometers south of Gdańsk (a port city on the Baltic coast). Display their forces and their ability to respond to an “imaginary” enemy they do not name, but they keep an eye on directly: Russia.

The maneuvers are part of the alliance’s largest military deployment to Europe since the Cold War, known as ‘Steadfast Defender’, which will send 90,000 troops from 31 partner nations and Sweden until May to “test and perfect” their plans. “Will mobilize to do. Defense in order to strengthen European forces “in the face of a close opponent”.

And, after years of low prominence, NATO is celebrating its 75th anniversary next April with new relevance and a clear purpose: sending the key message that the alliance is “ready.”

During the Polish phase of the exercise, called Dragon 24, allied troops, including the Spanish, crossed the Vistula and began a 300-kilometre strategic march to the Suwałki Crossing, a strip of land now located on the border between Poland and Lithuania. Have given. At both ends, it ends in a triple border: to the north with the Russian enclave Kaliningrad and, to the south, with Belarus.

To show its rapid response capability, NATO invited political leaders and heads of state, such as the Polish President, Andrzej Duda, and his Lithuanian counterpart, Gitanas Nauseda, as well as hundreds of media outlets to observe and capture the crossing of troops. Did. This important Polish river.

Given such deployments, the media asked whether NATO, with the Steadfast Defender, wanted to show off to Russia. Although senior military officials refrained from saying an emphatic yes – they assured that they are not directed against any nation “specifically” – they consistently pointed to the war in Ukraine and the importance of strengthening the eastern flank of the coalition. .

German NATO General Gunnar Brugner told EFE, “We are clearly not preparing for war against Russia, why would we?” However, he acknowledged that, with these exercises, the coalition “potentially also sends a message to Moscow”, which, according to the general, follows the exercises closely and “closely monitors” the allies’ activities. Is”.

The Polish president himself also warned the media after watching the exercises: “Our greatest threat comes from the east, as Russian aggression against Ukraine has proven.”

General Guglielmo Luigi said, “(This exercise) demonstrates the incredible strength of the transatlantic bond between NATO allies. It demonstrates our willingness to prepare, build and conduct training and operations together and, above all, every inch of Allied territory.” “demonstrates the Coalition’s commitment to protect the Miglietta gave assurances on his part during the Polish maneuvers.

The massive deployment of troops comes a week after European and North American countries agreed during a dinner in Paris on the need to move toward a “war economy” to help Ukraine, which French President Emmanuel Macron also did not exclude. did. However, sending troops to Kiev is a hypothesis rejected by most of his counterparts.

Nevertheless, allied forces claim to be “ready” to face any challenge and celebrate NATO’s new strengthened role following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has prompted allies to reinforce their defense plans. Inspired – they would have to invest 2% of their GDP in this portfolio – and which led to the entry of the Baltic countries into the alliance (Finland and, soon, Sweden).

“It is important to remember that we are a defensive alliance focused on conflict prevention and peacekeeping. But, there is no doubt, NATO is ready to face any threat, any adversary, at any time ,” Luigi Miglietta concluded.

Paula Garcia-Azofrin

(c) EFE Agency


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