Citing increasing tensions with Russia, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has begun to prepare 35,000 troops for combat. The troops will participate in the largest training exercise conducted since the end of the Cold War.
NATO commanders revealed the thousands of soldiers from 30 different countries are expected to take part in the Trident Juncture drill in Norway. Massive parts of the Scandinavian country will be impacted by the influx of around 130 warplanes and 60 warships, reported The Daily Star. Trident Juncture will be aimed at rehearsing for any potential threat posed by Russia when it kicks off in October.
The United States Marines also maintain a constant presence in Norway, with tanks and other military hardware stashed away in frozen caves.
War games of this scale have not been seen in decades as United Nation chiefs admitted the Cold War is back “with a vengeance” and NATO forces will take part in what has been described as a “big important exercise.” But some, such as former Soviet Union general think tensions are now much tighter since the Cold War and a nuclear conflict is inevitable.
Fears of conflict have been renewed as Russia warned the West is approaching a “red line” following US-led airstrikes in Syria. NATO nations have regularly accused Vladimir Putin’s war machine of “aggression” by moving troops to the edge of Europe. Russian commanders deny an aggressive intent and say their military build-up is in response to NATO’s rhetoric.
Syria has become a flashpoint between the West and Russia after US President Donald Trump’s attack on Putin’s pal Bashar al-Assad. Top Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said Russia will get tougher if “red lines” continue to be crossed. “There is definitely a clear-cut awareness of the situation in Syria. That understanding is the red lines beyond which Russia’s reaction will clearly get tougher if these red lines are crossed.”
Trident Juncture spokesman Frank Sølvsberg said the war drills are three times larger than anything carried out before in Norway. “It’s an amazing training opportunity for all involved parties. I think it also sends a clear message to others who will threaten the alliance,” said Sølvsberg. He added that the drill will assure “total defense” of the region. Others see it as a springboard for a world war.