NATO announces largest drill since Cold War — RT World News

The NATO bloc is set to hold its biggest round of war games in decades, with some 90,000 troops from all 31 member states – plus Sweden – set to take part. The exercises will continue for several months, and will see training operations conducted across Europe.

Dubbed “Steadfast Defender 2024” Supreme Allied Commander Europe Christopher Cavoli announced Thursday that the exercises will begin next week and continue through May. Press Conference.

“Steadfast Defender 2024 will be NATO’s largest exercise in decades, with the participation of nearly 90,000 troops from all 31 Allies and our good partner Sweden.” Cavoli said, adding that the exercises will be simulated “An emerging conflict scenario against a near-peer opponent.”

At least 1,100 combat vehicles – including 133 tanks and 533 infantry fighting vehicles – as well as more than 50 naval vessels from aircraft carriers to destroyers are also scheduled to participate in the maneuvers. They will be joined by about 80 helicopters, drones and fighter aircraft.

Cavoli went on to say that the training operations will demonstrate NATO's ability to do so “Strengthening the Euro-Atlantic area through the movement of transatlantic forces from North America.” Which indicates that the exercises will train a large American deployment on the continent.

In a separate announcement, the European Union said the exercises would demonstrate NATO's capabilities “Conduct and sustain complex multi-domain operations over many months, across thousands of kilometres, from the Far North to Central and Eastern Europe, and in any conditions.”

Earlier this week, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said London would contribute 20,000 troops to the Steadfast Defender, including troops from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. British fighter planes, warships and submarines are also participating.

The last war games to rival the size of the upcoming ones were in 1988, at the height of the Cold War, when 125,000 Western soldiers gathered to participate in the US-led exercise. “The teaching assistant” Exercises. The annual operation was intended to simulate the deployment of large numbers of troops in West Germany in the event of conflict with the Soviet Union, but it was halted in 1993 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

German media claimed last week that Berlin was preparing for hostilities with Russia, which they predicted could arise as early as the summer of 2025.

For decades, Moscow has expressed concerns about NATO's expansion towards its borders, considering it an existential threat. President Vladimir Putin had previously cited Ukraine's desire to join the bloc as one of the main reasons for the current conflict.

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