NATO to Hold Biggest Military Exercise Since 2002: Aimed ISIS or Aimed at Russia?

October 20th, 2015 - by admin

Reuters & & NATO & Associated Press – 2015-10-20 00:56:23

NATO Launches Massive Exercise to Prep for War With ‘Not Russia’

NATO to Hold Biggest Military Exercise
Since 2002 to Counter Islamic State

Reuters Videos (0:55 minutes)

NATO has announced it will hold its biggest exercise since 2002 to counter the threat of the Islamic State following the militant group’s significant territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. The exercise, to be held in southern Europe, is called Trident Juncture 2015 and will see the participation of more than 30 countries, including non-NATO countries like Sweden and Austria.

NATO Launches Massive Exercise to Prep for War With ‘Not Russia’
Jason Ditz /

(October 19, 2015) — NATO today launched its biggest single military exercise in more than 13 years, involving some 36,000 troops in the Mediterranean Sea, simulating a war spanning from Sicily to Spain and Portugal against a major invading European superpower, who officials are insisting is definitely totally not Russia.

The exercise is planned to last through November 6 and will focus on support a “Spearhead Force” that NATO intends to install along the Russian border, nominally to fend off a Russian invasion of Eastern Europe. The predictions of a Russian invasion have been growing out of NATO for a couple of years, and have justified significant increases in spending and military deployments into otherwise calm nations in the east.

The exercise is also going to involve “hybrid warfare” and challenging officers with Internet “propaganda” involving manipulated pictures and false intelligence, claiming to center on “lessons learned” during the 14-year-plus occupation of Afghanistan.

In addition to the NATO nations, 7 non-member nations will be participating in the exercise. Noteworthy among these is Ukraine, which predicts a full-scale global war with Russia seemingly on a weekly basis, and has ambitions to join the alliance.

Alliance Kicks-off Live Military Exercise Trident Juncture in Italy

(October 19, 2015) — NATO Allies and partner nations kicked off the Alliance’s Trident Juncture live military exercise on Monday (19 October 2015) during an opening ceremony at the Trapani air force base in Italy, launching three weeks of intensive training involving 36,000 troops from more than 30 nations across Italy, Spain and Portugal.

“Trident Juncture is the largest NATO exercise for over a decade,” said Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow. “Trident Juncture will increase our readiness and our ability to work together, including with our partners. It will demonstrate that NATO is capable of responding to threats from any direction.”

Ambassador Vershbow stressed that the exercise also showed the Alliance’s commitment to transparency and predictability. “We seek confrontation with no one. That is why we have invited observers from around the world, from as far away as Colombia and Russia.”

The Deputy Secretary General was joined by Italian Undersecretary of State for Defence, Gioacchino Alfano and Ambassadors from the North Atlantic Council at the ceremony which included a fly-by of Allied fighter, heavy lift and surveillance aircraft as well as helicopters.

The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Gen. Petr Pavel and Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Philip Breedlove and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Gen. Denis Mercier also attended.

Trident Juncture will continue until November 6. The exercise will also certify next year’s NATO Response Force headquarters and the functions of the new very-high readiness Spearhead Force.

NATO Launches Biggest Military Exercise in 13 Years
Associated Press

TRAPANI, Sicily ((October 19, 2015) — NATO is launching its biggest military exercise in 13 years, mobilizing 36,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen from more than 30 countries to test the alliance’s ability to respond to new security threats.

NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow told the opening ceremony Monday that the Trident Juncture exercise will demonstrate that NATO “can deal with everything from conventional military engagements to more subtle hybrid warfare techniques and propaganda.”

Vershbow said the geopolitical situation is considerably more unstable than the last time such large-scale exercises were held during the Cold War, citing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, support of eastern Ukrainian separatists and attacks against moderate rebels in Syria, as well as the spread of terror groups into Libya and Syria.

“In this new world, NATO’s allies and partners must be able to move quickly and act decisively,” he said.

The Sicilian city Trapani will be the operational center for the exercise that begins Wednesday and runs through early November, extending into Spain, Portugal and adjacent waters.

The exercise envisions a fictitious invasion by a large country of a small alliance member, creating a crisis with religious and ethnic dimensions, threatening energy supplies and navigational freedom with risks of terrorism and cyberattacks.

At a news conference, Vershbow denied that the fictitious aggressor was Russia.

“That is not to say that some of the challenges we are addressing and testing our forces for are not analogous to the challenges we would face were we to have a conflict with Russia,” he said.

During the news conference, an activist with the “No War” pacifist movement unfurled a banner as she pressed for an explanation of the bombing of a Doctor’s Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan. Pacifist groups have organized protests against the exercise, including one in Trapani on Saturday.

NATO Military Power Exercise 2015



These countries develop cooperation with NATO in areas of mutual interest, including emerging security challenges, and some contribute actively to NATO operations either militarily or in some other way. Individual global partners choose the areas where they wish to engage with NATO, as well as the extent of this cooperation, in a spirit of mutual benefit and reciprocity.

As the US and several Eastern European NATO countries conduct a series of military exercises near Russia’s border, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his Northern Fleet “to full alert in a snap combat readiness exercise” in the Arctic.

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