US War Games Add to Regional Tensions

June 6th, 2022 - by Kyle Anzalone /

NATO To Kick Off
Baltic War Games With Finland, Sweden

Kyle Anzalone /

(June 5, 2022) The North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced it will launch military drills with 7,000 troops in the Baltics. The provocative war games will include Sweden and Finland. Stockholm is hosting the exercises after applying for NATO membership last month.

The war games, dubbed Baltic Operations (BALTOPS 22), are based in Stockholm. BALTOPS 22 will primarily consist of naval operations and run from June 5-17. The drills will involve 45 ships and 75 aircraft. Sixteen nations will participate, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The annual war games are taking on increased significance as Helsinki and Stockholm recently submitted their applications to join NATO. The USS Kearsarge is in the Swedish capital city for the war games. According to Chairman of the Joint Chief, Gen. Mark Milley said, part of the ship’s mission is a show of force to Russia.

“I think the Kearsarge being here is a pretty strong statement,” Milley said. “This is a big exercise with 7000-8000 soldiers from 16 countries, two of which are not NATO members,”

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson added, “This shows President Biden’s security assurances are followed by actions.” Several NATO members gave security guarantees to Sweden and Finland as they go through the membership process. The security guarantees are meant to prevent a Russian attack before Stockholm and Helskinki receive protection under the alliance’s mutual defense pact.

Russia says it will not react to Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic alliance but warned against a military buildup in the Nordic counties.

Antti Pelttari, head of Finland’s intelligence service, confirmed Moscow had not targeted Helsinki with reprisals since it submitted its NATO application. “It has been rather quiet, and let’s hope it stays that way,” he said in an interview with Financial Times. “It’s a positive thing that nothing has happened.”

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.

After US/South Korean War Games,
North Korea to Test Flurry of Missiles

Kyle Anzalone /

(June 5, 2022) — The US and South Korea wrapped up military drills involving a US aircraft carrier. Following the war games, North Korea tested eight missiles. Washington and Seoul responded to Pyongyang by conducting a series of missilelaunches.

The three-day exercises were led by the USS Ronald Reagan and included ships from the South Korean navy. Joint US-South Korean war games last included an aircraft carrier in November 2017. The naval operations took place off the coast of Japan.

The war games took place after President Joe Biden traveled to South Korea and met with newly inaugurated President Yoon Suk Yeol. Biden and Yoon agreed to consider increasing joint military exercises during the trip.

Tensions between the US and North Korea have been increasing throughout 2022. The test was one of North Korea’s largest, involving eight short-range missiles. Pyongyang has now fired 31 missiles in 2022, surpassing the previous maximum of 24.

The missiles were launched on Sunday from several areas of North Korea. According to South Korea’s defense agency, the missiles flew at altitudes as high as 80km and traveled between 110km and 670km. At least one of the missiles flew in various trajectories. Japan’s defense minister said the missile might have the ability to avoid defenses.

Monday morning, Seoul and Washington fired eight ground-to-ground missiles into the East Sea. The test was a response to North Korea’s missile test the day before.

Washington believes Pyongyang will soon test a nuclear weapon. North Korea has tested multiple strategic missiles in the past several months, including an intercontinental ballistic missile two weeks ago.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.

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