Thursday, November 21, 2013

40,000 NATO troops to stage massive European war games

RT
November 20, 2013

After the 2014 pullout from Afghanistan, NATO is set to stage huge European war games involving 40,000 troops, about seven times the size of the recent drills in the Baltic, with critics in the crisis-hit EU calling it a waste of money.



The Western alliance claims this is to test the members’ capability and teamwork, mainly for reasons of matching America’s commitment to the alliance, as well as keeping their edge after the Afghan mission is over.

The exercises, set to start in 2015, will involve 40,000 troops deployed in Spain and Portugal. NATO land forces commander U.S. Army Lieutenant-General Frederick Hodges told Reuters that “this kind of exercise, this sort of complexity, is going to be the norm,” so the exercises are just the first in a series.

The major reason given by NATO is that troops need to stay sharp and practice their interoperability, especially after Afghanistan, in times of military inactivity.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has emphasized the importance of Europe’s role in the alliance, in September saying that “European nations can – and should – do more to match America’s commitment.”

Read More