Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 52 Number 6, March 26, 2022 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

NATO's biennial military exercise "Cold Response"

NATO Continues to Increase the Militarisation of Europe

NATO's biennial military exercise "Cold Response" started in Norway March 14 and is scheduled to end on April 1. According to reports 30,000 NATO troops "including the US, UK, Germany and France will help practise the defence of Norway from air, sea, and land". Lieutenant Colonel Ivar Moen, spokesperson for the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, told Deutsche Welle that the military exercise "is in line with Article 5 of NATO's Charter, which requires allies to rescue one another if attacked". It was originally to have 35,000 troops but Australia withdrew. NATO claims it will still be "among the military alliance's biggest since the cold war" and the reports claim it will be distanced from the Russian border and that Russia was invited to send observers but declined. As a part of "Cold Response", Norway is required under the agreements called the Vienna Document to invite all 57 member states of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), including Russia, t o observe the exercise. The Russian Embassy in Norway told French news agency AFP last week that "any buildup of NATO military capabilities near Russia's borders does not not help to strengthen security in the region".

Reports also say [1] that besides "900 British Royal marines", many of whom have been stationed there over the winter. Britain is also sending "50 vessels and 200 aircraft" with the HMS Prince of Wales, one of two of Britain's aircraft carriers, "at the centre of one of the world's most powerful naval task forces". HMS Prince of Wales will be "joined by frigate HMS Richmond, Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender, a Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker and a nuclear-powered attack submarine escorting her".

Last March, NATO's military exercises Sea Shield-21 and Operation Sea Breeze 21 in the Black Sea in July had no other aim than to stir up tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Workers' Weekly predicted at the time [2] that "what made Sea Breeze 21 exercise of particular note to everyone is its dangerous warmongering scale and NATO's focus, specifically identifying it as war preparations against what they claim is Russia's illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and denounces its temporary occupation". In other words, "these NATO exercises, including of sending HMS Defender as a provocation into Crimean waters, had clearly been aimed at actions focused on reversing by force of arms a decision of the people of Crimea and Sevastopol to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation in 2014."

Not only did the Anglo-US and NATO forces dangerously heighten tensions and risks of war in the Black Sea, but they encouraged militarism in Ukraine. As one analyst put it at the time, "NATO's rearming of Ukraine under Sea Breeze 2021 guise is for future conflict in Donbass." Ukraine's plan to refuse to recognise the rights of all its citizens, alongside Ukrainians, including national rights of Russian speaking people, has been primed by NATO's involvement to arm them and train them to continue to commit atrocities against Donetsk and Lugansk. It is this situation that has provoked the present military action of Russia to, as they say, "demilitarise and de-nazify" Ukraine.

Instead of the US, Britain and NATO now going all out to try and finally bring about a peaceful solution in Ukraine they are going all out to arm Ukraine and encourage an insurgency and at the same time are carrying out "one of Nato's biggest military exercises since the end of the cold war" in a country that borders Russia in the north. How can these be solutions to the rising tensions in Europe that NATO has brought about by their military expansion to the east up to Russia's borders? It is another attempt to continue the increased militarisation of Europe to even more dangerous levels and threaten the peace.

What further conflicts, as has happened with NATO's military arming of Ukraine, will it give rise to? NATO has never worked to preserve peace and security for the peoples of Europe, but rather to establish political and military structures under the US leadership which would not permit empowerment for even member NATO countries, let alone the people of those countries. Its participation in at least three US wars of aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, its military involvement in provoking Russia in Ukraine, provide whatever proof is required to show that it is not a force for peace or security.

Britain Out of NATO! Dismantle NATO!
Let Us Speak Out for the Necessity of an Anti-War Government!

Notes
1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10618295/Royal-Navys-newest-supercarrier-HMS-Prince-Wales-leads-Nato-exercise.html
2. Worker' Weekly July 17, 2021 US, Britain, NATO - Get Out of the Black Sea!
http://www.rcpbml.org.uk/wwie-21/ww21-21/ww21-21-05.htm


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