Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 52 Number 11, May 21, 2022 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

NATO Exercises Defender Europe 2022 & Swift Response 2022:

NATO Continues its Attempt to Further Consolidate US Military
Leadership over the European Peoples for Anglo/US Interests

NATO's DEFENDER-Europe 22 & Swift Response 2022 activities which are openly led by the US began this month across nine countries in Europe, and continue through June with Britain playing a major role. These exercises constitute the largest deployment in Europe since the end of the bipolar division of the world when the former Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

US Army Black Hawk helicopters in the Republic of North Macedonia, May 12 2022 - Photo: EPA

According to the press release from [1], DEFENDER-Europe 22 includes more than 3,268 US and 5,887 multi-national service members from 11 allied and "partner nations", including Denmark, Estonia, Germany, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, and Britain. Current affairs Adda247 [2] says of Exercise Swift Response 2022, that it is "an annual US Army Europe and Africa multinational training exercise that takes place this year in Eastern Europe, the Arctic High North, Baltics, and Balkans. The exercise began in Poland and will be held in eight other countries. The 5th Corps of the US Armed Forces is responsible for the command of the exercises. There will be approximately 18,000 participants from over 20 countries training together in both exercises. The portion of the exercises on Polish soil will see some 7,000 troops and 3,000 pieces of equipment." Britain is sending around 8,000 troops and deploying dozens of tanks to countries ranging from Finland to North Macedonia. Britain's paratroopers are taking part in these manoeuvres in North Macedonia, with the British Army's global response force, commanding a force of 3,000 troops from eight NATO countries.

Reports indicate that as part of NATO's DEFENDER-Europe 22 & Swift Response 2022 activities, large-scale NATO military drills in Estonia started on Monday, May 16, and are to last until June 3. Code-named "Hedgehog", these drills involve 15,000 troops from 14 nations, just over 40 miles from the nearest military base in Russia. Soldiers from Georgia and Ukraine are among those taking part, as well as forces from Finland and Sweden, in advance of these countries' expected formal application to join NATO. The aggressive NATO alliance has concocted that the drills are intended to simulate an attack from Russia on Estonia. Another Baltic state, Lithuania, is hosting "Iron Wolf" exercise, which involves 3,000 NATO troops. These exercises will not contribute to the security of these countries, nor indeed Europe as a whole. It should be pointed out that Finland shares a 810-mile border with Russia in the north. Currently, in Finland also, US, British, Estonian and Latvian forces are participating alongside Finnish forces in exercise "Arrow 22". These involve British Challenger 2 tanks and US Stryker armoured fighting vehicles.

These latest NATO exercises follow NATO's biennial military exercise "Cold Response", also under US leadership, which began in Norway on March 14, ending on April 1. These involved some 30,000 NATO troops. The press release also states that DEFENDER-Europe 22 is a "large-scale US Army Europe and Africa-directed, multinational, joint exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between US and NATO allies and partners". The aim of NATO here is to involve and get extensive support from each of the "host nations", and "to sell the importance of ally and partner investment" under the sole leadership of the US in Europe. In this way, NATO is continuing its attempt to further consolidate US military leadership over the European peoples against their interests and at their expense.

The press release claims, "Planning for this exercise began in 2021 and is not in response to any specific threat or adversary." So who is threatening whom? General Christopher Cavoli, US Army Europe and Africa commanding general, declared: "Through exercises like this, we are prepared to defend every inch of NATO territory with a strong, combat-credible force to ensure we stay stronger together in the face of any aggression." NATO has a territory now? It is clear that the threats are coming from NATO. What is more, the Anglo/US and NATO forces continue to have this military presence with their forces in countries in Europe that are not in NATO like Ukraine before and during the present conflict. They also have their forces in non-NATO African countries, like Somalia, and are directly involved in that and other conflicts in Africa. It is legitimate to ask in whose interests they are occupying and "defending" those countries? The same question could also be put in regard to those countries that are part of NATO. The interests of the people of Europe and Africa do not lie with the aggressive expansion of US and British interests across the globe, or their pro-war brinkmanship threatening and provoking Russia and China and other countries. Neither are these interests in the name of the people of the US and Britain but represent the interests of the Anglo/US oligopolies and arms manufacturers. What further conflicts will these exercises give rise to, as has happened with NATO's military arming of Ukraine?

Furthermore, according to NATO itself, in Germany, 7,500 troops are involved in "Wettiner Heide", a NATO Response Force exercise. In the Mediterranean, the USS Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group will be placed under NATO command for the second time this year during the "Neptune series" of naval drills. Next month's "Ramstein Legacy" in Poland and the Baltic countries will be Europe's largest integrated air and missile defence exercise and involve 23 countries. "Baltops", also in June, has been held annually for over 50 years and will see amphibious training across the Baltic region.

All these examples confirm that 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 that have already been responsible for many wars in Europe including in Yugoslavia and in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in Africa in Libya to name a few.

Serious Danger of War throughout Europe Must be Averted

While the whole of humanity was united in trying to face the pandemic together during 2020 and 2021 and into this year the US, Britain and their NATO allies continued to spend billions on military exercises in the Baltic and Black Sea and their "Europe Defender" 2020 and 2021 exercises and war games. In these exercises, NATO hardly bothered to disguise that their hostility and military brinkmanship was aimed against Russia and China, with the aim to prepare to confront them further post-pandemic. Enlightened humanity, on the other hand, continued to demand an end to militarism and war and NATO's expansion and warmongering throughout this period. Following the US and NATO's forced withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, they still carry out crippling sanctions against Afghanistan. This is part of their continued warmongering punishment for the people of Afghanistan for defeating the US occupation in this terrible twenty-year war. NATO countries should instead be paying reparations to Afghanistan for the massive loss of life and destruction of their country.

Besides the military exercises, it should be noted that NATO recently concluded large-scale cyber war games in Estonia, also conducted, reports say, "with one eye on Russia". The NATO Co-operative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence was the 10th edition of one of the world's largest annual interactive cyber security drills. Over 2,000 participants from 32 countries formed teams and logged in remotely.

People with a banner of Transnistria, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic march in the immortal regiment demonstration during the celebrations of May 9th Moscow - Photo: STR Nurphoto via Getty Images.

This is in addition to the concerted disinformation campaign being waged by the US/NATO countries on the crisis in Ukraine. Major news agencies, newspapers, radio, TV and social media invent and deliberately repeat baseless stories, calling this refutation of "false news" or presenting those who refute them as doubtful sources. These are well-known methods used by those who engage in defamation and disinformation. The situation reveals the urgency of supporting credible sources whose aim is not to incite passions to benefit the narrow private interests of war profiteers. It confirms that people must unite to create an anti-war voice which serves them.

People all over the world demand an end to this participation in global warmongering and stand for peace. The anti-war movement must stand by the necessity to stop Britain's warmongering role and its refusal to stand for peaceful solutions in Europe and Africa, whether in Ukraine, Somalia, Yemen or Palestine. The anti-war movement must oppose NATO's expansion and drive to militarise Europe, Africa and the East Pacific. Britain's role as the main ally of the US in Europe takes no account of Russia's security concerns in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Britain is intent not only on helping the US provoke Russia's military action in Ukraine but in arming Ukraine and keeping the conflict going against the interests of Ukraine and Russia for a peaceful outcome. Vital also is the necessity to stop Britain hosting the US preparations for nuclear war on British soil against Russia with the nuclear bombers at Lakenheath and other bases in Britain.

The urgent necessity of these times is to end Britain's participation in NATO and bring about an anti-war government that develops friendly and peaceful relations with all the countries and peoples of the world.

No to Anglo-US/NATO Warmongering!
Fight for an Anti-War Government!

1. US Army DEFENDER-Europe 22 activities begin - - May 5 2022
2. NATO Exercises' Defender Europe 2022 & Swift Response 2022 began - Adda247 - May 4 2022


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