Last year, analysts claimed that ‘Zapad’ military exercises was a training for a war against Europe.
However, this year NATO has decided to conduct a more ambitious and aggressive military exercises in Poland and Norway, countries adjacent to the borders of Russia. More than 100 thousand soldiers will be participating in the ‘Anaconda 2018’ in Poland and more than 45,000 soldiers will be taking part in the ‘Trident Joining’ in Norway.
‘Trident Joining’ exercise to be held in October will have more focus on the ‘amphibious’ conflicts. This will be the first exercise of this kind after the Cold war, and to be held on such a big scale. The exercise will be carried out near the Russian border.
It should be noted that Norway is one of the founder members of NATO and since the last few years it has started stressing on its defence preparedness. Norway had signed the agreement for the purchase of ‘F-35’ fifth generation fighters from the US and the first ‘F-35’ fighter has been received by Norway in 2017. Norway has also accepted the proposal to deploy a US marines unit. The exercise ‘Trident Joining’ is considered to be a policy to send warnings to Russia, which has increased its movements in the seas adjoining Norway.
Before the Norway exercises, ‘Anaconda 2018’ military exercise will be held in Poland and more than 100 thousand soldiers are expected to participate. NATO member countries and the NATO partner countries will be participating in the war exercises along with Poland. Poland is deploying around 20,000 soldiers for this exercise. Other than this, there will be 5,000 armed vehicles, tanks, heavy artillery, 150 fighter jets and 45 warships participating in the exercise. The highlight of the exercise is the participation of the special forces along with army, navy and air force.
Participation of NATO military contingents to the eastern borders of the Alliance is natural. According to the report of the American analytical centre RAND Corporation, Russia will destroy NATO, if war sparks in Europe.
‘In case of a war sparks off in Europe, it will not be possible for NATO to stop Russia. Russia will easily rout the NATO army and take control of the Baltic countries, claimed Rand Corporation’, a US think tank says. There was a major reduction in the NATO and Russian defence strengths after the Cold war. But Russia was able to rapidly increase its military strength, the think tank pointed out.
The ‘Munich Security Conference’ report also warned about a possibility of an accidental conflict between Europe and Russia. The report of the US think tank becomes important against this background. The report named ‘Assessing the Conventional Force Imbalance in Europe’ observes the changes in the military strengths of the NATO and Russia in the post cold war period.
The report primarily focuses on the preparedness and strength of the NATO in the Baltic countries adjacent to the Russia border. Over the past decade, Russia has stressed on increasing its military strength and has adopted a policy to use it for aggressive military purposes. The report clearly warns that keeping this policy in view Russia can easily take control of the Baltic countries and attain its goal, in case of a conflict in that region.
This is why conducting the most large-scale NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea region is only a cover for the relocation of the huge amount of military equipment and weapons to Russia’s borders.