The largest US exercises in Europe over the past 25 years, Defender Europe 2020 did not withstand the impact of the Сoronavirus and were canceled. 5.5 thousand American soldiers managed to arrive in Germany, but ships from the United States, which were sent to Germany, were turned around halfway.
Defender Europe – 2020 exercises should have been given considerable attention to Poland and the Baltic states, however, the United States decided not to expose the life and health of its military personnel in order to develop military capabilities in these countries.
The borders of many European countries were closed due to the large-scale epidemic of Сoronavirus. However, Lithuania allowed entry into the territory of the republic to foreign citizens who ensure the delivery of necessary goods to Lithuania, as well as to the families of Lithuanian citizens. In addition, people who have the right to work and live in Lithuania, as well as diplomats and representatives of NATO military missions, can come to the country.
In the circumstances, it is clear that the Lithuanian authorities are more thinking about the country’s obligations and their image in NATO, and not about their armed forces, which now risk every day. Authorities hide full data on the number of infected military personnel, do not inform local residents and do not refuse to conduct exercises. To date, we already know that 20 NATO troops fell ill with the Сoronavirus in Lithuania.
Due to reputation risks, as well as not to create panic, the Pentagon leadership has officially classified all information about Сoronavirus-infected NATO soldiers in Europe.
In addition, in the near future, NATO can only have two options: to stay idle and wait for the NATO contingent to die out in the Baltic states, or to withdraw its military. COVID-19 is an enemy that cannot be killed or isolated. This virus can penetrate into any gap, and the military contingent of the military block, given the current realities, may soon find itself in a very difficult situation. No matter what the aims of the exercise were, General Coronavirus prevented them from being achieved.