Defender Europe 2020 will involve participation of allies and partners from 18 countries. This event will also include several separated local exercises. The nature of the exercise is defensive and it’s made for underlining the core of NATO nature which is article 5 (it obligates all members to consider an armed attack against one member to be an armed attack against all of them) and to show US commitment to NATO. If it all goes well, this would prove Macron’s statement wrong. He pointed that “NATO is brain dead”, referring to Trump’s politics.
David J. Bercusson, a Canadian Global Affairs Institute Program Director, stated that “Macron’s foreign policy views are, to some extent, extensions of the foreign policy carried out by Charles de Gaulle” and are trying “to carve out a separate path for France in the matter of European defense”. He underlines that Macron is right about Trump showing “no capability as strategic thinker”.
However Trump sees the opportunity to prove that the US is still a reliable NATO ally and is still willing to push the idea of collective defense strategy. And what’s more important for the USA is to show NATO members that the US Armed Forces is the real deal. Donald Trump is a successful business man, and it’s suitable to expect him to make his politics profitable for the United States.
Defender Europe 2020 might be a good advertisement for the America’s military equipment. Basically, giving the idea that a reliable ally would provide reliable weapons. US – NATO military trade relations history is rich with deals and no-deals. And hopefully for Mr. Trump this massive event would give food for thought to European partners and provide more deals to be made with the US Armed Forces.
Unfortunately many trainings usually followed by many incidents with locals, vehicles and injuries. For example, according to daily mail, back in 2018 in Norway, civilians complained about mess after NATO joint exercise: soldiers relieving themselves in public areas and major complaints came from farmers, which were not satisfied with military vehicles tearing up their lands. As well as local environmental protection groups were not happy with pollution provided by military vehicles. All these factors might be significant obstacles for Mr. Trump’s military marketing.
In order to restore trust and prove President Macron is wrong, the US Armed Forces commanders have to make sure everything goes perfect during the Defender 20 exercises. It’s important to isolate informational influence and provide safe transportation of military staff and equipment. Which wouldn’t be an easy task, since it’s the largest exercise to be conducted in 25 years and it’ll involve 35 000 personnel from across 18 countries. The US Amy is one the strongest armies in the world, allied with European partners they can provide and maintain peace and safety for European and American citizens.
Steve Roberts, especially for The Baltic Word