An MV-22 Osprey, the Marine Corps’s main assault support aircraft, landing on Friday on the deck of the Iwo Jima.CreditLaetitia Vancon for The New York Times
The NY Times showcases North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) largest millitary excercise in decades in Norway..
While Donald Trump started out trying to dance with Russian Putin?
Reality politics and Foreign Policy has outlasted the novice American President’s view of the world….
Hovering over the Trident Juncture exercise in Norway and among the roughly 15,000 American troops — most of them Marines — who are participating, is a consuming narrative about the alliance’s next possible war.
The next, more immediate adversary is closer to northern Europe: Russia.
The country’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has made no secret of his distaste for the Atlantic alliance’s encroachment into territory he considers part of his sphere of influence — particularly in the Baltics and in the Balkans.
And since Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Western officials have worried that NATO states could be next.
Warfare in northern Europe is entirely different. It requires attention to small details, like carrying cold-weather lubricant for machine guns, as well as to seismic decisions, like moving thousands of men and women, and their heavy machinery and weapons, across fields packed with snow — something American troops have not had to worry much about for more than a half-century.
The Americans here are among 50,000 allied troops participating in the Trident Juncture exercise, which is based in Trondheim, Norway. The official line from there, according to Lt. Col. Ben Sakrisson, is that the war game is “entirely defensive in nature.”
In an email to reporters before the exercise began, Colonel Sakrisson said Trident Juncture was “focused on ensuring the continued freedom and liberty of our allies’ nations, and partners, and their citizens.”
“The strongest deterrent against any adversary encroaching on our nations’ territories is a credible and well-practiced collective defensive capability,” he said.
Unprovoked, the Atlantic alliance does not plan to attack Russia. Still, Eastern European members of the group worry that Mr. Putin will, at some point, challenge its collective defense compact, which holds that an attack on one ally is an attack on all….
The NY Times reporter focused on the US Marines, but the Exercise Trident Juncture 2018 included members of all of the US military and 30 other countries military units …