US conducted secret exercises in Europe to assess readiness for war with Russia
The European Command of the US Armed Forces (EUCOM) on Saturday 23 October completed a secret exercise to assess the mobilization readiness of NATO forces in the event of a full-scale war. The Pentagon newspaper Stars and Stripes reports.
EUCOM Exercise and Evaluation Director, Major General John Boyd said the exercise lasted a week. They were attended by about 4.4 thousand soldiers from the United States and NATO countries.
For the exercises, the situation of the beginning of a full-scale armed conflict in Europe was simulated. The details are classified, but the publication reports that the interaction of all branches of the armed forces – aviation, navy, ground, space forces and cyber units – was being worked out.
Boyd said the exercises “had broad goals” and solved “an infinite number of problems.”
The Austere Challenge is an annual EUCOM exercise conducted since the 1990s. Over the past 5 years, the command has revised the strategy and the scale of the exercises has increased.
In early September, the United States conducted joint exercises in Estonia. The Russian Embassy in the United States called them provocative, since the military training took place in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders.
In addition to the exercises, the United States intends to deploy intermediate and shorter-range missiles in Europe, said Pentagon chief Mark Esper. According to him, this step will be a response to the actions of Russia, which already has similar missiles in service, thereby violating the INF Treaty (Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles).
American medium-range missiles may appear in Europe for the first time since the late 1980s, when Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed an agreement to eliminate them at the end of the Cold War.
In addition, the United States is considering options for the transfer of part of its troops from Germany to Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states as part of the announced redeployment of American forces in Europe.
Pentagon chief Esper said that if containment of Russia does not work, then the United States and its allies “must be prepared for the worst.” He also noted that no one expected that after the collapse of the USSR they would have to deal with a revanchist Russia.
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