Defender Europe 20, as it is being named is a US-led multinational exercise, that includes North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) participation. This year will mark the largest deployment of US-based forces that are active, guard and reserve to Europe in more than 25 years totaling 20,000 soldiers.
It will also draw 13,000 pieces of equipment.
Army Times reports:
Soldiers participating in the Army’s division-scale Defender 2020 exercise across Europe have started to trickle onto the continent, just as generals involved in the effort warn of logistical challenges to operating with the infrastructure there.
Equipment belonging to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division rolled off ships into the port of Bremerhaven, Germany, on Feb. 20, as part of the opening salvo of the largest deployment of soldiers from mainland United States to Europe in a quarter century. About 20,000 troops in total will deploy from units in 15 states.
But the massive influx of troops isn’t without complications, the general in charge of U.S. European Command and NATO told the Senate on Tuesday.
“I’m concerned about the bandwidth to be able to accept this large force and I’m also concerned about road and rail from the center portion of Germany to the east — all the way to the eastern border,” said Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, NATO’s supreme allied commander.
“The environment in Europe has to be mature enough to be able to absorb 20,000 soldiers and get those soldiers to the right pre-positioned locations to be able to grab the appropriate gear,” Wolters said. “What we want to do is count every second that it takes to get the soldier from the first point of entry all the way to his or her foxhole.”
Army Times adds:
In the event of a conflict, expanded rail heads to rapidly load and unload armored vehicles, stockpiled fuel and ammunition caches to supply forces, and logistical and intelligence hubs to guide the process would be critical to traversing Europe.
“And, we anticipate that there will be some snags,” Wolters added.
Northern Poland, for instance, is covered with lakes. In fact, Eastern Europe in general is riddled with rivers.
“You’ve got a lot of water that has to be crossed and not many bridges can hold an Abrams tank or a German Leopard tank,” retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, who helmed U.S. Army Europe from late 2014 through 2017, told Army Times this fall. “You’re talking 70, 80 tons. Especially when you put it on the back of a heavy equipment transport truck, now we’re up over 100 tons.”
Russia’s International Affairs reported on Russia’s response to Defender 20:
«It is not yet clear how troop movements are linked to defence planning in the context of the current plans of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is difficult to say how these exercises linked to the offensive, but it is clear that they are aimed at improving preparedness», – Dmitriy Danilov, Head of the European Security Department of the RAN Institute of Europe, MGIMO Professor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, said. According to him, the countries should set a common military and political objective and reach a consensus. He also noted that the exercises were of a test nature.
Andrey Sidorov, Dean of the Department of World Politics, Head of the Department of International Organizations and Global Political Processes of Moscow State University stated that the exercise was divided into several aspects. Firstly, creating a perimeter of containment, forcing countries to move to an arms race, which will severely damage the world economy are the geopolitical tasks of the United States of America, as well as «influence» on Russia and China. Secondly, the operation has an impact on NATO allies. He also believes that the first exercises in which the number of Polish soldiers (2,000) exceeds the number of soldiers from Germany or France. Thirdly, Donald Trump wants to get European politicians to pay for US troops on European soil, so he plans to increase control over NATO’s member states.
«The base framework: the enemy invades the Baltic and parts of Poland, continues to move towards Kaliningrad. NATO mobilizes and deters the enemy. USA airlift its troops. Other military brigades, however, travel by sea. The counter-offensive group is then established to defeat the invading troops and further attack their territory», –Konstantin Sivkov, Deputy President of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences on information policy, said. He also still added that the «Defender-2020» is the largest and longest-standing extensive and it is practical preparation for real military action. «There are no fools in the United States or Europe.They are not suicides to attack Russia, which may fight back.In my opinion, this extensive are provocation against Russia. The US is planning a full-scale hybrid war against Russian Federation and China», – expert concluded.
Today’s NATO strategy reminds him of the years of the «Cold War» A. Sidorov noted. «If you cannot agree with the adversary, sit at the table on favourable terms, you need to «pressure». The such policy was formed in the US in the 1960s and continues to be implemented», – he said.
If that were not enough, some believe this is an effort that might result in an actual war, not just training exercises.
Ellen Taylor at Counter Punch writes:
In the words of Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, “The last 18 years of conflict built muscle memory in counterinsurgency, but with this came atrophy in other areas. We are now engaging these other muscle groups.”
General Tod Wolters, Commander of US forces in Europe and of NATO, has stated, “I’m in favor of a flexible first-use (nuclear weapon) policy.”
The US has withdrawn from the INF treaty.
Most diabolical and chilling of all: the exercises will come to a climax in June, which is the 75th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, which killed 27 million people. Russians born in 1930 turn 90 this year. They remember. The heart and soul of Russia remembers as well.
Russian Chief General Gerasimov is convinced the US is preparing for war. All it would take for an attack is one false-flag operation.
We’ll keep an eye out on this as much of the mainstream media is completely silent on this deployment and operation.
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