Enormous, “Seriously Destabilizing” NATO War Games Begin in Poland

anakonda16By Dierdre Fulton

Drawing Russian rebuke, NATO members and partners on Monday launched what is being called the largest war game in decades—a 10-day exercise involving 31,000 troops and thousands of vehicles from 24 countries, none more committed than the United States.

The exercise, dubbed “Anakonda-16,” is taking place in Poland ahead of next month’s NATO summit in Warsaw that will likely approve more troops to be stationed in eastern Europe. The United States is providing around 14,000 troops for the exercise, more than any other participating nation.

According to Stars and Stripes:

Thousands of troops have arrived in Poland to begin the 10-day series of engagements, including air-ground assaults and electronic warfare scenarios. Airborne units, infantrymen, medics, military police and aviation units will operate jointly throughout the exercise, which culminates in a massive live-fire event led by the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.

A separate international naval exercise, Baltops-16, also involving NATO forces, began Monday in Finland, which is not a member of the global alliance.

The activity comes, as journalist Lucian Kim noted in an analysis published by Reuters, “just weeks after the United States inaugurated the first of two controversial missile-defense installations in Eastern Europe. Next year, the Pentagon plans to quadruple military spending in Europe to $3.4 billion and begin rotating an armored brigade through Eastern Europe—in addition to extra NATO forces to be deployed to Poland and the Baltics.”

Indeed, in mid-May Moscow called the U.S.’s newly activated missile defense site in Romania a “direct threat” to security and part of “the start of a new arms race.” Earlier this year, it was revealed that the U.S. was ramping up the deployment of heavy weapons and armored vehicles to NATO member countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

And last month, work began on a separate missile interception base at Redzikowo, a village in northern Poland—”turning the country,” analyst Gilbert Doctorow wrote on Friday, “into a U.S. bastion and potential launch platform against Russia in possible violation of existing agreements governing intermediate-range nuclear weapons.”

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized the uptick in activity near Russia’s borders.

“We do not hide that we have a negative attitude toward the NATO line of moving its military infrastructure to our borders, drawing other countries into military unit activities,” he said. “This will activate the Russian sovereign right to provide its own safety with methods that are adequate for today’s risks.”

Meanwhile, speaking of the Polish war games as well as the ongoing “SaberStrike” operation in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told journalists that the exercises “carry a serious destabilizing component” and that their “main goal is to continue the aggravation of tensions.”

At RT, author and journalist Robert Bridge offered a tongue-in-cheek thought experiment highlighting the ratcheting tensions:

For those who still aren’t convinced that Russia has some serious grounds for concern as the US-led war machine grinds ever closer, let’s put the situation into its proper perspective. Let’s imagine that the geopolitical chessboard were suddenly flipped and it is Russia that is now busy hatching a 28-member military alliance near America’s border, for example, in Latin America (and after Moscow had pledged not to increase the membership of the military bloc following the collapse of the Soviet Union).

But why stop there? Let’s roll the dice and see what Washington’s reaction would be if Russia had just dispatched three TU-160 Blackjack bombers to South America to participate in war games with the likes of Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil, for example, just weeks after Moscow dropped a missile defense system – which could go offensive with the flick of a switch – in, say, Colombia. Yikes! I dare say there’s not a straitjacket in the world that could restrain the writhing neocon convulsions that would break out across the Beltway.

A report issued last summer said ever-growing war games conducted by Russian and NATO forces feed a “climate of mistrust.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Dierdre Fulton writes for CommonDreams.org, where this article first appeared.

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5 Comments on "Enormous, “Seriously Destabilizing” NATO War Games Begin in Poland"

  1. These so called war games are a major provocation against Russia and coming on the heels of the relentless moving of NATO right up to Russia’s borders, against the arrangement between the US and Russia when Germany was reunited, is enough reason for Russia to pull out all stops including nuclear. The truth is America’s word isn’t worth the paper its printed on. However the real fools in this piece are the Poles and Romanians. Where did they lose their brains. It is they who will be pulverized long before their “great” friend, the US is. With friends like America, they don’t need any enemies.

    • This is becoming the same scenario of WW2 with Germany being the main force but with the alliance of all the other European countries all onside with Germany with the idea of defeating Russia. So I guess after 70 years the EU with Britain and the US are looking for another confrontation with Russia. Only this time Russia will be well ready and will also have some larger allies like China and Iran. And if the US thinks it wont get hit I am quite positive once the nuclear bombs start flying no country will be safe. The diplomatic approach does not seem to work for the US as it is always looking for an enemy and Americans seem to love the BS idea of being a Super power instead of being a team player. But like you say the dummies are Poland and Romania who you would think had seen enough of war after 100 years. If they think the US will come to their rescue you just got to look at Vietnam Afghanistan Iraq Syria and Libya if they want to be another failed state.

      • Doug Stevens | June 9, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Reply

        You are correct Andrew but it is important to note that the German alliance was intended to defeat Bolshevik communism rather than against the Russians per se.
        If that specific operation occurred some time through the 1920’s then most ethnic Russian would most likely have joined the German alliance.

  2. cellaphaneman | June 8, 2016 at 6:26 am | Reply

    The unholy elite want ww3. Most of the Usurped States are sick and tired of endless wars.

  3. per sigurd hansen | June 8, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Reply

    i live in Norway and i realy dont like the US led provocation of Russia. i dont understand how the Norwegian goverment put all their trust on nato and USA coming to our rescue? they are either very stupid or heavily medicated. i feel bad every time i meet a Russian and like i have to apologise for our goverments stupidity.
    and yes there are quite a few Russians living in Norway.

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