NATO started the biggest and most ambitious exercise in more than a decade. The Trident Juncture 2015 exercise, which kicked off on September 28 to run until November 6 and involves 36,000 personnel from more than 30 Allied and Partner Nations, is taking place throughout Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and also Canada, Norway, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The first stage of the exercise starts with the Command Post Exercise for Strategic and Operational level staff on Saturday 3 October in Zaragoza, Spain.
The pronounced aim of the Trident Juncture drills is to train and test the NATO Response Force, a technologically-advanced high-readiness unit comprising land, air, maritime forces. It is reported also, that TRJE15 has been designed to ensure that NATO concepts and procedures will work in the event of a real crisis.
NATO also claimed that its exercises are transparent, giving a link to what appears to be a partial list of exercises which are conducted by US and other NATO members. But on the official The Trident Juncture 2015 exercise Website there are no data about the involved units. So the transparency is only partial and such covering of the event arises a lot of questions.
Many European media outlets believe the large-scale drill is aimed against Russia. And they really have serious reasons for such point of view.
Though NATO is keen to emphasize that this exercise is defensive in nature, many experts consider it as a nonsense statement since the drills are conducted in Europe, at the Russian or proximity of the border. This would make sense if the military exercise was near, for example, US or Canada borders.
It should be said that not all of the participating countries share the organizers’ anti-Russian slant.
For example, Massimo Zuchhetti, a prominent Italian scientist and peace activist pointing to NATO’s ongoing Trident Juncture 2015 war games is sure, that “it is NATO, not Russia which poses the biggest threat to European peace.” “As a nuclear scientist, I think that Italy is violating the nuclear proliferation treaty by having 80 nuclear bombs stored at the Ghedi and Aviano airbases used by the Americans”, he said.
“What we see now is the militarization of Italian territory with military bases scattered all over the country and one-third of Sardinia set aside for military purposes… That’s why we believe that Italy should pull out of NATO. It’s not an equitable alliance, it’s all about making this country an underdog,” Massimo Zuchhetti, a Turin-based nuclear physicist and founder of the No War, No NATO movement added. Massimo Zuchhetti as many others scientists and activists fears that Italy could be drawn in NATO’s future military adventures, which are totally at variance with the country’s national interests.
In his turn Miguel Martinez Tomey, responsible for EU affairs in the Chunta Aragonesista political party, said, that “the deployment of the NATO troops in the Spanish city of Zaragoza entails risks for the local population and the environment, that is being concealed from the public.”
Obviously not all NATO members support such exercises but they just have no possibility to oppose US because it is US who mainly pays for collective defense and choose the common enemies.