News / Europe

NATO Plans Major East European Exercise

FILE - NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Mark Breedlove, attends a military conference, Budapest, Sept. 14, 2013.
FILE - NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Mark Breedlove, attends a military conference, Budapest, Sept. 14, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— After years of fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, NATO plans a major exercise in eastern Europe in November to brush up its conventional warfare skills, but insists it is not practicing with Cold War foe Russia in mind.
 
Exercise "Steadfast Jazz" in Latvia and Poland from Nov. 2-9 shows the 28-nation alliance refocusing on its core task of defending its own territory as it winds down its long combat mission in Afghanistan.
 
"For the past 10 to 12 years we have become incredibly proficient at the counter-insurgency mission that we have been fighting in Afghanistan," NATO's military commander, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, told a news conference.
 
If NATO were ever called on to defend an alliance member, "we have to be prepared for the more high end of military operations," he said, speaking at a NATO headquarters at Brunssum in the Netherlands on Wednesday.
 
The exercise calls for NATO forces to oust an invader. Breedlove denied it was aimed at repelling a hypothetical Russian invasion.
 
The exercise, designed to test NATO's rapid response force, will involve about 6,000 military personnel from about 20 allied and partner nations and includes air, land, naval and special forces. Multinational troops will take part in a live-fire exercise in Poland, the largest of its kind organized by NATO since 2006, NATO officials say.
 
The exercise will also involve a "sizeable cyber threat," said French Major-General Michel Yakovleff, deputy chief of staff for plans at Brunssum, with nations coming under a staged cyber attack.
 
As the alliance prepares to end combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of next year, it plans to step up training and exercises to maintain the high level of integration NATO armies have achieved through fighting alongside each other.
 
Chilly period
 
Although the days of the Cold War when huge NATO and Soviet forces confronted each other are long gone, Russia fought a brief 2008 war over two breakaway regions with Georgia, which harbors ambitions of joining NATO.
 
U.S.-Russian relations are going through a chilly patch over Moscow's decision in August to grant temporary asylum to former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden and over the Syrian civil war, although both sides struck a deal last Saturday to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.
 
Europe and Russia are vying for influence in eastern European countries such as Ukraine, which will send an amphibious company to take part in the NATO exercise.
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin stresses the importance of a strong military. Russia and Belarus plan a joint military exercise, known as Zapad, this month.
 
NATO commanders prefer to stress cooperation with Russia.
 
"In the interests of transparency and confidence-building, we have invited Russian military officers to visit 'Exercise Steadfast Jazz' as observers and I am pleased to say the Russians have ... invited NATO officials to observe 'Exercise Zapad' which starts later this week," Breedlove said.
 
He said NATO and Russia would hold a joint exercise later this month to practice working together on tracking and responding to an aircraft hijacked by "terrorists." The alliance also plans a joint submarine search and rescue exercise with Russia in 2014, he said.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid