NATO has started up its massive Trident Juncture in and around Norway on Thursday, the largest single military exercise by the alliance since the Cold War. 50,000 troops, 10,000 vehicles, and 250 ships are involved.
US officials are presenting the effort as proof of the alliance’s military commitment to Norway. Russian officials, however, see this as just the latest in a long line of anti-Russia operations in Europe.
The exercise is broadly speaking a show of force, and of course no one seriously thinks Norway is facing a military threat from Russia or anyone else. Russian and Belarussian observers have been invited to watch the wargames.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that “Europe’s security environment has significantly deteriorated,” and that the exercise is a “clear message” to their unnamed adversary.