Call to arms, NATO mobilized on two fronts

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Manlio Dinucci

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NATOME: so does President Trump, who prides themselves on their talent for creating acronyms, he has already baptized the deployment of NATO in the Middle East, requested by him by telephone from Alliance Secretary General Stoltenberg.

He immediately agreed that NATO should have «an increased role in the Middle East, especially in training missions ". He then participated in the meeting of EU foreign ministers, stressing that the European Union must remain alongside the United States and NATO since, “Even though we have made enormous progress, Daesh can return ».

The United States is thus seeking to involve its European allies in the chaotic situation caused by the assassination, authorized by Trump himself, of the Iranian general Soleimani just landed at Baghdad airport.

After the Iraqi parliament approved the expulsion of the over 5.000 US soldiers, present in the country along with thousands of Pentagon contractors, Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi asked the State Department to send a delegation to establish the withdrawal procedure. The US - the Department replied - will send a delegation «not to discuss the withdrawal of troops, but the adequate device of forces in the Middle East ", adding that Washington is agreeing "to strengthen NATO's role in Iraq in line with the President's desire that the Allies share the burden in all efforts for our collective defense."

The plan is clear: replace, totally or partially, US troops in Iraq with those of European allies, who would find themselves in the most risky situations, as evidenced by the fact that NATO itself, after the assassination of Soleimani, suspended training missions in Iraq.

As well as on the southern front, NATO is mobilized on the eastern one. To "defend Europe from the Russian threat", the exercise is being preparedDefender Europe 20, which will see in April and May the largest deployment of US forces in Europe of the last 25 years.

They will come from the United States 20.000 soldiers, including some thousands of the National Guard from 12 US states, who will join 9.000 already present in Europe bringing the total to about 30.000. They will be joined by 7.000 soldiers of 13 European NATO countries, including Italy, e 2 partner, Georgia and Finland.

In addition to the armaments that will come from across the Atlantic, US troops will employ 13.000 tanks, self-propelled guns, armored vehicles and other military vehicles from US "prepositioned deposits" in Europe. Military convoys with armored vehicles will travel 4.000 km across 12 arteries, operating together with airplanes, helicopters, drones and naval units.

US paratroopers of the 173rd Brigade and Italians of the Folgore Brigade will launch together in Latvia.

The exerciseDefender Europe 20  takes on further importance, in the US / NATO strategy, following the worsening of the Middle East crisis. The Pentagon, that last year sent others 14.000 soldiers in the Middle East, it is diverting some forces that were preparing for the war exercise in Europe to the same region: 4.000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division (including some hundreds from Vicenza) e 4.500 sailors and marines of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan. Other forces, before or after the exercise in Europe, could be sent to the Middle East.

The planning of theDefender Europe 20, specifies the Pentagon, however, it remains unchanged. In other words, 30.000 US soldiers will practice defending Europe from Russian aggression, a scenario that could never occur also because in the clash they would not use tanks but nuclear missiles.

However, this scenario is useful for sowing tension and feeding the idea of ​​the enemy.

 (the poster, 14 January 2020) 

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