Steadfast Defender is the largest NATO exercise since Cold War. “Exercise will demonstrate NATO’s ability to rapidly deploy forces from North America and other parts of the alliance to reinforce the defence of Europe,” NATO officials claimed.
Steadfast Defender 2024 has two parts:
Part 1 takes place from February 1 to March 15, 2024; this is a maritime-focused live exercise (LIVEX) that will train headquarters through rehearsing the strategic deployment of forces to continental Europe. This will also include demonstration of NATO’s ability to execute an amphibious assault in a permissive and/or non-permissive environment.
Part 2 takes place from February 12 to May 31, 2024; this is a multi- domain demonstration of NATO and national military capabilities led by Joint Force Command Brunssum, and in coordination with linked national exercises across continental Europe. Part 2 will exercise the Very High Readiness Joint Tasks Force’s (VJTF) while deploying to Poland where the VJTF will be integrated into the Polish DRAGON 24 exercise.
About 90,000 troops from all 31 NATO countries plus Sweden will be involved. More than 50 ships from aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes will take part, as well as more than 80 fighter jets, helicopters and drones and at least 1,100 combat vehicles including 166 tanks, 417 APCs [armoured personal carriers} and 533 infantry fighting vehicles.
Yesterday, January 30 in Brussel, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands have signed an agreement on plans to create a “military transport corridor” that would allow troops and equipment to be moved more easily through their territories to bolster NATO’s eastern flank.
“We need a military Schengen to move military personnel and materiel more quickly and efficiently,” tweeted Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollongren. “This will make Europe stronger. We took an important step: Poland, Germany and the Netherlands signed a declaration to achieve a military corridor.”
Meanwhile, the US sold a record $238 billions worth of weapons overseas last year – with the war in Ukraine fuelling demand. Poland, Germany, Australia and the Czech Republic were among the countries that bought weapons worth billions directly from the US government in 2023. These types of deals accounted for $81 billions in the total amount of sales – a 56% increase from 2022, the state department said.
What are there getting prepared for? Billions of dollars are spent, and millions of people are involved in the military industrial complex worldwide. As well, tons of natural resources are used to build and run military equipment for the war industry. Simultaneously, millions of people are starving and dying for lack of food and clean water along with the incalculable damage of the planet. Till when?