NATO intends to mobilize 90,000 soldiers for the Alliance’s largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War in order to deter Russian aggression, writes the German agency dpa on Thursday.
According to information received by dpa on Thursday, the scenario for the “Stidfest Defender” exercise, which should begin in Europe in February, is a Russian attack on allied territory that would activate Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which guarantees collective defense.
The exercises will focus on alerting and deploying national and multinational ground forces in the event of a Russian attack.
Article 5 was activated only once after the al-Qaeda attack on the United States on September 11, 2001.
The alliance’s largest post-Cold War exercises, dubbed “Trident Juncture,” took place in 2018, mostly in Norway, and involved around 51,000 troops.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense recently said that approximately 20,000 of its troops from the navy, air force and land forces will take part in this year’s exercises.
The members of the Alliance, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, consider themselves states on the first line of defense in case of Russian aggression.
Many countries on NATO’s eastern flank fear that one day they could face a similar fate that befell the Ukrainian people, who have been fighting the Russian invasion for almost two years.
The Military Committee, the highest body of the Alliance, met in Brussels on Thursday.