Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Global SITREP C8-14: NATO Exercise Sabre Strike 2014

10 June 2014:  In just the two months since the Russian military invasion and conquest commenced against its former ally Ukraine (Crimea, March 2014), the leadership in Moscow led by Vladimir Putin has totally ignored all of the established international agreements governing relations between itself and its neighbors, especially Ukraine.  It should come as no surprise then to even the casual observer that Russia views the start of the annual NATO defensive field exercise known as "Sabre Strike" in the Baltic region (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) as "a demonstration of hostile intention."  Funny how Moscow did not have this kind of a visceral reaction to Sabre Strike 2013, or Sabre Strike 2012, or any of the previous years it has been conducted in these same Baltic states. Moscow's reaction belies their true militarily aggressive intent not only against Ukraine, but also these same neighboring Baltic and Nordic countries as well as the Republic of Georgia in the Caucasus region.

The annual Sabre Strike is a brigade-level, computer-assisted, multi-mission vignette or situational type of exercise which occurs in defined training areas (as seen in the image above) that are located in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Sabre Strike exercise involves just under 5,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen from ten different NATO countries. Those troops primarily hail from Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. This is Denmark and Canada's first year of exercise participation. Exercise sabre Strike poses no imminent threat to the Russian Federation, but it clearly demonstrates NATO's robust and increasing ability to defend itself from aggressive Russian expansionism and designs of reconquest. Get over it Vlad, the hegemonic dictatorship of the Soviet Union died decades ago, and your desire to resurrect it will likely result in the death of Russia. It's prophetic.

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