(LibertySociety.com) – The relationship between the US and Russia has been strained lately. President Joe Biden’s administration issued sanctions against the former Soviet country. That led to Russian Vladimir Putin expelling US diplomats and barring several officials from entering the country. The tit for tat has caused a lot of concern, and now the US has done something that could increase those tensions.
On May 4, the US and NATO began a military exercise involving over 28,000 soldiers from 26 nations across Europe. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said the Defender-Europe 21 Exercise has a “clear anti-Russian orientation,” explaining it’s the biggest NATO drill in three decades.
Soldiers assigned to @1stCAB1ID conduct "cold load" training with Estonian Defence League soldiers at Nurmsi Drop Zone, Estonia, May 4, in preparation of #SwiftResponse 21, a linked exercise to #DefenderEurope 21.#StrongerTogether I #WeAreNATO I #StrongEurope pic.twitter.com/FdCrD766Gf
— U.S. Army Europe and Africa (@USArmyEURAF) May 5, 2021
The military exercise comes after Russia reportedly sent 100,000 troops to the Ukraine border last month. While some of those troops have withdrawn since then, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned the increased number of troops, saying the adversarial nation hasn’t explained what its military is doing along the border. Kirby claimed that the NATO exercise is “defensive in nature, focused on deterring aggression” and ensuring the allied nations are prepared for a crisis or large military operation if need be.
Although military preparation for any conflict is critical, one has to wonder if running joint exercises during this time of increased tension is the best decision.
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