Trident Juncture 18 preparations are well underway, with Croatian Army Brigadier General Darko Pintaric, head of NATO’s Joint Logistics Support Group, now in command of the exercise’s main logistics.
Live training will begin on the 25th of October, lasting until November 7th. More than 250 armoured vehicles and 500 soldiers from the UK are already on their way to Norway to join these drills; they have just crossed the Oresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden.
The focus of these exercises will be the enactment of Article 5 of the NATO treaty, defence of an ally. However, Trident Juncture 18 is also set to be a testing ground for NATO’s new ‘Four Thirties’ Initiative.
This is a US led initiative, specifically designed to increase NATO’s capability to respond to Russian military action. Under Four Thirties, NATO will now be able to respond within 30 days to any Russian threat in eastern Europe by mobilising 30 air squadrons, 30 naval ships and 30 combat battalions.
With 150 aircraft, 10,000 vehicles and 45,000 troops, it is clear that Trident Juncture 18 is escalating tension between Russia and NATO. With efforts geared towards the mobilisation of forces quickly to act as a ‘sobering deterrent’ to ‘any adversary that might choose to cross a line and try to take a territory’, it is evident NATO-Russia relations are under escalatory pressure.
Rather than exacerbating tension by involving itself in such a huge military exercise, the UK should be withdrawing from NATO and scrapping nuclear weapons. In an increasingly fraught political situation, things are only made more dangerous by the presence of nuclear weapons.
Join CND in calling on the UK government to get rid of Trident and withdraw from NATO. Together we can work to de-escalate this dangerous situation and ensure a more secure Britain.