As Al Jazeera reported on Thursday, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is holding its largest exercise since the end of the Cold War in anticipation of a possible conflict with a “near-peer foe”.
The exercise will test the ability of US forces to assist European allies in countries that border Russia and on the eastern edge of the alliance.
This information follows the disclosure last week of a classified dossier that said Russia may launch an offensive against NATO allies in 2019 as part of its ongoing war on Ukraine, according to Fox News.
The leak, which derived its claims from information obtained from the German Ministry of Defence, claims that European armed forces are preparing for a potential cyberattack by Russia against Eastern Europe.
According to Chris Cavoli, chief commander of NATO, around 90,000 troops are expected to take part in the Steadfast Defender 2024 maneuvers during the drills, which are expected to last until May.
According to Cavoli, the exercises would simulate how NATO would implement its regional plans—the first defense plans the alliance has developed in decades that spell out how it would respond to an assault by Russia.
NATO did not address Russia by name in its statement. Its most significant strategic paper, however, identifies Russia as the main threat to the security of NATO members.
“Steadfast Defender 2024 will demonstrate NATO’s ability to rapidly deploy forces from North America and other parts of the alliance to reinforce the defence of Europe,” said NATO.