[pjw] NEWS: US runs military exercises near Russia, N. Korea
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Sun Jun 5 18:14:21 EDT 2022
Hello peace loving people
Perhaps echoing the Salon article I linked to yesterday calling for US
military gun control, our country has chosen this weekend to engage in
provocative military exercises near Russia and North Korea. The latter is
in conjunction with South Korea and responding to the North's
*considering* a nuclear test.
The former is being done by NATO and is alarming for its timing. At
first I was very curious why Finland and Sweden were included since they
only just applied for membership, but at the very end of the article it
says those two countries have been participating since the 1990s. That may
also explain why Turkey would not object to their being part of the
mission while that country continues to object to the two Scandinavian
nations joining NATO.
Anyway, here's the news. Wish it were more hope-inspiring.
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
NATO holds Baltic Sea naval exercises with Finland, Sweden
Associated Press June 5, 2022
HELSINKI (AP) -- NATO kicked off nearly a two-week U.S.-led naval
exercise on the Baltic Sea on Sunday with more than 7,000 sailors,
airmen and marines from 16 nations, including two aspiring to join the
military alliance, Finland and Sweden.
The annual BALTOPS naval exercise, initiated in 1972, is not held in
response to any specific threat. But the military alliance said that
"with both Sweden and Finland participating, NATO is seizing the chance
in an unpredictable world to enhance its joint force resilience and
strength" together with two Nordic aspirant nations.
Finland and Sweden both have a long history of military non-alignment
before their governments decided to apply to join NATO in May, a direct
result of Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. Over the past years,
Moscow has repeatedly warned Helsinki and Stockholm against joining the
Western military alliance and warned of retaliatory measures if they
Ahead of the naval drill, which involved 45 vessels and 75 aircraft,
the top U.S military official said in Sweden -- the host of the BALTOPS
22 exercise -- that it was particularly important for NATO to show
support to the governments in Helsinki and Stockholm.
"It is important for us, the United States, and the other NATO
countries to show solidarity with both Finland and Sweden in this
exercise," U.S. Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, said Saturday during a news conference aboard the large
amphibious warship USS Kearsarge, which was moored in central
Milley, speaking with the Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson,
stressed that the Baltic Sea is a strategically important body of water
-- "one of the great seaways of the world."
He said from Moscow's perspective, Finland and Sweden joining NATO will
be "very problematic" and leave Russia in a difficult military position
as the Baltic Sea's coastline would be almost completely encircled by
NATO members, except for Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad and the
Russian city of St. Petersburg and its surrounding areas.
Turkey, a NATO member that has had good relations with Russia, has
objected to Finland and Sweden joining the military alliance, citing
their alleged support for a Kurdish group that Turkey labels as
terrorist. NATO's chief has been trying to resolve the dispute.
The United States has never before moved such a large warship as the
843-foot USS Kearsarge in the Swedish capital, where it sailed through
narrow passages in the Stockholm archipelago, Milley said.
As NATO's close partners, Finland and Sweden have participated in the
naval drill since the mid-1990s.
BALTOPS 22 is scheduled to end in the German port of Kiel on June 17.
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