Italy on the front lines under US command in the largest exercise of war against Russia

U.S. Army General Christopher Cavoli, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, announced that the largest NATO exercise in decades, Steadfast Defender (Balance Defender) 2024, will take place in Europe from the end of January to the end of May. It will be attended by 90,000 military personnel from the 31 NATO countries and Sweden, which is about to join NATO.  More than 80 combat aircraft along with helicopters and drones, 50 warships including aircraft carriers, 1,100 tanks and other combat vehicles will be deployed in the exercise. The exercise-the largest since the end of the Cold War-will be used to test and refine war strategy against Russia.

The US general, who in NATO commands the armed forces of the Alliance's 29 European member countries, said that with Steadfast Defender 2024.  "the Alliance will demonstrate its ability to reinforce the Euro-Atlantic area through the transatlantic movement of forces from North America. This reinforcement will occur during a simulated emerging conflict scenario against a near-peer adversary." Clear reference to Russia.

The Supreme Allied Commander in Europe also reports that Italy has been chosen as the headquarters of the Allied Response Force.  The U.S. general stresses that it is "a key component of our new force model and that "it is capable of carrying out the full spectrum of missions and serves as a rapid deployment strategic reserve." During the exercise, the Italian headquarters of the Allied Reaction Force will carry out a Rapid Reaction Force deployment to Poland on the Alliance's eastern flank, clearly directed against Russia.

The Supreme Allied Commander in Europe does not say that the war exercise, which will take place over four months in Europe, will also be a nuclear warfare exercise. The aircraft, ships and missile systems used in Steadfast Defender 2024 have dual conventional and nuclear capabilities. The U.S. will thus be able to test, in a realistic simulation, the new nuclear weapons it is deploying in Europe increasingly close to Russia.

 Written by Manlio Dinucci


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