The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has begun its annual military drills in preparation for nuclear war on Monday. American B-52 bombers will be joined by advanced aircraft from other alliance members as they simulate a war of annihilation with Russia.
The war games, dubbed “Steadfast Noon,” are scheduled to run through the end of October. Belgium is hosting the exercises which will take place over the North Sea and the United Kingdom. Some American aircraft will take off from bases in North Dakota.
According to a NATO press release, “Exercise ‘Steadfast Noon’ involves 14 countries and up to 60 aircraft of various types, including fourth and fifth-generation fighter jets, as well as surveillance and tanker aircraft. As in previous years, US B-52 long-range bombers will take part.” It added, “as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.”
This year’s nuclear drills come as tensions between NATO and Moscow are at a multi-decade high. Moscow has accused the alliance of waging war against Russia in Ukraine. Washington has led its allies in providing Kiev with tens of billions in weapons, as well as intelligence and training, to kill Russian soldiers.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated it would send the “wrong signal” to cancel the war games. “It would send a very wrong signal if we suddenly now canceled a routine, long-time planned exercise because of the war in Ukraine.