Submitted by Lukas Ramonas…
European countries are strengthening measures to combat the spreading of COVID-19 virus. The United States suspended passenger links with all of Europe, and Norway completed the Cold Response 2020 NATO exercise ahead of schedule.
Obviously, the next logical step will be the final abolition of large-scale U.S.-lead exercise Defender-Europe 2020. Trump is interested in limiting contacts between the American soldiers and infected Europeans. And there is no problem to leave Europe alone with “Russian aggression.”
“We will suspend all trips from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days with the aim of limiting virus from Europe to infiltrate our lands,” Donald Trump said in an appeal to the Americans.
Such unprecedented measures were provoked by the Europeans, who did not suspend in time the transport connections with China and did not reduce the threat of dangerous coronavirus spreading. The American leader is not going to repeat such mistakes.
It is not difficult to predict his further actions. Defender-Europe 2020, the largest military exercise over the past 25 years, is likely to be canceled by Trump’s decision. Initially, it was assumed that more than 37 thousand military personnel from 18 countries would take part in it. But maneuvers aimed to strengthening the eastern border of NATO have become a real threat to the combat effectiveness of the American army.
Moreover, the Pentagon planned to deploy about 20,000 troops to Europe as a part of Defender-Europe 2020. It would be the largest redeployment of American soldiers in years. In the other worlds, the majority of participants – Americans, who have to travel throughout Europe and contact their colleagues from the countries affected by the coronavirus. Then they will return to U.S. spreading the virus there.
Everyone understands the situation in Washington. That is why the Americans have already adjusted their plans. “After a thorough analysis of the situation associated with the Defender-Europe 2020 exercise (current outbreak of coronavirus) we will change these maneuvers by reducing the number of U.S. troops,” the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) has recently reported. In the other words, we can see the background for the further abolition of the Defender-Europe 2020 exercise.
An important role here can be played by public sentiment and fear.
Thus, large multinational group of troops is perceived among the civilians of Germany, Poland, Lithuania and other EU countries as a source of deadly virus spreading.
Such moods can be especially pronounced in the Baltic States – cases of coronavirus infection are still isolated there. That’s why local residents are unlikely to be happy with the arrival of troops from countries in which the epidemic of coronavirus is becoming catastrophic.
By the way, hundreds of COVID-19 infections have already been reported in the United States, as well as dozens of fatal cases. An example of Italy shows that even serious preventive measures do not guarantee protection against the coronavirus epidemic. It also entails serious electoral risks for Donald Trump. Democrats will convince voters that the president is personally responsible for the rapid spread of the disease. That is why Trump will try to minimize the risks and consequences of the virus spreading.
In any case, the fate of Defender-Europe 2020 exercise is predetermined –exercise will be canceled completely, or Trump will lose.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.