Military experts and analysts have repeatedly stressed the danger of maneuvers of the U.S. and NATO “Defender Europe – 20” due to possible escalation of tensions in the region. Recently, however, the main threat is not so much military activity as the coronavirus epidemic spreading across Europe. Moreover, the disease is ruthless and does not understand the positions and social status of a person.
The latest news from U.S. the Army headquarters in Europe confirms that the misgivings were not without justification.
Alarming news about the health of several senior Alliance generals came after a conference held at the U.S. Army headquarters in Europe. The event took place on Saturday, March 6, during which twenty-four senior NATO military leaders discussed the importance of land power in Europe; strategic readiness; best practices for the reception, staging, and movement of forces during “Defender Europe – 20”.
However, shocking was another news – after the weekend it was announced that 4 of the 24 generals are already in quarantine. Among them, Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli who commands United States Army Europe (USAREUR), he is supposed to be one of the main organizers of the upcoming exercises and Inspector of the German Army Lt. Gen. Alphonse Mais.
Nach meiner Teilnahme an der Konferenz bei #USAREUR, befinde ich mich nach Kontakt mit einem bestätigten Verdachtsfall ebenfalls in häuslicher Quarantäne. Mir geht es gut. Jetzt statt Truppenbesuchen und Terminen in Berlin erst einmal Homeoffice.#Bundeswehr #WIRSINDDASHEER https://t.co/nzDEsfb7IU
— Inspekteur des Heeres (@Inspekteur_Heer) March 10, 2020
Poland’s Chief of General Staff tested positive for coronavirus, or COVID-19, the country’s defense ministry said. General Jarosław Mika and all the officials who traveled with him to the conference in Germany have been quarantined.
Italy’s Chief of Staff Salvatore Farina contracted the novel coronavirus, local media reported on Sunday.
Surprisingly, despite the existing threats to the lives of the already elderly generals and the real threat of the virus spreading throughout the continent, the commands of the armed forces of the European states and the US Army Europe intend to promote the further spread of the deadly virus throughout Europe.
Violating all available precautions, all the U.S. Army events are not cancelled or even postponed. In particular, the transfer of many thousands of U.S. troops to participate in the exercise “Defender Europe – 2020” continues, the ensemble of U.S. ground forces in Europe tours in units and garrisons, and the most interesting thing – HQ USAREUR invites journalists to visit a media event in the port of Vlissingen in the Netherlands, dedicated to the arrival of new forces for maneuvers.
A hundred years old history of “Spanish flu” in Europe does not teach Europeans anything. After the terrible epidemic, American soldiers will pass this time through Europe with the coronavirus.
The Spanish flu killed 2 million inhabitants of Europe but no one can predict now the death toll of the ongoing epidemic, because no one is in favor of cancelling the American maneuvers. Why Koreans, Israelis and Norwegians cancel all joint activities with the Americans, but the other Europeans are not able to do it? Maybe it’s time for the rest of the Europeans, to follow the example of German citizens, to stand up for their interests and oppose the military maneuvers which threaten everyone.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.