You may not know this, but Norway shares a border with Russia. A quick look at the map gives the impression that Finland is the first Nordic country to invade the Russian Bear. However, if you look to the North, there is a tiny sliver of land called Norway’s High North. There lies the Norwegian county of Finnmark that shares a border with Russia. As NATO launches the military exercise Cold Response, the whole world will be very aware of that small patch of land.
This operation was announced months ago and will consist of approximately 33,000 troops, 220 aircraft and 50 ships. Everyone will be cautious to stay away from Finnmark county and the Russian border. Tensions are high given that Vladimir Putin is engaged in a shooting war right now in Ukraine and no one wants a training exercise to turn into an accidental direct conflict with a nuclear peer. The Norwegian Joint Headquarters gave a courtesy call by a much too smiley armed forces spokesman.
It is customary for adversaries to talk to one another to keep the overall temperature low. Sometimes people take this too far.
No one has ever produced an excellent explanation as to why it would be a clever idea to warn someone if you were going to attack them, but this is the same General who is more concerned about pronoun usage than preparing the American military for its one job which is to destroy things in a most decidedly unfair fight.
The United States has not been consistent with its planned training operations in any event. It canceled a missile test not to anger Putin, but 33,000 troops on his border are okay?
Putin is a former KGB officer and has ruled Russia for a long time without much of a challenge. That means that the Russian President only understands one thing, power. Calling our enemies saying we will warn them ahead of time and canceling missile tests will not intimidate Putin. NATO’s exercise Cold Response is a good start in letting everyone know we have an army too. It is time we started rattling the saber, so the Bear knows we still have one.