Don’t Forget About the West’s War Games – News Roundup 2/9/2022

by | Feb 8, 2022

Don’t Forget About the West’s War Games – News Roundup 2/9/2022

by | Feb 8, 2022

News Roundup from The Libertarian Institute by Kyle Anzalone

The media is awash with stories hyping Russia’s troop buildup around Ukraine and the 30,000 soldiers deploying to Belarus for military drills. Yet, the corporate press has dedicated virtually no coverage to the ongoing series of NATO and Ukrainian war games simulating battles with Moscow. 

In a move not seen since the Cold War, the US placed the USS Truman aircraft carrier strike group under the command of NATO. The ship is currently a part of “Neptune Strike”’ naval war maneuvers alongside French and Italian counterparts – what amounts to a massive NATO armada in the Mediterranean Sea. 

In Ukraine, the army has mobilized its 250,000 troops and deployed many near the separatist-held Donbas region. The buildup on the line of control in the country’s east has provoked anxiety among the Russian-backed rebels, leading one major commander to request the deployment of 30,000 Russian troops

The US, UK, and Canada all have military trainers deployed to Ukraine, with the Florida National Guard training local troops to use bunker-busting rockets. Kyiv is matching the Russian war games in Belarus with its own 30,000-troop drills set to begin later this week and run until February 20. 

Meanwhile, the French and British have sent troops to Estonia for the “Winter Camp” military drills taking place just 60 miles from Russian territory. The US also deployed six F-15s to Estonia, increasing its armed presence on Russia’s border.  

The largest ongoing mobilization of NATO-allied troops is for the “Allied Spirit” drills in Germany – aerial war games that will involve 5,200 soldiers from 15 different countries. Though most of the drills occur closer to Russia’s borders, some are set for the US as well, with Latvian soldiers traveling to Michigan to train with the National Guard for an exercise dubbed “Winter Strike.” 

While all of the training drills envision a Russian opponent, the Western press rarely even bothers to cover them, much less frame the war games as NATO or American Aggression. The same drills have not gone unnoticed in Russia, however, and it should be little surprise that many of Moscow’s “aggressive” actions are replays of – and in some cases reactions to – previous NATO provocations. 

Will Porter contributed to this article. 

 

Quick Links

 

US News

  • Pfizer anticipates it will make $52 billion from its covid vaccine and antiviral treatment in 2022. [Link]
  • A Kansas police officer will not face charges after he murdered a dog that approached him while he was off duty. After the killing, the dog’s owners made a social media post naming the cop for murdering their dog. The officer will receive qualified immunity for threatening the owners over the post. [Link]
  • The House passes a bill that would require all retired postal workers to sign up for Medicare and gives the Post Office a $50 billion bailout. [Link]
  • The Department of Justice seized over $3 billion in Bitcoin and charged two people with laundering the allegedly stolen crypto. [Link]
  • The Air Force will award up to $200 million in contracts to develop internet for space and the Arctic. [Link]

Haiti

  • Investigators and a judge allege that Haitian leader Ariel Henry was involved in the July assassination of the country’s president. [Link]

Russia

  • French President Emmanuel Macron says he saw “concrete solutions” to resolving Ukraine tensions after a meeting with the country’s president. [Link]
  • German President Scholtz held talks with Macron and Polish President Duda on Ukraine. [Link]
  • Three NATO aircraft carrier groups – American, French, and Italian – engage in joint war games in the Mediterranean Sea. [Link]
  • Ukraine will conduct military drills over the next two weeks. [Link]

Korea

  • North Korea claims to have a missile that can carry a nuclear warhead to the US. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • Biden’s nominee to head CENTCOM, Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla says he would like more resources for “over the horizon” operations in Afghanistan. [Link]
  • Kabul doctors say some victims of the Abbey Gate suicide bombing died from gunshot wounds. The Pentagon released a report saying no one was killed from gunfire. [Link]
  • During the evacuation at the Kabul Airport, US soldiers killed two Taliban fighters and a member of an elite Afghan strike unit. A civilian was killed by a soldier throwing a stun grenade into the crowd outside the airport. [Link]

Middle East

  • Israel carried out an air raid against Syria. A Syrian anti-aircraft missile flew towards Israel, causing alarm. One Syrian soldier was killed in the attack. [Link]
  • Senator Ted Cruz leads a group of 33 Republicans who say Biden must submit any nuclear deal with Iran to Congress for review or they would work to kill the agreement. [Link]
  • A roadside bomb in Iraq killed three soldiers and one civilian. [Link]
  • The US Envoy to Yemen says the Houthi should realize the war is unwinnable. [Link]
  • Near the Yemen-Saudi border, 32 pro-Saudi Yemeni fighters were killed when they attacked a Houthi position. At least 30 Houthi fighters were killed by Saudi airstrikes. [Link]

Africa

  • Mali’s prime minister accuses France of creating a de facto partition. [Link]
  • France says it carried out joint operations with Malian soldiers killing 30 jihadists militants. [Link]
  • The BBC claims Sudan arrested three of its journalists. [Link]

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, assistant editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter.

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