NATO Conducts Large-Scale War Games Across Nordic States

by | Mar 4, 2024

NATO Conducts Large-Scale War Games Across Nordic States

by | Mar 4, 2024

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Canadian Operations Aviation Squadron (SOAS) arrived at Rygge Air Base, Norway, with Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters airlifted by a C-17 strategic transport aircraft, getting ready for exercise Nordic Response. Photo by: Fabian Helmersen / Norwegian Armed Forces

NATO’s Nordic members – Finland, Sweden, and Norway – are hosting massive war games across the three nations. Finland and Sweden are the newest members of the alliance and will each contribute over 4,000 soldiers to the drills. 

The war games, dubbed Nordic Response 2024, will run between March 4 and 15. Over 20,000 NATO troops from 13 countries will participate, with 50 allied naval vessels and over 100 aircraft set to take part in the exercise. 

According to a NATO press release, the drills “will focus on the defense and protection of the Nordic Region.” Two states in the region joined the alliance over the past year. Finland’s ascension to the bloc doubled NATO’s border with Russia.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago, Western officials have repeatedly warned that Moscow would continue its march westward and enter a direct war with NATO. Top Kremlin officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have dismissed the charge, insisting Russia would not seek to expand its borders further while claiming Ukraine poses a unique security threat.

The latest drills are a part of NATO’s Steadfast Defender military exercises – the bloc’s largest series of war games, which will see over 90,000 troops participate in about a dozen maneuvers from January through August. 

The US and its NATO allies defend their frequent large-scale drills as important to preparedness and maintaining deterrence. However, adversaries view such exercises as provocative, at times denouncing them as preparations for preemptive war.

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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