NATO countries are conducting one of the most extensive air force exercises across Europe to simulate fighting an “adversary resembling Russia.” At least 250 aircraft and more than 10,000 troops from NATO countries, as well as Japan and Sweden, are collaborating in the two-week exercises that will end on Friday.
The exercises also have China in mind as another possible adversary if NATO decides to “protect” South Korea and Japan. The Wall Street Journal quoted a German air force general saying that the exercises are also somewhat of a morale booster for citizens of NATO countries to reassure them that “the alliance is ready and willing to defend itself.”
At the same time, Germany’s top newspaper Der Spiegel published a story about Ukrainian troops using the Leopard 2A6 tanks saying that sometimes crews fake equipment failures so that they don’t have to go into battle.
“For the enemy, we are always the first target,” one tank commander said.
The three other soldiers that spoke to Der Spiegel say that they don’t blame one another for doing that. Who can blame them for not being convicted to die for a mission to take back land that voted to be a part of Russia? Plus, they are not set up to win. One of them says that he has to use lasers to aim because the controls in the tank are in German and the amount of training he had from the Germans amounted to 15 minutes of yelling in German and the only thing they understood being: “Flip the switch.” After that, they took them to a loud club to help them to forget the task at hand.
One soldier’s heartbreaking summary hits hard: “”It’s better to refuse to go into battle than to chicken out in the middle of the fight.”