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NATO: Exercises Show Capabilities 'Real And Ready'

  • RFE/RL

NATO’s chief says the alliance is staging its largest training exercises in more than a decade to test its capabilities and "send a clear signal" to possible foes that NATO capabilities "are real and ready."

His remarks are widely seen as sending an unmistakable signal to Russia and other countries about the readiness of NATO forces.

Since October 19, 36,000 personnel from 30 countries, as well as dozens of aircraft and warships, have been taking part in in the exercises in Spain. The exercises conclude on November 6.

"While our aim is to train and exercise, we are also through this Trident Juncture exercise sending a clear message to our nations and to any potential adversary," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on November 4.

"NATO does not seek confrontation, but we stand ready to defend all allies."

Stoltenberg said the drills were "an important part of NATO's long-term adaptation to a changed and new security environment."

He cited "instability and extremism in North Africa and the Middle East, the brutality of [the Islamic State group], Russia's military build-up in Syria and in the Mediterranean, and its aggressive actions in Ukraine."