NATO's sudden announcement of the launch of military exercises is the largest since its inception – raised many questions, the most important of which are: Why now? Does it have anything to do with Russia's war on Ukraine for more than a year?
Khalil al-Anani, a professor of political science and international relations and researcher at the Arab Center in Washington, said, there are many justifications for NATO's maneuvers, the most important of which is the grinding Russian war in Ukraine, as well as the escalating tension between China and America in the South China Sea.
Al-Anani considered – in statements to "Beyond the News" on 2023/6/7 – that NATO wanted through these maneuvers to send a message to Moscow confirming NATO's unity and military strength, especially after the clear escalation in the war that broke out a year ago and more than 3 months, and has recently witnessed attacks targeting the heart of the capital, Moscow, and other cities.
The professor of political science did not rule out that the exercises come in the context of the escalating tension between China and America in the South China Sea, considering that NATO's message to China and Russia is a statement of the alliance's maximum state of readiness and the possibility of activating Article V, which states that any attack on any country within NATO is considered an attack on all members.
For his part, Ziad Majed, professor of political science at the American University in Paris, pointed out that NATO, according to its internal law, is mainly a defense alliance, and did not rule out that the new exercises carry with them new messages, the most important of which is to show NATO's great capabilities to achieve geographical spread widely and quickly, and also to make Russia and China realize that the concept of defense has become the subject of research because it may be proactive or can be used in the event of any of the member countries being subjected to external aggression.
Majid explained that the European mentality - after the significant decline in military budgets - has changed radically with the rise in military spending, pointing out that Europe is working to show its air military muscles as well as its extensive military capacity, which may at any moment become in direct contact with Russia, and engage with it in military operations if necessary.
As for the direct objectives of these exercises, the commander of the US Air National Guard, General Michael Loh, said that the priority of joint military exercises in Germany is deterrence and force readiness, considering that it is the largest transatlantic air exercise movement carried out and includes more than 50 units together to reach a coherent air force from the US Air Force, and then integrate them all with 24 other international partners.
On the other hand, a US military official told Al Jazeera that the exercises include transatlantic air exercises, which are the largest of their kind, putting the exercises in their broader context, saying that the global strategic landscape changed completely after Russia's war on Ukraine.
It should be noted that NATO announced the holding of military exercises in Germany, described as the largest air exercises since the founding of the alliance. The exercises, which aim to demonstrate the ability to deploy quickly and effectively, coincide with another ongoing in Romania called "Defender 23", with tens of thousands of troops from 25 countries participating in growing challenges with Russia and China.