Op-ed: NATO war games are underway in Europe.
A ten-day military exercise called Anaconda-2016 involving 31,000 troops and thousands of vehicles from 24 countries kicked off earlier this week.
Remind me again what austerity is all about?
The action is a show of strength in Eastern Europe aimed at flexing a few western muscles at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
War games are strange.
If Putin was holding such war games across a series of countries he might be accused of war-mongering and more.
Each year the USA holds war games in Asia close to Korea aimed at supporting South Korea and flexing a few more muscles this time at North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-Un.
Each year North Korea responds with a flurry of rockets fired in response.
It resembles two people standing apart and sticking two fingers up and each other.
Perhaps as war looms once again over Europe and the World this week's war-games are necessary but are they?
How much money is spent on weapons each year? How much money is spent playing war? How much more will we spend if real war follows?
This week the Guardian reports:
The 10-day military exercise, involving 31,000 troops and thousands of vehicles from 24 countries, has been welcomed among Nato’s allies in the region, though defence experts warn that any mishap could prompt an offensive reaction from Moscow.
Perhaps the next major conflict will follow such war games in that nightmare scenario.
Let's face it governments in some ways like wars.
A long war levels out the population, resets the clock and changes perception completely.
One certainty is many western countries including the UK are happily making money out of conflicts around the world.
The USA is all too often in the mix but playing war away from the Homeland.
In the final analysis will war games make the world safer or set us on the road to nowhere?
And who is funding this?
[The upcoming UK in / out EU referendum involves claims of the creation of a European army commanded by the EU in the not too distant future-this is refuted by the in camp]
Sky News reports "The war games are being led by the US and Poland but involve troops from the UK, France, Portugal, Spain and other European nations. "If there ever was a crisis we would have to be able to mass quickly to converge forces quickly, within about 72 hours" said Lt Gen Ben Hodges.
These are the biggest European NATO war games since 1989.
Sky News concludes with "The bottom line is, Europe still needs the US military. And Russia is watching this exercise. On last form, Moscow will react."