U.S. Military Focused on Russia Despite Tensions with Iran
Feb. 1, 2020 (EIRNS)—During the summer of 2019, while all eyes were on rising tensions in the Persian Gulf region, the U.S. military focus on Russia as the ostensible threat didn’t relax at all. “Over five months, from May until the end of September, 93 separate military exercises were held, with forces operating continuously in, above and around 29 countries,” wrote William Arkin, journalist, former U.S. Army intelligence officer, and well-known analyst of U.S. military and nuclear weapons policies, in an article published yesterday in Newsweek. Arkin pointed out that all 93 exercises were aimed at Russia.
Arkin wrote that these “persistent heel-to-toe” operations, as the military calls them, where one exercise begins as another ends, emphasize rapid aircraft deployments and dispersal to forward bases. Much of the emphasis last year was on fighter aircraft and bomber scatterings, showcasing Western geographic advantages, while also demonstrating combined air operations refined in two decades of Middle East fighting.
Overall, more than 50,000 NATO and allied military personnel were in drills and activity against Russia, Arkin continued. U.S. Air Force F-35 fighters deployed to both Finland and Norway for the first time. During the same time period six B-52 bombers were also deployed to England and flew practice missions over the Baltic and Black Seas.