NATO Sabre Strike Exercise: Scaring Russia With Multiple War Games Of Unparalleled Scale

Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

This year, NATO has already organized about 100 exercises, 20 percent more compared to the same period in 2017. Saber Strike-2018, a large-scale US-led exercise involving 18,000 soldiers from 19 NATO members and partner nations, kicked off on June 3 to last till June 15. The scope of the exercise has been steadily expanding with every year. It was 11,000 troops in 2017, 9,000 in 2016, 6,000 in 2015, 4,700 in 2014 and 2,000 in 2013 – that’s how a relatively small drill turned into the regular deployment of substantial force in the proximity of Russia’s borders. Moscow expressed its concern about it at the NATO-Russia Council’s session held on May 31.

The annual multination training event organized every year since 2010 is being held across the training areas in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Non-NATO countries taking part are Finland and Macedonia. Air assault landings are part of the scenario to hone the skills for launching offensive operations.

Sabre Strike is timed with Swift Response airborne drill in Latvia to culminate on June 8. It involves 800 paratroopers from US, Latvia, Lithuania, Israel and Poland.

There will be more exercises held in 2018 near Russia’s borders, including Trident Juncture, a really big one to take place in late October-early November to involve 35,000 troops from 30 nations along with 70 ships and about 130 aircraft and Anakonda organized by Poland in November. The latter will involve 100,000 servicemen, 5,000 vehicles, 150 aircraft and 45 warships. The scale is mind-boggling. One can imagine how much it costs! The Anakonda scenario includes preemptive strikes. If it’s not an open preparation for war than what is? US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley believes it is. According to him, “Having large-scale NATO forces in the Baltic States and Poland, as well as the lack of transparency – we see serious preparation for a great war.” He knows what is talking about.

In May, NATO held a large Siil (Hedgehog) exercise in Estonia and northern Latvia involving more than 15 thousand troops. The series of training events are conducted against the background of the proposal put forward by Poland to deploy US troops on its soil with Warsaw shouldering the financial burden of base construction. A NATO annual summit in July will consider the issues related to further reinforcement of forces in Europe, including the eastern flank.

It has been revealed recently that the alliance plans to create an addition to the NATO Response Force (NRF) increasing its strength from 20,000 to about 50,000 by creating a pool of 30,000 troops with organic aviation and ships ready to be operationally deployed within 30 days. The initiative belongs to the US with Germany to take the lead. The bloc’s defense chiefs will discuss the issue at their upcoming meeting on June 8-9 before putting it on the agenda of NATO summit to be held on July 11-12. NATO war preparations against Russia include the new crisis response command center in Ulm, southern Germany, and another one in the US state of Virginia.

This force as well as other units will become part of training events and the soldiers will be deployed on temporary basis but holding regular exercises presupposes the creation of infrastructure to be used by troops upon arrival for launching offensive actions. Correspondingly, logistics are being beefed up.

There is fresh news to hit headlines before the July summit. Discussions are underway to deploy US THAAD air defense system in Germany. The move would plug a radar gap emerged as a result of postponing the deployment of a second Aegis Ashore system in Poland. The Polish government has announced plans to purchase US Patriot PAC-3 MSE air defense systems.

Both the THAAD and Patriot have rather limited capability against sophisticated ICBMs but Aegis Ashore is more effective.

Modernization will take place, advanced missiles and systems will be moved to the already existing sites. The main thing is that the infrastructure, the foundation to build ballistic missile defense and surface targets strike capability on, will be in place. And the only target is Russia. The Aegis Ashore can launch intermediate range surface-to-surface missiles against Russian territory in violation of the INF Treaty. In a couple of years, Poland will host it. The THAAD’s radar can greatly enhance the Aegis Ashore capabilities by relaying data to them. The AN/TPY-2 has an estimated range from 1,500km (932mi) to 3,000km (1,864mi). The maximum instrumented range is 2,000km (1242mi) to enable it to monitor large chunks of Russia’s territory.

The INF Treaty is teetering on the brink of collapse. If torn up, the infrastructure in question would be just the thing the US would need to station intermediate range forces in Europe with the means to protect them already in place. F-35s incorporating B61-12 nuclear precision guided munitions would also be under the umbrella of air defense systems in place formally deployed to counter the non-existent threat coming from Iran.

The NATO summit in July is to focus on “Russia threat”. The extraordinary scale of military exercises conducted so intensively with scenarios that include bringing in reinforcements to advance, not take defensive positions, the creation of infrastructure at Russia’s door and preparing the logistical base to provide for offensive operations will be described as the least the bloc can do while facing the superior enemy. Provoking Russia to take steps it would not take otherwise is the sure way to return Europe to the Cold War days.

NATO could have chosen a different approach of solving the problems at the round table but it did not. The European Security Treaty (2009) and the Agreement on Basic Principles Governing Among NATO-Russia Council Member States in the Security Sphere (2009) proposed by Russia were rejected off the cuff without any attempts to seriously negotiate the proposals. The 2016 German initiative to launch talks on a new European security agreement was greeted to be swept under the rug afterwards. The May 31 NRC meeting was devoted more to the Skripal case than European security and arms control issues.

Actually, NATO has not lifted a finger to dissipate tensions. Instead, it is rapidly increasing the tempo of military activities near Russia on unprecedented scale, undermining whatever is left of European security. The alliance has made its choice, giving preference to the policy of provocations.


Gardentoolnumber5 Parrotile Thu, 06/07/2018 - 02:43 Permalink

As long as we are under the thumb of the Central Bankers nothing is going to change. Once the Banksters are thrown over with their sycophants it is imperative that laws be passed forbidding the two industries, that stand to benefit the most from war, be barred from lobbying or holding any position in govt. The armament and banking trusts care not which countries sovereignty is violated or the death toll as long as the profits remain high. These jackals have no loyalty to any nation save their own control over the human mind to plant fear so more profits may be made. War and rumors of war have always been the big sellers for these two insidious linked-at-the-hip trusts.

In reply to by Parrotile

kellys_eye philipat Thu, 06/07/2018 - 03:17 Permalink

The plan is to have larger and larger exercises with (hopefully) no Russian counter to the fact that there are massed forces on their borders.  This will allow NATO to 'presume' that Russia would have no choice other than to use battlefield tactical nukes to stop any genuine incursion and - based on NATO's 'insistence' that Russia would use nukes first - launch a pre-emptive strike to guard against it.

That way NATO can claim 'we were threatened by nukes so we had no choice'.

In reply to by philipat

SoDamnMad kellys_eye Thu, 06/07/2018 - 03:47 Permalink

You better bring a lot more tanks to Europe to have any effect on incursians across the border into Russia. Perhaps go dig up those 2,000 plus that are stored out in the desert of the American west and ship them to Europe.  Paratroopers.

Hah Shot out of the sky by the S-400s.  European advances. With what. All the inoperable German Leopards.  Foreign troops. The Lithuanian conscripts?  Cross the border and the best of the Russian counter-measure equipment gets turned on and all you will hear is,"Can you hear me now? Hello, hello, can you hear me. What is your unit doing?"

Cross the border and you will see the patriotism seen in the Parade of the Immortals on May Day come out.  Every molotov cocktail, every hunters shotgun, every Russian will be there to turn back the invaders and they will have no qualms about dying for Mother Russia. Don't expect the sergeant from Keokuk, Iowa to be taken prisoner. He will be beaten to death with a garden shovel.

In reply to by kellys_eye

HowdyDoody SoDamnMad Thu, 06/07/2018 - 04:02 Permalink

"I took part in a NATO exercise in Germany. It was organised chaos from beginning to end. All bullshit. NATO realises that any invasion of Russia will see their NATO girls, boys and not sure's, being vaporised.

It was the same in the 70's/80's. The British Army of the Rhine and US etc were expected to have massive losses in any initial attack from the USSR."…


In reply to by SoDamnMad

Lore HowdyDoody Thu, 06/07/2018 - 04:43 Permalink

Agreed.  This is good only for alarmist clickbait and fun camping trips for brainwashed young footsloggers.  Western warhawks are operating within a frame of reference that passed its expiry date decades ago.  Future geopolitical war will by necessity be more clever and much less wasteful and messy.  That said, the most ominous and potentially dangerous war to come is the war for survival of Big Government in the face of declining EROEI.

In reply to by HowdyDoody

Ms No SoDamnMad Thu, 06/07/2018 - 04:53 Permalink

They also better make a move during summer because WINTER is coming.  We have already dropped the better part of a degree Celsius as sunspots diminish building up on the back of a period of time where they have already diminished. 

Europe goes first.  The areas of Russia that will get hit the worst are not really populated much anyway.  Let them march into freeze, much worse than last time.  Russia came within a gnats ass of beating all time record lows, with animals freezing solid last winter already.

In reply to by SoDamnMad

number06 SoDamnMad Thu, 06/07/2018 - 10:38 Permalink

lol... the USA has no desire to deal with lunatics from ru .. we have enough of our own ... your ru bluster is, in reality, just like that of your maniacal midget leader, Chest thumping BS.... your manhodood is proven by beating women and thug games from holligans .

We neither want nor desire nor crave anything from you lunatics. But keep believing you are so important to us if it makes you feel good.

BTW NATO take over any land from countries recently? how about you clowns, have you?

In reply to by SoDamnMad

presterjohn1198 philipat Thu, 06/07/2018 - 06:45 Permalink

Philpat:  "I'm sure that Russia is totally scared shitless of 30K NATO troops on its Western border!!"

That's roughly three understrength divisions.  In 1941, Germany threw 120-140 divisions at the Soviets and despite fantastic German kill ratios (something like 10:1 for the entire war), they lost. 

The NATO generals are right out of Dr Strangelove.

In reply to by philipat

Siberian presterjohn1198 Thu, 06/07/2018 - 08:28 Permalink

"the fantastic German kill ratios 10:1" comes from Boris Sokolov and is really fiction.

Out of 26.4 millions of our total losses, only around 8.6-8.9 million were military - all others were civilians, do not forget the official Nazi doctrine about the Slavic nation future.

The Germans military loses on the West front are around 7.1 million and with their allies up to 8.1, which results to 1.3:1 ratio.

In reply to by presterjohn1198

Mike Masr philipat Thu, 06/07/2018 - 07:04 Permalink

Ha ha ha

If they had a million NATO troops on Russia's Western border they still wouldn't be scared.

If Russia really wanted to invade the west (something they don't want) Russia would steamroll over them like a hot knife through butter. Like the cannon fodder they would be.

Fuck NATO and fuck the EU!

In reply to by philipat

Posa Parrotile Thu, 06/07/2018 - 08:32 Permalink

I thought Germany had virtually no operating tanks and submarines?

Anyway, Russia will respond in the event of war (Regime Change) with tactical nukes, followed by cruise missile attacks on US/ NATO bases and a demand for instant surrender in 20 minutes or every EU capital will be attacked. This will lead to all out nuclear war.

Congrats to the US/ NATO... a job well done.


In reply to by Parrotile

Arising Parrotile Thu, 06/07/2018 - 18:20 Permalink

We seriously need to eradicate the threat coming from the underdeveloped Anglo/US mind. What we are seeing today is the same as the events leading to WWI over a hundred years ago. These people can talk all cultured and sophisticated on the outside but their barbarism and primitive nature shows in everything they do. Just the fact that they are not willing to talk to an adversary speaks volumes of the lack of any effect of 2000 years of progress and civilisation has had on their warrior tribe mentality.

In reply to by Parrotile

kellys_eye pissonmefico Thu, 06/07/2018 - 03:22 Permalink

The threat to "NATO" is Russia's gold.

You need only look at the USA's record on how they've dealt with countries that dared to challenge the Petrodollar in the past - Iran, Libya, Syria, Iraq.......

But now that Russia and China are in the process we must prepare for consequences that will affect us all.  Russia and China aren't about to be cowed by American threats/action in the way the other countries were.

In reply to by pissonmefico

zvzzt Siberian Thu, 06/07/2018 - 03:22 Permalink

I can believe the charters/declarations of NATO. However, I do not believe the international courts of law... Not sticking to your declarations has no consequences and thus have become meaningless.

That, I think, is the saddest part (and of course not limited to NATO). 

Anybody know why Turkey and US are not in front of a court because of illegal military actions and invasions in Syria (for example)? 

In reply to by Siberian

Siberian zvzzt Thu, 06/07/2018 - 04:00 Permalink

These crimes are not directly related to NATO, unlike these operations (not all are crimes but 100% are not defensive):

  • 16th of July 1992 - 22nd of November 1992: Operation Maritime Monitor - sea blockade of Yugoslavia
  • 16th of October 1992 - 12th of April 1993: Operation Sky Monitor - air blockade of Yugoslavia
  • 22nd of November 1992 - 1993: Operation Maritime Guard - sea blockade of Yugoslavia
  • 13th of April 1993 - 20th of December 1995: Operation Deny Flight - air blockade of Yugoslavia
  • 15th of June 1993 - 2nd of October 1996: Operation Sharp Guard - sea blockade of Yugoslavia
  • 12th of July 1993 - 28th of February 1999: Operation Able Sentry - land occupation in Makedonia
  • 27ht of August - 1st of October 2001: Operation Essential Harvest - land occupation in Makedonia
  • 30th of August 1995 - 20th of September 1995: Operation Deliberate Force - air strikes on Yugoslavia
  • 24th of March 1999 - 10th of June 1999: Operation Allied Force  - air strikes on Yugoslavia
  • 21th of March 2011 - 31st of October 2011: Operation Unified Protector - air strikes of Lybia
  • August 2003 - December 2014: International Security Assistance Force occupation of Afganistan
  • 1st of January 2015 - current time: Resolute Support Mission - occupation of Afganistan


We could clearly see how after USSR dissolve NATO's generals felt the taste of blood and impunity and became more and more aggressive.

In reply to by zvzzt

Siberian Posa Sat, 06/09/2018 - 04:31 Permalink

We do not need this - NATO army is fully capable to make it for us:… ;)


And now without joking - I want to remind all of you here about our official military doctrine: we could not allow the war to happen on our soil anymore (after really heavy losses in WW2). Therefore, once our border has been crossed, the nukes will fly immediately. There is no big difference for them either 30k of troops here or 300k, the result will be same.

In reply to by Posa

khnum Thu, 06/07/2018 - 02:22 Permalink

NATO assumes Russia is going to fight set piece battles with it in this age of asymetrical warfare that might be a big assumption.

Trader200K khnum Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

Asymmetric War ... significantly effective when resource constrained.

Given that, consider Sun Tzu: Attack where they cannot defend.

Think about what their strategy would be if you were in their shoes  

NATO invades Russia ... Russia/China respond with net 5-10 successfully deployed high altitude EMP/Enhanced EMP weapons over North America.

Sure there will be a response to them, but the damage is done ...

No US production, no taxes, no supplies, no force projection, every foreign US soldier has to return home to try to get the grid up before 12 months an 90% of the population expires. Would the world take the hit to be free of the US policeman?

Potentially forever?

We would be better served by teach our young warriors to fight economically rather than going to strange lands, meeting new people and killing them. 

Is there any real reason to go down the Eastern Europe/ Baltic road to find the answer to that question?


In reply to by khnum

stant Thu, 06/07/2018 - 02:22 Permalink

just the e4 mafia dropping worn out humvees again.. got to get rid of the junk. to much equipment thats out of service messes up the reports.

radbug Thu, 06/07/2018 - 02:51 Permalink

They really do hate Nordstream 2! They fantasize about creating an incident, an armed response, that would force Merkel to cancel the project. Sorry, guys, ain't gonna happen!

Joiningupthedots Thu, 06/07/2018 - 03:04 Permalink

Its amusing watching NATO operate within in a paradigm that is completely irrelevant to today.

Everything of any significance can be be utterly destroyed anywhere in the world in <24 minutes by Russia this is the unmistakeable fact.

Russia is still in Crimea and Syria and will continue to remain so. The former forever and the latter for at least 50 years.

No amount of "forward military posture" and/or "defensive military excersises" can alter this.

We should be grateful to the Russian people for voting Putin. There are more than enough alternatives candidates who would have no problem with going to war with the West.

Still, keep spending the money your country needs you.