Need further proof that the Ukraine war is only going to escalate? Then look no further than Cold Response 2022 – the largest military exercise within the Arctic Circle in modern times.
Every two years, NATO puts on a Cold Response exercise. The stated purpose of this military exercise is to test NATO’s capabilities of working together within a cold environment. It just so happens that 2022 is another year that Cold Response is scheduled to begin, and it started earlier this week.
At the moment, you have roughly 35,000 NATO troops, a nuclear attack sub, around 200 aircraft, and approximately 50 vessels combined from roughly 28 different countries that are amassed in Norway for participation in Cold Response 2022. And just 130 miles from the Russian border.
The details of Cold Response 2022
Leading the entire exercise is General Yngve Odlo. The exercises will last until April 1, during which time, NATO will practice amphibious landings, aircraft support, and the logistics of arctic warfare utilizing allied forces from a number of different countries.
Cold Response is a training exercise for NATO countries to figure out how they would properly respond to Article 5 – the stipulation of the NATO charter that states an attack on one NATO country must be replied to with the entirety of NATO getting involved. (If you’ll remember, this is how World War I started. International treaties kept bringing more and more countries into the fight.)
Norway is a NATO member. This is the largest military exercise to take place within Norway since The Cold War ended.
(Good time to check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on emergency evacuations?)
Things that don’t make sense about Cold Response 2022.
For starters, General Odlo invited the Russians to monitor the exercise if they would like. Everybody knows that the entire reason that NATO exists at the moment is to fight against Russia. So, why would you tell the people you are training to fight against, “Hey, would you like to come and take copious notes on how we plan to fight against you if you invade the northern countries of our alliance?”
Russia was actually given thorough information on all of the drills that NATO members were going to engage in throughout the area to prevent “unnecessary conflict.” Odlo told Admiral Aleksandr Moiseev, the Commander of the Russian Northern Fleet, about the continued plans for Cold Response 2022 – despite the absolutely terrible timing – back in January, well before the war went kinetic.
Perhaps even stranger is that Odlo has apparently regularly Skyped Moiseev for years. Skype just doesn’t seem like the most secure of means for two nations to communicate. Particularly for military commanders.