With much of its top brass in self-quarantine and the US State Department recommending against travel, US Army Europe has canceled the deployment of thousands of US troops to Poland for massive war games aimed at Russia.
The upcoming Defender Europe 2020 drills, which would have involved forces from numerous NATO countries, including 20,000 from the United States, have been “modified … in size and scope” in response to the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic.
“As of March 13, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe has ceased,” US European Command (EUCOM) said in a Monday news release. “The health, safety and readiness of our military, civilians, and family members is our primary concern.”
The EUCOM release notes that the Dynamic Front, Joint Warfighting Assessment, Saber Strike and Swift Response linked exercises have been canceled and that US forces sent to Europe to take part in the drills will be brought home, but that forces already deployed to Europe will still participate in other drills with NATO members.
However, Germany has already announced its withdrawal from the war games, and with its central European hub in lockdown and the Pentagon wary about further deployments to Europe, which the World Health Organization now considers the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, EUCOM had little other choice.
Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a…