NATO AUTUMN MANOEUVRES

Author: S. Filshtinsky

NATO AUTUMN MANOEUVRES

The recent NATO autumn manoeuvres, covering an area from the North Cape to the Eastern Mediterranean, were the biggest since the Second World War. The press reports that they involved 120,000 men, up to 500 U.S., British, French, Canadian, Norwegian, Dutch, Portuguese, West German and other warships, and about 1,000 U.S. planes.

Their scale and complexity is evidence of the scope of the aggressive plans being evolved by the NATO leaders. There was a rehearsal of an atomic offensive in Northern Europe (Operation Strike Back), of operations along the lines of communication (Operation Sea Watch in the Atlantic and Stand Firm in the English Channel), a landing operation in the Eastern Mediterranean supported by the U.S. 6th Fleet (Operation Deep Water) and exercises in Norway, Denmark and other countries.

It is noteworthy that the NATO Command timed this major armed demonstration to coincide with the 12th General Assembly, whose agenda includes such items as disarmament and international détente. Although NATO insisted that the exercises were purely "defensive," their real nature however, is ubvious. They were not, in fact, defensive at all, being large-scale offensive operations, which, moreover, involved the use of atomic weapons.

Operation Deep Water, for instance, opened with an atomic bomb attack in the Gallipoli area on September 25, followed by a helicopter landing of 7,000 U.S. Marines acting jointly with Turkish and Greek units. The landing was supported by an operational group of 96 U.S. warships. The Arab press rightly noted the connection between this American show of force and U.S. efforts to blackmail Syria.

The manoeuvres were meant to solve "the immense problems which would follow the use of nuclear weapons.... The first would be offensive in character," Rear Admiral Ni_

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choll wrote in an article released by the British Central Office of Information on October 7.

But the words ...

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