Message to the World

BERLIN/ULM/BRUNSSUM |

BERLIN/ULM/BRUNSSUM (Own report) - The German Bundeswehr will play a leading role in "Operation Trident Juncture," a large scale NATO exercise, set for late September. German NATO-General Hans-Lothar Domröse will command the exercise involving more than 36,000 soldiers. The German Armed Forces' "Multinational Joint Headquarters" based in Ulm (Baden-Württemberg) will be the main coordinator. "Trident Juncture" will exercise a military intervention in a fictitious country at the Horn of Africa with NATO's "Spearhead" response force, comprised mainly of Bundeswehr soldiers. According to the training scenario, not only will western troops be confronting a regular army and guerilla fighters, but will also encounter "food insecurity," "massive population displacements," "cyber-attacks," "chemical warfare," and "information warfare." According to Lt. Gen. Richard Rossmanith, commander of the "Multinational Joint Headquarters Ulm," "Operation Trident Juncture" will not only send a "message" to Russia: "Everyone should consider carefully about how they deal with us" - because NATO is "the strongest military alliance in the world" with a "360 degree" orientation.

Flagship

The Bundeswehr announced its participation in NATO's "Trident Juncture" (TRJE 15) exercise, with around 3,000 soldiers, warships, fighter jets, and amphibious armored assault vehicles. Scheduled for September 28 to November 6, TRJE 15 will be the western alliance's largest military exercise in more than a decade, involving 36,000 personnel from NATO member countries and officially neutral "partner countries," such as Austria and Sweden. They will train an invasion of a fictitious country at the Horn of Africa. The maneuver will be commanded by German NATO-General Hans-Lothar Domröse, commander of the "Allied Joint Force Command" in Brunssum (Netherlands) and will take place in Portugal, Spain, Italy, in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. This exercise seeks to demonstrate NATO's Response Force/NRF and its "Spearhead," the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force/VJTF, comprised mainly of Bundeswehr soldiers, as the Alliance's global "flagship" - also through a "deliberate broad exposure in the media."[1]

Threat

The fact that the TRJE 15 is not only aimed at preparing NATO forces for future wars of aggression, but to create also a credible threat, was confirmed by Lt. Gen. Richard Rossmanith. Rossmanith commands the German Armed Forces' Multinational Joint Headquarters Ulm, which was conceived to serve as the headquarters for both NATO and EU military missions, (german-foreign-policy.com reported [2]) and also coordinates the facility serving as the TRJE 15 headquarters in San Gregorio, near Saragossa Spain. As Rossmanith explained it, TRJE 15 "will demonstrate the broad spectrum of contingencies and NATO's effective capabilities." These include, according to the general, "high-intensity combat situations" which are "conceivable in many contexts," which is why "Russia is closely observing the preparations for Trident Juncture." According to Rossmanith, the West's military ambitions are not "only" about Russia. "NATO is also looking to the South with its exercise - to the Mediterranean, Africa and to the Middle East. The alliance has a 360 degree orientation." The most important TRJE 15 message is, therefore, "NATO is the strongest military alliance in the world…everybody should consider carefully about how they deal with us."[3]

Hybrid Scenario

The scenario for the exercise TRJE 15 complies with NATO's claim to that global power, formulated by Lt. Gen. Rossmanith. The scenario goes under the name "SOROTAN" and enacts a western military intervention in the fictitious "Cerasia" region at the Horn of Africa. According to NATO's "Joint Warfare Center's" script, developed in Norway's Stavanger, an armed conflict has erupted between the countries "Kamon" and "Lakuta." "In the Cerasia region, the quest for drinking water is enflaming the conflict. With desertification, dry aquifers, and riparian disputes, Kamon - the aggressor of the region - rejecting international mediation, invades southwards to seize key dams in Lakuta, which was caught ill-prepared to counter the invasion."[4] According to the Bundeswehr, NATO, therefore, "is called upon to help restore peace and order,"[5] however, western troops will find themselves confronted with a "highly complex threat environment," with methods of "hybrid warfare." "The SOROTAN scenario sees a standoff in East Cerasia causing a legion of problems, including growing regional instability, violation of territorial integrity and a deteriorating humanitarian situation. Additionally, enemy ships and aircraft, threatening freedom of navigation, pose a constant risk of an escalation of the conflict in the Red Sea." Therefore NATO units find themselves confronting a regular army and guerilla fighters, as well as "food insecurity, massive population displacements, cyber-attacks, chemical, and information warfare," according to the scenario.[6] According to NATO, these are "lessons" that should have been learned from military operations in Afghanistan and "contemporary conflicts" for example in Ukraine. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[7])

Comprehensive Approach

The "fielding of merely military means" to counter these "hybrid threats, is not very promising," according to the Bundeswehr. "Therefore, already at the central TRJE 15 planning conference, organized by the Multinational Joint Headquarters Ulm, a "consolidation of civilian, humanitarian, judicial, administrative, political and economic approaches for resolving conflicts" was called for.[8] This so-called "comprehensive approach" has become an integral element of NATO's military doctrine. Accordingly, both confederations such as the EU or the African Union (AU) will be participating alongside emergency service organizations, such as the Red Cross. Arms manufacturers from fifteen NATO countries will also be on hand seeking inspiration from the maneuver, for developing new products. Referring to the "Joint Warfare Center," the Bundeswehr gives an idea of what this means, in the battle "against a sophisticated, hybrid threat" it ultimately boils down to the "coherency between lethal and non-lethal weapons."[9]

Permanent Warfare

NATO is obviously seeking to use the "Trident Juncture" exercise to prepare itself for a permanent state of global war. As one of its spokespersons recently declared, the challenge is to assure that, as an alliance, it is clear that "we're never fighting the last war, whether the last war was ten years ago or ten minutes ago." In this context, the German NATO General Hans-Lothar Domröse, who will command the "Trident Juncture" exercise, said "speed matters- you will see it in the air, at sea, and on land."[10]

[1] Vorgestellt: Trident Juncture 2015. www.bundeswehr.de 29.07.2015.
[2] See Alleinstellungsmerkmal and Der deutsche Weg zur EU-Armee (IV).
[3] Interview: Trident Juncture sendet klare Signale. www.bundeswehr.de 17.08.2015.
[4] Übungsszenario: Hybrider Krieg als Herausforderung. www.bundeswehr.de 21.07.2015.
[5] Interview: Trident Juncture sendet klare Signale. www.bundeswehr.de 17.08.2015.
[6] Übungsszenario: Hybrider Krieg als Herausforderung. www.bundeswehr.de 21.07.2015.
[7] See 21st Century Warfare.
[8] Konferenz in Ulm bereitet größte NATO-Übung seit Jahren vor. www.kommando.streitkraeftebasis.de 14.04.2015.
[9] Übungsszenario: Hybrider Krieg als Herausforderung. www.bundeswehr.de 21.07.2015.
[10] NATO Prepares to Throw Its Trident. natocouncil.ca 20.07.2015.