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NATO Maritime Exercises to Conclude


NATO Maritime Exercises to Conclude

NATO Maritime Exercises to Conclude
Photo: US Navy

NATO allies conclude a 12-day maritime exercise today in the Mediterranean Sea.

The exercise, dubbed Neptune Strike ‘22 has seen in the involvement of the USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group. It is the first time since Cold War that the US has put a carrier under the operational control of NATO.

Planning for Neptune Strike `22 began in 2020. The exercise is not officially designed as a response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. However, officials have noted that the exercise serves to bolster the European defense capabilities of NATO and its allies.

France, Italy, Spain, and the UK also joined in on the exercises, though Germany was absent. Unlike many EU nations’ strong stance against Russia over the Ukrainian issue, Germany’s position has been much more ambiguous. As the US and others continue to supply weapons and equipment to EU members bordering Russia, Germany’s absence from the drills will continue to feed EU member concerns that Berlin is too soft on Moscow. This perception threatens EU integrity related to the developing EU Defense Program and other issues on the horizon. More importantly however, it may leave Germany out of sanction negotiations, potentially crippling the country’s economy.

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