NATO Chief: Long-Planned Nuclear Exercises To Go Ahead

Photo: AP [via Voice of America]

The Facts

  • Despite rising tensions over the war in Ukraine, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Tuesday that the alliance would push ahead with long-planned nuclear exercises next week.

  • Stoltenberg said it would send the wrong signal to Moscow to cancel the annual nuclear deterrent exercises, adding, “NATO’s firm, predictable behavior, our military strength, is the best way to prevent escalation.”

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Putin is failing in Ukraine, and it’s NATO’s responsibility to remain unified and flex its muscles — whether by holding nuclear exercises, ramping up economic sanctions, or increasing its defense of the Baltic Sea. Russia's invasion of Ukraine was a brazen violation of international law, and Kyiv deserves whatever protection NATO can provide.

Establishment-critical narrative

By encouraging Ukraine to go on the offensive, NATO and the US are escalating the war. Going through with these nuclear exercises only takes that escalation one step further. If the West really wants this war to end, it should be working toward a ceasefire or negotiated settlement. Its deliberate decision not to take this route, however, suggests its true aims are to weaken Russia and hurt its geostrategic interests, not save Ukraine.

Nerd narrative

There's a 21% chance of a "World War Three" before 2050, according to the Metaculus Prediction Community.

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