NATO, U.S. Take Hard Look at Readiness for Fight in Europe

One of Russia’s largest military exercises begins today – and it’s targeted toward the West. Zapad, which literally means “West” in Russian, is a recurrent exercise held in Russia’s western and central districts. The last one was in 2013, just a year before Russia invaded Crimea. This year’s exercise could see up to 100,000 Russian and Belarusian troops training for potential conflict with the West. So, is Europe prepared? The answer is, kind of.

Since Russia’s incursions into Crimea in 2014 and Georgia in 2008, Europe and the U.S. have been acutely aware of the need to train for conventional warfare. The problem is, for more than two decades, the U.S. and NATO have placed most of their resources in counterterror and counterinsurgency training.

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