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NATO prepares for largest drills since Cold War



NATO is gearing up for its most extensive military exercises since the Cold War era, designed to simulate how U.S. forces can swiftly reinforce European nations bordering Russia and the alliance’s eastern flank in the event of a potential conflict with a “near-peer” adversary.

Leading the effort is NATO’s top commander, Chris Cavoli, who announced that approximately 90,000 troops will participate in the Steadfast Defender 2024 exercises, scheduled to extend through May.

The exercise will involve over 50 naval vessels, ranging from aircraft carriers to destroyers, along with more than 80 fighter jets, helicopters, drones, and a fleet of at least 1,100 combat vehicles, including 133 tanks and 533 infantry fighting vehicles, according to NATO.

Cavoli emphasized that these drills will serve as a rehearsal for the implementation of NATO’s regional defense plans, marking the alliance’s first such plans in decades.

These plans outline NATO’s response strategies in the event of a potential Russian attack, although NATO did not explicitly mention Russia in its official announcement. Nevertheless, NATO’s top strategic document identifies Russia as the primary and most direct threat to the security of its member nations.

The stated objective of Steadfast Defender 2024 is to demonstrate NATO’s capability to rapidly deploy forces from North America and other parts of the alliance to bolster Europe’s defense in a simulated scenario involving a “near-peer adversary,” as explained by Cavoli during a press conference in Brussels following a two-day meeting of national chiefs of defense.

Massive undertaking

The magnitude of this exercise has not been seen since the Cold War, with the last similar-scale drills being Reforger in 1988, involving 125,000 participants, and Trident Juncture in 2018, with 50,000 participants.

Participating troops will hail from NATO member countries, including Sweden, which aspires to join the alliance in the near future. The regional defense plans were ratified at the 2023 Vilnius summit, marking the end of an era during which NATO had no substantial need for large-scale defense plans. This period coincided with Western countries engaging in smaller conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, during which it was believed that post-Soviet Russia no longer posed an existential threat.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Are U.S. voters rebuking Joe Biden over his Israel policy?



The Israel-Hamas War is entering a sixth month.

During a recent trip in New York, President Joe Biden was asked when a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas might start.

He said he hopes a pause in hostilities can take effect in the coming days to allow for remaining hostages to be released.

Jonathan Tobin, the editor-in-chief of Jewish News Syndicate joins Veronica Dudo. #IN AMERICA TODAY #featured #IsraelHamas #war #Israel #Hamas #ceasefire

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Putin threatens West with nuclear strike



Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a direct threat to employ nuclear weapons against the West, accusing NATO and the United States of preparing to strike Russia.

Putin delivered this ominous warning during his annual address to the nation, raising global tensions to unprecedented levels.

During his speech, Putin accused NATO and the US of deceptive maneuvers, alleging their intentions to launch an attack on Russian territory.

He emphasised Russia’s readiness to defend itself, boasting of its modernized nuclear arsenal and asserting the capability to defeat any potential aggressors on their own soil.

The Russian leader’s words carried a chilling reminder of the destructive power at his disposal, stating, “They have to understand that we also have weapons, weapons that can defeat them on their own territory.”

Such rhetoric underscores the grave risk of escalating conflict and the potential catastrophic consequences of nuclear warfare.

Nuclear war

Putin warned that the deployment of troops to Ukraine by NATO countries could lead to a real risk of nuclear war.

He emphasised Russia’s determination to strengthen its military presence in response to perceived threats from neighboring nations aligning with Western alliances.

In addition to military concerns, Putin criticized Western efforts to engage Russia in an arms race, vowing to bolster Russia’s defense capabilities while accusing the West of attempting to weaken the country economically and politically.

Despite escalating tensions and global condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Putin sought to rally support domestically, praising Russian unity and resilience in the face of adversity.

He portrayed Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine as a defensive measure to safeguard national interests and protect Russian citizens.

Putin’s aggressive stance towards the West underscores the deepening rift between Russia and Western powers, raising fears of a potential conflict with far-reaching consequences.

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FAA gives Boeing 30 days to fix 737 MAX program



The Federal Aviation Administration has issued Boeing a 90-day deadline to devise a comprehensive plan for enhancing quality control procedures after a recent incident involving a 737 Max aircraft.

Less than two months following an alarming occurrence where a door plug blew out of a 737 Max aircraft just nine minutes into an Alaska Airlines flight, the FAA has demanded Boeing to present a thorough strategy to address quality control deficiencies.

The incident, which took place on Flight 1282, revealed that essential bolts required to secure an unused door panel on the nearly new aircraft were missing, according to a preliminary investigation conducted earlier this month.

The door plug had been removed and reinstalled at Boeing’s Renton, Washington, factory where the 737 Max is manufactured.

This incident adds to a string of production issues plaguing Boeing’s flagship aircraft.

Action plan

In response to the FAA’s directive, Boeing affirmed its commitment to developing a comprehensive action plan with measurable benchmarks.

The aerospace giant assured that its leadership is fully dedicated to meeting this challenge head-on.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker emphasized the need for Boeing to implement substantial and enduring improvements, emphasizing that foundational changes will necessitate ongoing commitment from the company’s leadership.

The FAA intends to hold Boeing accountable at every stage of the process, ensuring that mutually agreed milestones and expectations are met.

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