The European Fala ‘Trident’

Dr. Al-Nasser Dreid


Europe didn’t take much time to reply on Moscow and Washington recent threats of pulling out of INF treaty. Both Trump and Putin, in my point of view, agreed on such threats!


NATO Alliance declared its largest military maneuvers since the Cold war!! Under the name trident Juncture. The word “trident” means the spear with three parts, which Poseidon (or Neptune according to Romans) Greek God of the sea holds. The trident is usually used in fishing or war, ex in Iraq where it is called “al-fala”. Southern Iraqis used it in fishing, battles and revolutions, especially the 1920 revolution, when one of the revolutionists killed a British soldier with it. The latter, with the trident planted in his chest, fell on his horse. The revolutionist peasant said (a line of Iraqi poetry that became famous later): “The trident is a loan you have to pay back; we still need it for fighting”!


The word ‘Juncture’ means a turning point in the course or the main turn. Hence, it is a turn in the life of Europe. The Atlantic or the European juncture to face security and military threats from both sides: the military and greedy side, and the selfish, foolish and public side; Putin and Trump. What are the facts of these maneuvers that started on the 25th of October and will end on the 7th of November?


First: 50,000 fighters will participate in these maneuvers: 20 of the ground forces, 24 of the naval forces, 3,500 of the air force, 1,000 logistic personnel and 1,300 of different NATO countries and leaders.


Second: 250 different aircraft, 65 vessels and 10,000 vehicles are taking part in the drill. Super Bowl (Leopard) Helicopters, a fighter aircraft that can carry 26 personnel with equipment and 18 FE Hornet fighters that can carry air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles, the main weapon of the Australian Monarchy Defense Force. In addition to other different developed weapons.


Third: Germany has participated widely, for the first time, in the maneuvers, with 10,000 fighters and 4,000 vehicles. Thus, Germany comes second after US in the number of forces participating in the drills.


Fourth: The maneuvers’ objective is to theoretically protect any NATO member of any attack by another country through a team work of the NATO members.


Fifth: The forces will theoretically be divided into two opponent leaderships; the northern Forces  that headquarters would be in Bodo (capital of the northern county in Norway, lies north of the Arctic Circle) and the southern Forces that headquarters is in Lillehammer (a town in Norway that hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994 and the Winter Youth Olympics in 2016).


Sixth: Borders between Norway (the hosting country of the maneuvers) and Russia extend less than 200km; they are 700km far from the northern maneuver headquarters and 1300km far from the southern drills.


Seventh: Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of the NATO, (former prime minister of Norway for two times 2000-2001 and 2005-2013) declared that the European security field clearly deteriorated in the last few years. He added that the trident turn sends a clear message to their people and any potential enemy that NATO doesn’t want to launch an attack, but they are ready to protect their allies in case of any threat.


Eighth: The Russian Ambassador to Norway Sergey Andreyev declared that he considered these maneuvers as anti-Russian. He added that this activity is provocative even if they call it a defensive exercise.


Ninth: In the beginning of October, Maria zakharova, spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, condemned, what she calls, ‘the clatter of arms’ shown by the NATO. She added that Moscow will avenge this step. She asserted that the NATO main countries condense their military exercise near the Russian borders, such irresponsible actions lead to instability of the political state of the North, she claimed.


It is clear that The NATO wants to assert to Russia, from the nearest possible geographical point, that it won’t be indulgent to its security with Moscow’s continuous bullying. It has no new Chamberlain (British prime minister whose indulgence to Hitler with Munich agreement in 1938 led the latter to break into Eastern  Europe), even in London and that its country members won’t be a prey.


What about Trump?


We explained before, in many occasions, including his recent declaration of the withdrawal of the INF treaty, that Trump showed his unconcern about the European security.  So why did the US took part in the trident juncture maneuvers in Norway?


First, we have to consider that the Pentagon, headed by General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, secretary of defense, won’t let the US, leader of NATO abstain from the participation in such a large and politically important military maneuvers. Rather the participation has to conform to its special status and continuing responsibilities in the alliance. Trump doesn’t want any suspicions of his attitude against Moscow, especially now with the increasing talk about the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections in the interest of Trump. With this serious participation, however, I think that another message was sent to Washington that the European determination to face Moscow won’t weaken even if the US forces don’t participate. The Pentagon, as one of the biggest US institutions, wants to declare that the great powers’ strategic principles aren’t affected by the slips of whoever sits in the White House.   


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