NATO’s Trident Juncture 18 exercise to be biggest since Cold War

Equipment belonging to the Italian armored brigade Ariete arrives in Norway in preparation for NATO’s Trident Juncture 2018 exercise. (Courtesy NATO)
Updated 02 October 2018
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NATO’s Trident Juncture 18 exercise to be biggest since Cold War

  • The exercise would simulate the defense of a member state from a ‘fictional” adversary’
  • The Western allies have stepped up their military posture, with rotating garrisons in eastern Europe and the Baltic States

BRUSSELS: NATO’s Trident Juncture 18 exercise will draw in 45,000 troops, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday, unveiling what officials confirmed would be the alliance’s biggest maneuvers since the Cold War.
Stoltenberg said the exercise would simulate the defense of a member state from a “fictional” adversary, but the troops, tanks, ships and planes are headed for Norway, the North Atlantic and the Baltic — opposite Russia.
It will be the biggest such movement of NATO personnel and vehicles since at least the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, although still smaller than the Vostok-18 exercise staged by Russia and China last month.
“The exercise is defensive, and it is transparent,” the NATO leader told reporters on the first day of a two-day meeting of the 29-member alliance’s defense ministers at its new Brussels headquarters.
“All members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, including Russia, have been invited to send observers,” he said.
The operation will bring alliance troops — equipped with 150 aircraft, 70 vessels and around 10,000 land vehicles — from Britain, North America and continental Europe up through northern Europe and Scandinavia to NATO’s northeastern flank at the end of the month.
The Western allies have stepped up their military posture, with rotating garrisons in eastern Europe and the Baltic States, in the four years since Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea.
Exercises like Trident Juncture are designed to practice moving a larger force forward quickly in the event of any outside intervention against a NATO member.


Official count shows Widodo reelected as Indonesian leader

Updated 21 May 2019
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Official count shows Widodo reelected as Indonesian leader

  • Widodo’s challenger for a second time, former general Prabowo Subianto, has refused to accept defeat and declared himself the winner last month
  • Police this month have arrested 31 Islamic militants they say planned to set off bombs during expected street protests against the election result
JAKARTA, Indonesia: The official count from last month’s Indonesian presidential election shows President Joko Widodo won 55.5% of the vote, the Election Commission said Tuesday, securing him a second term.
The formal result from the April 17 election was almost the same as the preliminary “quick count” results drawn from a sample of polling stations on election day.
Widodo’s challenger for a second time, former general Prabowo Subianto, has refused to accept defeat and declared himself the winner last month.
Thousands of police and soldiers are on high alert in the capital Jakarta, anticipating protests from Subianto’s supporters.
Subianto has alleged massive election fraud in the world’s third-largest democracy but hasn’t provided any credible evidence. Votes are counted publicly and the commission posts the tabulation form from each polling station on its website, allowing for independent verification.
Counting was completed just before midnight and the Election Commission announced the results early Tuesday before official witnesses from both campaigns.
“We reject the results of the presidential election,” said Azis Subekti, one of the witnesses for Subianto. “This refusal is a moral responsibility for us to not give up the fight against injustice, fraud, arbitrariness, lies, and any actions that will harm democracy.”
Under Indonesia’s election law, Subianto can dispute the results at the Constitutional Court.
He and members of his campaign team have said they will mobilize “people power” for days of street protests rather than appeal to the court because they don’t believe it will provide justice.
In a video released after results were announced, Subianto again refused to concede defeat but called on supporters to refrain from violence.
Police this month have arrested 31 Islamic militants they say planned to set off bombs during expected street protests against the election result.