Worries over the possibility of a global conflict have grown recently as Russian President Vladimir Putin has made noise about the potential for using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
However, this hasn’t stopped the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from announcing it will go ahead with an annual nuclear training exercise.
14 nations will participate
According to Reuters, NATO began “Steadfast Noon” on Monday, an operation that will involve as many as 60 aircraft.
They will include American B-52 long-range bombers flown from Minot Air Base in North Dakota and planes from 14 other countries.
The exercise will play out in the skies over Belgium as well as the North Sea and Britain involves practicing the deployment of nuclear weapons, although no live bombs will be involved.
NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu addressed “Steadfast Noon” in a statement posted late last week to the organization’s official website.
“Safe, secure, and effective”
“The exercise, which runs until 30 October, is a routine, recurring training activity and it is not linked to any current world events,” Lungescu explained. “This exercise helps ensure that the alliance’s nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective.”
The organization says, “the fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear capability is to preserve peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression,” adding that “as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.”
“NATO’s goal is a safer world for all; we seek to create the security environment for a world without nuclear weapons,” the entity concluded.
Biden’s alarming remarks
Fox News reported that President Joe Biden raised eyebrows earlier this month when he told attendees at a Democratic fundraiser the world is closer to nuclear war than it has been since the Cuban Missile crisis some six decades ago.
“[Putin was] not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons,” Biden was quoted as saying. “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Biden’s comments during an interview with Fox News, calling the remarks “reckless.”