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NATO flexes muscles in Southern Europe

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By Euronews
NATO flexes muscles in Southern Europe

<p><span class="caps">NATO</span> – the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – is carrying out the biggest military drill in over a decade. 36,000 soldiers, sailors and air crew from over 30 countries (including non <span class="caps">NATO</span> members) joined together in Southern Europe.</p> <p><span class="caps">NATO</span> secretary general Jens Stoltenberg told Euronews about the security challenges that emerged since this operation known as Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 was set up 2 years ago.</p> <p>‘From the East we see a more assertive Russia. But <span class="caps">NATO</span> does not seek a confrontation with Russia. Actually we will continue to strife for a more constructive and cooperative relationship with Russia. But to the South we see something very different. We see violence, we see brutal violence conducted by <span class="caps">ISIL</span> and all the terrorist organisations. And we see also failing and failed states’, said Jens Stoltenberg. </p> <p><span class="caps">NATO</span> is also testing Spanish forces that will lead the so called Very High Readiness Task Force (<span class="caps">VJTF</span>) or Spearhead. According to US Commanding General Ben Hodges, their training should help them face unconventional warfare techniques adapted by the so called “green men” in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine last year. </p> <p>Speaking from Zaragoza, Euronews correspondent Andrei Beketov said with this operation, <span class="caps">NATO</span> means business, but their elite brigade, known as Spearhead, will only be ready by next year.</p>