The US government has decided to cancel “for precautionary reasons related to the Coronavirus emergency” the military operation “Defender Europe” scheduled in the coming days.
The Coronavirus “stops” the U.S. army as well. Just a few hours after the start, the US Army General Staff and US President Donald Trump have decided to cancel the military operation “Defender Europe 20”. It would be the largest deployment of American military personnel on European territory since the Second World War. More than 30,000 soldiers and 2,500 vehicles (tanks, heavy crawlers, armored vehicles) were to disembark in Europe to test the efficiency and the tightness of the connecting infrastructure. A first platoon of the American army has already disembarked at the port of Bremerhaven in Germany and in the next few days other convoys were to arrive in 6 ports throughout Europe. Specifically in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Latvia and Estonia. The objective of the Defender Europe 20 mission was to “increase the ability to rapidly deploy a large combat force from the United States to Europe”.
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Coronavirus: military operation “Defender Europe” cancelled
The decision to cancel the military operation stems from the inability to guarantee security measures against the Coronavirus. The American soldiers employed in the mission do not have the means to protect themselves against the Covid-19 – they have neither gloves nor masks – and, moving between European states, they would have done nothing more than spread the contagion. US Army commanders commented: “The protection of the health of our military forces, and those of our allies and partners, is a major concern. We take the coronavirus epidemic seriously and are confident that by making this important decision, we will continue to do our part to prevent the further spread of the virus, while maximizing our efforts to advance our alliances and partnerships and improving our global readiness to deal with any crisis or contingency. As we work on agreements with our allies and partners, we will provide further updates. The cancellation of the Defender Europe 20 military operation comes just hours after the stop to flights from Europe (but curiously, not from England) ordered by US President Donald Trump.