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NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada — International war games being fought this week in the Nevada desert suggest the U.S. military is preparing for new, large-scale warfare against powerful enemies.
This year marks the 41st year of the Red Flag military exercises, which are considered among the most important training exercises carried out in the United States. A grab bag of international troops are also invited to participate in the Air Force drill, including Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan, according to an Aug. 3 report from The Times Of Israel.
The report, which cites unnamed U.S. and Israeli military officials and an amateur aviation blog as its sources, emphasizes that U.S. forces remain in charge of the drills, with other countries treated as “guests.” But it also suggests the exercises can be interpreted as a sign of strengthening ties between countries’ troops in an increasingly volatile world.
“[International exercises] are not just military, but strategic in nature,” the Times quotes an unnamed officer in the Israeli air force is quoted as saying.
A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25, 2015. With a range of over 2,500 miles, the C-17 is capable of carrying 102 troops or paratroopers or 170,900 pounds of cargo at a service ceiling of 45,000 feet. ( Photo: Thomas Spangler/AP)
A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25, 2015. With a range of over 2,500 miles, the C-17 is capable of carrying 102 troops or paratroopers or 170,900 pounds of cargo at a service ceiling of 45,000 feet. ( Photo: Thomas Spangler/USAF)
The multi-stage exercises, the last of which will conclude on Aug. 26 at Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base, suggest the U.S. military is not only training for more high-tech warfare, it’s also boosting preparations for large-scale combat on new fronts, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The U.S. military is shifting focus “to prepare for potential wars against adversaries with advanced weapons,” Dan Lamothe, a national security reporter for the Post, wrote on Aug. 9.
“The transition to so-called ‘multi-domain operations’ calls for the Pentagon to prepare not only for wars on land, air and sea, but for newer forms of warfare that incorporate both space and cyberspace,” he added.
Lamothe reported that this year’s Red Flag exercises have already featured simulated cyber attacks to allow U.S. forces to enter enemy airspace undetected, and included the participation of the 527th Space Aggressor Squadron, which “was created to train U.S. forces for combat with adversaries capable of using space by using both global positioning system (GPS) satellites and satellite jamming techniques.”
While recent wars have been largely small-scale combat with technologically inferior military forces, this year’s Red Flag, with its emphasis on potential large-scale combat that expands to include space warfare, should be seen as part of a buildup in global tensions between the U.S. and other powerful nations.
Recent years have brought rapidly increasing tensions with China and Russia, thanks in part to U.S. and NATO forces devoting decades to encircling both nations with military bases, while the West has simultaneously supported unrest in Syria, Libya, and elsewhere in the Middle East that further inflames the potential for global conflict.
In November, Mnar Muhawesh, MintPress News’ founder and host of “Behind the Headline,” interviewed geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser, who warned that this new “cold war” could easily erupt into a new world war.
“We’re seeing a series of what could be called proxy conflicts wherein the United States is doing what it can to undermine Russia’s political and economic development, trying to undermine Russia’s growing ties with Europe,” Draitser said, adding that this is especially evident in military expansion in the Ukraine.
He further noted that the U.S. is similarly fanning the flames of conflict with China over disputes in the South China Sea.
“History has shown that the trajectory of world events is leaning toward some kind of global conflict,” Draitser warned.