Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West/ NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020", which is not aimed or targeted at Russia. US Major General Andrew Rohling Deputy Commanding General for the US Army in Europe, informs that the US-led exercise "Defender 2020" is an American exercise with 18 NATO partner countries. Rohling emphasises that the aim of the exercise is not to target any country, but rather to test strategic readiness and how to react to a crisis.
Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the Atlantic to various training areas in Europe, like Germany and Poland. With US Defender Europe 2020, the 18 participating NATO-countries are therefore practising procedures to ensure and demonstrate the ability to relocate and also to confirm the alliance's commitment to supporting and, in particular, to show the United States' commitment to Europe's security.
There are 37,000 participants - of which up to 20,000 from the USA are to be relocated to Europe - and takes place from January to May 2020. U.S. service members will then spread out across the region to establish intermediate staging bases with multinational forces and participate in various annual exercises.
For more information about the exercise: US Army Europe Website and Factsheet about Defender 2020 and updates from the Bundeswehr (German Army).