Britain to Join France in Largest War Games Since Cold War

UK armed forces are expected to join France in Operation Orion, a two-phase "high intensity" war game that will take place in the French region of Champagne next spring, in order to prepare for a "major conflict."

Britain to Join France in Largest War Games Since Cold War
Image credit: lemonde

Facts

  • UK armed forces are expected to join France in Operation Orion, a two-phase "high intensity" war game that will take place in the French region of Champagne next spring, in order to prepare for a "major conflict."
  • A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense told the Express that British forces are "constantly active, working and exercising with its NATO allies, " adding that such drills "improve the combat effectiveness" of the alliance to deter potential threats.
  • The news came as Yves Métayer, commander of the troop development division at the French chiefs of staff, remarked on Tuesday that "the geopolitical context justifies the exercise" that had been in the works since 2020, following a strategic review in 2017.
  • Orion is set to be the most significant set of drills carried out by the French army since the Cold War. It will involve roughly 20K troops and all its resources, including the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, two amphibious helicopter carriers, and the new Griffon and Jaguar armored vehicles.
  • Troops will land in France by air and sea over three weeks in the first phase, simulating an intervention in fictitious country Arnland undermined by militia backed by hostile Mercury state. They will try to repel a direct invasion of Arnland by Mercury in the second phase.
  • Other NATO allies, such as Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the US, are expected to join the Orion war-games, which will involve air, land, sea and space components, cyber warfare, and civilian operation in wartime, including health services and transport.

Sources: Telegraph, Express, Defense Post, Le Monde, and France24.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by euobserver. The West must enhance its readiness for a clash with Moscow as Russia's invasion of Ukraine has revealed that the Kremlin is prone to engage in direct military confrontation across Europe. As the risk of a high-intensity war has returned to Europe, military exercises like Orion are needed as any peace deal with Moscow will be only a temporary ceasefire.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by RT. NATO creates confrontation with outside nations to fabricate enmities and justify its existence. The alliance is already largely responsible for provoking the war in Ukraine by carrying out a clandestine expansion to Kyiv following the 2014 coup, despite Moscow's well-founded national security concerns. These war games are more provocation that risk further heightening tensions.
  • Cynical narrative, as provided by Al Jazeera. Both Russia and the West are pursuing dangerous policies and actions that are driving the world ever closer to nuclear war. Both sides must reconsider their approaches now and act decisively to prevent catastrophe before it's too late.

Predictions