NATO is about to begin its biggest military exercise since the Cold War.

Trident Juncture 18 will take place in Norway during October and November, and will simulate the collective response of NATO to an armed attack by a fictional adversary on a member state. This exercise will draw on 45,000 troops, with over 30 countries participating. MoD reports suggest 2,800 UK troops will be involved.

The exercise has been described as ‘defensive’ by Admiral James Foggo, Commander of Joint Force Command Naples. He also stressed the exercise’s role as a ‘deterrent’ against any future attack on NATO members.

However, given the operation’s close proximity to Russia, Trident Juncture 18 is an aggressive reminder to Russia that it is surrounded by a large and hostile military alliance. Whilst Russia has been invited to monitor the demonstration, this exercise can only worsen NATO-Russia relations.

The operation will involve troops, aircrafts, sea vessels and land vehicles and is expected to finish in early November.