News Release

How Nuclear Wars Can Start: Nuclear War Exercise, Then and Now



NATO is conducting a nuclear war exercise, Steadfast Noon, and Russia is expected to start its Grom nuclear war exercise. See from TIME: “U.S. Eyes Planned Russian Nuclear Exercises Amid NATO War Games.”

CBS News reports: “The U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne is practicing for war with Russia just miles from Ukraine’s border.”

A longtime activist and journalist, Mazza has recently written a series of pieces about how close to nuclear war we have come including the piece “In 1983 we came closer to nuclear war than we knew: A cautionary tale” for his Substack.

He writes: “The NATO exercise that was to most trigger Soviet fears was Able Archer [in 1983]. Repeated every year since 1975, it was meant to test how well nuclear launch command and control systems were working. The November 1983 exercise simulated escalation to nuclear conflict following the outbreak of a conventional war in Europe. The Soviets feared Able Archer was a pretext for the real thing. They had conducted their own exercise earlier in the year envisioning a first strike to preempt an expected U.S. strike. Coming up on Able Archer 83, they had plenty of signs to confirm their fears.

“Able Archer was the capstone of a series of exercises involving 40,000 NATO troops that began in September, beginning with Reforger. That was an airlift which transported around 19,000 troops with their equipment to Germany in 170 radio-silent flights during the early days of September. The goal was to move them in 7-9 days, an effort at a scale which had never been fully attempted before. For the first time since World War II, troops were also deployed to The Netherlands. The unprecedented nature of the troop movements certainly attracted Soviet attention.

“In the midst of the NATO exercises two events took place which caused responses which were misinterpreted by the Soviets as war preparations. On Oct. 23, a bombing at the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon killed 241. That resulted in a global alert at U.S. military bases. Then on Oct. 25, the U.S. invaded Grenada to overthrow a leftist government. The country was a member of the British Commonwealth, but British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had not been alerted. She would chew Reagan out about it. The invasion also generated an increased level of encrypted traffic between the U.S. and U.K. which to the Soviets also seemed a prelude to war.”

See recent IPA news release: “Activists Demand a Halt to NATO Nuclear War Rehearsals; Congressional Action.”