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NATO ‘scales down’ exercises, drawdown of US-led force in Afghanistan continues

NATO ‘scales down’ exercises, drawdown of US-led force in Afghanistan continues

NATO is scaling down military exercises in Europe to curb the spread of the coronavirus, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said. However, alliance missions are continuing, including the drawdown of the US-led force in Afghanistan following a peace agreement last month, he added.

“Some of our exercises have been modified or cancelled… but our forces remain ready,” Stoltenberg told a video news conference on Thursday.

The US Army has already announced a halt to movement of military personnel from the US to Europe and said it plans to scale down its Defender Europe 20 exercises, billed as NATO’s biggest war games in Europe since the Cold War, Reuters reports.

Stoltenberg said there had been no reports of infections of the disease among members of NATO’s military mission in Afghanistan and that troops would continue to come home as agreed under a US peace deal with the Taliban last month.