Poland's 6th Airborne Brigade soldiers (R) walk with U.S. 82nd Airborne Division soldiers during the NATO allies' Anakonda 16 exercise near Torun, Poland, June 7, 2016. REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL
Peter Apps, Reuters: Risk of war returns to Europe
A century ago this weekend, my great-grandfather – a corporal in the Liverpool-recruited King’s Regiment – was waiting to go “over-the-top” at the Somme.
Sent to pick up the company rum ration before the assault, he wound up drinking it and woke up after the action – or at least, that’s the story he told the family after World War One was over.
Perhaps his superiors were in an unusually forgiving mood. Or perhaps, like many others, he was just looking for a way to avoid retelling his experiences. By the end of the first day, the Allies had suffered almost 60,000 casualties for precious little ground. By the time the offensive was canceled later in the year, there were more than 800,000, over half of them fatalities.
With the two world wars increasingly passing from living memory, it’s becoming easier to forget just how much they dominated the lives of almost every family on the continent.
Quietly, though, that is changing. When NATO states meet in Warsaw at the end of the week for the annual heads of government meeting of the alliance, they will be doing so amid the most serious tensions with Moscow since 1989.
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WNU Editor: There is already a war in Europe .... and that is in eastern Ukraine. It is also this war that has brought European and Russian relations to where they are today .... and if one wants to
de-escalate tensions, the best place to start is finding and implementing a settlement in this conflict. Unfortunately .... the focus for this week's NATO summit is anything but finding a peaceful settlement to the Ukraine conflict .... in fact they are searching for a means to escalate it.