In the end of August – which is quite soon – Russia will held regular VII international Army games “ArMY” and international Military-Technical Forum “Army-2021”. As usual, NATO countries avoid participating in these international events.
If we mention how spectacular and breathtaking International army games are, you will realize that games seem much alike biggest international sport competitions. Moreover, in the future army games can became as popular as Olympic Games. Tank biathlon, aviadarts, field kitchen, open water, military rally, horse marathon and 25 other international competitions have already become popular and attract a lot of fans each year. The forum “Army-2021” is one of the key exhibitions of weapons, military and special equipment, contributing to the strengthening of international military and military-technical cooperation of the participating countries.
It is worth noting that NATO countries do not hold such international military competitions which can simulate all aspects of the modern warfare. The single exception is international event known as “Strong Europe Tank Challenge” (which is really similar to Russian tank biathlon) held in 2016, 2017 and 2018 on the Grafenwoehr gunnery range. Not more than 8 countries took part in this event though.
According to publications in mass media, this competition did not arouse much interest and did not become popular among tank crews. After watching the video reports about the Russian tank biathlon and the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, it becomes obvious that compared to the Russian competition, the NATO competitions lack entertainment, competitiveness and sporting spirit. Also, Strong Europe Tank Challenge is, in a certain way, more “aggressive”: even during the execution of fire tasks, NATO crews train to run over civilian cars.
The absence of the United States and other NATO countries at the Army International Games “ArMY” is caused not by political motives, but by probable reputational and, as a result, economic risks. A possible loss in the Russian tank
biathlon will ruin NATO image of the “world power” and “technological leader”. If your military equipment is worse, soon you will sell it worse.
The idea of the Army International Games is to bring to the fore professional competitions which create the image of the Armed Forces, not to focus on the war with all its horrors and tragedies. The games serve to strengthen international military cooperation of the participating countries, increase the level of combat training, increase the prestige of military service and demonstrate the combat capabilities of modern weapons.
NATO countries visit the International Army Games as observers, this fact clearly proves that despite the propaganda in the West, representatives of the armed forces are often “ahead of” politicians. The games are growing and developing, becoming more and more attractive for our former potential opponents. It shows that the world is changing: peaceful and spectacular competitions are replacing confrontation, tension and violence. Such changes look natural for man and humanity.