Member states of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization will begin Cobalt-2022 special tactical drills in Kyrgyzstan today. The CSTO
Member states of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization will begin Cobalt-2022 special tactical drills in Kyrgyzstan today.
The CSTO is a collective security organization made up of select post-Soviet states—Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. The joint drills will involve member states’ special operations units, which form the CSTO Collective Operational Response Force. The drills will be primarily focused on anti-gang, counter-terrorist and counter-narco operations, as well as consequence mitigation during counter-terrorist operations. There will also be command and staff training for staff officers of the involved units.
Cobalt 2022 will likely provoke a response from NATO in the form of joint exercises on the alliance’s eastern flank, on the border with Russia. The drills are also somewhat likely to drive non-CSTO post-Soviet states, such as Uzbekistan and Georgia, to pursue closer security cooperation with the U.S. By doing this they will seek to protect themselves against any potential aggression by Russia or CSTO member states, by hosting American overseas bases or drilling with American troops in and around the region. These drills will provide insights into how Russian commanding officers plan to improve the capabilities of their special operations units, given their recent failures in Ukraine.