Now it is our turn: Keen Sword 2010
The drills in and around Japan are part of the annual "Keen Sword" maneuvers and involve tens of thousands of troops from both sides, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and its battle group. For the first time, the exercises also have observers from South Korea.So, while a regularly scheduled exercise, it is clear that this is also a piece in the puzzle regarding the 'new' approach to North Korean trouble-making.
According to Japan's Defense Ministry, 34,100 Japanese personnel, 40 vessels and 250 aircraft from Japan's ground, maritime and air self-defense forces will take part, along with 10,400 troops, 20 ships and 150 aircraft from the U.S. military.
The maneuvers, which were scheduled well before the North Korean incident, are to continue through Dec. 10.
What remains to be seen is whether this will be 'message delivered and go back to port' or if this is a working-up for something more significant to come.