Teams of snipers from more than 30 countries could be headed for Venezuela. They’ll be taking part in “Sniper Frontier,” one of the events in the 2022 International Army Games (IAG).
The games started in 2015 and, according to the Tass Russian media outlet, have now grown to include 31 countries from around the world. Countries which, like the founding members, don’t particularly like the United States or its allies.
Exact details are hard to pin down for obvious reasons. Here’s what we found: teams use three weapons (a Makarov K59 pistol, AK74 automatic rifle and the 7.62 SVD sniper rifle) in a competition of four stages including individual skill assessment, pair assessment, team assessment, and speed assessment. Last year Vietnam, Uzbekistan and Russia took the top honors. Some of the other countries participating in the 2022 IAG’s are Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Sri Lanka. Teams from Niger and Rwanda will take part in the games for the first time.
So a large military gathering, backed by three nations considered threats to the United States, hosted in a South American nation known for being hostile to American interests. What could go wrong?
Cue the “Wolverine” shouts now.
No, we’re not quite to the “Red Dawn” alert stage just yet, but there is reason for concern.
This year marks the first time the IAG will be hosted so close to the U.S. mainland. The Center for a Secure Free Society said this is a “strategic move that seeks to preposition forward-deployed military assets in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The Center also said Venezuela, Russia, Iran and China (VRIC) are getting ready to make a “loud statement that the region is ready to embrace the multipolar force.”
The 2022 International Army Games will run from Aug. 13-27. The Sniper Frontier is just 1 of 36 games being hosted in as many as 13 countries around the world.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include more countries participating in the 2022 International Army Games.