Norway is struggling to rebuild defense

News Analysis: This winter and spring, about 30,000 soldiers from 24 other countries and Sweden participate in what the Norwegian Ministry of Defense calls the largest Norwegian-led military exercise since the Cold War. I am. This exercise, called “cold response,” is more important than ever for Norway. In particular, the Norwegian defense forces need their own significant boost.

The Norwegian Army and the US Marine Corps conducted winter military training during NATO’s cold response exercises in Norway this week. Photo: Forsvaret / Philip Linder

The Norwegian media has been swirling for weeks about the poor state of Norway’s own defense. Despite decades of promises to remedy the country’s complete lack of preparation for World War II, it has been widely branded as terribly inadequate. Norway rapidly fell into an invasion of Nazi German troops on April 9, 1940. It should never happen again.

That is why Norway was one of the founding members of NATO in 1949 and has remained loyal ever since. Norway is the northernmost region where Norway borders Russia and has long been regarded as NATO’s “eyes and ears”. Norwegian government officials often argue that the goal is to maintain “low tensions in the Arctic”.

Now, after Russian President Vladimir Putin started the war Four weeks ago in Ukraine, Norwegian military experts, defense officials, leading politicians and media commentators saw a dramatic decline in Norwegian military presence and northern military presence at the end of the Cold War. I regret it.Russia becomes a friend of Norway, and the community closest to Finnmark’s Russian border Especially keen to work with neighbors in the east and promote trade.. They were either northern Norway and pre-Soviet Russia trading with each other for centuries, or marched across the border in late 1944, pushing out Norwegian Nazi German occupiers by Soviet troops. I never forgot that it was. Former Soviet Union again.The The Soviet liberation of Finnmark continues to be respected and marked Every year Also, after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and tensions increased...

It doesn’t seem that long ago. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) and former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltemberg were chatting with a smile on a Norwegian search and rescue ship when they visited Kirkenes in 2013. A year later, Stoltenberg became NATO’s head, and Medvedev’s successor is now waging a fierce war with Norway, threatening the whole of Europe. Photo: Utenriksdepartementet

Meanwhile, major military installations in northern Norway lost money after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Defense spending didn’t seem to be that important anymore. Some large bases were mostly closed and the army declined, but the Norwegian Defense Force was seemingly endlessly reorganized. Intelligence gathering operations have been significantly enhancedBut mainly thanks to US personnel and funding.

The United States has also obtained permission to establish its own revolving force from Norway, from Rygge in the south to Trondheim in the center of the country, and more recently in Evenes and Tromso in the north.That is the cause Not a little rumbling in Norway Since the last few years, especially by some left-wing parties in Russia and Parliament, it has been seen as opposed to Norway’s own policy of not allowing foreign military bases on its territory.

Many of the opposite seems to be forgotten A few months after Putin first began sending his own troops to Ukraine on the Russian border, he then invaded Ukraine. Putin claims that it is just a “special military operation” that has already forced a full-scale war, thousands of casualties, massive destruction, and the escape of millions of Ukrainians. Now even the Norwegian Socialist Left Party (SV) is rethinking its long-standing opposition to NATO membership, and the Reds have been severely criticized for remaining skeptical.

Norwegian frigate Thor Heyerdahl Here we show that during NATO’s cold response exercises in April, we are training at the Coast Guard Command off northern Norway. Photo: Forsvaret

Therefore, NATO’s “Cold Response” unit is now warmly welcomed as various exercises are taking place in Troms, around Bod, Trondelag and southeastern Norway. Russian officers were even invited to observe them as before. Immediately after Putin began the war with Ukraine, they declined the invitation.

“I personally believe that our people, who are obliged to commit violence on behalf of our country, should be open about what we are doing.” “I wish the Russians had taken the time to come and observe. There isn’t much to hide around here.”

NATO exercises are not a reaction to Putin’s recent attacks. They were done on a regular basis and a cold response was planned long before Putin attacked Ukraine. Odro admits that they have taken on new meaning since the beginning of the war with Ukraine. “This is an important demonstration of the cooperation and strength of our allies and shows that Norway is part of the alliance and is associated with it.”

Norway’s own defense continues to be a concern It was significantly reduced in the 1990s and 2000s and needs to be rebuilt quickly. “Norway now has to wake up,” former Secretary of Defense Harald Suunto insisted this week. He has severely criticized how domestic defense forces have declined, for example, while Norway joined NATO’s allies abroad on a mission in Afghanistan and bombed Libya. He claims that funding for defense presence, equipment and staffing has fallen below the required level.

“There is a big war in Europe right now,” Sunde was furious in various media this week. “It’s happening just a few hours away from us, we can see the horror of war on all news channels.” Sunde says to set a new military priority in Norway. Claims no time for a long bureaucratic process. “Getting the defense materials you need requires a quick and short process.”

In the cold response exercises, there was also a lot of fighter activity, including the Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripen Jet on display here at the Baldufos Flight Station. Sweden is not a member of NATO, but participates in the Cold Response as a sign of the unification of Northern Europe. Photo: Forsvaret / Eskil Andreas Kjønstad Skjerve

His call for reconstruction was repeated by fellow retired Secretaries of Defense, the head of Norwegian civil defense, and the head of the Norwegian Officers’ Federation. “We need to refill the warehouse. Many of the equipment we sent to Ukraine was something we didn’t have,” Tall Bjorn Bongo, a group of executives, told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).

In Norway Made a large investment in a new fleet of fighters, And on various other aircraft. However, he lost one of the five frigates. Embarrassing clash over 3 years ago, And NRK reported on Tuesday that the Navy lacked sufficient trained personnel to carry the remaining frigate and other vessels.Navy experts believe it is positive that the country will eventually increase its defense funding after Prime Minister Jonas Girl. Støre told Congress last week that there would be more money for more voyages, “But we don’t have enough people to navigate all the ships,” says Ståle Ulriksen of the Naval Academy. Sjøkrigsskolen I told NRK.

There was a sudden and predictable explosion of political motivation Invest more in defense since Putin started the war. The government of Støre has already proposed at least 3.5 billion Norwegian krone (US $ 400 million) in additional funding, which Parliament is supporting. However, defense experts like Bongo have warned that it could take up to 10 years to rebuild the Norwegian army. He is afraid that support is too late.

Norway, meanwhile, continues to rely on NATO to assist in the invasion of the Nordic countries as Putin invaded Ukraine. Finland and Sweden are not members of NATO, but they have warmed up to NATO this winter and Sweden is actively participating in cold response. Finland, which has a much longer border with Russia than Norway, had planned the same, but withdrew when Putin invaded Ukraine. The risk of provoking him seems to have been too great.

The Norwegian Pentagon wants more training, as it did at sea last week. Photo: Forsvaret

newspaper Aftenposten This week, if left to the Norwegian Defense Forces themselves, immediate replenishment of weapons sent to Ukraine, increased military training exercises, preparations for shorter defense reaction times, and ensuring that the appropriate system works as expected. Reported to select. Norway also needs well-trained pilots for the new F35 fighter and enough money to prepare them for flight.

Others remember “Wish List” provided by former Secretary of Defense Hokon Brun Hansen To become a former Conservative-led government in 2019. He asked for a major enhancement, Disappointed after a few months.. Labor’s new Prime Minister, Stole, believes that “it is perfectly realistic to have to strengthen both capacity and endurance” within the Norwegian Army.

In the end, Brunhansen’s wish may come true.Even the left-wing Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen When Dagsavisen There is optimism among current defense officials as they advocate a sharp increase in defense capabilities and increased preparedness for crises. Støre and his government colleagues have already allocated more money to weapons, ammunition, training exercises, and personnel in the latest state budget.

It will be welcomed, especially after the newspaper VG This week, several Russian Navy vessels reportedly departed from their homeport on the Kola Peninsula and eventually followed cold response actions. As a result, the Norwegian Navy has increased its presence in the Valentz Sea.

“They dispatched both naval vessels and submarines, as we expected,” said Maj. Gen. Rune Andersen, who heads the Norwegian Navy. VG.. “They also warned us that they would do some shooting exercises at sea while the Allied exercises were taking place along the Norwegian coast. That was also expected. Keep track of everything so that it continues uninterrupted. “And to help prevent more wars from breaking out. Berglund Norway is struggling to rebuild defense

Show More
Back to top button