Norway’s Defence Capability is too weak

Rear Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen Army DefenceRear Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen at an exercise during NATO Operation Cold Response in 2012.. Photo: Luise Salte / Forsvaret

The Defence Capability of Norway is too weak

“The Defence structure needs to be strengthened to meet national needs and NATO requirements,” The Chief of the Norwegian Armed Forces, Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, asserts.


“It concerns the Navy and the regular Armed Forces in particular,” he believes.

“We must have to apply more force and a higher pace in our efforts to strengthen our defence capabilities,” Bruun-Hansen states in a speech at the Oslo Military Society.

Bruun-Hanssen believes that Norway will not be able to reach the requirement to contribute to NATOs initiative dubbed «4 x 30». This means that the Alliance will be able to muster 30 battalions, 30 warships and 30 fighter squadrons in NATO territory within 30 days.

“Such contributions cannot be met with the current structure and will require a larger amount of land forces and Navy combat vessels,” he elaborates.

The security situation in Europe and for Norway changed after Russia annexed the Crimea in 2014. The Defence Chief highlights that the Contradictions at all levels are more clarified and acute than we thought only four years ago.

“The situation is more serious today than before,” Bruun-Hanssen continues.

“The United States, China and Russia are in fierce competition with each other for global and regional influence. The Superpowers are more likely to act without regard and to override international agreements. The international order, which is built up in the wake of World War II, is being challenged. This development can threaten the position of small states, freedom of action and security,” the Rear Admiral emphasises.

Minimum no longer sufficient

He points to the advice he submitted when the Government was to chisel out a long-term plan for the Armed Forces until 2020, to ensure a sober defence structure.

“Today, the reality is that that minimum defence is no longer the minimum. It is insufficient for the Armed Forces ability over time to fulfil our obligations both nationally and internationally,” the Army bigwig continues.

Bruun-Hanssen finally adds that the Norwegian Armed Forces have limited personnel in, the densely populated, Southern Norway to assist the police in protecting the Norwegian society from terror attacks.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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