Jens Stoltenberg called the government’s new defense plan a step in the right direction. He believes that sticking to the plan to buy 52 new fighter planes it is the right thing for Norway to do .
– It was a wise and correct decision when we decided to buy 52 aircraft. that I moved to Brussels did not make the decision any less wise, said Stoltenberg said to the news agency NTB.
Bård Vegar Solhjell of the Socialist Left Party, who himself was a part of Stoltenberg’s government, believes Stortinget should consider reducing the number of new combat aircraft to free up resources for other parts of the Armed Forces. The government for its part has maintained that the fighter purchase only affects the defense capability in a positive way.
During a visit in connection with a major NATO exercise in Trondheim Monday got the brand new long-term plan for the Military go the thumbs up by the alliance’s secretary general.
– It’s another step in the right direction. The plan is part of a restructuring and strengthening of the Armed Forces, which has been in progress for some years. However,it’s still a long way to go before they get to where they need to be, which also the case for several other NATO countries, says Stoltenberg.
He praises the plan, despite the fact that the plan was met with criticism from the opposition, including Stoltenberg’s own Labor Party.
The long-term plan promises 165 billion kroner more in defense over the next 20 years, but Norway is a still far away from the goal that NATO has set about defense appropriations of at least 2 percent of the GDP by 2024.
Nevertheless, Norway is closer to reaching that goal than it was under the Stoltenberg government.
– I’ll be careful not to enter into a debate about my own reign. But the realignment began in earnest in 2001, and funding began to increase in 2008, he said.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today