‘Musical ambassadors’ head for Oslo

The Norwegian Military Tattoo will get underway for the 14th time this weekend, when Norway’s defense department will be welcoming marching bands and other military music corps to the Oslo Spektrum arena from April 20-22. The event is billed as a major international attraction, with 850 participants from eight countries. Among them are members of […]

More debate urged over foreign policy

Complaints have arisen that Norway’s foreign- and defense policy run on “auto-pilot,” subject to very little public input or debate. Critics are responding by creating a new forum meant to illuminate and spur discussion of international issues and national security. The effort comes just as Norway is joining other allies and “partners” around the world […]

Kongsberg’s Qatar deal raises concerns

An announcement last week that Norwegian defense and technology firm Kongsberggruppen had struck a major deal with officials in Qatar cheered investors, who sent Kongsberg’s stock right up. Others worry it may cause problems for Norway with Saudi Arabia. Kongsberg officials claim its agreement to deliver long-term technological development programs within defense, the maritime industry […]

Military fights to shut down fish farm

Norway’s defense department (Forsvaret) wants authorities to shut down a fish farming operation off the coast just north of Bergen. It claims the operation creates noise that disturbs its efforts to track foreign submarines or other vessels in the area. The salmon and trout producing company Blom Fiskeoppdrett AS has so far fended off the […]

Russian ‘attack’ prompts complaint

Norway’s foreign ministry has confirmed that it complained to Russian authorities following three of their air force training missions last year that simulated attacks on Norwegian military stations. Norwegian officials claimed that “this type of behaviour” was not in line with good relations between neighbours. Newspaper Aftenposten reported Wednesday that Russian bomber jets, for example, […]

Questions fly over secret surveillance

Members of Parliament were demanding answers on Friday after Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported on the existence of a top secret satellite base, set up in 2000 with US support over the years, at an old military camp outside Hønefoss. The base has been used for years as a listening post to track down terrorists, but […]

Macron welcomed Solberg in Paris

Prime Minister Erna Solberg visited French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris this week and appreciated his warm welcome. Calls have gone out for Norway to improve its relations with France, but Solberg seemed to think they’re quite good already. “The ties between Norway and France are strong, and this visit has strengthened our relations further,” […]

NATO’s boss was ‘back home’ again

It was his older sister Camilla’s 60th birthday on Monday but NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg was formally back in Norway on an official visit. Family parties were set aside as the former Norwegian prime minister tackled issues ranging from defense funding to tensions with Russia and Turkey. He flatly refused to answer questions about the […]

Opposition questions defense spending

The leader of the foreign relations and defense committee in the Norwegian Parliament, Anniken Huitfeldt of the Labour Party, claimed she was “very surprised” to learn that Norway’s defense spending will dip from around 1.56 percent of gross national product this year to around 1.5 percent in 2020. NATO wants it to rise, to 2 […]

Critics blast jump in weapon exports

Norway is the home of the Nobel Peace Prize but it’s also a significant weapons producer, and their exports shot up last year. Now critics in and out of Parliament are firing off complaints over sales to authoritarian regimes and areas near armed conflict. “This is a violation of the fundamental intentions in the foreign […]