Norway’s former defense and foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide, has declared that the crisis in Ukraine shows that “the time after the Cold War” is over. He believes Norway must now become re-accustomed to life in between two superpowers.
So much for the “New World Order” that emerged after the unraveling of the Soviet Union, when the US was widely viewed as the sole remaining superpower. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that he wants to revive Russia’s glory days and make his country powerful again.
Eide suggests that Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and sudden ability to command the attention of both the European Union and the US, along with much of the rest of the world, is a warning of how acts of war between modern states can look in the future. Eide thinks they will rely heavily on special forces and undercover operations, like those Russia prepared and used in Ukraine.
Writing in a commentary in newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), Eide seems to envision another “New World Order,” in which Norwegian security policy must strike a balance between being firm and staying calm. Eide, who just started working for the World Economic Forum but already has been mentioned as a possible senior staff member for Jens Stoltenberg when he takes over at NATO, wrote that Norway always aimed, during the Cold War, to be resolute, “demonstrate our ability to defend ourselves, be predictable and strive not to unnecessarily provoke anyone.”
It’s time, Eide wrote, to brush up on that.