The Norwegian government’s reported decision to allow 300 US soldiers to be stationed at Værnes near Trondheim continues to spark debate. Now the local newspaper Adresseavisen has reported that they’re expected to be in place shortly after New Year.
Adresseavisen reported that work has been underway for around a year on a rotation system for the American marine infantry soldiers. The process is now nearing its final phase, both in practical and political terms, according to the report. Some of the work actually involves setting up bunk beds that the American soldiers reportedly will use.
Adresseavisen also reported that it was the US that took the initiative for an eventual placement of Amerian troops in Norway, and that Members of Parliament informed about it earlier this year. The Norwegian government, usually willing to help its most important defense ally no matter if the Conservative- or Labour Party is in power, reportedly intends to merely “orient” the parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committe about the placement, with no action to be taken in Parliament.
The Liberal-, Center-, Socialist Left- and Progress parties, however, have all raised questions about the plans, not least over how it may provoke Norway’s Russian neighbours. The Conservatives, which lead the government coalition with the Progress Party, support the placement, as does Labour, so majority support in Parliament would be assured if it were to come to a vote.