Oslo-based newspaper Aftenposten has called a withdrawal of 700 soldiers from Norway “dramatic.” US President Donald Trump is reducing the presence of US troops in Europe, after complaining that NATO allies aren’t paying enough for their own defense.
Aftenposten editorialized that Norway will now be forced to take “greater responsibility” for its own security when the US forces disappear. They’d been training in Norway on a relatively permanent basis, much to the aggravation of Russia.
The US Marines had also contributed modern tanks and helicopters that could move more soldiers than such Norwegian equipment could. Several thousand vehicles including tanks remain stored near Værnes in Trøndelag, ready for use during NATO exercises in Norway.
Now the US military is turning its sights to the Pacific and the South China Sea, where China has become far more aggressive and threatens Taiwan. Aftenposten editorialized that Norway must take the consequences of the US pullout seriously and be prepared to address the absence left by the Americans, since Russia won’t need to worry longer about all the American soldiers that were based in Norwegian territory. “They leave an acute hole for Norwegian politicians to fill,” wrote the newspaper.