In what’s being described as a demonstration of power, American B1 bombers will be taking part in exercises in Norway along with 200 US soldiers based at the Ørland air base for the next month. It’s the first time the so-called “heavy bombers” will operate from Norway but opposition Members of Parliament are not impressed.
“This is part of a pattern of an escalation that takes Norway steadily farther into a new cold war between the US and Russia,” warned MP Bjørnar Moxnes of the Reds Party. Both he and Audun Lysbakken, leader of the Socialist Left Party (SV), think Norway is thus drawn into rising tensions.
“The idea that more American military activity will make us safe is wrong,” Lysbakken told newspaper Klassekampen. “What we need is national strengthening of our own defenses in the north and clear signals of de-escalation.”
Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen of the Conservative Party brushed aside the criticism, noting that both SV and the Reds have always been against Norway’s membership in NATO. He’s happy to host the US’ heavy bombers, adding that they’ll contribute to important knowledge and experience for Norwegian troops.