Russia plans new exercises in Arctic

Just weeks after NATO conducted military exercises in the Barents Sea, and now has forced Norway’s northern city of Tromsø to receive nuclear-powered submarines, Russia is responding with major exercises of its own. Russian officials are calling the NATO exercises off Norway a “provocation,” while the Norwegians say they haven’t been officially informed about them. […]

New chief’s been in battles before

For the first time since World War II, Norway is getting a defense chief with battle experience. Now General Major Eirik Johan Kristoffersen will need to take on a new sort of battle, for political support and funding to develop Norway’s armed forces. Kristoffersen holds what commentators, politicians and fellow soldiers have called an “impressive” background. […]

New chief inherits battle over defense

NEWS ANALYSIS: General Major Eirik Johan Kristoffersen won’t take over as Norway’s new defense chief until August, but he already faces intense political conflicts over defense spending and plans for the country’s armed forces. Never before have Norway’s government and Parliament been more at odds, at a time when NATO is under severe pressure and […]

US and Britain flex muscle in the Arctic

Four US Navy ships and one from Britain have been sailing in the waters off Norway’s North Cape this week, without any vessels from their NATO ally sailing with them. Defense analysts calls it a strategic display of force, which Norway must follow closely. The Kirkenes-based Barents Observer reported Tuesday that the American and British vessels […]

Long-term defense plan ‘disappointing’

Two new battalions and more helicopters for special forces will, among other projects, boost Norway’s defense spending by NOK 16.5 billion (USD 1.6 billion) by 2028, according to the government’s latest long-term defense plan. Norway will end up complying with NATO’s spending goals as early as next year, but only because the country’s economy is […]

NATO defense ministers pledge support

“We can’t let the Corona crisis affect our security,” Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen said after a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday. He claimed they were “standing together,” maintaining operational capability and preparedeness, and “helping each other where we can.” The meeting, which had to be held via videoconferencing, was held in what Bakke-Jensen […]

Virus shoots down Liberation jubilee

The canons at Akershus in Oslo and other fortresses around Norway will be fired, but the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Norway in 1945 will otherwise be quietly observed on May 8th. It’s yet another major event spoiled by the Corona virus crisis. “Liberation Day on the 8th of May in 1945 is one […]

NATO chief also working from home

NATO’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has first-hand experience in dealing with a crisis that forced him out of his office. Now he’s been working from home again along with millions of others all over the world, tackling an attack not from a terrorist this time but from a virus. “My life is affected like everyone […]

Defense minister out of quarantine

Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen was back in his office on Thursday, after test results proved he’s not infected with the Corona virus. His suspected exposure to the virus at a meeting in Bergen last week had set off concerns within the entire government. “I’m glad to be declared healthy,” Bakke-Jensen stated in a press […]

Defense minister in quarantine

UPDATED: Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen has been among those forced to stay home these days. His ministry confirmed on Tuesday that he’s had to cancel meetings because he may have been exposed to the Corona virus, and then exposed others in the government. “It’s now an unclear situation,” the ministry reported on its website. “Until more […]