Norwegian Navy embarrassed again

As if a frigate collision, its scrapping and other fleet problems weren’t enough: Now one of the Norwegian Navy’s newest, biggest, most expensive but also most troubled vessels is out of service once again, right in the middle of its first and long-awaited participation in a NATO exercise. “This is embarrassing, the Navy as shipowner must […]

New fighter jets costing even more

Norway’s long-debated new F35 fighter jets from the US are setting off another cost bomb for the new Norwegian government. The latest numbers from the defense ministry suggest they’ll now cost around NOK 90.2 billion, well over even an adjusted and expanded budget that itself was way above initial estimates. Most of the cost uncertainty […]

Tough talk against China and Russia

There’s been lots of criticism directed at both China and Russia in Norwegian media this week, some of it coming from Norway’s own Jens Stoltenberg. He’s in his last year as secretary general of NATO, as speculation swirls whether he’ll eventually come home to be governor of Norway’s central bank. It’s unlikely Stoltenberg, a former […]

Secret US-Russia meeting ‘important’

A secretly arranged meeting in Finland on Wednesday between top US- and Russian defense officials was being viewed as “important” for Norway, too. The war on terrorism reportedly topped the agenda, and showed that there’s still room for cooperation between the two rivals. Norwegian Broadcastng (NRK) carried extensive coverage of the meeting after it was […]

Norwegian frigate under US command

UPDATED: Norway seems to be relying more than ever on the US for its defense, now through base policy and fleet agreements that go beyond Norway’s membership in the NATO alliance. For the first time ever, one of the country’s four frigates has been put under US command for the next nine months, while Norwegian […]

Fate of military equipment ‘unsure’

Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen said neither he nor military brass know what’s happened to around NOK 600 million worth of weapons, vehicles, communications equipment and other military hardware that had been provided to Afghanistan’s security forces. They either fled or surrended to the Taliban in recent weeks, leaving a fortune of modern equipment behind. Nearly […]

Afghan evacuation ‘completely over’

Norway pulled its last remaining military personnel out of Afghanistan in the early morning hours of Monday. That also brings an end to the chaotic evacuation of  both Norwegian and Afghan civilians during the past week, and the closure of Norway’s last remaining military field hospital at the airport in Kabul. A deadly terrorist attack […]

Bombing in Kabul halts evacuations

UPDATED: Norway’s military field hospital inside the airport in Kabul was still operating and busy on Friday, after bomb blasts in and around the Afghan capital’s airport area Thursday afternoon. All Norwegian government personnel still in Afghanistan were accounted for, according to Lt Col Ivar Moen at the Norwegian military’s operative headquarters, but evacuation efforts had […]

Defense minister comes under fire

Frank Bakke-Jensen has stirred controversy in his role as defense minister on earlier occasions, but this week he was all but being publicly shamed. The target of the complaints: Bakke-Jensen’s decision to campaign for his Conservative Party in his home county of Troms og Finnmark and then spend a day at home in Northern Norway, […]

Police and special forces sent to Kabul

Norwegian police and members of the military’s special forces have been sent back to Afghanistan, while Norway’s military field hospital in Kabul has to be shut down. The goal is to provide reinforcements and speed work underway to evacuate both Norwegian- and foreign citizens by the Taliban’s deadline of August 31. “It’s extremely demanding there,” […]