Norway and the US are now working to update the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement concluded in the 1950’s. The Norwegian Defense Ministry is very tight-lipped with information, revealing neither the reason for the negotiations, nor their content?
When the agreement between the US and Norway was entered in 1950, Norway sought primarily to strengthen its Armed Forces in the country, which had been ravaged by World War II and needed weapons and assistance from outside. For the USA, it was about safeguarding American security interests.
Norway is better of in its role as a bridge builder in the work for “dialogue, détente and disarmament”. US military aid should not be confused with civilian aid provided through the Marshall Plan.
Norway has in recent years enjoyed broad cooperation with the USA that includes port calls by US submarines, US Marines’ presence on a rotating basis, surveillance, and numerous joint drills. Norway’s top brass and high-ranking politicians often cite Russia’s military upgrades in the Arctic region as the underlying reason.
At the same time, Norway has been beefing up cooperation with its Nordic cousins. Earlier this week, Norway signed a trilateral cooperation agreement with Sweden and Finland, which in the words of Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist is specifically meant as a “signal to Russia”. But, has Russia ever intended to invade Norway?
Bilateral Russian-Norwegian relations have in recent years soured, due to reciprocal espionage accusations and a military build-up, leading to mutual distrust.
It is understandable that Norway is an attractive partner in technology development, but in this case we should stop and consider whether it serves Norwegian security policy interests to cooperate so closely in the midst of a new intentionally fatal arms race.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2020.