In a carefully planted interview with the pseudo-left newspaper Klassekampen (Motto: ‘The newspaper for the left’ – which apparently means it desires to act as a gatekeeper to dominate all real questions of class struggle or imperialism on the left), former inspector for the Norwegian armed forces, lieutenant general Robert Mood, states that he ‘fears’ Norway will have to rely more on nuclear weapons.
The newspaper gives this influential former officer, obviously speaking on behalf a bigger military clique, a ‘soft’ interview, without asking any hard questions. It gives sympathetic coverage to this ‘concerned’ officer, trying to present these highly dangerous ideas without condemning them in any noticeable way, in an attempt to frame the pseudo-left debate on these issues.
The pensioned general says the defence ability of Norway and a number of other NATO-countries is so weak that the alliance is forced to lean on a strategy where nuclear weapons plays a central role. Presumably he means US nuclear weapons. Although he does not say so directly, one certainly gets the feeling he either wants Norwegian forces to operate these nukes directly, or American forces to operate them from Norwegian territory.
He complains that, despite Norway having the highest per capita defence spending in Europe, «our own conventional capabilities are very weak» making «strategic deterrence unfortunately a relevant subject again» “Maybe it will also be the most important element in the future.»
The general claims the country has «too few operational units, planes and ships..» This is to a large degree a willed policy from the military. This strongly US/NATO-aligned country has chosen, after heavy US lobbying, to buy extremely expensive weapons systems like the F-35 fighter from Lockheed-Martin. The F35 is unsuited for traditional defence roles against a technologically advanced enemy, but well suited for a nuclear war.
It is possible the purchase of these planes always was meant as a ‘reverse trick’ from the deeply entrenched NATO-complex. First one buys a carriage, then one is forced to buy a horse, as the saying goes. The idea might be the same with the F35 and deployment of nuclear weapons.
As of November 2009, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey are hosting U.S. nuclear weapons as part of NATO’s nuclear sharing policy
As a NATO-country, the Norwegian military has always had a quiet preparation for possible use of nuclear weapons. Despite huge popular resistance to these weapons, during the cold war, some weapons-systems had a turnkey ability to operate with nukes, all that was lacking was the warheads.
Norway plays a central role in the American ABM-defence, with amongst other things several important radar facilities, making it already by default a part of nuclear war between the great imperialist powers.
«It is obvious our biggest allies intend to drastically rearm their nuclear arsenal», says general Mood, referring to the trillion dollar program started a few years ago and already well underway, and given thorough coverage by the WSWS. Just as a small example of this new armament drive, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist states that US nuclear capabilities already has tripled in the last few years with new, more precise, fuses on US submarine-based ballistic missiles.
In another obviously planted ‘leak’ last week, this time to the conservative newspaper Aftenposten, it was claimed that Norway only was able to defend an area of 20 x 30 sq. km (in a country of 324.200 sq. km). This is of course ab obvious push for bigger budgets, but the real catch in these ‘leaks’ lies in the proposed solutions. Presented as purely defensive moves by a poor, underequipped army, it suggested two solutions.
With unintentionally revealing words, one of the solutions was change to a war of manoeuvre, to quote the newspaper «the way the Germans were fighting at the beginning of World War II, with mobile forces that put the enemy off balance.”
The other proposed solution was «the exchange concept, compared to “like the trench warfare in WW1”. Of course, this is just the framing for an aggressive concept. The very next sentence reads «Today it’s all about forces that can strike the enemy hard from long distance, with long-range, precision weapons. It may be missiles fired from the ground, from naval vessels and from aircraft.” This is in effect a description of a blitz against Russian cities and facilities deep inside the country.
From January 2017, a US Marines detachment is stationed, formally on a rotating basis, in the middle region of this very long country. During the entire first cold war, the Norwegian political establishment chose not to accede to the US wish for bases. In addition, the ‘forward storage’ areas, mountain caves filled with equipment for 17.000 US soldiers, have been upgraded with the latest generation in advanced military equipment.
This shows how the balance of class forces in society has changed, where the establishment feels there is less need for pretence. Despite having a reputation as peace-loving country, especially amongst its own population, the ruling classes are preparing for an all out nuclear war with Russia.
In addition this aggressive stance shows itself in its willing participation in almost every US imperialist war, from Yugoslavia to Syria. There, Norwegian instructors train rebel groups – so secret that even the names of the groups are classified. To further add to this constant war drive, the Norwegian foreign minister yesterday expressed «full understanding» of the US attack on the Syrian Shayrat air base.
Elections later this year will not in any way change this, as all major political parties are either actively pushing for rearmament or, in the case of the nominally left parties, tacitly complicit by not stressing the question of the imminent war danger.