Norway’s security policy situation is more serious than during the Cold War, writes researcher and Lieutenant Colonel Tormod Heier in a new book.

This week Russia is conducting one of its largest military exercises in many years just off the coast of Northern Norway. Among other things, they have sent large and small warships, landings, bombers, fighter jets and an unknown number of submarines along the coast to Nordland and Troms, writes Klassekampen.

“I think we have to go far back to the Cold War before we find exercises of this magnitude. As far as we can remember, this is the biggest thing we have ever seen, at least during the last 40 years,” Defence Chief Haakon Bruun-Hanssen told NRK.

Serious situation
Scientist Tormod Heier believes the exercise is a message from Russia’s president.

“This is Putin telling Erna Solberg and NATO that Russia is not comfortable with the US becoming more militarily involved in Norway and our surrounding areas,” says Heier, who is now publishing the book “A More Dangerous Norway?”

He questions how far a small state can go in allying before the neighbour is provoked to backlash. The conclusion is that Norway has landed in a continuous upward spiral where “access to more military power through the United States does not necessarily provide more security against Russia.” Heier believes that Norway has completely relied on the US to have a credible defence in the north.

“For Norway, the security policy situation is more serious than it was during the Cold War,” says the researcher at the Norwegian Defence University College.

Getting help from the US and Canada
According to TV 2, the United States has several US P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft and a Canadian CP-140 patrol aircraft stationed at Andøy Air Station to keep an eye on the Russian exercise.

The channel also writes that a rebuilt American Boeing 747 aircraft landed on Andøya on Tuesday, following a flight from Frankfurt, Germany. Lieutenant Colonel Ivar Moed does not want to comment at the Armed Forces operational headquarters (FOH).

NATO help
In a new report delivered to Defence Chief Odin Johannesen on Friday, it is estimated that NATO will not rescue Norway unless there are more than 500 killed, writes Dagens Næringsliv.

“Norway can count on military support from major allies, outside the NATO framework, as long as Norway itself is actively involved in the conflict and is losing (100-500 Norwegian killed). However, NATO is less likely to enact Article Five in such a scenario,” the report said, in connection with the “Army towards 2040” project.

The analysis was compiled by researcher Asle Toje, an American professor and the American analysis company Acertas Analytics.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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