The Review represents the single most important input to the upcoming Defence White Paper on the development of the Armed Forces, which the Norwegian Government expects to introduce during the spring of 2016.
The review build on a thorough review of the capabilities of the Norwegian Armed Forces which has identified several weaknesses in their ability to fully address their main task - providing for the defence of Norway. An economic analysis has also shown that the current defence infrastructure, even before new capabilities are introduced, is not sustainable at current budgetary levels.
- My advice to the Government is to strengthen our ability to conduct surveillance and intelligence; to improve the response times of our forces; to strengthen the manning of key structural elements, while also improving our ability to protect key infrastructure, says Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen.
The Norwegian Chief of Defence stresses that any credible defence of Norway will rest on its membership in NATO.
- One of Norway's primary commitments to NATO is that we will form a credible first line of defence in our own country, and consequently, for the alliance as a whole. We must ensure that we are able to provide while robust situational awareness in our immediate surroundings, while also maintaining the ability to support the arrival of allied reinforcements if that should prove necessary, says Admiral Bruun-Hanssen.
In his Strategic Military Review, Admiral Bruun-Hanssen proposes an increase in Norwegian defence spending.
- I am recommending that we continue to streamline our staff and support functions, while also reducing the number of bases and other infrastructure which will help us to strengthen the operational capabilities. Despite those measures, however, I believe that we have to make substantial increases in our annual defence budgets, says the Chief of Defence.
From a military point of view, it is preferable to execute the recommended changes quickly in order to achieve the desired operational effects and cost-effective operation of the Norwegian Armed Forces.
Despite speculation that the Chief of Defence would recommend cutbacks in the Norwegian F-35 acquisition, Admiral Bruun-Hanssen stresses that he is required to keep the minimum of F-35s due to the importance as the future backbone of the Norwegian Armed Forces;
- We remain dependent on the timely introduction of new capabilities into our Armed Forces, such as the F-35. Only by completing the acquisition of 52 combat aircraft with the Joint Strike Missile will we be able to provide the full spectrum capabilities that we need to address our future security challenges.
The final decision on the future development of the Norwegian Armed Forces will be made by the Norwegian Parliament. The Government aims to prepare a White Paper, in part based on the Strategic Defence Review, to the Norwegian Parliament during the spring of 2016.
the Norwegian site, you can
read the full and a short version of the military advice in Norwegian.
An English version of the Strategic Military Review will be available
later this month.