The term «near peer» or «near peer war/near peer adversaries» has received increased attention the past few years, particularly in the US. After almost two decades of fighting insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq against adversaries inferior in technology and resources, other actors on the global stage has invested in technology, concepts and weapons systems that is challenging US military supremacy. China and Russia are of particular interest in this regard.
The US has therefore realised it has to develop its own resources further in areas such as microelectronics, artificial intelligence, electronic warfare, cyber and laser technology. The Americans aim to be globally dominant technologically by 2028. This has military strategic consequences for the US, NATO and other allies.
The new US defence strategy outlined in January 2018 makes this point explicitly, and argues that the central challenge to US prosperity and security is the re-emergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers like Russia and China.
It is time to turn our attention back to threats from so-called "near peers", that is, players in our own neighbourhood, and how we can avoid and/or respond to a "near peer war".
- Do we have the necessary strategic, theoretical, conceptual, technological and organisational "structures" in place to deal with a "near peer" today, or the next 10–20 years?
- And what is the role of the Air Force to avoid a "near peer war" or, if this type of conflict should occur, to utilise the distinctive features of our air power in a joint operational framework to defeat a "near peer adversary"?
These are questions the Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force wants to address at the conference 5–7 February 2019.
Programme Tuesday 5 February 2019
- Seminar opening
- The Royal Norwegian Air Force Band
- Opening remarks by the Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force,
Maj. Gen. Tonje Skinnarland
- The Royal Norwegian Air Force's 75th Anniversary, Dr Ole Jørgen Maaø
Situational awareness – what is near peer war?
Introduction, Dr Lars Peder Haga
NATO and the future security environment. How to deter threats short of war? Prof. Jamie Shea
- Russia – a near peer? Rear Adm. Gilles Humeau
- China – a near peer too far away? Dr Saskia Hieber
- Deterrence during the Cold War. Still valid in a multipolar world? Prof. Beatrice Heuser
- Panel debate
- Epilogue: Russia in perspective. Amb. Øyvind Nordsletten
- Informal gathering in the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy’s Officers’ Mess
Programme Wednesday 6 February 2019
- The Royal Norwegian Air Force Band
How to avoid a near peer war? Deterring a "near peer advisory" - theories and concepts
- Opening speech, The Norwegian Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen
The role of the military in a post-Western global order, Barry Buzan
- How to deter Russia? Dmitrij Trenin
- Panel debate
- Lunch & The Royal Norwegian Air Force’s 75th Anniversary exhibition
- Norway and its historical approach to near peers. Cadet from the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy
- Extended deterrence: Airpower – a prerequisite? Gen.
Tod. D Wolters TBC
Russia – a near peer in the air? Dr Lars Peder Haga
Deterrence in the Baltic area. A Norwegian concern? Dr Robert Dahlsjö
- The Royal Norwegian Air Force and deterrence in the High North. Lt Col.
- Panel discussion
- Epilogue: Prof. Harald Høiback
- Conference Dinner at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy’s Officers’ Mess.
Programme Thursday 7 February 2019
If we cannot avoid it – how does one fight a near peer competition war?
- Opening remarks: Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy’s Department for Airpower and Leadership
- The larger perspective – the key components of the defence of Norway. Svein Efjestad
- The defence of Norway: The operational perspective. Rear Adm. Sverre N. Engeness
- The Royal Norwegian Air Force in joint and combined operations for the defence of Norway. Maj. Gen.
The practitioner's perspective – are we ready for a near peer war?
- Are the Norwegian fighter squadrons and support elements ready for a near peer war? Lt Col.
- Is the RNoAF's key airbase, Ørland, ready for a near peer war? Lt Col.
Michael Baas Bottenvik-Hartmann
- Is the RNoAF's Force Protection community ready for a near peer war?
Maj. Marianne Eidem
- Panel discussion
- Seminar epilogue, Espen Barth Eide
- Closing remarks, Maj. Gen. Tonje Skinnarland
Frank Bakke-Jensen is the current Norwegian Minister of Defence (2017 --).
Espen Barth Eide was the Norwegian Minister of Defence from 2011 to 2012 and the Norwegian Foreign Minister from 2012 to 2013. From 2013 to 2017, Barth Eide was Director of the World Economic Forum, Geneva. From 2014 to 2017, he was the UN Special Envoy to Cyprus. He is currently a member of parliament.
Lt Col. Michael Baas Bottenvik-Hartmann is a Ground-Based Air Defence officer. He is a graduate from the German Command and Staff College – Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr. He is currently serving as the assistant Chief of Staff Operations (ACOS OPS) at 132 AW/Ørland Air Base. The operational development of the fighter base, including support structures, lies within his portfolio.
Prof. Barry Buzan is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is honorary professor at Copenhagen, Jilin, and China Foreign Affairs Universities; a Senior Fellow at LSE Ideas; and a Fellow of the British Academy.
Dr Robert Dahlsjö is a politico-military affairs generalist at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI). Recent unclassified reports include threshold defence, Swedish national interests, Baltic security and defence, and Russian A2/AD in the Baltic region. He has previously served as Senior Advisor to Sweden's MoD, and holds a PhD from KCL and a MSFS from Georgetown.
Svein Efjestad was the director general for security policy in the Ministry of Defense (MoD) from 1995 to 2013, and Policy Director at the MoD from 2013 and onwards, making him one of the most experienced, knowledgeable and influential individuals in terms of Norwegian security policy.
Maj. Marianne Eidem is a Force Protection officer. She is currently the Chief of Staff of the Force Protection Group at Ørland Air Base. In addition to experience from the FP-branch, she has been a lecturer here at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy. She has had two deployments to Afghanistan, and she has also been the ADC to the Commander of the Norwegian Home Guard.
Adm. Sverre N. Engeness is Chief of Operations at the Norwegian Joint
Headquarters (2017 --). He is a graduate from the U.S. National Defense
University (2008), and has been in charge of the Norwegian submarine fleet
(2005-2007) and the Norwegian Coastguard (2014-2017).
Dr Lars Peder Haga has studied Russian culture and history (PhD: The Conquerors' Maps: The mental mapping of East Central Europe by Soviet Literary, Scholarly and Cultural Actors, 1944-1953). He is currently an associate professor and senior lecturer in airpower at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy, and is one of the co-authors of the forthcoming new Norwegian doctrine for air operations.
Lt Col. Paal Henriksrud is an officer in the Royal Norwegian Air Force (Ground-Based Air Defence). He has a Master's Degree from the Norwegian Defence University College where he focused on the 2011 Libya-campaign. He is currently the head of long-term planning at the National Air Operations Centre (NAOC).
Prof. Beatrice Heuser is Professor of International Relations at the University of Glasgow. She has taught at King's College London, Department of War Studies; the Bundeswehr University near Munich; and the Russian Foreign Ministry's university MGIMO. She has spent a year at the NATO Headquarters as a Consultant, served on academic advisory boards at the French Institute of International Affairs (IFRI), the Royal United Services Institute, and Chatham House (RIIA).
Dr Saskia Hieber has a PhD in Political Science and served as a lecturer in Chinese politics at the University of Munich, Institute for Political Science.
Rear Adm. Gilles Humeau is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at NATO Allied Joint Force Command, Naples. Rear Admiral Humeau has a total of 2550 flight hours in fighter aircraft Etendard and Super-Etendard. He has been in command of the air wing on board aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (2003-2005), and has operational experience from operations Deny Flight, Allied Force, and Enduring Freedom. He is currently deputy commander for the French Mediterranean Command.
Lt Col./Prof. Harald Høiback has a Master's degree from the University of Glasgow, and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Oslo. He has been a lecturer at the Norwegian Defence University College, has written extensively on military strategy, is the editor of the Norwegian Military Journal, and is currently deputy commander of the Norwegian Defence Museum.
Dr Ole Jørgen Maaø is a former officer in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. He is an associate professor and senior lecturer in airpower at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy, and is one of the co-authors of the forthcoming new Norwegian doctrine for air operations.
Lt Col. Marianne Mjelde is a former F-16 pilot. She has a Master's Degree from the
U.S. Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). She is currently the Commander of the Operations Group at Ørland Air Base.
Amb. Øyvind Nordsletten served as the Norwegian Ambassador to Ukraine (1992-1996), Ambassador to Russia (2000-2008); Ambassador to Ireland (2008-2011) and the Norwegian General Consul in Murmansk (2011-2013).
Prof. Jamie Shea has held a number of high-level positions in NATO, like Director of Information and Press and Deputy Assistant Secretary General for External Relations. His last position was Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges (2010-2018). Shea is currently Professor of Strategy and Security, of the Strategy and Security Institute at the University of Exeter.
Maj. Gen. Tonje Skinnarland was the Commander of Air Station Maagerø (2007-2010). She worked in the Defence Department (2010-2015) where she also was Head of the Department for National Security Policy, Crisis Response and Readiness. She is currently the Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
Dmitrij Trenin served in the Soviet and Russian armed forces from 1972 to 1993. From 1993 to 1997, Trenin held a post as a senior research fellow at the Institute of Europe in Moscow. In 1993, he was a senior research fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome. He is currently the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.
Gen. Tod D. Wolters is Commander, US Air Forces in Europe; Commander, US Air Forces Africa; Commander, Allied Air Command, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and Director, Joint Air Power Competence Centre, Kalkar, Germany.