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Air Power Conference 2019

From Cold War to Hot Peace? Debating «Near-Peer Competitor War»,  and the role of Air Power.

The term «near peer» or «near peer war/near peer adversaries» has received increased attention the past few years. 

We need 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". 

Programme Tuesday 5 February 2019


  • The Royal Norwegian Air Force Band
  • Opening remarks by the Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force,
    Maj. Gen. Tonje Skinnarland
  • The 75th anniversary of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, Brig. Aage Longva
  • The Establishment of the Norwegian Air Force in 1944. 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 in the air? Dr Lars Peder Haga


  • Coffee


  • 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 advERSARY" - theories and concepts


  • Opening remarks, Ass. Prof. Øistein Espenes
  • The role of the military in a post-Western global order, Prof. Barry Buzan

  • Russia – a near peer? Rear Adm. Gilles Humeau
  • Coffee
  • Russia in a multipolar world. Core interests and threat perceptions. Dr Dmitri Trenin
  • Panel discussion
  • Lunch & The Royal Norwegian Air Force’s 75th Anniversary exhibition

  • Changes in the Security Environment - a New Normal, The Norwegian Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen

  • Deterrence in the Baltic area. A Norwegian concern? Dr Robert Dalsjö
  • The Royal Norwegian Air Force and deterrence in the High North. Lt. Col. Jostein Grønflaten
  • Coffee


  • Panel discussion 

  • Epilogue. Lt Col., Prof. Harald Høiback
  • Extended deterrence: Airpower – a prerequisite? Gen. Tod D. Wolters

  • 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: Lt. Col., Prof. Dag Henriksen

  • 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. Tonje Skinnarland


  • Coffee

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. Marianne Mjelde 
  • 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
  • The Royal Norwegian Air Force Band
  • Seminar epilogue. Member of Parliament Espen Barth Eide
  • Closing remarks, Maj. Gen. Tonje Skinnarland



Frank Bakke-Jensen is the current Norwegian Minister of Defence (2017 --). Bakke-Jensen has been a member of Parliament since 2009 for the Conservative Party.

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 Dalsjö 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.

Rear 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).

Lt Col. Jostein Grønflaten is a former F-16 pilot and Squadron Commander. He holds a Master Degree in "Military Operational Art and Science" from the U.S. Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). After commanding 338 Squadron he served as the Military Assistant to the Chief of Defense, and then as Senior National Representative at Euro-NATO Joint Jet pilot Training (ENJJPT). He is currently serving at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) in the Strategic Analyses and Joint Systems Division.

Dr Lars Peder Haga has a PhD in Soviet history. He is associate professor in airpower at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy, and is one of the co-authors of the new Norwegian doctrine for air operations.

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 is lecturer for International and Chinese Politics at the University of Regensburg and at the Academy for Civic Studies, Tutzing. She worked with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin and taught at the Universities of Munich and Duisburg-Essen. Saskia has an M.A. in Chinese Studies and a PhD. in Political Science. 

Brig. Aage Longva is the Vice Chief of the Norwegian Air Force.

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 in airpower at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy, and is one of the co-authors of the 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 (ret.) served as the Norwegian Ambassador to Ukraine (1992-1996), Ambassador to Russia (2000-2008); Ambassador to Ireland (2008-2011) and the Norwegian Consul General 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.

Dr Dmitri 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.

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Publisert 5. februar 2019 09:00.. Sist oppdatert 20. februar 2020 14:17.