Saxi: Nordic Defence Cooperation after the Cold War

Oslo Files 1/2011
Håkon Lunde Saxi looks at the opportunity to get better value from the Nordic defence budgets.

Oslo Files on Defence and Security 1/2011
Title: Nordic defence Cooperation after the Cold War
Author: Håkon Lunde Saxi
Pages: 103

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During the Cold War the different alignment choices of the Nordic states meant that military cooperation among them was highly circumscribed, and security issues were taboo in the Nordic Council. Following the events of 1989–91 Nordic defence cooperation intensified, and new institutions were established to facilitate joint deployments, acquisitions, research and development. In the late 2000s there was another surge in Nordic military cooperation which culminated in the organisation Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO). The main driver was economic: the Nordic Armed Forces were facing static or shrinking budgets, rising costs, and a demand to take part in new post-Cold War international missions. 

Given similarities in terms of size, culture and geographical proximity, the Nordic countries are well placed to form a so-called cluster-group of NATO/EU countries. Collaboration on military matters could proceed more readily within such a group than would be possible with larger and more heterogeneous organisations. There is, however, no shared Nordic view on ‘hard security’ issues in the Nordic region itself, which suggests that a joint security and defence regime aiming at something close to a Nordic alliance may find it hard to succeed. 

Håkon Lunde Saxi (b. 1983) is a research fellow with the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies and has published a monograph and several articles on Nordic security and defence policy. He holds a Master of Philosophy in History (2009) from the University of Oslo, a Master of Science in International Relations (2008) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and has done an internship with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
Publisert 1. januar 2011 16:19.. Sist oppdatert 22. juni 2015 10:43.