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Defence planning

The Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS)’ defence planning programme provides research-based contributions to long-term planning in the Norwegian defence sector.

The program has an applied approach, functioning as an arena for knowledge development in close collaboration with national and international expertise.

Head of programme until July 1st, 2019 was Senior Fellow Hakon Lunde Saxi.

Firstly, it contributes to the Norwegian Ministry of Defence's continuous long-term planning. Through closed and open seminars, briefings and policy notes, pressing issues are highlighted and analysed.

Secondly, the program provides thorough and in-depth analysis of issues that are of vital long-term importance. The results are discussed and disseminated through conferences and academic publications.

Synergies are created with IFS' other research programs as well as between the defence and security policy expertise at IFS and the operational military expertise of the Norwegian Defence University College.

Research areas:


Approaches to long-term defence planning

What are the strengths and weaknesses of different models for long-term planning? Which systems have been tried nationally and what results have they generated? How can the process be both professionally grounded and at the same time allow room for political decisions? By looking comparatively on different models for long-term planning, including at particularly relevant countries, the program will provide new knowledge about what works best and the prerequisites for cooperation with strategically important countries.

Defence concepts

Which defence concepts have been or are relevant in a Norwegian context? And what role does conceptual thinking play for the development of defence, for example in the acquisition of new equipment and new capabilities? By analysing defence concepts in a historical and contemporary perspective the program aims to identify strengths and weaknesses on the conceptual level. International comparisons will help open up new perspectives.

The total defence dimension 

How can cross-sectorial cooperation and coordination be facilitated in the long-term planning processes? For example, how can the planning processes in the defence sector and the justice sectors be synchronized? Where will particular responsibilities and authorities be allocated within the Norwegian state apparatus? The defence planning program provides a broad perspective on long-term planning, where the defence sector is seen in a larger national context. International aspects of the total defence will also be analysed. Drawing on international and comparative perspectives is important for generating new knowledge. Particular emphasis is placed on creating synergies with the Defence reform program, which has several research projects dealing with total defence in a broad civilian-military context.

The Alliance dimension 

To what extent is national Norwegian long-term planning and allied planning currently taking place in several arenas connected? How can Norwegian and allied structural and operational planning be linked more closely together? Today, substantial allied investments are again being made in Norway, both adding resources and generating costs for Norway in the long run. The defence planning program will expand the perspectives on long-term planning by incorporating the alliance dimension, with a special emphasis on cooperation with the United States as well as allies and partners in Northern Europe. Synergies will be created with the SNE-program, which explores opportunities and constraints for defence cooperation in Northern Europe.

Published 20 March 2018 08:27.. Last updated 26 November 2019 12:41.