Defence Minister to change NATO strategy / News / The Foreigner

Defence Minister to change NATO strategy. A return to core assignments. Norway’s new Defence Minister, Grete Faremo, thinks NATO should change their focus to concentrate more on domestic defence.Reform “For the past year, the Alliance has had much of its military and political focus on “out of area” operations, meaning that principal duties have taken a back seat,” she said in last night’s speech to an assembly in Oslo Militære Samfund.

grete, faremo, norwegian, defence, minister, nato, reform, strategy, afghanistan, north, norway



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Defence Minister to change NATO strategy

Published on Tuesday, 5th January, 2010 at 11:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 5th January 2010 at 20:43.

A return to core assignments.

Grete Faremo
Grete Faremo
Photo: Taral Jansen/Norwegian military


Norway’s new Defence Minister, Grete Faremo, thinks NATO should change their focus to concentrate more on domestic defence.

Reform

“For the past year, the Alliance has had much of its military and political focus on “out of area” operations, meaning that principal duties have taken a back seat,” she said in last night’s speech to an assembly in Oslo Militære Samfund.

Stressing that the issue is about balance, rather than a question of either abroad/or domestic, Faremo signalled this is something Norway has already succeeded in emphasising, as NATO itself is undergoing its own process of reform.

“The Alliance is in need of reform. Above all, attention must be paid to bettering the balance between the level of ambition, and available resources.”

Afghanistan

She said she also believed that NATO must prioritise both increasing the number of military units available, and purchasing military equipment that isn’t primarily made for use in Afghanistan.

“For example, acute needs in Afghanistan mustn’t decide how NATO should prioritise in the long run...We must ensure that NATO retains a military capability that covers the entire spectrum of the Alliance’s duties,” she said.

But the minister didn’t dwell very long on Afghanistan; attracting criticism from Kristian Berg Harpviken – director of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO). He believes Faremo should have expressed more clearly that NATO’s operation in Afghanistan has failed.

“I think this could be an admission that it’s best for Norway to hold its head a little lower from now on, so it can avoid larger commitments,” Harpviken tells NRK.

Northern Norway

In her speech, Faremo also talked about the north of Norway. Even though challenges in this area are mainly of a civil nature – in the form of the environment, transport, energy, and fishing – Faremo said she believed it was important for the military to show it wanted to defend Norway’s interests and sovereignty.

“Because of the large distances involved a military presence in the north with ships, planes, and ground troops also allows us to prevent incidents more effectively; something that is an important contribution to regional stability...Four of five countries having borders with the Arctic Ocean – Canada, Denmark, the U.S., and Norway – are NATO members. Therefore, the Alliance has an important role to play regarding possible threats to security in the region.”



Published on Tuesday, 5th January, 2010 at 11:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 5th January 2010 at 20:43.

This post has the following tags: grete, faremo, norwegian, defence, minister, nato, reform, strategy, afghanistan, north, norway.





  
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