US-Norway Marine Corps move criticised / News / The Foreigner

US-Norway Marine Corps move criticised. Norwegian politicians and peace organisations are not enamoured by America’s limited rotational force presence plans. The some 330-strong US Marine Corps (USMC) contingent will be deployed to Nord-Trøndelag County’s Værnes from January 2017 following parliamentary approval. “This US initiative is welcome and also fits well within ongoing processes in NATO to increase exercises, training and interoperability within the Alliance,” explains Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide in a statement.

russia, nato, security, soldiers, marines, protection, us, paywall



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US-Norway Marine Corps move criticised

Published on Tuesday, 25th October, 2016 at 19:03 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Sarah Bostock   .

Norwegian politicians and peace organisations are not enamoured by America’s limited rotational force presence plans.

US Marines
US Marines
Photo: Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Lomangino/Public Domain


The some 330-strong US Marine Corps (USMC) contingent will be deployed to Nord-Trøndelag County’s Værnes from January 2017 following parliamentary approval.

“This US initiative is welcome and also fits well within ongoing processes in NATO to increase exercises, training and interoperability within the Alliance,” explains Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide in a statement.

The rotational force agreement builds on the framework of longstanding agreements between the US and Norway on prepositioning and reinforcement, according to the Ministry of Defence-issued statement.

It was renewed in 2005 in the Memorandum of Understanding Governing Prestockage and Reinforcement of Norway. It opens for a considerable increase of American training and exercises in Norway.

Norwegian government and opposition politicians express reservations about the US military’s current initiative. The Foreigner spoke with Liv Signe Navarsete, leader of the Centre Party (Sp).

Doesn’t this week’s vote in favour seem rather hastily-timed now, bearing in mind recent events regarding Russia?

“We were informed in January that the US Army may ask us about placing marines in Norway on a rotational basis, but then we did not hear any more about it. One might say that the recent vote prolongs the 2006 agreement, if reading the press statement carefully, but it was signed ten years ago.”

The joint operations are for a trial period of one year, during which the government will determine how to proceed with the USMC rotational presence beyond 2017 following an initial evaluation. Ms Navarsete thinks that Norwegian politicians should discuss the issue more widely, however.

“I suppose that the government would like to prolong the period if this initial testing proves successful, but then we need to have a broader debate about it. I want a strong Norwegian army, and, in principle, am in favour of foreign soldiers coming to Norway to train side-by-side with ours. However, I don’t want these US Marines or troops from other countries to serve as a replacement for Norwegian ones,” she explains.

There will also have to be a discussion about how Norway’s relationship with neighbouring country Russia could be affected by prolonging the move.

“Temporary rotational periods of weeks or some months are one thing, but a more permanent scheme quite another,” she says. “Various Norwegian governments have been very strict about allowing foreign troops to continually be on Norwegian soil since 1949, when we became a member of NATO.”

Hedda Langemyr, general manager of the Norwegian Peace Council in Oslo, thinks the government’s move is unwise, bearing in mind current NATO-Russia tensions.

“This policy and rhetoric are extremely disturbing following many years of Norway being a buffer between the East and the West," she tells NRK.




Published on Tuesday, 25th October, 2016 at 19:03 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Sarah Bostock   .

This post has the following tags: russia, nato, security, soldiers, marines, protection, us, paywall.





  
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