Norway could be at the forefront of defense reform in Northern Europe, but is the nation ready for this responsibility?

With high tensions in the world today, many wonder if Norway could play an even more prominent role in NATO. Some experts believe that Norway may be the answer to NATO’s power crisis.

Norway has been a critical member of NATO since its inception in 1949. The nation has always been a vital part of the alliance, given its strategic location in the north. In recent years, Norway has made significant military reforms to address current threats better.

The addition of Finland and Sweden to NATO has changed the context significantly, and Norway is now seen as a leader in Nordic defense policy. Moreover, the nation has close ties with both Finland and Sweden and is well-positioned to cooperate with them on defense issues.

Norway also has a strong relationship with Germany, and the two nations have worked together closely on defense issues in the past. Recently, they have been collaborating on the development of new submarines and other military systems.

The addition of Finland and Sweden to the list of NATO nations in which Norway will operate forces and perform complete defense shifts the context significantly. Norway’s defense-oriented approach in 2014 provides a good foundation for doing so.

Norwegian Military Academy
Norwegian Military Academy 50th Anniversary (Source: Metziker/Flickr)

The significant expansion of the Nordic defense industry in the arsenal of democracy is virtually guaranteed. The country’s focus on air-maritime and missile threats rather than conventional air-ground ones, meaning that Norway’s investments in F-35 Aegis Combat systems and P-8 Posideon maritime patrol aircraft, along with Germany’s new submarines, provide a solid foundation for regional cooperation. They will also be upgrading their active and passive defense systems and bases.

Norway also has a number of key military advantages in Europe.