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  1. #1
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    'Little to Fight With': NATO Reprimands Norway for Lack of Credible Defence

    Potential NATO members take note!
    https://sputniknews.com/military/201...URL_shortening


    One month after Norway's Chief of Defence Haakon Bruun-Hanssen admitted that the kingdom's defence capabilities fell short, NATO issued a list of concrete demands to its "sentinel in the North" to make up for the deficiencies uncovered during the Trident Juncture drill.
    Norway's NATO representative, Deputy Admiral Ketil Olsen, has received a list of demands that the alliance has issued to the nation's armed forces, the Norwegian daily newspaper Aftenposten reported.

    "What NATO is worried about is the Armed Forces' lack of persistence, which was documented during the Trident Juncture exercise in Norway last autumn. Most of [the military capacity] Norway had was spent on receiving NATO reinforcements. We had little left to fight with. We have to become more robust, project credibility outwards and also give the population a sense of security," Ketil Olsen told
    Recently, Norway's standing battalions have been reduced from three to two. NATO, by contrast, wants to see a trend in the opposite direction.
    "NATO is concerned that the number of battalions must be increased. Norway must have the capacity to both be able to take care of itself and at the same time participate in NATO missions abroad," Olsen explained
    Olsen stressed that the requirement for credible defence capabilities doesn't apply to Norway alone, but to all NATO member states.
    According to the deputy admiral, NATO also made it clear that the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad, which met a sticky end after the Trident Juncture exercise when it collided with a commercial tanker and barely avoided a major environmental catastrophe, must be replaced. Furthermore, the alliance also demanded that Norway acquire refuelling tanker aircraft of its own for its fleet of F-35 fighter jets. This would allow the fighter jets to stay in an important area without flying back to base for refuelling.

    NATO is also wondering whether the four submarines which Norway is expected to order are enough, and is sceptical of Norway's plans to scrap its motor torpedo boats (MTB), which are smaller than the frigates, but faster and have a comparable arsenal.
    Olsen admitted that NATO considers the MTBs a much sought-after resource.
    About a month ago, Norwegian Chief of Defence Haakon Bruun-Hanssen argued that Norway's "minimum defence" was too small to fulfil its international obligations and said that its endurance and maritime forces were insufficient. Bruun-Hanssen ascribed the need for a tougher defence to "changes in the political landscape", citing Russia as one of the decisive factors.
    "Russia has continued to upgrade its military capabilities. Military power is used to promote Russian interests, and the deployment of weapon systems along the western and northern borders of Russia is apt to challenge NATO's freedom of movement", Bruun-Hanssen said in his annual lecture at the Oslo Military Society
    Norway's current military spending of 1.6 percent of GDP, which is below NATO's two percent target, has earned rebukes from US President Donald Trump. In the summer of 2018, he said that Norway was the only NATO ally sharing a border with Russia that lacked a credible plan for upping its defence expenditure.
    Former US Defence Secretary James Mattis called Norway "NATO's sentinel in the North".
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

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  3. #2
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    IS this from any other "Western" sources?

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  5. #3
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    In fairness, although Norway is better equipped, the regular forces are smaller than the DF

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    In fairness, although Norway is better equipped, the regular forces are smaller than the DF
    Just a quick look at they have 11K Active and another 6K conscripts before you get to the Home Guard forces, so even if you dismiss the Conscripts they've still got the numbers on us.

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    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Sorry meant the army (regular not prior conscripts)

    They only have 1 combat brigade

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    They have less than 4000 professional soldiers in the army taking home guard and conscripts out of the picture. There Navy and Air Force are almost on par with the army in numbers (again taking conscripts and home guard out of it).

    Clearly the Norwegians see air and sea power as being their primary defensive tools. Their allies will provide the ground forces to defend the country. NATO's northern flank too important to ignore. They would probably need a far larger army just to defend the northern reaches of the country (and I'm not talking as far the Russian border) and the massive logistical tail it would require.

    Still amazed that they don't have a slightly larger army considering their more 'interesting' location on the continent.

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    Indeed, their territory is massive but in saying that, there aren't too many population centres that far north. I'd imagine the Norwegian's would be more worried about defending point locations of air bases in the north before moving further south. How much of the Russian's capability to project power across that kind of distance and terrain remains anyway? You'd imagine it would primarily be an air and sea war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auldsod View Post
    Indeed, their territory is massive but in saying that, there aren't too many population centres that far north. I'd imagine the Norwegian's would be more worried about defending point locations of air bases in the north before moving further south. How much of the Russian's capability to project power across that kind of distance and terrain remains anyway? You'd imagine it would primarily be an air and sea war.
    Given that Norway (and NATO) have a number of bases and installations in the North of Norway keeping an eye on the Russians, their removal would be a major priority for the Russians in a shooting war (which I do not expect to see). Yes, it would mostly be by sea and air that Russia would take them out, but they also retain other options - air assault, amphibious assault and infiltration - each of which they have a strong affinity to and each of which requires "troops on the ground" to defend against.

    In saying that, a lot of Norway's army is deployed north of the Arctic Circle anyway. If NATO could keep those bases operational as long as possible, it would be a disaster for any Russian moves in the North Atlantic. Not that I expect any - Russians aren't stupid and would know that they would lose a conventional war there.

    In saying all this, I would really question the source of the article. While deficiencies may have been noted, I highly doubt Norway were "Reprimanded". Very questionable source. I would even say that this is really a jab at the Sec Gen of NATO. Seems to be a concentrated psywar effort being made against Norway at the moment.
    Last edited by Poiuyt; 20th February 2019 at 18:14.

  14. #10
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    Just a thought...they have a conscript program...it would be easy to surge army numbers in an imminent emergency.

    I wonder what their reserve equipment stock is like.

    Plus as stated above they could expect a big surge in NATO troop numbers....Ex Trident Juncture just rehearsed that scenario...and the USMC are turning their attention to Arctic Warfare also.
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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    Mind you, whatever other constraints Norway has, money is not one of them:

    https://www.nbim.no/
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  17. #12
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    Just a thought...they have a conscript program...it would be easy to surge army numbers in an imminent emergency.

    I wonder what their reserve equipment stock is like.

    Plus as stated above they could expect a big surge in NATO troop numbers....Ex Trident Juncture just rehearsed that scenario...and the USMC are turning their attention to Arctic Warfare also.
    That’s the point.... NATO obviously believes they don’t have enough of their own troops

  18. #13
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    That’s the point.... NATO obviously believes they don’t have enough of their own troops
    Whilst there has been a massive draw down in NATO forces since 1991; interestingly the forces which would re-enforce Norway in the event of attack haven't been impacted that much.

    I the highly unlikely event of a Russian attack, 3 Commando Brigade and the bones of a USMC division would be on the way to Norway which would substantially increase troop levels to the point that a Russian attack would be useless. The USMC and RM may be a bit too light for the heavy metal sh*t kicking taking place in eastern Europe anyway.

    All fantasy anyway and the worst case scenario would probably be cyber attacks and 'little green men' interference in the Baltics.

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  20. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auldsod View Post
    Whilst there has been a massive draw down in NATO forces since 1991; interestingly the forces which would re-enforce Norway in the event of attack haven't been impacted that much.

    I the highly unlikely event of a Russian attack, 3 Commando Brigade and the bones of a USMC division would be on the way to Norway which would substantially increase troop levels to the point that a Russian attack would be useless. The USMC and RM may be a bit too light for the heavy metal sh*t kicking taking place in eastern Europe anyway.

    All fantasy anyway and the worst case scenario would probably be cyber attacks and 'little green men' interference in the Baltics.
    Not sure about the (very powerful in fairness) USMC

    But RM has only 2 commando (infantry) Bns (the 3rd having been reroled to maritime security) and only 2 gun light batteries.

    Agreed on them being limited use in the East, having said that USMC could rapidly reinforce the Baltics I’m sure

    “Little green men” is the start of a major war
    Last edited by DeV; 21st February 2019 at 11:08.

  21. #15
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    The USMC is certainly very powerful especially relative to us where the difference is astronomical. If you compare a USMC division to a US Army Infantry (or armoured) division there is a stark difference in numbers of armoured vehicles both formations would have. Other equipment while capable is still older and less capable than what the army has (cobra v apache). A USMC division is still essentially a motorised amphibious infantry formation with lots of helicopters and a light armoured reconnaissance battalion and tank battalion attached. Oh and 155mm towed artillery. Still a lot lighter than than what the US army has or similar heavy formations that the British, Germans, Polish, etc would field in a similar scenario. Think super middleweight v super heavy weight.

    The RM still have 40, 42 and 45 Commandos operational despite the nefarious designs of the MOD. 43 Commando have the maritime security and nuclear weapons guarding task.

    I'll give you the reduction to two light gun batteries but I'm sure the brigade would get a non commando (the horror) qualified army or army reserve battery in the event of hostilities. Realistically, they'd probably add an extra infantry battalion too. I believe one of the battalions of the Rifles were attached to 3 Commando brigade for a number of years.
    Last edited by Auldsod; 21st February 2019 at 11:27.

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    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    42 Commando was reroled (they are no longer an infantry type unit like 40 & 45)
    https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-org...de/42-commando

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    42 Commando was reroled (they are no longer an infantry type unit like 40 & 45)
    https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-org...de/42-commando
    Interesting, that genuinely passed me by. Surprised to see a Golden Calf like the RMs taking a cut. Seems to be billed as re-role but there are also cuts to RM so that's where the move really lies. 43 Commando obviously struggling to resource its fleet protection role so a reduced 42 Commando is taking over. In 1989, the British has 6 'elite' infantry units (RM and Paras). Five battalions remaining twenty years later probably isn't that bad a result. I'm sure 42 Commando could be quickly re-roled as infantry and brought up to strength with Royal Marines Reserve if required anyway.

    Sorry, serious thread drift!

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  26. #18
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auldsod View Post
    Interesting, that genuinely passed me by. Surprised to see a Golden Calf like the RMs taking a cut. Seems to be billed as re-role but there are also cuts to RM so that's where the move really lies. 43 Commando obviously struggling to resource its fleet protection role so a reduced 42 Commando is taking over. In 1989, the British has 6 'elite' infantry units (RM and Paras). Five battalions remaining twenty years later probably isn't that bad a result. I'm sure 42 Commando could be quickly re-roled as infantry and brought up to strength with Royal Marines Reserve if required anyway.

    Sorry, serious thread drift!
    43 Cdo is still there too

    1 Para became the bulk of SFSG

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    42 CDO is still perfectly capable of carrying out a 'Cdo Bn' role - it's people are farmed out, but enough are centrally located to form a nucleus of HQ Coy and two rifle Coys, and 43 CDO and the 'fat' within the RM can bulk it out if neccessary. There are also contingency plans for it to be reinforced by Inf Pln's and a support weapons Coy.

    In addition 3 CDO Bde has XXX CDO GRP - another Bn sized asset. 7RHA are able to donate a 105mm Bty, and other 105mm Btys within the wider RA have been worked up with exercises with the Bde and the Amphibious fleet.

    If we need to we can deploy 3X with four full CDO Bn's and the associated artillery - it's almost as if we have a brain and have worked through potential problems and worked out solutions to them...

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    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    42 CDO is still perfectly capable of carrying out a 'Cdo Bn' role - it's people are farmed out, but enough are centrally located to form a nucleus of HQ Coy and two rifle Coys, and 43 CDO and the 'fat' within the RM can bulk it out if neccessary. There are also contingency plans for it to be reinforced by Inf Pln's and a support weapons Coy.

    In addition 3 CDO Bde has XXX CDO GRP - another Bn sized asset. 7RHA are able to donate a 105mm Bty, and other 105mm Btys within the wider RA have been worked up with exercises with the Bde and the Amphibious fleet.

    If we need to we can deploy 3X with four full CDO Bn's and the associated artillery - it's almost as if we have a brain and have worked through potential problems and worked out solutions to them...
    Good that’s positive

    But like many other things they don’t have the ability to do 2 jobs in 2 places at the same time and do they train continuously in the ability to deploy as a fully manned combat Bde.

    The Russian bear is threatening

    It isn’t the soldiers/marines fault



    It is the most commonly needed, rapidly deployed and deployed British military assets that have been reduced in size. 7RHA also only has 2 Btys to support the 2 Para inf Bns (the 3rd Bn in 16 AA Bde being Gurkhas). Absolutely batteries and battalions can be found elsewhere but train as you expect to fight and be held at high readiness.

    This isn’t intended as Brit bashing btw it’s politicians that are the issue.
    Last edited by DeV; 21st February 2019 at 18:09.

  30. #21
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    43 Cdo is still there too

    1 Para became the bulk of SFSG
    I know 43 Commando is still there. Just a more focused role on guarding the nukes.

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