Dagbladet met the Defense Minister after he gave a lecture at the Oslo Military Assembly on Monday evening, his professional military council – and the way forward.
Christophersen noted that the world has changed since he assumed the position of Minister of Defense in 2020.
– After the pandemic, came the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and now Israel’s terrorism, with a possible Israeli invasion of Gaza. We have a conflict between China and Taiwan, and there have been coups in many African countries, says Kristofferson, who does not hide the fact that the world is becoming more dangerous.
“It is not in anyone’s interest”
But he does not believe that the conflict between Israel and Hamas will develop into a major war.
– The Greek Thucydides (a historian who lived in the 5th century BC, editor’s note) believed that there were three reasons for war: fear, honor, and interest. I don’t think any of the neighboring countries in the Middle East are interested in a big war. But of course we should not underestimate fear and honor, Defense Minister Erik Kristofferson tells Dagbladet.
New security situation
During the lecture, Christopherson provided information about the Professional Military Council and the future prospects of the armed forces.
– Kristoffersen said that Norway’s security situation changed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stressed at the same time that it was important for Norway’s security that Finland – and soon Sweden – become part of NATO.
The Chief of Staff also noted that the Armed Forces need to significantly increase their budgets in order to be able to solve tasks in peacetime and in the event of a possible war.
He also addressed what he described as a lack of culture in the armed forces.
– When the media, and NRK Radio in particular, highlighted sexual harassment in the armed forces, I felt that there was insufficient understanding of the crisis in the armed forces. We have strengthened this work, and we have to change the culture, said the Defense Minister at the Oslo Military Assembly.
Kristoffersen was clear that even in Norway, people are the most powerful resource for the defense force.
– It is the people of Ukraine who are preventing Russia from winning.
– Finland and Sweden joining NATO also means changes in the Norwegian Armed Forces. While the Finns have large parts of their military capabilities in the area around Helsinki, the Swedes have the majority of forces on Jutland and southern Sweden, says the Defense Minister and continues:
-Northern Norway will become more important for Norway. The offshore areas and northern Norway will be where we have to invest and use our resources. The northern regions are becoming more important than ever for Russians.
The Minister of Defense also stressed the importance of replacing the materials given to Ukraine.
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