Defense Committee Commentary | No place to hide

Defense Committee Commentary |  No place to hide

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As might be expected, the Labor Party’s national meeting was marked by a long series of mechanical, pre-programmed, tightly directed speeches. There was no room for spontaneity here. To call it a political workshop would be too harsh.

Admittedly, the focus on defense and security was stated in a statement that was adopted unanimously. But the great debate about how we should organize society, and how it becomes increasingly a shared responsibility of all of us, has not taken place.

The Defense Committee had come to Labor’s rescue a few days earlier. The existential threat to our society could become sky-high at the National Meeting. But this did not happen.

The committee came in at the right time and did an exemplary job. Knut Storberget and the other members assert that Norway is in a bad state of neglect over a long period of time.

There are 73 references to Finland in the Storberget report. Not without reason. The Finns have done many things that Norway for years considered unfashionable. It is these errors that are now catching up with us in full force.

But it wasn’t enough to unsettle the National Labor Party meeting at the big questions about protecting our whole way of life, protecting democracy and freedom.

Norwegian lands were invaded in 1940 and it could happen again. The idea that a war might break out in Norway is one that she tries on a purely human level to keep at arm’s length. thats understood. But a cold view of the world around you makes this somewhat impossible.

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And our special position on the geopolitical map in the northern regions makes it completely unacceptable to see another way.

However, this was the tone in all national meetings during the war winter and spring 2023. Let’s see another way. Even the old and proud Høyre Defense Party has become a sleepwalker from the security policy agenda. With the indefatigable Ine Marie Eriksen Soried as an exception.

The exception is also the Red Party, which has made a strong public tour about the Ukraine war at its national meeting. Other parties laughed at them for it, but without getting into the big debates even in party democracy.

The Russian invasion is decisive. But the absence of real political interest beyond routine sloganeering raises many uncomfortable questions. In some political circles, this book gives more prestige to her reading about gender identity and the offices of mayor than to her reading of Russian Fort Defense.

It is doubtful that Norway will be able to set the necessary priorities in the coming years.

Achieving the NATO target of 2% is the absolute minimum. But investing tens of billions of dollars in our security will require moderation in other areas. Funds will be taken from other sectors, health, transportation and education. It is no alternative state budget than a magical place.

But this honest confession does not exist. As Knut Storberget says in an interview with Dagens Næringliv; The political environment did not emerge from the bubble.

Much in the future will relate to mobilization among young people, in particular in youth parties. They must understand how serious the security policy will be to characterize their time.

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School absenteeism has frankly become a mousetrap in the Atlantic in the face of the dangers that surround liberal democracy.

The Defense Committee has drawn up a convincing map that tells us that we are going through a dangerous time, and that the situation will be long-term and will require a societal revival from an entire generation, regardless of age.

It is a serious and unvarnished description of our ability to resist, the Norwegian preparedness, and the likely outcome if we continue our journey blindfolded.

But if one acknowledges the commission’s report, this is the case that holds the table.

It will require significant human and financial resources. Trade-offs like politicians will have to be put up with for a long time.

Neither the political parties nor the business world has yet shown any leadership or preconceived notion of safe governance through the mosaic of security politics. It is also a kind of temperature gauge for the more or less complacent elites in Norwegian society.

He will bite us in the tail on the day the alarm goes off.

There is no place to hide anymore. But the National Political Meeting passed, one by one, this spring undefended as the main issue. The understanding of the crisis runs deep inside.

Norway’s political leadership is not aligned with what the entire population sees. We can’t live with that.

Skjalg Fjellheim is a political editor at Nordlys.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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