We have to tolerate the sale of Norwegian defense products to undemocratic countries like Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.
We must go further to maintain arms cooperation with our most important ally, the United States.
Putting human rights and “misunderstood idealism” above pragmatism will do us Norway more harm than good.
That’s the central point of a statement from the Progressive Party’s defense and foreign policy spokesman, Christian Tybring-Gjedde. He goes to court with Rødt leader Bjørnar Moxnes, Saddened Dagbladet’s revelations about a secret arms deal between Norway and the US.
Dagbladet has revealed The U.S. can sell weapons to Norway under U.S. export regulations – and Thus it sells to Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and other countries, which Norway does not because of human rights abuses..
– Here the problem is complex. Kongsberg and Raytheon collaborate on several projects. If Kongsberg leaves, Raytheon will go to someone else because Raytheon sold to Emirates. Then we also lose the opportunity to sell to “kind of” countries, Tybring-Gjedde tells Dagbladet.
– Both Kongsberg and the Norwegian Ministry of Defense are bound by international cooperation agreements. Moxnes’ intention is good, but impossible to implement. Look at a country like Israel – they are America’s best friend, but controversial to sell to Norway. Then selling through the US is appropriate. The United States is also our primary ally, Tiebring-Gijette points out.
Have a case It will be discussed in the Storting on September 6.
Criticizes Saudi Arabia
– You were In particular, funding from Saudi Arabia to Norwegian religious communities has been criticised. Why is it okay for Norway to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, where politics and religion are two sides of the same coin?
– The challenge here is that in the first case it is entirely up to us. The demand for religious freedom in countries that provide financial support to religious practices / mosques in Norway is one that we can determine at the national level and will only have bilateral consequences – between Norway and Saudi Arabia, Tybring-Gjedde further elaborates:
– As for arms exports, which are done in cooperation with allies – the United States, particularly the United States, naturally has a number of important political considerations to take into account regarding arms exports. The US builds and maintains important alliances globally, and any arms export is part of this. Norway is a subcontractor for components and subsystems. If Norway does not accept such exports, Norway’s defense companies will not be able to compete elsewhere except in allied countries. However, this is unlikely because the unit components and sub-systems would be too expensive, while the system supplier – the US – would find other suppliers than Norwegian. After that America will use a fixed supplier for all the systems it sells.
– As a result, Norwegian industry is successful, while Norwegian military readiness is weakened, because we have to get all the advanced defense equipment from other countries without Norwegian industrial participation. All of this is due to the “globalization” of the defense sector, where more systems are being developed and made up of components in multiple countries, Tiebring-Ziget says.
– This means that Norwegian export control regulations are progressively less applicable unless Norway is willing to sacrifice its defense sector for principled and/or moral reasons. Such a choice would have negative spin-off effects on civilian industry and multi-purpose technology – drones, consoles, hybrids and cyber.
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