Strategic Concept for the Norwegian Armed Forces Published
Norway’s Forsvarsdepartmentet published Relevant Force on June 17, 2005, which provides the political basis for the development of armed forces doctrines and the NAF’s operational and procurement activities:
“The NAF is undergoing comprehensive change, from a threat-driven and personnel-intensive anti-invasion force during the Cold War to a flexible, capability-driven, high-readiness force, in which quality is prioritised. The technological and conceptual changes in the military field, combined with fundamentally new security challenges, require that also the NAF must undergo a military transformation. The aim of military transformation is to create armed forces capable of facing unpredictability and a broad range of different tasks. The need for transformation will be decisive in all investment and procurement of new equipment.”
Naturally, multinational interoperability and niche capabilities are also rising in importance:
“For Norway it is natural to focus on specialised capabilities for which the NAF already have a high level of expertise and for which the handling of national tasks requires the same specialised capabilities. Such capabilities include specialisation in winter warfare, operations in the littorals and in particularly demanding terrain. Furthermore, participation in international operations has provided Norway with significant niche competencies in areas such as movement control, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, multinational logistics, special forces operations, and intelligence.”
The full document can be found here, and Norway’s strategic blueprint is likely to find echoes in other small to mid-size European countries. See also Norwegian Defence Minister Kristin Krohn Devold’s January 10, 2005 speech: The will to change – the ability to defend.