Report: Norway Needs Budget, Manpower Boost

Report: Norway Needs Budget, Manpower Boost

HELSINKI — Norway needs to boost manpower and increase funding for advanced defense systems and equipment to pose a credible deterrent to Russia’s growing military presence in the High North, according to the Norwegian Armed Forces’ (NAF) 2014 Annual Report.

Entitled, “The World in Change,” the report reinforces the need to create a more robust defense based on long-term sustainable targets and backed by higher spending on equipment and personnel, and core military units that provide increased mobility, flexibility and firepower.

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine underlines the need and urgency to invest more heavily in defense-building measures, particularly in the High North, said Norway’s defense chief, Adm. Haakon Bruun-Hanssen.

While Russia poses no “immediate threat” to Norway, the Kremlin’s “considerable military expansion” in the High North will be Norway’s biggest military challenge going forward, Bruun-Hanssen said.

“Our budgets are tight in relation to our current activity levels, and more is being demanded from the armed forces. There are higher expectations from our politicians, the public, and not least from our NATO allies. We face an immediate imbalance between the level of our ambitions and the economic resources that we have at hand,” Bruun-Hanssen said.

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