Norway says it has decided against allowing the US or NATO to deploy ballistic missile defence systems on its territory.

Norway was under pressure by its US and NATO allies to evaluate and accept sensors that would identify any incoming missiles, potentially even intercepting them.

According to local media, after what it called a “broader security policy evaluation”, the Norwegian government has announced that even though it’s significantly boosting its defense budget for 2020 because of Russia’s own military activity in the Arctic, it won’t include acquisition of the sensors or anti-ballistic missiles.

As newspaper Klassekampen reported this week, the evaluation put Norway in a spot between its ally (the US) and its neighbour in the north (Russia), which has complained bitterly about installation of the missile defense system in both Romania and Poland.

In 2017, Russia warned Norway that there would be consequences of joining the NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) plans.

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What I don’t understand is the idea you would expose your nation to a ballistic attack, knowing you could have adopted this system? All I can think is a strange Nordic mindset on this issue, which defies logic?

Paul T

With a direct border to Russia perhaps they feel it will be too provocative.

Tony Merrill

I agree they are concerned about provoking their neighbours. The Russians on the other hand are immune to such sensitivities and take every opportunity to provoke others using their hybrid warfare playbook.


Norway isn’t in any danger of a ballistic missile attack. Even if Russia was minded to attack, they share a border so could simply cross it with overwhelming force. If I was them I wouldn’t allow it either as it will only inflame tensions. Plus under the current administration the US isn’t exactly seen as reliable. Who is to say that they would even assist if the Russians took action, so best not to annoy their neighbours in the first place.


I don’t think you can say that Norway is free from the threat of a ballistic attack. If Nato forces are on Norwegian soil, they are very much a target.


I think everyone is in danger of a potential strike but these would undoubtedly substantially increase (probably ensure) the chance of being specifically targeted in any conflict with, knowing Putin, the extra revengeful spite of targeting their major cities as well. Mind you when you have a completely cold calculating assassin in charge of your potential enemy it’s a dificultult balance judging which would be the bigger risk. Clearly they have made their mind up that the Russians in this case would prefer a non nuclear invasion at worst in any conflict without those sort of vital targets to take… Read more »


Tbh these defense systems are largely overrated and not even close to 100% which they need to be, so smart diplomacy is probably a better move, no need to turn up the heat


As stated below, Norway is far more at risk of conventional attack from Russia than nuclear. I saw the report the other day that Norway’s armed forces are no longer sufficient to prevent a conventional attack, and so they’re having to re-arm. NATO doesn’t have the forces available to defend Norway, so they’re going to have to look after themselves a bit. I’m assuming that they don’t have enough in their defence budget for doing that and adding in a hugely expensive AEGIS ashore setup.


Nato and especially British forces do exercise in Norway and have done so for many years. We are committed to supporting Norway and that makes them a potential target. Whether it is conventional or nuclear, it would be based on the numbers and risk, as to which weapon is used.


There is no threat to Russia via Norway in any conflict, hell they, even with other forces in support, would struggle to hold off an invasion and priorities would be elsewhere for NATO which makes them low risk in terms of any nuclear strike as things stand. Russian missiles would have far more important targets. Though that is the logical equation I admit and logic doesn’t always apply in such matters.


Absolutely no reason to join, If Russia wanted to attack they would just trundle across the border en-masse and that would be that.


I spend much time in Bergen and your average Markus or Mia does not trust America at the moment so doesn’t want to make itself a target any more than it already is when it feels the US is unlikely to stand up for Norway in return- now what – or who I wonder could have possibly given them that idea???? Hmm I just can’t fathom it.


Agreed and let’s be honest this defence system is all about fundamentally protecting the US, Europe would gain little extra response time. Like the Kurds we are, at least under this President mere useful cannon fodder at best, pawns to be fully and ruthlessly exploited. The choice presently is simply between the bad and Badder guys and when one is on your border it can effect your choices especially as with Norway outsiders will always dictate your very existence. Actually this is the first post war President who might just see the loss of Western Europe as a mere inconvenience… Read more »

David Adams

i would imagine the later we detect & intercept the more likely of any debris falling on our allies & they can’t complain if they didn’t want to help presuming the UK has the ability to intercept said missiles

peter french

What Norway seems to overlook is that Target or not they would suffer the same consequences as the rest of us in the event of a Nuclear attack by Russia on the West.
So in for a Penny in for a Pound