The Norwegian military is now “too small to defend Norway in a conflict until NATO reinforcements are in place”, claims Norwegian Armed Forces operational commander, Rune Jakobsen.

Local media reported here that Jakobsen said:

“If we are to have the ability to both contribute to NATO and to have a credible defense at home at the same time, we need another brigade.

We must renew the Army’s material and increase the fighting power and endurance. Now the Army is too small for the lowest task: to defend Norwegian territory until Allied reinforcements arrive.”

Norway’s military force in peacetime is around 23,250 personnel according to official figures. These figures include military and civilian staff.

Recently, the Norwegian security and defence portal Aldrimer.no reported that Russian units were recently found operating inside Norwegian territory. More specifically, Russian forces were discovered both on Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, and on mainland Norway.

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Adrian
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Adrian

“Russian units operating inside Norwegian territory”, is this as dramatic as it sounds or did a submarine/aircraft just break sovereign waters/airspace?

Julian1
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Julian1

“On” Svalbard suggests ground forces. Not good and I didn’t realise the forces were so tiny. It’s tough – they have a huge territory and small population. But shows how NATO forces must bolster themselves.

BB85
Guest
BB85

It probably is as dramatic as it sounds, if any units where ‘operating’ they where probably taking a trek through the largely uninhabited part of the Island to see if anyone would notice and react to them being there. Not much different to Russian subs going through the Irish sea or English channel to see if anyone notices them.

DaveyB
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DaveyB

To be brutally honest I am not surprised. The borders between Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia are not very well marked. Once it snows, there’s next to no border. I don’t know how many times I’ve accidentally crossed from Norway in to Sweden and Finland. Pretty certain I didn’t go into Russia as we used to monitor the miles going east from Tana, just in case.
When the snows melt and the first flowers push through the place is amazing, one of top ten favourite places.

James Harrington
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James Harrington

I have read about this in several publications.

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

I can’t help thinking there is a political agenda here too! I for one would think very carefully about invading Norway, as it is in many ways another Switzerland, and virtually impregnable. In wintertime, local knowledge would enable indigenous forces to hound and destroy, purely due to knowing the lie of the land. If Danish forces in WW2 had had real and substantial fighting armour, and aircraft, rather than strategic reliance on numerous bicycle mounted infantry, the German advance might have most probably been slowed to a snail’s pace? Norway has always been an active training place for UK forces,… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

The germans had no problems in invading Norway in WW2 and they just walked into Denmark. Denmark is a nice flat country with very few defensive areas .
The Russian army would overrun Norway before NATO had got it boots on .
There is a NATO report from 3 years ago saying that Norway could not be reinforced before being overrun by the Russian army .

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

The Norwegian terrain is one of its best defence assets, and I doubt in the depths of winter the Russians would make much progress. A lot has changed since WW2 and with the right tactics and armour, the defenders could be very effective indeed. The same goes for Denmark too! These countries need to spend more on defence and countermeasures. In regards to the report, it is correct, to highlight the obvious shortfalls.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I recall reading Denmark was conquered in a day?

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

She was ill-equipped to take on a professional German Army, but it does not mean the same could or would happen today, with the right distribution of forces. As I remember the Danish forces wanted to fight on?

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Was it quite recently that the US Army has reverted to prepositioning Stocks of Equipment in Norway just in case ?.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Yes Paul, I think we saw an article here on that? USMC I think?

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Russian Units certainly get about a bit,they are reported to be doing the same in Alaska,and there have been reports of evidence of Landing Parties as well over the years.

BB85
Guest
BB85

The trend towards tiny forces with excellent equipment is well out of balance.

There is a video examining Russian doctrine vs Western doctrine when it comes to tanks following WW2. The Russian experience was that if you flood the opposition with inferior equipment but vastly superior numbers they would quickly become overwhelmed which is why they maintain so much of their equipment decades into service. In the West we seem to mothball and scrap so much equipment as soon as something new comes along.

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

Genuine question… Was that not the thought process of Iraq? Iraqi armour was quite swiftly and decisively dealt with in both conflicts… Not sure of the numbers involved however… hence the genuine question part…

BB85
Guest
BB85

It’s a fair point. The main difference with Iraq is that the US had the technology and the numbers.
If it had just been the UK and France for example it would have been a different ball game. I don’t even think European countries have enough munitions stocked to sustain a campaign beyond a couple of weeks.

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

Thanks and that does ring true… Lack of munitions is quite regularly overlooked & would be keenly felt in any near peer hot war.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Germany has 1 weeks worth of munitions stocked , France has a months worth , Spain and Portugal have about 10 days ,UK 63 days ,Italy 71 days and Greece 106 days .

The RN has only enough Sea Viper missiles to fully arm 2 Type 45 .

Everything is based on that we will have at least 6 months to stockpile ammunition.
The spare part logistics is even worse.

BB85
Guest
BB85

63 days is higher than I expected. There was a leaked memo from the late 80s that said the RAF would run out of air to air missiles in 2 days in any conflict with the USSR. I also saw the reports of T45s not carrying a full complement of Sea Vipers. What is the fking point in spending £1bn on a destroyer and not fully arming them. I doubt France or Italy have any spare lying around either so if there was a war we’d be fcked. I would understand if these where uk domestic products but they are… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

It was chosen for political reasons just like the inter cooler which caused all the engine problems. We use to send our warships to sea fully armed up until 2005 but a decision was taken by the defence secretary under pressure from the treasury to cut costs so ammunition, spares,uniforms stocks where cut to save cash leading to HMS Duncan being sent to the black Sea with just 6 missiles loaded , 5 Merlin helicopters grounded because we no longer keep the gaskets in store and have to order them from Leonardo as we need them , Challenger tanks being… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

That’s a good bit of info, higher than expected for UK, but I imagine that’s more “dumb” ammunition and not high value missiles etc? I have heard about the RN AD missile situation, would be good to hear what the ex RN boys think or know about that situation, any experience or stats on it.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Glen Douglas and Kineton are huge. Plenty of storage capacity available despite the closures of some of the DM estate. And they store bombs and ammunition, not, I believe, smart munitions like missiles.

They are kept at DM Beith and DM Gosport.

David Barry
Guest
David Barry

Gents. Sometimes we can say too much…

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Yes, but you have to remember Iraq is not Russia. Iraq had a massive army including over 3000 tanks, but the troops were not in the same class. Also, the Iraqi air defence system was good, but nowhere in the same league as Russia’s. In some respects Iraq was a turkey shoot and the West knew it. As soon as air dominance was achieved, it was pretty much game over for the Iraqi ground forces operating in the open on the defensive line. Saddam made some classic mistakes, for starters he shouldn’t have stopped at Kuwait. The Saudis forces, at… Read more »

pete
Guest
pete

Modern equipment places too much reliance on electronics, why introduce a circuit board which is hard to repair or replace when a chunky switch and cheap mechanical relay works. Same with lights, some of these modern LED lights fitted to armoured vehicles cost thousands of pounds when old style lights are a few hundred pounds and bulbs couple of quid ? The manufacturers know some General wants to procure a fancy bit of kit, they then over complicate it and produce a fancy video, fit too many specialist parts which become obsolete. The life cost then becomes a drain on… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Norway has extensive territory, which is as far eastward as Estonia in the far north. Undefendable surely on the Kola border.

Harry Bulpit
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Harry Bulpit

Given the large borders that Norway has shorley it should set up a civilian border force ackin to the German inner border force before reunification. Who could not only man fixed observation posts but also conduct armed patrols of a few men and women along the borders. With basic aviation support such as cessnas or jet rangers. Along with perhaps the creation of an additional elite battalion within the army maybe even a 2nd battalion of the Royal guard. Who could then respond to any major incident by air be it a border encurgion by Russian SF or a domestic… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

Described as being small, UK forces are far smaller when overall population sizes are taken into account. UK – 66 million & Norway – 5 million. The UK and its insignificant military forces has absolutely nothing to crow about! I doubt whether the UK could defend itself as it constantly hangs on to the US coat tails and pretends to be something it no longer is.

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

So true. When it comes to actual war fighting forces.

mac
Guest
mac

Norway doesn’t have a nuclear deterrent, to stop anyone even thinking about invading though.

Mike
Guest
Mike

A pointless nuclear deterrent that can’t even stop illegal immigrants!

Andy
Guest
Andy

We cannot use the nuclear deterrent without American permission.
And it is a pointless deterrent we are spending £40 billion to build 4 subs which can carry 8 missiles or about 40 warheads compared to the Vanguard 16 missiles .

Time to accept we actually can’t afford the nuclear deterrent and it is just a waste of precious resources seeing that now comes directly out of the defence budget instead of the treasury special fund.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Hi Andy.

Where do you get it from that we cannot use Trident without US permission?

The likelihood to me is that initiating such an escalation as launching nuclear weapons would not be taken by the UK unilaterally.

That is different from permission.

As I understand it the UK has full control of the nuclear fire chain and can launch when it wishes.

That it cannot I believe to be propaganda spread by the likes of CND and CAAB.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

The permission thing you talk about isn’t true, we have full control over the use of our deterrent. As Daniele has stated most of the mis-information is deliberate, from those on the left, CND etc and some is just the confusion surrounding maintenance etc, as the missile bodies and warheads are returned to the US for maint, and we get others to replace from the stocks in the US. However I do agree that it is horrendously expensive, and should not come out of the Defence budget (it never used to). But if we are honest, saying we could get… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Tony Blair not noted for his honesty admitted in a interview that all though the Prime minister could authorise the firing of the deterrent ultimate control rested with the USA but it was unlikely that the USA would refuse permission.
We actually don’t own the missile just the warhead .

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Interesting, was not aware of that comment.

Yes, you’re right. The missiles are rotated with the US ones in a general pool. The warheads are designed, maintained, and built in the UK, with I believe help as required from LANL.

pete
Guest
pete

The warheads require expensive maint’ and have to be often stripped and parts replaced to keep them reliable, the plutonium also decays and the yield drops so needs replacing after a period of time. Due to this cost its doubtful if they will ever carry a full set of missiles with cuts to defence budgets!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

“Insignificant military forces”

Yes. But putting it like that will only raise people’s ire, such as mine.

Who are you comparing HM forces to to consider them “insignificant” ?

Russia China and the USA?

Mike
Guest
Mike

The UK military forces are pathetic. Having done research now, they don’t even match those of France’s and Japan’s! If it weren’t for this country hanging on to the USA like little poodles, this country would be defenceless.

I couldn’t give a tinkers’ cuss about raising your ire. You think you own this website. Thank fully, you don’t.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Oh dear someone has to use google prior fo posting! Luckily your lack of knowledge and ability to raise debate has just made you the evenings clown, and we are now laughing at you. Thank you for the entertainment factor, now grow up and let adults back in the computer.

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

Errr no. Size isn’t everything. Are military has many capacitys that are simply the envy of many.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Exactly Harry.

pete
Guest
pete

We spend about the same as France, strangely they seem to get better value, perhaps its because the state still has a stake in some defence companies and they have not outsourced the same amount support functions. However it seems Macron would like to sell their stakes in defence companies and make his chums rich by opening up their armed forces to more private outsourcing!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

It’s also to do with France does not have certain capabilities and force multipliers we have. Not knocking it, as we all should play to our various strengths, and work together in that way.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Good evening Mike. Thanks for your feedback! Glad you don’t give a cuss. As for “owning this website” deary, deary me, because I post regularly? Shown yourself up there. I hope I annoy you. I will post more often. You’ve done your research now? Good for you. I doubt not even a spot on what I have. It “raises my ire” as I hate that sort of self loathing crap people spout. From you or anyone else. Yes our forces are too small, yes in some areas they need updating, especially in parts of the Army. But there are plenty… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Daniele as ever you are correct, but don’t fall into the trap I always throw myself in, although I do it knowingly, but knowing I shouldn’t, and that is reply to clowns who know nothing, done nothing, and yet try to say so much. I don’t expect he will reply for a while though as he will be googling all the acronyms you have used! Cheers pal.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Problem is, I too knowingly throw myself in. I will lament our lack of numbers and cuts as much as anyone, but slag off our forces with words like that? No bloody way!

Acronyms? God they are as basic as you can get.

Cheers my friend.

Herodotus
Guest

So what is it that you guys (sorry to disturb your love-in) knowingly throw yourselves into? Is it not knowing where your arse is even though you are holding it both hands? Sanctimonious bullshit as ever. Just the usual attempted bullying …..airborne leads with mocking thuggery whilst Uriah jumps up and down applauding and offering weasel comments. I don’t agree with Mike’s views either, however, to mock his comments as if he has no right to make them is just bullying. Pair of schoolyard pratts!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Here we go again. How am I mocking his comment?? My first response made the point that using words like pathetic and insignificant, which are clearly wrong, irritate me, and in my next post i attempted to explain why. How is that mocking? What do I throw myself into? Responding to comments like that. The point of this website. Discussion. Debate. If you can be bothered to read my posts I asked questions in follow up, not just rejected out if hand Mikes comment. Love in? Hardly. Some posters I admire their expertise, we know who they are, and Airborne… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

We have, just the other day, from you, on the POW first aircraft to land thread. “Trouble is DM…you are nice…but dim!” And then: “I actually think that you are a really nice guy…just naive!” And now added to being a “really nice guy” I’m a “Schoolyard Pratt” and “Sanctimonious bullshit as ever” I could find countless others from way back, but admin deleted them after I flagged them. Please find where I have used insults like that? And why are you even commenting unless trying to provoke? You have plenty of “love ins” yourself, like with Sole Survivor the… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

I’m ex Daniele, 2 years boy service, full 22, WO1(RSM) followed by LE commission for 5 years now working in the various sand pits, in the Middle East and beyond. I respect your knowledge mate, and have to say your posts are well researched and informative. I don’t mind letting certain credentials show on here, as I’m proud of my background. Although I have to say I really should ignore those sad lonely wannabes who post chuff, but you know, I can’t as they need to be challenged. One likes to call it bullying, bloody hell, total snowflake, calls my… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Well well well, I will try again, seeing as you’ve turned up son. Have another go at a straight answer to my 3 straight questions on the other story and get back to me. You are becoming a bit of a joke, but at least you are amusing the crowds.

Herodotus
Guest

The typical response of a bully. Would you like to review your above posts to Mike. Are you not ashamed for trying to make a fellow contributor to this site look foolish. Your comments are cheap…just like you. Perhaps you would like to explain where your bullying complex comes from. Was it from school, the military…were you the subject of bullying or the perpetrator. Your posts make you look very small…but, why don’t you tell uncle Herodotus about it….I promise, I won’t tell anyone else. By the way…your sniggering with Andy P about Greta Thunberg was quite disturbing…that’s where I… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

A typical response from a bully? What to ask you to answer previous questions I asked you, to clarify your position. Oh dear you are actually being very strange, and as usual very evasive and slippery. You need to get out more, fresh air would do you the world of good.

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

Such a lovely example of a keyboard warrior, and equally as ill informed as one. You’ve done ‘research’ have you? Come on then… Please share your catalog of references and some substantive points to back up that shot off the hip comment. Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one & most of them are full of shit.

James Harrington
Guest
James Harrington

Mike, thanks for the rebuttal, there are too many people on this site who belittle and shut down others with views or comments different from themselves. Dan is one, but i ignore his bark because at times he does provide a very good response and analysis. His presentation just spoils things for me.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

James. I’m sorry if you think that of my posts, I didn’t think I had “bark” for a moment. How is me disagreeing with Mike’s comment in which he says “insignificant” them followed up with calling our armed forces “pathetic” belittling or shutting him down? I disagreed, said so, and explained why, to which he is entitled to respond with his own explanation. I really don’t understand your or Herodotus views on what I wrote I’m afraid. How can I reduce my bark and improve my presentation that i wont come accoss to you how im clearly doing? I’ve always… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

You take it all much too seriously Daniele…it’s only social media. Sometimes comments do sting when you are trying to make a serious point…. but that is the nature of these forums! As I am clearly older than you, can I reassure you that when you get to my age you won’t give a monkey’s toss what others think of you!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Ah, the usual response avoiding the issues then twisting it that because I am younger it is somehow my sensitivity that is at fault! When in fact it is abuse from yourself. You really should be a politician. If it is all taken too seriously then you yourself should not have “put your oar in” above when I was being NICE responding to a fellow poster who was being nice and addressed a comment to me. To which I am thus guilty of being a sanctimonious prat. Your description / take on it was…”whilst Uriah jumps up and down applauding… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

Thanks Daniele….but you have lost it!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Nope. Just debunking your debunking for all to see. I was not the one throwing insults about like confetti. You are.

End of.

Herodotus
Guest

I’m not sure of the protocol on social media as I have come to it rather late in life! But, it would seem from some of your friends posts that making the last post is tantamount to winning the argument, no matter what rubbish has been posted before. How juvenile…still, I am happy to admit defeat…consider me to be debunked. As for throwing insults like confetti…perhaps the wrong analogy….as my aim is somewhat better!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

He is very good at avoiding questions which challenge his rather narrow views!

pete
Guest
pete

Road congestion would stop an invasion of the UK, parking cars and lorries would slow the advance to a stop!

fearlesstunafish
Guest
fearlesstunafish

honestly, looking at the state of the world in general and all the language coming geopolitically….. im seriously beginning to think the world is gearing up for another massive scuffle….

Ulya
Guest
Ulya

Human nature being what it is, you are probably right, it’s an open question as to who starts it and where. I’m sure we all have different views on that

geoff
Guest
geoff

I agree-it seems to be built into our DNA. Also, it only takes one Dictator to throw the first punch and their are plenty of them around

pkcasimir
Guest
pkcasimir

Norway spends 1.6% of its GDP on defense and has a $1.1 Trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund. In other words, it’s a NATO defense parasite.

geoff
Guest
geoff

Good Morning All. You made the point I was about to pkcasimir. The SNP often tout Norway as an example they want to follow especially vis-a-vis the Wealth Fund! However, if for example the UK had to abandon its Nuclear deterrent and cut back on its military elsewhere it could also have a big Wealth Fund but then leave its self defenceless against Nuclear and conventional blackmail and relying on others. Ireland falls into this category-happy to have no Air Force whilst leaving it to the RAF to defend its airspace and often complaining about us breaching their sovereignty at… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Hi Donald

dan
Guest
dan

In this ever changing world a country had better be able to defend itself or they might be very disappointed with the help they do or don’t receive when that day comes….

Lordtemplar
Guest
Lordtemplar

True and tbh always been the case. Just look at WW2, the US did not come rushing in to help, but happy to milk the cow for all it’s worth with “Cash and carry” policy, even Amazon offers better terms. Just look at US policy with the Kurds, sad if you ask me. I think all countries in the EU are not ready for all out conflict, it’s not just Norway. But does spending more and going bankrupt assure victory? UK and France were “ready for an invasion” with better equipment and numerical superiority, yet both got overwhelmed by the… Read more »