War In Europe? Norway Considers Joining NATO Missile Defense System Amid Russia Tensions

January 12, 2017

International Business Times:

Norway may offer its military resources to NATO’s missile defense system across Europe, the system created to deter Russia from detonating its nuclear weapons. Scientists and experts from the Norwegian and U.S. armed forces formed a group earlier this month to research and present recommendations to Norway’s government, reported the Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen over the weekend.

Such a move would mark a departure in foreign policy for Norway, which was previously skeptical of the missile defense system. Although Norway doesn’t have missiles to contribute to the defense system, the country will likely contribute sensors and radars to the missile shield. Norway currently has radar systems installed on five of its warships that it may offer up to the NATO missile defense system.

Norway’s radar capacity would have to undergo upgrades before the country could join the defense system, said Ståle Ulriksen, a Norwegian Naval Academy researcher, according to the Russian news organization Sputnik.

Another Scandinavian country, Denmark, took a similar approach by providing frigates with advanced radar systems when it joined the NATO effort in 2014.

Norway was opposed to the NATO missile system when it was first proposed in the early 2000s. But by 2015, the country’s prime minister announcedthat Norway supported the system, although he added Norway would not directly host any of the antiballistic missile bases.

NATO’s ballistic missile defense system became operational last summer. The goal was not to isolate countries that have nuclear capacities, such as Russia, but rather to create a defensive system, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg…

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