August 5, 2000
A report by a Defense Commission set up by the Norwegian government has sharply criticized the new defense plan by the Chief of the Defense Staff, saying that the military has underestimated the cost of the proposed defense structure by 30%. The report recommends:
@ Downgrading the concept of defending Norway from invasion from the primary mission of the military to a secondary mission (after peacekeeping).
@ Cutting the military by 2,000 more than the Chief of the Defense Staff proposed, taking most of these extra cuts out of the logistical structure that had existed to support the plan to defend the country against a Russian invasion.
@ Keep four brigades instead of the three that the Chief of the Defense Staff wanted, but three of these would be deployable only upon mobilization of the reserves. The Commission recommends that one brigade have older equipment while the Chief of the Defense Staff wanted all three of the brigades his plan called for to have the same standard of equipment.
@ The key reason for cuts cited by the Commission is that by keeping too many troops (in logistical units that would be needed only in the event of a Russian invasion) there is not enough money for ammunition, training, or maintenance. --Stephen V Cole