Norwegian Defense

The Kingdom of Norway is considered one of the most affluent and highly developed countries in the world. Much of this is thanks to its abundance of natural resources and human capital investments, like health care and education. The nation of Norway has existed relatively in peace for much of its history, however, its unique geopolitical location has resulted in the use of several defence policies over the last century.

On a contemporary level, Norway is a prominent member of the United Nations, NATO, where the country has sent its soldiers to fight various humanitarian crises (Kosovo, Sudan) and military operations from prominent powers (United States war on Afghanistan). This cosmopolitan spirit is fairly recent in Norway's history. When World War I broke out, Norway was a steadfast neutral nation. After WWI, Norway became dominated with pacifist and isolationist voices, allowing the country to remain neutral even as fascism rose across Europe. However, the more Nazi Germany began annexing, the more Norwegian politicians and the monarchy became worried about the nation's sovereignty. After decades of fiscal austerity, the country began to quickly build up its military as both the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany battled each other across Europe and Norwegian maritime territory. The closer relations Norway began with the United Kingdom during their quick military investments led to Nazi Germany to invade and subsequently occupy the country. Nazi Germany also believed the unique resources and access to the Arctic Ocean could provide it with a military advantage over the Allies. Much of the Norwegian military fled with the Parliament and monarchy to the UK and other Allied territories while other forces helped with the underground resistance movement in the country.

Norway was occupied by Nazi Germany into the last days of the war. Even after Hitler's suicide, the Allies had to communicate with the Nazi occupation government up until May 8th, 1945. On June 7th, 1945, the monarchy and Parliament members returned to Oslo. The occupation, policies by the Nazi government, and battles in Norway, much of which led to scorched earth fields, shocked the national psyche of Norway. As a culture, Norway became far more liberal with its social insurance policies, like health care and education, but it also became more proactive in global affairs. The nation enthusiastically joined NATO and the political parties of Norway no longer espoused neutrality/isolationist rhetoric. Norway also consistently invested in its civilian military, even in times of peace. Fearing war could happen anytime and hit the country, Norwegians in the WWII generation up to contemporary times establish proper funding into their military for defensive purposes.

Today, Norway's military has about 26,000 active personnel out of a country of around 5 million. The military includes an army, navy, and air force, but it also consists of the Home Guard, which has highly trained professionals for civil support, and the Cyber Force, which is devoted to national cyber-security. Although the country actively joins many international organizations with military powers (the UN, NATO), Norway is known for its third party mediation of international conflicts. For example, the Oslo Accords were commissioned to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Nevertheless, Norway has used its military strength to defend causes and its unique geopolitical location. Human rights issues, such as genocides in Bosnia and the Sudan, led Norway to participate with the United Nations and/or NATO on those specific campaigns. Norway's membership to NATO has made Norway an ally in the United States' War on Terror and Norway's investments in cyber defenses shows its seriousness to combat cyber crimes and terrorism from groups or countries like the People's Republic of China. Finally, Norway's location in the Arctic Ocean has made the country aggressive and defensive over its maritime territory, especially as the Arctic Circle begins to melt from climate change. As the country takes a pro-environmental stand to advocate for policies to stop climate change and protect the habitats of its citizens and indigenous peoples in the north, Norway also makes sure that commercial and other nation's, such as Russia, do not exploit new openings near the Arctic Circle to move into Norway sovereignty.

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