The important thing is not winning but taking part: the Norwegian approach to multinational defence cooperation between 2005-2014

Hjartøy, Tor Magnus (2015) The important thing is not winning but taking part: the Norwegian approach to multinational defence cooperation between 2005-2014. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Following the end of the Cold War the Norwegian Armed Forces went through several significant periods of reform that arguably created as many problems as they solved. Despite reducing the troop numbers, bases and materiel of the Armed Forces, at the turn of the century the Norwegian Armed Forces were still not able to solve its mission or balance its budget. In the period between 2005-2014, even further reforms were set to be implemented, and the leadership of the Armed Forces felt compelled to look at new avenues to save money and retain capabilities in the process. In the following years, several studies showed that one such avenue was multinational defence cooperation (MDC), which was a method to both save money and retain capabilities. Following these studies Norway entered into two major MDC initiatives: The Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO) initiative, and NATO’s ‘Smart Defence’ initiative. These initiatives were different in methodology and scope, but both promised significant cost savings and increased ability, if only participants committed to the initiatives. My thesis seeks to understand both how and why Norway was motivated to take part in these initiatives individually, and to understand what can be said to be the Norwegian approach to MDC in general.

Though these two areas of MDC are very different, Norway’s motivation and behaviour in them contain some similarities. Traditionally, Norway has been an importer of security that wanted to maximise potential for Great Powers to come to her aid when needed. It is my argument that this is also a significant motivation for Norway’s participation in MDC initiatives. MDC can be an avenue to create bonds between nations, bonds that can be utilised, when needed, to gather support. As such, such participation is a strategy for Norway in an of itself. For MDC to have maximum effect, certain sacrifices of control and freedom of action have to be made by the participants. Norway’s behaviour in these two initiatives shows that Norway is unwilling to make such sacrifices, rendering the cooperation relatively ineffective compared to its stated ambition. As such, it it my contention that Norway’s stated goals for defence cooperation; cost savings and capability retention, are subjugated to her goals of creating bonds between nations in order to secure reciprocity and support, in the event it is needed in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: History, norwegian armed forces, norway, multinational defence cooperation, nordic defence cooperation, smart defence, nato, NORDEFCO, Diesen.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DL Northern Europe. Scandinavia
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: O'Brien, Dr. Phillips
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Mr Tor Magnus Hjartøy
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-7150
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 11:09
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2016 11:19

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