Approximately 150 attendees of all ages listened to very different perspectives on NATO's relevance in the future.
State Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Roger Ingebrigtsen, assumed that NATO is a prerequisite for the Norwegian defense and security policy, and that Europe would be a far less peaceful place without the alliance. It is important not to underestimate the positive things that have happened on the field of disarmament after the Cold War, “he said.
NATO Threat to Norway
Torstein Dahle from the Red party concluded that we do not need NATO any more. NATO has changed from a defensive alliance to an American attack tool, and this has damaged the alliance. Dahle said Norway's NATO membership and participation in NATO operations make Norway a terrorist target.
Chairman of No to Nuclear, Stine Rødmyr was concerned about the negative symbolic value clinged to the NATO deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. NATO must move away from the first operating doctrine and cease the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. With a new U.S. administration and a UN resolution on a world free of nuclear weapons are the conditions that NATO can also take steps in the right direction, said Rødymr.
Paal Sigurd Hilde from Associate of the Institute for Defense Studies said it is too easy to conclude that NATO is an instrument of the United States. The fact that NATO did not participate in Iraq in 2003 or in Afghanistan just after 11 September show that the alliance does not necessarily serve to American plans.
The debate was part of UDI'd “Refleks” project to promote debate on Norwegian foreign policy. Next Refleks event is a debate with Carl Bildt and Jonas Gahr Store, entitled “Where is the EU?” The debate takes place in the SV-basement of the University of Oslo on Tuesday 16 November at 18.30.